Soft tissue injuries, which are common in car accidents, are often harder to prove.
The most severe St. Louis car accident injuries are often easy to understand for both yourself and insurance companies. When you go to negotiate for compensation, it may be fairly simple to show what happened. On the other hand, soft tissue injuries are not so straightforward because the evidence of them is often less apparent. Despite being less visible, these injuries can still be debilitating for the person suffering from them. Given the pain and complexity surrounding these injuries, victims of them do well to speak with a St. Louis car accident lawyer to ensure fair treatment. Below, you’ll learn the basics about soft tissue injuries and what to do if you ever suffer one.
Soft tissue refers to the parts of your body that support your bones and organs. This includes muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves, fascia, fibrous tissues, blood vessels, fat, and more. A soft tissue injury is an ailment that affects these body parts. A few typical soft tissue injuries are sprains, strains, bruises, and whiplash.
Why Getting Compensated May Be Difficult
There are two primary reasons why these injuries are so hard to get compensated for. The first is that they are often hard to prove. As mentioned above, something like a broken bone is incredibly easy to demonstrate. You take an X-ray, you show up to your negotiations in a much-needed cast, and generally, face few questions about your ailment. With soft tissue injuries, what is wrong may be barely visible with medical tests, or not at all. The second reason is that these injuries are often seen as less debilitating as others, so insurance companies will discount them. This is not true, as an ailment like back pain can keep a physical laborer out of work for years. Still, this is the assumption that many insurance providers operate on.
Your Top Pieces of Evidence
To prove your injury, you will need every piece of evidence available. This evidence will primarily be made up of medical documents and opinions. If you can get any sort of pictures or medical assessment documents that back up your claim, then do so. Another possible piece of evidence is an expert witness that is willing to testify on your behalf.
How Hard is it to Prove a Soft-Tissue Injury?
Most car accident victims think soft-tissue claims are straightforward. However, soft-tissue injuries are generally harder to prove than other types of car injuries. Here are five reasons why:
Soft-Tissue Injuries Are Often Invisible to Imaging Tests
Unlike a broken bone or deep laceration, which will show up clearly on an X-ray, soft-tissue injuries are often invisible to imaging tests. This can make it tough to convince insurance companies and other interested parties that your injury is real and severe. As a result, many people who sustain soft-tissue injuries find themselves in an uphill battle to get the compensation they deserve.
Symptoms May Not Appear Until Days or Weeks Later
Another reason why these claims can be tricky is that soft-tissue injuries can take days or even weeks to manifest. So, if you wait too long to see a doctor, the insurance company may argue that your injuries are unrelated to the accident. That’s why it’s important to seek medical attention right away after an accident, even if you don’t feel injured. A medical professional can document your injuries and symptoms and help establish a link between the accident and your injuries.
Soft-Tissue Injuries Often Involve Subjective Symptoms
Although soft-tissue injuries can be just as severe as other car accident injuries, they often involve subjective symptoms, such as pain and stiffness. These symptoms can be difficult to document and may vary from person to person. As a result, insurance companies often deny claims for soft-tissue injuries, asserting that the claimant is not injured or that the symptoms are not as severe as they claim. This can make it hard for victims of soft-tissue injuries to obtain the compensation they need and deserve.
Soft-Tissue Injuries Can Be Aggravated by Everyday Activities
Another reason soft-tissue injury claims can be hard to prove is that these types of injuries can be aggravated by everyday activities. Even something as simple as walking or getting out of bed can cause pain and discomfort for someone who has suffered a soft-tissue injury. As a result, it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact source of the pain and suffering.
Pre-Existing Conditions Can Complicate Matters
If you have a pre-existing condition, it can be used against you to downplay the severity of your soft-tissue injury. For example, if you have arthritis in your shoulder and suffer a rotator cuff tear in an accident, the other side may try to claim that your arthritis is to blame for your pain rather than the accident.
How To Strengthen Your Soft-Tissue Injury Claim
Despite these challenges, there are certain steps you can take to strengthen your claim.
First, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible after the accident. This will provide documentation of your injuries and help establish a clear link between the accident and your injuries.
Second, keep a detailed record of all medical expenses related to your injury, including doctor visits, prescriptions, and other out-of-pocket costs. This documentation will be essential in showing the financial impact of your injuries.
Third, work with an experienced car injury attorney. An attorney can help you navigate the complex legal process and ensure that your rights are protected.
How to Get Compensated
Once you have obtained all of your evidence, it is time to compile it and present it. Generally, with the help of a lawyer, you will craft a plan to convince an insurance company, or a courtroom, that you deserve compensation. Your lawyer will gather more evidence if needed, tell you how strong your case is, then argue it for you.
It is important to remember that insurance companies are businesses that are trying to turn a profit. Part of that profit-seeking might be giving you a low offer for your soft tissue injury. One of the best ways to prevent this from happening, and to combat it if it does, is to hire an experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer. They will help you gather evidence, create a case, and get all of the compensation you deserve.