In an accident such as a slip and fall accident or auto wreck, the body can sustain many different injuries. These injuries can affect multiple systems of the body, including the musculoskeletal system. A soft-tissue injury can describe any damage to the soft parts of the musculoskeletal system: muscles, joints, cartilage, connective tissues, ligaments and tendons. Learn what to do if you suffer a soft-tissue injury in an accident in Kansas City.
Common Types and Causes of Soft-Tissue Injuries
Injuries to the soft tissues can be just as painful and incapacitating as injuries to other body systems. They can lead to symptoms such as pain, stiffness, soreness, swelling, immobility, bruising, tingling, and popping or snapping sensations. The body’s soft tissues can suffer many types of injuries in an accident. Examples include whiplash and tennis elbow.
Overuse or stress injury
Many types of accidents and activities could cause a soft-tissue injury. The most common include sports, exercise, slip and fall accidents, auto accidents, workplace accidents, lifting incidents, defective products and dangerous premises. Treatments for soft-tissue injuries may include ice, elevation, compression and rest. More serious injuries may require surgeries.
How to Prove a Soft-Tissue Injury
It can be harder for a victim to prove soft-tissue injuries during personal injury claims in Kansas City compared to other types of injuries. Soft-tissue injuries may not appear on medical imaging tests such as x-rays or MRIs. While an x-ray could show a crack in a bone, for example, it may not show swelling or damage to the body’s surrounding soft tissues. Without hard medical evidence, it can be tricky to convince an insurance company, judge or jury to take your soft-tissue injury claim seriously. You may need to hire a lawyer to help you collect other forms of evidence.
Photographs or videos
An injury journal
A physician’s official diagnosis
Physical therapy or rehabilitation
Medical expert testimony
Accounts from your friends and family
Note from your employer
If you have a soft-tissue injury and need to prove it in court, a personal injury attorney can gather information on your behalf. Your lawyer can take care of the steps it might take to prove a claim against the defendant(s) who caused your accident, including documenting your soft-tissue injury and demonstrating how it has impacted your life. It may take hiring an expert, interviewing witnesses, speaking to your doctor and other processes to establish your injury.
What If You Have Delayed Symptoms?
Another complicating factor involved in many soft-tissue injuries is delayed symptoms. Delayed symptoms do not arise immediately upon suffering the injury. You might not notice pain in your back from a slipped disk, for example, until days after the actual injury. Soft-tissue injuries with delayed symptoms might threaten your ability to obtain compensation if you fail to go to the doctor immediately after your accident.
If you get into an auto accident but do not notice any symptoms of an injury while at the scene, for instance, you might tell the responding police officer and an auto insurance company that you do not have any injuries. The next day, when your neck feels stiff, you go to the doctor and receive a whiplash diagnosis. By the time you call the insurance company back, it might be more difficult for you to obtain compensation. The company could allege that the injury happened after the auto accident or that you missed a reporting deadline. At the very least, mixed reports could establish you as an unreliable witness.
This example demonstrates why it is important to always to go to the doctor after any type of accident, even if you think you are fine. Many injuries, including slipped disks, neck pain, whiplash, stiffness, back problems and brain damage, could have delayed symptoms. Your adrenaline could also mask the symptoms of a soft-tissue injury for the first few hours after an accident. Visit a hospital right away for an official examination and diagnosis to have the strongest possible claim to financial damages for a soft-tissue injury.