Auto Accidents that Result in Soft Tissue Injury
In this article, a car accident lawyer in Philadelphia looks at how insurers view soft tissue injury claims in vehicle accident cases.
What Soft Tissue Injuries Are
These are injuries to muscles, tendons and ligaments as opposed to broken or dislocated bones. Since the injury often results from a hyperextension of a particular muscle or muscle group and there is no fracture to point to, they are difficult, if not impossible, to see on an X-ray. This makes them difficult to diagnose. They are also, however, the types of injuries most frequently sustained in automobile collisions and usually affect the head, neck and shoulder area. Because of the difficulty of documenting visible proof of such an injury, insurers tend to look at them as suspect.
How These Injuries Occur
By their very nature muscles, ligaments and tendons are capable of contraction and extension. There is, however, a limit to this capability and if the tissue is pulled beyond its normal limits, injury occurs. The muscle, tendon or ligament is then overextended with possible tearing, swelling, pain and inflammation as a result. The difficulty arises because pain, soreness and discomfort are relative and subjective, so medical confirmation can be hard to come by. They are, however, very real and can be severely debilitating. You and your car accident attorney in Philadelphia must demonstrate this reality and substantiate any accompanying loss of income due to time away from work, diminished capacity for movement or other consequences.
When a vehicle is impacted from behind, the one in front sustains a violent jerk that causes the driver or passengers to be propelled forward until the seatbelts engage. This causes the victim’s head to be wrenched forcibly forward and backward like the lashing of a whip, which gives the resulting injury its name: whiplash. A victim of whiplash experiences shoulder, back and neck pain, stiffness or burning. The victim may also experience loss of memory, headaches and can become depressed.
It can be days, sometimes, before injuries to soft tissues begin to show symptoms. Because they do not always manifest themselves immediately, do not usually show on normal diagnostic tests and can happen even though the vehicles involved were traveling slowly, insurance companies tend to dispute them if they acknowledge their existence at all. Further, since the victim does not experience immediate discomfort, he or she may respond with “no” when asked on the scene if any injury was sustained. In fact, the victim was injured but is not yet aware of it. Given these circumstances, insurers regard claims of whiplash and other soft tissue injuries with the proverbial grain of salt. The other issue that causes skepticism is that these are favorite injuries for fraudulent claims for the very reasons that insurers tend to doubt them, such as difficulty of diagnosis and documentation, etc.
If You Are Suffering
Whether your pain comes from broken bones or pulled muscles, it is still very real. So that you can be sure that your claim is taken seriously, seek the advice and assistance of an experienced car accident lawyer in Philadelphia by calling Anthony Caiazzo today.