Some Indiana car accidents result in injuries like broken bones, amputated limbs, and traumatic brain damage. Even though the at-fault driver’s insurance company may challenge the value of a claim resulting from such injuries, they’re unlikely to query whether the victim was actually injured. That’s because there’s usually lots of evidence that these injuries occurred.
However, some accidents leave victims with debilitating pain even though there are no outward signs of serious injury and nothing shows up on x-rays. These are usually soft tissue injuries and insurance companies often don’t take the victims seriously. If you were genuinely injured in an Indiana car accident that was not your fault, you deserve to get compensation. However, it won’t be easy if you can’t prove your injuries. That’s where an Indianapolis car accident lawyer comes in. Let’s take a closer look at soft tissue injuries and how you can get compensation for them.
Soft Tissue Injuries Explained
Soft tissue refers to tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Very often, these get sprained or strained in car accidents but unlike bone fractures or brain injuries, they don’t show up on scans. One of the most common car accident injuries – whiplash – is a soft tissue injury that can be very hard to prove. It results from the violent back and forth jerking of the head and neck that frequently occurs in rear-end or head-on collisions. It can cause stiffness, pain, and even cognitive problems. Minor cases of whiplash often heal quickly but more severe cases can affect the victim for months.
Sprains refer to when ligaments get stretched or torn. Ligaments are bands of tissue that connect the ends of bones. When they stretch too much or tear, the joints are no longer adequately supported. The wrists, ankles, and knees are most likely to be sprained. In the most severe cases where a ligament tears completely, the joint won’t be able to function.
Meanwhile, strains are injuries to muscles or tendons and they tend to occur in the back, legs, and feet. Strains can also range from excessive stretching to partial or complete tears. They result in spasms, swelling, cramping, inflammation, and pain.
Contusions are another type of soft tissue injury. They are much more commonly known as bruises and they occur when a blow damages the muscles and connective tissues without breaking the skin. Contusions often occur when car accident victims make contact with objects inside the vehicle.
Soft tissue injuries may not sound very dangerous. However, if they are not treated correctly, they can worsen. The damage can be debilitating, and treatment may need to be more invasive than it otherwise would be.
Proving You Sustained a Soft Tissue Injury
Remember, you won’t have any X-ray or MRI images to support your claim. This means you’ll need to present other evidence if you want to get fair compensation. Some of the things you need to do include:
- Going to the doctor as soon as possible. You need to seek medical attention and tell the doctor what happened. Describe all the symptoms you’ve experienced since the accident even if they seem minor. This ensures you get prompt treatment and enables the doctor to write a report about your condition.
- Seeing a specialist. If you went to the hospital’s emergency room or your family physician and they couldn’t provide a diagnosis, you should see a specialist. You may need to go to an orthopedic doctor to get an accurate assessment of your condition.
- Follow the doctor’s orders. If the doctor recommends that you get physical therapy or do exercises at home, you need to follow through. The insurance company is likely to challenge your claim if you don’t seem like you’re serious about getting better.
- Keep all the relevant documentation. You need to track all your expenses and financial losses relating to your injuries as well as proof that you’re working on your recovery. This means keeping details of appointments, treatment sessions, and time away from work. A paper trail can make a big difference.
- Contact a lawyer. You’ll need someone on your side who understands the tactics insurance companies use. Working with an experienced attorney will help to ensure your interests are protected.
Contact Stewart|Phelps|Wood to Discuss Your Case
Soft tissue injuries can cause just as much disruption as other types of injuries. If your medical bills are piling up and you can’t work, you should get compensation. Call our Indianapolis car accident lawyers and schedule a free consultation to learn what we can do for you.