When you’ve been in an accident, you may hurt all over, but x-rays don’t show any broken bones. You still may have a painful soft tissue injury—an injury to a muscle, ligament or tendon. Soft tissue injuries are very common in car accidents, falls, and workplace accidents. They can cause a substantial amount of suffering and months of disability. Sprains and strains are the most common accident-related soft tissue injuries, and can affect different parts of the body. Sprains and strains of the spinal area are especially common in whiplash injuries caused by car accidents, especially in rear-end collisions.
A sprain is a torn or stretched ligament. A ligament is a type of connective tissue that attaches bone to bone at the joint that joins the ends of the bones. The ligament holds the structures in place and provides joint stability. When a joint is forced beyond its normal range of motion, the surrounding ligaments can be injured. A serious injury ligament injury of the neck, back, shoulder, knee, wrist or ankle can keep you immobilized and may require surgical repair. With a severe sprain, you may feel pain, swelling, and discoloration in the injured area, which becomes worse when you try to move the joint. You may have heard a popping or snapping sound or even felt the joint slipping.
A strain is an injury of a muscle, tendon, or fascia. Tendons are fibrous cords of tissue, composed of collagen, that attach muscles to bone. Fasciae connect muscle to muscle. Strains may cause pain, swelling, stiffness, and soreness, and loss of function.
Whiplash causes a sprain or strain of the neck, when a forceful forward and backward movement of the neck occurs, often in a rear-end auto collision. In addition to a neck sprain or strain, a whiplash victim may also suffer a concussion, which is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Typical signs and symptoms of a whiplash injury include neck pain, stiffness, and headache. You may recover from a whiplash injury after several months of pain medication, physical therapy, other certain other treatments aimed at relieving the pain and relaxing the damaged tissues. But you may also have a permanent injury that will result in chronic neck pain, neck joint dysfunction, and herniation of a disc, and other complications.
Concussion and Whiplash
In cases of a high impact crash, the velocity of the whiplash movement can cause the brain to move forward and backward inside the skull, causing some degree of brain damage. The symptoms of a concussion suffered during a whiplash injury may include:
- Double vision or blurred vision
- Unusual sensitivity to noise or bright light
- Problems with concentration and memory
Herniation of a Disc Resulting from a Whiplash Injury
Another serious and painful result of a whiplash injury may be an injury to the spinal discs. A disc is a piece of gelatinous tissue that forms a cushion between the vertebrae in the spinal column. The rapid forward and backward motion in a whiplash accident may cause the disc to rupture or to extrude, causing irritation to a spinal nerve root. Symptoms of a herniated disc in the neck include pain that radiates down the arm and neurological symptoms, such as tingling or numbness in the hand and arm or muscle weakness.
Legal Assistance for Soft Tissue Injuries
Many lawyers will not accept soft tissue injury cases because they are more difficult to prove. They become even more complicated when they involve an exacerbation of a previous injury that has not caused problems recently. But a good personal injury attorney has the resources to prepare and present a persuasive argument for reasonable compensation. Soft tissue injuries are real, they are painful, and they are disabling. Your medical records and time lost from work will help to demonstrate your injuries.
Important Things to Know about Soft Tissue Injuries
- Soft tissue injuries may not appear immediately after an accident. At the scene, do not assure anyone that you have not been injured. You may not realize it for several days.
- You should always get prompt medical attention after any accident. Your medical records will be the most important documentation of the pain and suffering you are experiencing. Without ongoing medical treatment, you will not have much of a case. Do not miss appointments.
- Be honest about your limitations. Follow the doctor’s advice meticulously. Assume you will be under surveillance by the defendant’s insurance company.
Legal Representation in Dallas for Soft Tissue Injuries and Whiplash
Call the law offices of Board Certified Persona Injury Attorney Aaron Herbert for experienced representation for your soft tissue injury. With an exclusive focus on personal injury law, a strong history of high value recoveries, over fourteen years in practice, the highest possible AVVO rating, and a reputation as a formidable reputation in the courtroom, Aaron and his staff will give your case the careful preparation that means success. The initial consultation is free and you will incur no attorney fees, court, or legal expenses unless you recover.