There are lots of different types of injuries that you can suffer in a car accident. You might have broken bones. You may have emotional trauma such as flashbacks or post-traumatic stress. One of the ways that you can get hurt in a car accident is by suffering soft tissue injuries.
Soft tissue injuries after a car crash pose some of the most difficult challenges in any auto accident case. It’s important to take the time to understand soft tissue injuries, so you know what to look for, and what you will need to do to recover for them after an auto collision.
What’s a Soft Tissue Injury?
A soft tissue injury is an injury to the parts of your body that aren’t bone. This can include your muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves and even fats. These organs make the body move and work. They hold the body together, and they help the bones work to move the body. When these tissues get hurt in a car accident, they’re called soft tissue injuries.
Soft Tissue Injuries in Car Accident Cases
One of the more common types of car accident injury is soft tissue injury. Because soft tissues surround and protect the bones, they’re commonly the first to get hurt. Soft tissues can bend without breaking. Even if the tissue does its job and protects the bone, it can suffer greatly in the process.
Why Are Soft Tissue Cases Hard to Prove?
Soft tissue cases are hard to prove because soft tissue injuries can occur without visible symptoms. You can suffer a sprain, strain or muscle pull without it showing on the outside. That means you’re often the only witness to your physical injuries.
Even where your soft tissue injuries are extreme, the responsible driver and the insurance companies are sure to take advantage of a situation where they think they can deny your claim. They might say that you’re exaggerating your injuries to collect more compensation than you deserve. The other driver and the insurance company might think that they can get away with not paying you because it’s your word against theirs.
Proving Soft Tissue Injuries
Even though soft tissue injuries may be hard to prove, there are still some things that you can do to present evidence to the insurance company or jury.
The first step to proving your soft tissue injuries is your own testimony. You should be able to describe your pain. It can help to keep a journal of your pain and symptoms from the day you get hurt. When you testify, tell the truth. Be forthcoming, but don’t embellish. You’re sworn to tell the truth, and that’s what you should do.
Your attorney can guide you through questions about your injuries. You can describe pain, stiffness, aches, numbness, and other symptoms. Even though it’s your own words, your testimony can be compelling to the jury or insurance company. Your statement can help them understand that your case is about your real injuries and how they affect your ability to live your life.
After your testimony, the next important piece of evidence is your medical record. It’s important to see a doctor immediately after the crash. Your emergency treating physician is the first one to document your injuries. They can make a written record of your pain.
In the vast majority of cases, your emergency room physician is going to recommend follow-up care. Your primary care physician may see you, or they may work in conjunction with specialists. These treating physicians create records of each visit. These files and the observations of your treating physicians can help you verify your injuries.
An Expert Witness
You may need an expert to connect the dots. A medical expert or an accident reconstruction expert can help the jury look at how the crash occurred and explain how your soft tissue injuries resulted from the impact of the collision.
They can tell the jury about the speeds involved in the accident and what kind of reaction your body likely had. Expert testimony gives your case credibility because it’s more than your own word. When the jury knows that the injuries you suffered are expected types of injuries for the circumstances of your crash, they’re more likely to rule in your favor.
If you have internal bleeding, you may have bruises. Bruises can show in a picture. You should show your bruises to your doctors, and they can note them in your record. You can also take photographs. Even if the bruises seem minor, they can go a long way to help the jury decide who to believe.
Following Doctor Recommendations
It’s critical that you follow your doctor’s recommendations at all times. The last thing you want is for the other side to throw a wrench in your credibility because they catch you doing things that you say you can’t do.
If you’re claiming you’re unable to live your life normally because of accident injuries, now is not the time to go biking or rock climbing. Stick to your doctor’s recommendations and follow your treatment plan carefully.
Don’t Say Too Much
What you say is admissible in court. If you tell your coworkers, best friend or barista that you’re doing ok, they might misinterpret your statement and testify for the defense. Keep the case off social media too. It’s best just to let your attorney do the talking.
How an Attorney Can Help
When you suffer from soft tissue injuries, an experienced car accident attorney can help you build your case. They know how to prepare your testimony so that it’s effective. Your attorney also has a network of expert professionals that they can tap to help explain medical evidence to the jury.
The right attorney helps you sort through what information is critical for the jury to hear and what information might confuse or mislead the jury. They can also help fight back against defense tactics that include bringing up embarrassing things in your medical history or burying you in paperwork. Together, you can show the jury the truth to make sure that you get a fair recovery in your case.