Gillette Soft Tissue Injury Attorneys
When you or a loved one have suffered a severe soft tissue injury in an accident or an act of violence, you may be facing the struggles of physical healing, medical bills, and facing long-term changes to your lifestyle. This situation can be traumatizing and confusing, throwing a wrench into your day-to-day life. Attempting to recover compensation for your injuries through the haze of pain and discomfort can be particularly difficult, which is why our personal injury attorneys at Steven Titus & Associates, P.C., represent victims, fighting on their side to recover the maximum compensation they deserve.
Soft tissue injuries can be very troublesome as, unlike other severe injuries, they don’t often show on an X-ray or other tests. They are also particularly susceptible to becoming more painful with time if not treated soon after the time of injury.
A soft tissue injury is defined as any injury to the muscles, tissues, tendons, nerves, or ligaments throughout your body, as opposed to broken bones or injured organs. Common soft tissue injuries include:
- Whiplash: One of the most common injuries in car accidents, whiplash occurs when the neck is moved too quickly, and the muscles bend further than they should. Recovery may only take a few weeks in minor cases, but even in a simple fender bender, whiplash can result in chronic pain that lasts for years.
- Sprains: In an accident or fall, the ligaments between bones can stretch and tear. Not only is this immediately painful, but it also makes it extremely difficult to use those areas of the body, especially if the tear occurs in your legs. Most people think a sprain can be treated by “walking it off,” but in severe cases require casts and braces to fully heal.
- Strains: Unlike sprains, which affect the movement of ligaments, strains affect the tendons. Tendons connect your muscles to your bones, and damage to them can be as simple as a stretch that requires rest, or as severe as a complete tear. In the worst cases, such as a torn Achilles tendon, the stain may take up to four months to heal, including both surgery and physical therapy.
- Bursitis: Our bones and soft tissue are cushioned by a series of small sacs called bursae. When these sacs become inflamed due to overuse, consistent stress to the sac, or infections, causing the sac to swell and make it difficult to move without sharp pain. Bursitis becomes more common and painful as you age.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome: In cases where you repeatedly work with our hands, you may find it difficult to fully move them over time. This is because the ligament in the hands has begun to swell up against the median nerve, which controls our fingers. Most people think of carpal tunnel as an office injury, but it can also occur in manufacturing and construction jobs. Long-term damage can make it extremely difficult to work and affect your livelihood going forward.
- Contusions (bruising): Most bruises appear to just be damage to our skin, but deeper bruises to muscles and bones can have slower, more painful recovery times. Though you may be quick to brush off a bruise, especially if it’s on your arms or legs, but it could be a sign of serious damage to your body. In the worst cases, organs can be bruised, cause hematomas. Hematomas occur when blood collects in the body, causing swelling and severe pain, and may require surgery to remove them.
- Back strains and sprains: Damage to the back can be difficult to heal from, especially as you get older. When the soft tissue in the back becomes strained or sprained, it becomes harder to bend over, lift objects, or even turn without sharp pain. You may have trouble sitting, standing, and lying down, causing many sleepless nights. The pain and limited ability to move will continue unless properly treated.
- Tendonitis: One of the more well-known soft tissue injuries, tendonitis is when the tendon becomes inflamed and swells due to repeat stress. It can affect the shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, ankles, and feet, making it difficult to move properly, especially if you have an active job. Treatment may include anti-inflammatories, rest, and physical therapy, but severe cases can involve surgery.
In some cases, a soft tissue injury is minor and can heal on its own over time as long as you follow the standard RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) therapy (or other at-home therapies) to allow your body to recover. However, severe soft tissue injuries often require surgery, take months to heal, and cause long-term pain and discomfort. Soft-tissue injuries can make you unable to work, put you in bed, and limit your ability to enjoy life.
Soft tissue injuries are not always the only injury you face after an accident or crime. Whiplash and back pain can occur in the same event along with broken bones, severe lacerations, traumatic brain injuries, and other damages. Each will have their own unique recovery time and treatment that may not work well together. For example, a broken leg may make it difficult to walk and move around, making it harder to do physical therapy for back pain. Doctors will focus on treating the most serious injury first, which often means that soft tissue injuries could become worse when they normally would get better. When preparing your case, our legal team will make sure to include all of your injuries in your list of damages to ensure you receive the maximum compensation owed to you so you can recover properly.
There are two primary ways that soft tissue injuries occur:
- Acute soft tissue injury: Soft tissue injuries can be the result of immediate impact or trauma, such as in a car accident, sports-related injury, act of violence, slip and fall in the workplace, or numerous other sudden accidents.
- Repetitive stress injuries (RSIs): When you put a part of your body through the same motion repetitively, especially without sufficient breaks, you can cause severe tendon, ligament, and nerve damage. This type of injury is common in both the IT industries (where you are on a keyboard all day, which can result in carpal tunnel syndrome – damage to the nerves in your wrist) and the construction industry. RSIs often result in an inability to continue working at your profession and are usually caused by improper safety and health practices in the workplace.
Severe soft tissue injuries are most common from auto accidents and workplace accidents, both of which can be the result of negligence. If you or a loved one have suffered soft tissue injuries due to the negligent actions of another party, you are likely eligible for compensation.
Receiving compensation for soft tissue injuries is a challenging process. Most individuals are quick to dismiss a bruise or sprain, saying you can simply “walk it off,” and insurance companies are no different. They will attempt to offer a low settlement on the assumption that your injury is not that costly to treat and that you have insufficient evidence to support additional damages. Unlike broken bones or major lacerations that involve scar, it is harder to produce evidence of soft tissue injuries, even in the most severe cases.
This is why it is critical to get medical care immediately following an accident or an act of violence. Doctor’s reports and a full assessment of your condition carry weight in negotiations or at trial and can make the difference in receiving the compensation you deserve. Figuring out how the soft tissue injury will affect your work and day-to-day life will take longer than most injuries, as more extreme symptoms take time to appear on your medical reports. Keeping track of how your injuries affect you throughout the day, whether it makes it harder to work, exercise, go grocery shopping, or play with your kids, can help support a case for proper compensation.
- Immediate medical costs
- Future and long-term medical costs, including surgery and physical therapy
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity and change of career
If you or a loved one are the victims of severe soft tissue injuries, you need an experienced trial lawyer at your side to protect your rights and fight on your behalf to recover damages. At Steven Titus & Associates, P.C., we prepare each case as if it were going to trial, even if we end up settling the case out of court. This approach ensures that we miss nothing and gives us an edge on anyone attempting to limit the value of your claim.
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