Soft Tissue Injuries

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Many people assume that if you are in an accident, any injuries will be immediately apparent. Unfortunately, that is not always the case, and often when someone sustains injuries that are not visible or even symptomatic at the time of the accident, those injuries are due to soft tissue.

Some may think, then, that soft tissue injuries are not as serious or life-altering as more apparent injuries; that is not the case. Soft tissue injuries can result in pain lasting from several days to weeks to even chronic, lifelong discomfort and pain.

In such cases, individuals may not be able to work or maintain their careers, resulting in loss of wages and self-worth. Additionally, relationships can suffer when those with serious soft tissue injuries are unable to contribute as they once did around their household with chores, everyday tasks, child-rearing or consortium.

In addition to wages lost from an inability to work, individuals also might incur expensive medical bills for emergency care; diagnostic testing such as CT scans, MRIs, and X-rays; physical therapy; and surgeries.

Call 1-800-265-9881 or (317) 780-8000 or contact us online to request your no-cost, no-obligation case review with an experienced Indiana soft tissue injury lawyer.

The life-altering physical, emotional, mental and financial toll that soft tissue injuries can take may hit you or a loved one harder than you would expect, and it is important for you to understand just what soft tissue injuries are, what commonly causes them, their symptoms, and how you can fight for your rights if you find yourself or a loved one in an accident that results in a soft tissue injury.

What are Soft Tissue Injuries?

Soft tissue injuries refer to damages to the nerves, muscles, ligaments and tendons of the body. There are two types of soft tissue injury: acute injuries and overuse injuries.

Acute injuries occur as the result of “sudden trauma” whereas overuse injuries are sustained over time by repeated movements. Whiplash is one of the most common types of soft tissue injuries sustained in accident cases. The difficulty that comes with soft tissue injuries is that many of them are not perceptible to others the way that other wounds like burns, abrasions, broken bones or fractures might be.

Even though soft tissue injuries might not show up on an X-ray or have visible signs of injury, soft tissue injuries can cause chronic pain and long-term impairments for accident victims. Unfortunately, insurance companies aggressively fight injury claims involving soft tissue injuries.

We urge you to call Poynter & Bucheri, LLC, now for free legal advice with one of our Indianapolis soft tissue injury attorneys. The PBAR legal team fights for the rights of accident victims to recover compensation for all injuries, including soft tissue injuries.

Do not let an insurance adjuster convince you that you do not deserve compensation or that you do not need an attorney! Soft tissue injuries cause pain and suffering. You deserve to be treated fairly and justly when a negligent party causes your injury. We can help!

Examples of Soft Tissue Injuries

The most common soft tissue injuries that occur are those to the muscles, tendons and ligaments. Some might expect that to sustain a soft tissue injury as the result of an accident you must be involved in a high-speed collision or a fall from a great height; this is not the case. Individuals can be involved in fender benders or slips that seem minor at the time that lead to major aches, pains and expenses down the road.

Because of this, it is important to know what types of soft tissue injuries exist, what commonly causes them, and what parts of your body they affect. Examples of soft tissue injuries include:

  • Whiplash

Whiplash is an injury of the neck that occurs when your head is jerked violently backward and forward, such as in a rear-end car crash or fall. Whiplash often results in symptoms such as neck pain, stiffness, headaches, muscle tenderness particularly in the shoulders and back, fatigue, sleep problems, blurred vision, tinnitus, and more.

  • Sprains

Sprains are caused by the tearing or stretching of a ligament, which connects two bones together, and are most often seen in the ankle, wrist, knee, and thumb. Sprains are quite common injuries in slip and fall cases as well as automobile or bicycle accidents. Sprains have three grades of severity ranging from mild to severe.

  • Strains

Often confused with sprains, strains are caused by the tearing or stretching of a tendon, which connects tissue to a muscle, or of the muscle itself. Legs, ankles, hands and elbows all are susceptible to acute and chronic strains.

  • Contusions

Contusion is the medical term for a bruise, which occurs when a capillary or blood vessel is injured and leaks blood into the surrounding area, resulting in a hematoma, or collection of blood outside the vessel. Contusions can occur to muscle, skin tissue and bone and can develop quickly or over a period of several hours after an injury is sustained.

  • Bursitis

Bursitis is the irritation or swelling of the bursa, a fluid-filled sack located between a bone and the tendon or muscle that serves to cushion joints. Bursitis is most likely to occur in the elbow, shoulder, knee, hip, heel or big toe. Though often the result of overuse, bursitis also can occur as the result of an injury such as a fall, vehicular accident or trauma to the joints.

  • Tendonitis

Tendonitis, sometimes spelled tendinitis, is caused by the inflammation of a tendon. When the covering of a tendon, or its sheath, is inflamed, this is referred to as tenosynovitis. Often the two can occur together and can be the result of a sudden injury or trauma.

  • Tears

Also referred to as ruptures, tears can occur in tendons or muscles and can be complete or partial.

  • Hernias

Hernias are defined as when “an organ pushes through an opening in the muscle or tissue that holds it in place” and often involve the abdomen. Hernias can occur as the result of an injury or as the result of surgery. Though rarer, hernias called traumatic abdominal wall hernias can occur from accidents involving motor vehicles, bikes and even animals and have occurred in both adults and children.

Proving a soft tissue injury can be difficult, which is why most insurance companies fight these claims. Without an experienced Indianapolis soft tissue injury lawyer, you may not receive the compensation you deserve for your injury. Call 1-800-265-9881 or (317) 780-8000 now to learn how Poynter & Bucheri, LLC can help you with your soft tissue injury claim.

Do you suspect that you or a loved one has sustained a soft tissue injury? Whiplash and other soft tissue injuries such as sprains, strains, contusions and more can result from a variety of auto accidents, and other accidents including:

Poynter & Bucheri, LLC, helps accident victims file personal injury claims when they are injured in an accident to recover compensation for their losses, injuries and damages. You and your loved ones deserve to fight for your rights, and Poynter & Bucheri, LLC, has the trained soft tissue injury lawyers to help you get the compensation you deserve.

What are the Symptoms of Soft Tissue Injuries?

When the soft tissues are injured, a victim may experience immediate pain or the pain may begin a few days after an injury, making soft tissue injuries some of the most overlooked injuries that can occur.

The pain one suffers from a soft tissue injury often increases or continues even with rest and time, leading the victim to feel helpless and hopeless.

In some cases, the victim may suffer bruising and a limited range of motion that later can lead to chronic pain and stiffness as well as increased risk for other medical conditions. Depending on the severity of a soft tissue injury, the accident victim may experience pain and stiffness with any movement, especially when the injury involves the neck or back, such as with whiplash injuries.

Because many soft tissue injuries are not readily apparent, it is very important to notate each symptom as it comes and seek medical treatment. Delays in medical treatment often are used by insurance companies to argue that the victim is “faking” the injury, that the soft tissue injury is not as severe as the victim claims or that it is unrelated to the accident.

If you are involved in a personal injury accident, it is in your best interest to be checked by a physician as soon as possible. Do not immediately assume that you are fine, even if you are in an Indiana car accident and your vehicle is undamaged. Many soft tissue injuries will show symptoms hours to days after an accident or can be further injured without your knowledge of their existence.

This is why seeking medical attention in the event of a personal injury or accident is so important. Your doctor can review the symptoms of soft tissue injuries with you so that you can be watching for symptoms and carefully track them. If the symptoms appear, you can contact your physician immediately for further diagnosis and treatment and have a record of having sought treatment.

How Soft Tissue Injuries Are Diagnosed

Many soft tissue injuries such as sprains, strains and contusions may be more commonly recognizable and therefore easily treated without a “proper” diagnosis made by a doctor or a nurse. However, if you or a loved one has suffered a soft tissue injury as the result of an accident, be it from a passenger vehicle, truck, motorcycle, bicycle, ATV, boating or pedestrian accident or a dog attack or slip and fall case, we highly recommend you seek proper medical care and diagnostics as soon as possible.

Many serious soft tissue injuries are not visibly perceptible and may not cause symptoms right away. In some cases, diagnostic testing such as CT scans, MRIs or X-rays may be needed to rule out serious or corresponding injuries such as nerve damage or fractures.

Common Treatments for Soft Tissue Injuries

The treatments for soft tissue injuries depend on the type of injury, the severity of the injury, and the person’s overall health, age, and other medical conditions. Some of the common treatments for soft tissue injuries used by physicians include:

  • Time and Rest

Some injuries heal given enough time and rest. Activities that might irritate the injury, such as stretching or putting weight on the injury, should be avoided. This can mean bed rest for several days for more minor sprains or longer for serious soft tissue injuries. Whiplash, which can cause dizziness, blurred vision and headaches, may mean you need longer to recover as it can take the human neck 17 weeks to stabilize after such an injury.

  • Elevation

Some doctors may advise you to keep the area of your body that is injured elevated, such as a soft tissue injury to the leg, ankle, shoulder or wrist, to help reduce swelling.

  • Ice

Ice packs may be recommended to help reduce swelling and encourage recovery. Alternately, heat may be recommended further down the road for pain relief and to ease sore muscles that tensed as a result of the accident and injury.

  • Compression

For some soft tissue injuries, the physician may apply a bandage or other compression device around the injured joint. Your doctor should determine if compression is warranted and instruct you on proper application to avoid restricting your circulation.

  • Medications

Doctors may prescribe pain medication and anti-inflammatories during recovery.

  • Surgery

For severe soft tissue injuries, surgery may be required to repair the damage and ensure that corresponding nerves, blood vessels and tissue aren’t affected.

  • Physical Therapy

Oftentimes physical therapy may be prescribed or recommended by your physician after sustaining soft tissue injuries to get back your normal range of motion and reduce stiffness, particularly for patients with a history of injury or who are older.

Call (800) 265-9881 or (317) 780-8000 to schedule your free case review to learn about your legal rights to hold negligent parties responsible and liable for soft tissue injuries under Indiana’s personal injury laws.

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Soft Tissue Injury Statistics

As of 2017, the average cost of a workplace injury in the United States was $30,000, with approximately 35-50 percent of all workplace injuries involving the soft tissue, making them the leading cause of workplace injury and lost time at work (and therefore financial losses).

  • More than 3 million cases of whiplash occur each year, ranging in severity from Grade 0 to Grade 4; more than 50 percent of these new cases progress to chronic symptoms for the victim.
  • According to a study conducted of 586 employees who sustained whiplash injuries, 7 percent of them were unable to return to work.
  • More than 50 percent of those with whiplash injuries will have chronic pain even 20 years later, and more than 60 percent will require long-term medical care as a result of their injury.
  • A person can get whiplash from a vehicle moving only five miles per hour, and most whiplash injuries actually occur at speeds under 12 miles per hour.
  • Injuries to the neck that were believed to be “minor” can result in up to 60 percent of all permanently impaired individuals.
  • Seatbelts, while they can cut the risk of injury and death by up to 45 percent, do not protect you from incurring soft tissue injuries.
  • An American is accidentally injured every second.
  • Sprains, on average, take two to six weeks to heal, while strains can take up to a full year to recover.

Call (800) 265-9881 or (317) 780-8000 or contact us online to request your no-cost, no-obligation case review with an experienced Indiana soft tissue injury lawyer.

The Seriousness of Soft Tissue Injuries

According to the Merck Manual, soft tissue injuries like sprains, strains and tears can result in complications that, while unusual, could even lead to permanent limb dysfunction. The Merck Manual lists the following as acute complications from such soft tissue injuries:

  • Bleeding
  • Injuries to the vascular system
  • Injuries to the nervous system
  • Compartment syndrome

The Merck Manual lists the following as long-term complications from such soft tissue injuries as sprains, strains and tears to tendons:

  • Joint instability
  • Impaired range of motion
  • Post-traumatic stiffness
  • Osteoarthritis

In addition, whiplash injuries can be quite severe and can result in chronic whiplash, chronic headaches, osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis.

What to Do If You Suspect You Have a Soft Tissue Injury

  1. Protect the injury. If it is an injury to a part of your body that can be bandaged, such as an arm, leg or ankle, it may help to keep the injury from being further injured. If you suspect whiplash, be careful not to move or jerk your head, neck or back.
  2. Take notes or pictures of the accident and file a police report if possible. If you are developing symptoms of an injury after an accident occurred, take careful notes of your symptoms and call your doctor.
  3. Visit your doctor for medical attention. Get their opinion on your injuries and treatment.
  4. Contact a qualified soft tissue injury lawyer to help you understand your options moving forward for legal action.

Beyond the physical, emotional and mental pain soft tissue injuries may cause, the medical bills, lost wages and other losses caused by a soft tissue injury can be substantial. Call (800) 265-9881 or (317) 780-8000 to learn how you can recover money to help pay for these expenses. You also may be entitled to recover compensation for your physical pain, emotional suffering and other noneconomic damages.

Call 1-800-265-9881 or (317) 780-8000 to schedule your free case review to learn about your legal rights to hold negligent parties responsible and liable for soft tissue injuries under Indiana’s personal injury laws.

Our Indianapolis Soft Tissue Injury Attorneys Can Help You!

If you suffer a soft tissue injury caused by negligent, careless or reckless acts of another person or party, our Indiana personal injury lawyers may be able to help you. Your first step is to contact the law firm of Poynter & Bucheri, LLC, for your free consultation with one of our lawyers. You may have the legal right to recover substantial compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering.

Call our personal injury attorneys at (800) 265-9881 or (317) 780-8000 to schedule your free case review to learn about your legal rights to hold negligent parties responsible and liable for soft tissue injuries under Indiana’s personal injury laws.


Video Transcript
Hi. I'm Rich Bucheri from Poynter & Bucheri and today I want to talk to you about what you need to know about soft tissue injuries. When we're talking about soft tissue injuries, we're talking about injuries to the muscles, ligaments or tendons, often caused by sudden force being applied to those soft tissues.

If you have hyper-flection or hyperextension of those tissues, it can cause microscopic tears, which then become inflamed and cause pain. Oftentimes when those soft tissues are repaired, it leaves scarring, which can then also become inflamed and cause problems themselves because they are not as elastic or flexible as the uninjured soft tissue.

And so, what we often find in soft tissue cases is, these injuries don't manifest themselves for a day or two after the accident. You get in a vehicle accident and the police officer comes to the scene and they ask if you are fine and you feel okay, and so you don't tell them that you have any problems. You don't go in the ambulance to the hospital to get checked out. Instead, you end up just going home feeling all right. Maybe your adrenaline starts to wear off and the next morning you wake up and you can't get out of bed. And so, it is not uncommon for my clients to say that they didn't feel any problem at all for a day or two afterwards.

The problem is, depending on how the ligaments, muscles or tendons heal, and whether any therapy is used to make sure that they heal correctly, these problems can last for months and months. And the scar tissue that repairs these types of injuries may never be as strong as the original ligaments, tendons and muscles themselves. And so, you may have a permanent injury from this situation.

It's very important to get a medical evaluation as soon as you start feeling pain so that somebody can take a look at your situation and determine whether you need physical therapy or some other type of medical attention, to make sure that you're able to get your soft tissue injury under control.


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