Getting Fair Compensation for San Antonio Soft Tissue Injuries
If you’ve suffered a soft tissue injury in San Antonio, you may find that it’s more challenging to get fair compensation for your injury than it might be if your injuries fell into another category, such as broken bones. Here’s what you need to know about why soft tissue injury cases can be complicated and how you can protect your claim.
What is a Soft Tissue Injury?
“Soft tissue injury” takes in a wide range of different injury types. Some common examples include:
- Tendon strains and other injuries
- Ligament injuries
These injuries may not sound serious, which is a small part of the challenge. Many people have suffered sprains and strains that caused some short-term pain but didn’t significantly impact their lives. And, you can be sure that the insurance company’s attorney will try to downplay this type of injury in the courtroom.
But, there’s a more significant reason soft tissue injury cases can be tough: they’re often harder to prove.
How Do Soft Tissue Injuries Happen?
Soft tissue injuries can happen in many different ways, including auto accidents, twists and falls, heavy lifting, repetitive motion, and blunt force trauma. Sometimes, the injury is immediately obvious after the incident. Sometimes, it may take a few days after a car crash or other incident for the injured person to realize that something isn’t right. And, with a repetitive strain injury, the symptoms may emerge gradually over time.
It’s important to seek medical attention as soon as you are aware that there may be a problem, both for your health and to protect your claim.
Soft Tissue Injuries Can Be Hard to Diagnose
When a bone is broken, the break shows up on an x-ray. The physician can point to the specific problem, and generally knows exactly what will be required to treat it. That may be as simple as an air cast for a few weeks, or as complicated as surgery and a long recovery period. There isn’t much room to question how serious a break is, or what type of symptoms and limitations an injured person might be expected to experience.
One common type of soft tissue injury is whiplash. Whiplash occurs when sudden force causes the head to “whip” forward and back, and may cause injury to the neck and/or back. This type of injury is common in rear-end motor vehicle accidents, contact sports, and sometimes falls.
The problem is that whiplash–like other soft tissue injuries–doesn’t show up on an x-ray. Whiplash is typically diagnosed based on the symptoms reported by the patient, and the physician often has no way of knowing how serious or long-term the pain is except by taking the patient’s word.
To further complicate the issue, most whiplash cases resolve within a few weeks or months. But, some whiplash victims suffer long-term pain and limitations. When it comes time to negotiate with an insurance company or present evidence of damages to a jury, the lack of clear diagnostic information can hurt.
Protecting Your San Antonio Soft Tissue Injury Claim
The first step toward protecting your claim for damages in a case involving soft tissue injuries is to ensure that you get medical attention right away. Often, after a fall or car accident or other event that causes an injury, people like to wait and see. It seems natural that you’d be stiff and sore right after the jarring event, and it’s equally natural to hope the problems will disappear on their own in a day or two.
Sometimes, that happens. But, in other cases, the delay can aggravate the injuries. Obviously, the most serious problem with that is the increased pain, limitations, and other impact of the injury. But, this type of delay can also impact the value of your injury claim. That’s because the insurance company may argue that you’re partly responsible for your own injury, since you failed to seek prompt medical care.
Even if the injury isn’t aggravated by the delay, a gap between the incident and medical assessment may make it more difficult to demonstrate that the injury resulted from the event. Imagine, for example, that you’re in a San Antonio car accident on Monday, then go back to work, do some yard work, and go on about your life before seeing a doctor on Thursday. At that point, you could have sustained the injury in any number of other ways, or aggravated it in some way. The insurance company’s attorney may call into question whether the car crash was the cause of your injuries at all.
After your initial medical assessment, it’s also important that you:
- Follow your doctor’s instructions and make sure to keep all follow up or physical therapy appointments–if you don’t, the responsible party may say it’s your fault you haven’t fully recovered
- Keep a record of your pain and any limitations you discover or activities you aren’t able to engage in–you likely won’t remember the details when it’s time to present evidence of your damages
- Connect with an experienced San Antonio personal injury lawyer who is knowledgeable about soft tissue injuries and how to establish a claim as soon as possible
The attorneys at George Salinas Injury Lawyers have extensive experience helping injury victims with all types of injuries, including soft tissue injuries. You can schedule a free consultation right now by calling 210-934-1522, filling out the contact form on this site, or clicking on the chat box to the right.
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