It may come as no surprise that accidental falls and motor vehicle crashes top the list of reasons people head to the emergency room for treatment of injuries every year. Data gathered by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that almost 8.6 million victims sought care after slip and fall incidents in 2017, while 2.5 million people headed to the ER after being hurt in auto crashes.
What these figures don’t reveal is the number of people who refused treatment because they didn’t experience immediate, visible implications. Unfortunately, this trauma – termed soft tissue injuries – may not manifest in the short-term aftermath of a personal injury accident. Still, they can lead to serious implications, becoming chronic and extremely painful in the days or weeks afterwards.
Fortunately, you may be entitled to recover compensation if you sustained soft tissue injuries in an accident caused by someone’s negligence. The problem is that there can be issues with valuation, since the harm is not visible to others. You can trust a New York personal injury lawyer to handle the details, but you might find it helpful to review some of the challenges in recovering damages for soft tissue injuries.
Types of Soft Tissue Injuries from Accidents: As the term indicates, soft tissue injuries primarily affect parts of the body that aren’t protective bone, such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, and others. Spinal discs, the gel-filled pods located in between your vertebrae are also included in the description. These tissues are tasked with providing cushioning, stretch, shock absorption, flexibility, and movement. Their functioning can be disrupted significantly when they endure a violent jolt, such as what typically occurs in an accident. The trauma to soft tissues can lead to intense pain, but the damage may also prevent them from doing their job.
The University of Rochester Medical Center describes some examples of soft tissue injuries, such as:
- Whiplash to the neck, shoulders, and upper spine;
- Muscle or tendon strains;
- Ligament sprains;
- Bursitis, damage to the fluid-filled sacs that protect your bones;
- Tendonitis; and,
- Herniated or bulging spinal discs.
Valuing Monetary Damages for Soft Tissue Injuries: The biggest challenge with obtaining compensation for soft tissue injuries is trying to convey the pain, discomfort, and lack of function to others. An insurance company employee or members of a jury have a hard time comprehending the nature and severity of your soft tissue injuries when they cannot see them.
Since pain and suffering are a portion of your monetary damages in an accident claim, it’s important that you can translate your experience into value – so you can get the compensation you deserve. Your lawyer will employ strategies to ensure you recover:
- Economic Damages: These are your definable losses, which you can usually prove through paperwork. You can present medical bills for reimbursement of treatment costs and paystubs for lost wages.
- Non-Economic Damages: This category is more difficult in claims for soft tissue injuries, because you don’t have documentation reflecting the dollar value of your pain and suffering. You may rely on medical experts to support your claim for non-economic damages.
In addition, you should note that New York’s statute on contributory negligence could also affect your monetary damages in a claim for soft tissue injuries. If you were partly responsible for the accident in which you were injured, your compensation will be reduced by the amount of fault linked to your actions.
A New York Personal Injury Attorney Can Assist with Your Claim for Compensation
If you sustained soft tissue injuries in any type of accident, don’t be dissuaded from seeking compensation just because they’re not visible and obvious to others. You’re still entitled to recover monetary damages for your losses, so please contact The Mandel Law Firm to learn how our team can assist with the legal process. You can schedule a consultation by calling our Manhattan office at (646) 770-3868 or completing our online contact form.