Soft Tissue Injuries are More Serious than You Think
Many car accidents, even low speed ones, can cause painful injuries. At the Law Offices of David J. Hernandez & Associates, we meet with clients every week who tell us they almost didn’t call because they thought their injuries were too insignificant to bother a lawyer about. We’re happy that they did. Although some soft-tissue injuries are minor, others can cause chronic pain that lasts for a year or longer.
Common Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue includes muscles, tendons, and ligaments, which are found almost everywhere on the human body. In any accident in which you suffer a traumatic blow, you might suffer any of the following injuries:
Also, strained tendons and muscles have secondary effects, such as constant pain if they push directly on nerves. In this situation, you are suffering from a “pinched” or “compressed” nerve.
Receiving Compensation for Your Injuries
New York is a no-fault state, meaning that injured motorists must contact their insurer to receive medical benefits after an accident. However, in a few situations, you can bring a lawsuit against a driver responsible for the accident and for your soft-tissue injuries. You will need to have a “serious injury,” which is defined under New York law as:
- Significant disfigurement
- Broken bone
- Permanent limitation of an organ or part of the body
- Significant limitation of the use of a body system or function
- Substantial disability for at least 90 days in the 180 days after the accident
- Economic loss exceeding $50,000
In many cases, injured motorists suffering from soft-tissue damage won’t qualify to bring a lawsuit, but in other cases they can. It is not unusual for someone with severe whiplash or a compressed nerve to be substantially disabled for three or more months.
Document Your Injury
Immediately after an accident, you should go to the doctor or hospital to be checked out. Sometimes, soft-tissue injuries take a day or two to develop, so carefully monitor your symptoms. You might have a soft-tissue injury if you notice:
Return to the doctor’s if necessary to provide an update on your symptoms. Your doctor can prescribe a course of treatment, which might include ice, heat, and pain medication. Your doctor might also recommend that you get massage or physical therapy to recover your range of movement.
Carefully document anything, especially how the injury interferes with your daily life. Some of our clients keep a log or diary in which they daily note the severity and location of pain, as well as how it has impacted their life.
Contact a Brooklyn Car Accident Lawyer Today
Injured motorists suffering with pain, stiffness, and bruising should carefully consider whether they have a valid legal claim. If so, they might be able to bring a lawsuit for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
At the law offices of David J. Hernandez & Associates, we take all car accidents seriously. One of our experienced car accident lawyers can review your case file and identify whether a lawsuit makes sense given the circumstances. To schedule your free case review, please contact us today.