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What's involved in a soft tissue injury

Car accident victims in North Carolina should know about soft tissue injuries because they tend to be hard to diagnose. No X-ray can detect them, and the symptoms sometimes appear days after an accident, so victims may delay in having them treated.

The soft tissues are the muscles, tendons and ligaments. These non-bony parts of the body can easily be strained, sprained or torn through sudden, uncontrolled movements, so they frequently arise from car accidents where the impact and the braking toss the body back and forth. In most cases, victims experience chronic pain and inflammation in the affected area. Sometimes, an affected limb can suffer from a diminished function. Bleeding is also common.

When the soft tissues of the neck are injured, usually in rear-end collisions, a condition known as whiplash can develop. Symptoms include shooting pains and a burning, tingling sensation in the neck. The pain could extend to the back and shoulders. In severe crashes, the victim may even suffer a slipped disc or dysfunction in the spine joints.

Whiplash, as with other accident-related injuries, can sometimes be connected with PTSD-like symptoms, including depression and anxiety. Individuals may suffer from headaches, poor sleep, dizziness or bouts of memory loss.

Filing a car accident claim for these and other injuries might require the help of an attorney. Lawyers may be able to bring in accident investigators and medical experts to show how negligent the other driver was and how extensive the victim's injuries were. Claims may cover not only objective losses like medical expenses but also subjective losses like emotional trauma; a lawyer may be able to negotiate for a fair settlement covering both kinds of losses. If the auto insurance company refuses to pay out, the lawyer might suggest litigation as the next step.

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