Soft tissue injuries are the most common types of injuries experienced in car accidents, and are characterized by injuries to the body’s ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Common symptoms include soreness, stiffness of the muscle, and pain and discomfort; as well as difficulty moving the affected area.
Sprains occur when a ligament is stretched or torn, whereas strains occur when a muscle or tendon is stretched. For each injury, there are three relevant levels of severity.
- Level 1 sprains or strains are a partial tear of the ligament, but the function of the joint or ligament remains unaffected.
- In more serious level 2 injuries, movement and function of the joint can be impaired.
- Level 3 injuries are a total tear of the soft tissue and these require surgical repair.
Contusions (bruises) are another common form of soft tissue damage. Contusions occur when the muscle fibres and skin are crushed by collision with a hard object, such as the interior of your vehicle.
Most medical professionals recommend rest and icing the injured area to treat most minor soft tissue injuries. More complicated and serious soft tissue injuries may merit surgical intervention.
Unfortunately, soft tissue injuries often do not heal properly, which can result in long term pain, discomfort, or reduction of function for the affected area. Indeed, studies indicate that 62% of those injured in automobile accidents may still have symptoms caused by the accident up to 12 years after the injury. Additionally, soft tissue injuries are often given minimal concern or merit by insurance companies. It is primarily for these reasons that we at Grillo Barristers highly recommend seeking a legal opinion if you have suffered a serious soft tissue injury in a car accident.