Legal Guide

Does Illinois Allow Settlements For Soft Tissue Injuries?

Soft tissue injuries are some of the most common types of injuries sustained after a car accident. A soft tissue injury is any injury occurring to a muscle, tendon, or ligament, usually from overuse and fatigue or blunt force trauma. A car accident can cause a soft tissue injury from sudden, jolting motion, or hitting a surface hard.

Diagnosis and treatment of a soft tissue injury can be difficult. Furthermore, this record of diagnosis is necessary to have your medical bills compensated by an insurance settlement. An insurance adjuster may brush off a soft tissue injury and its associated treatment when calculating a settlement for a car accident. However, no injury and treatment should go ignored.

If you sustained soft tissue injuries following a car accident, contact a Chicago personal injury lawyer with experience and a track record of success.

Soft Tissue Injuries After Vehicle & Other Accidents are Common

The term “soft tissue injury” may sound vague. This is purposeful; there are many kinds of soft tissue injuries in various severities. Some of the most common soft tissue injuries include:

  • Sprains (such as to ankles and wrists): overstretching of a ligament.
  • Strain (such as to the back): overstretching of a muscle or tendon.
  • Whiplash: hyperextension of the neck snapping back and forth in a car accident.

Soft tissue injuries are rated into three categories denoting their severity:

  1. Grade 1 (mild): minimal over-stretching, tenderness, and swelling. There may be microscoping tearing of fibers.
  2. Grade 2 (moderate): fibers are partially torn. There is moderate pain, tenderness, and swelling. Putting weight on the injured area is painful.
  3. Grade 3 (severe): Complete rupture or tear of tissue. Swelling and pain is significant and it can be impossible to use the injured joint or structure.

Every year, three million Americans sustain a whiplash injury, and 2/3rds of whiplash injuries result from a car accident. Full recovery from a soft tissue injury is likely with proper treatment. However, serious soft tissue injuries can cause chronic pain and leave a victim permanently disabled.

Soft Tissue Injuries May Be Significant, But They Are Hard to Prove

Spotting the signs of a soft tissue injury is easy: pain, swelling, bruising, and instability may all be present at the site of the injury. However, diagnosing a soft tissue injury is not as easy. It may not be immediately obvious to your or your doctor whether your injury is a strain, sprain, or something else, especially because a soft tissue injury is not visible under the skin. Your doctor should physically examine your symptoms and conduct diagnostic imaging, such as an x-ray or CT scan.

Diagnosis is the first step to receiving treatment for a soft tissue injury. Immediate treatment may include anti-inflammatory medication, braces and wraps, mobility aids, and in severe cases, surgical procedures. After some healing time, your doctor may recommend attending physical therapy or another medical specialist.

All of these visits will add up in cost. You should not be stuck covering your medical bills for an injury caused by someone else’s negligence. A Chicago car accident lawyer can help you recover compensation for your treatment.

Will a Law Firm Take on a Client With Soft Tissue Damage?

If a client has sustained a soft tissue injury from a car accident, they should discuss their case with a to calculate a pain and suffering settlement in Illinois. A victim of a soft tissue injury should keep a record of any lost wages or work missed due to their injury, their medical treatment and costs, and any improvement or worsening in their condition. This record can include journal entries, medical notes and imaging, bills, and proof of inability to work.

A personal injury lawyer will review the evidence provided and the condition of your injuries to fight the insurance adjusters for your maximum compensation. Insurance companies will downplay the severity of soft tissue injuries and raise skepticism due to their inability to be seen to the naked eye. However, a lawyer like the ones at the Rhatigan Law Offices will argue on your behalf otherwise. Hiring a personal injury attorney is highly recommended to assist you in obtaining a fair settlement.

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