When you’re hurt in an accident, you can usually tell the general location of the injury, but often cannot diagnose the exact injury type or extent without medical attention. Severe pain after an accident could be the sign of a fractured bone, or it may be the result of a soft tissue injury like a sprain or tear of the muscles, tendons, or ligaments.
While some people may automatically assume that injuries like broken bones or fractures are more painful and severe than soft tissue injuries, this is not always the case. Sometimes, soft tissue injuries can be more painful and require longer recovery time than broken bones, depending on their nature and severity.
If you’ve suffered a broken or fractured bone or a soft tissue injury in an accident that was not your fault, you could be owed compensation for your medical expenses and other damages from the responsible party. After an accident, you should seek immediate medical attention to get a professional diagnosis and treatment, and you should contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your rights and legal options.
Common Types and Causes of Soft Tissue Injuries from Car Accidents
Soft tissue injuries typically fall into two groups – acute and overuse. Acute soft tissue injuries are the result of sudden trauma, while overuse soft tissue injuries are caused by repeated stress to an area of the body.
Some of the most common soft tissue injuries include:
- Whiplash — Neck strain injury involving muscle or tendon damage, commonly caused by rear-end car accidents.
- Contusions — A bruise in which underlying fibers and tissue are crushed, resulting in pain, swelling, and discoloration.
- Sprains — Partial tears to ligaments, usually in ankles, knees, or wrists.
- Tendonitis — Inflammation of the tendon, the tissue connecting the bone to the muscle, usually as the result of repetitive motion or overuse.
- Bursitis — Inflammation of the bursa, the sac that provides a cushion between the bones and the muscles. Bursitis results from overuse or sudden trauma.
- Strains — Strained or pulled muscles, sometimes because of repetitive movement but also because of sudden stretching.
- Tenosynovitis — Inflammation of the tendon sheath where muscle connects to the bone.
Repetitive strain injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome are also soft tissue injuries.
Common Types of Fractures
There are several different types of bone fractures. They are categorized based on their location and nature. The most common types of fractures are:
- Transverse Fracture — A break in a straight line perpendicular to the shaft of the bone.
- Oblique Fracture — A diagonal break across a bone.
- Spiral Fracture — A break that swirls around a bone.
- Compression Fracture — Specifically, this is the collapse of the vertebrae in the back, possibly as the result of trauma.
- Comminuted Fracture — Bone is splintered into two or more fragments.
- Segmental Fracture — Breaks involving two fracture lines within the same anatomic location.
- Compound Fracture — Injury in which broken bone pierces the skin and is exposed through an open wound.
- Stress Fractures — A small crack in a bone, usually a weight-bearing bone in the lower extremities. Stress fractures can progress into complete breaks in some cases.
The length of time it can take to heal from a broken bone can vary depending on which bone is fractured and the type of fracture you suffered. Unlike soft tissue injuries, bones do not heal through the formation of scar tissue. Because soft callus must turn into woven bone, most bones generally take between six and 12 weeks to heal to a significant degree.
A person’s mobility may be severely hindered during their recovery. Broken arms or legs could prevent a person from being able to return to work for a considerable length of time.
How Soft Tissue Injuries Differ from Broken Bones and Fractures
While insurers often try to place more value on broken bones than soft tissue injuries, such conclusions are often not representative of the pain involved. Depending on the location of a soft tissue injury, the person could suffer lasting pain and may be unable to perform normal daily activities.
Also, some people who have been diagnosed with soft tissue injuries may find themselves unable to return to work for an even longer length of time than those with broken bones. Soft tissue injuries can be extremely painful for weeks, months, and even years in some cases.
These considerations are essential when negotiating a settlement for an injury claim if your injury was caused by someone else’s reckless or negligent actions. You could be owed compensation for your medical bills and any physical therapy that is required, along with additional compensation for your pain and suffering and other losses.
Do not assume that your soft tissue injury is not severe enough to merit an injury claim. If your injury causes you pain, expensive medical treatment, or forces you to miss valuable time at work, you could be eligible to secure compensation from the responsible party.
Contact Demas Law Group for Help with Your Injury Claim
Did you or your loved one recently sustain a soft tissue injury or broken bone in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence in Sacramento or surrounding areas? If so, you could be owed compensation for what happened to you. Our experienced injury attorneys are ready to discuss the accident with you, collect your medical records and review them with experts, and help you seek the compensation that you are entitled to.
Demas Law Group has more than a quarter century of experience and has recovered millions of dollars for our clients. Call us or contact us online now to have our lawyers provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free consultation.