How Are Soft Tissue Injury Settlement Amounts Determined?

How Are Soft Tissue Injury Settlement Amounts Determined?

reisterstown car accident lawyer

Car accident victims often suffer from soft tissue injuries, which can range from mild to severe. Soft tissue includes the body’s muscles, nerves, tendons, fat, blood vessels, and connective tendons, and all of these soft tissues can be injured in a car accident. The body has various soft tissues that can become injured. 

When facing medical bills, pain and suffering, and the need for continued medical care, an accident victim usually has a lot of questions:

  • Will my insurance company cover the costs of my medical treatment after a soft tissue injury car collision?
  • Can I get compensation for the injuries I experienced in my car crash?
  • What is the average settlement of a personal injury claim for this type of injury?
  • Do I need to work with a personal injury lawyer to get a reasonable settlement, or can I do it alone?

The type of compensation you can recover from a soft tissue injury can vary from one case to the next, as multiple factors can affect a personal injury claim, such as the severity of the injury, who was at fault for the accident, and how much work you need to miss to recover.

In most cases, the best way to get a high-value car accident soft tissue injury settlement is to work with a personal injury attorney. Your attorney will know how to make sure your personal injury case is successful and that your soft tissue injury settlement covers your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

At Zirkin & Schmerling, our team of legal experts has handled numerous Maryland car accident cases, including those involving soft tissue injuries.

We can evaluate your case and help you navigate your claim to ensure the best possible outcome. Contact us or call us at 410-753-4611 to set up an appointment.

What Is a Car Accident Soft Tissue Injury?

soft tissue injury

Soft tissue injuries involve the muscles, tendons, or ligaments in the body that sustain trauma or damage. Because there are muscles, tendons, and ligaments all over the body, there are many areas where a person can sustain a soft tissue injury, including the arms, hands, legs, and feet. Even the neck has soft tissues that can become damaged. 

In most cases, soft tissue injuries are the result of a sudden unexpected movement, like tripping and twisting your ankle. However, they can also result from impact trauma, which is how most people sustain soft tissue injuries in a car accident.

blunt force trauma

Many car accidents cause bodily injuries, and it is important to seek medical attention immediately after any car accident to rule out serious injury.

Even if there is no blunt force trauma, the violent whipping motion of the body that occurs in an accident can also lead to soft tissue damage

Depending on the severity of the soft tissue damage from a car accident, victims may need minor medical attention or treatment for more severe injuries. If you experience severe pain in your soft tissues following a car accident, it is imperative to seek medical care. Not only will a medical provider be able to reduce your pain and suffering, but the treatment you undergo will help to determine the correct settlement amount.

What Are the Most Common Soft Tissue Injuries that Result from Car Accidents?

Again, as the entire body is made up of soft tissues, there are numerous places where a soft tissue injury can occur. However, some soft tissue injuries are more prevalent in car accident victims than others. 

Some of the most common car accident soft tissue injuries include the following:

  • Contusions (bruises)
  • Sprains and strains
  • Whiplash injuries (soft tissue injury in the neck)
  • Muscle tears
  • Bursitis and other foot injuries
  • Tendonitis

Any of these soft tissue injuries can range in severity. A minor soft tissue injury will likely result in mild tenderness and minimal swelling. A moderate soft tissue injury could mean partial tears, moderate pain and swelling, and some limited mobility. A severe soft tissue injury can mean a complete rupture of the affected area, significant pain and swelling, instability of the joint, and inability to move or use the affected area. 

Soft Tissue Injury Symptoms

After a tissue injury car accident, you should watch for any of the following symptoms of soft tissue damage, commonly referred to as contusions or bruises:

  • Pain or tenderness at the site of the injury is often the first and most obvious symptom
  • Swelling occurs when fluid accumulates in the injured tissues, causing sensitivity and bruising
  • Reduced range of motion means that injuries can make it difficult or painful to fully move the affected joint or body part
  • Stiffness or loss of flexibility leads to the injured area feeling tighter or less limber due to damage to connective tissues; this is especially common after a whiplash injury
  • Muscle spasms are when the muscles involuntarily contract or twitch due to disruption of normal signaling
  • Numbness or tingling is often caused by nerve compression or injuries
  • Difficulty bearing weight may be a sign of injuries to tendons, ligaments, or muscles, making it difficult to stand, walk, or bear weight on the affected leg or joint
  • Instability happens when there is damage to stabilizing connective tissues, causing looseness or instability in a joint
  • Bruising is the result of ruptured blood vessels under the skin, which cause black-and-blue discoloration
  • Weakness may manifest in the inability to move the injured area with normal strength due to pain or tissue damage

If you experience any of these symptoms, they may be a sign of soft tissue damage. Sometimes, car accident victims will try to “power through” an injury because they think it’s not serious or they’re worried about medical expenses. We know that it can be stressful to seek medical attention when there may be significant costs, but your health is important!

Additionally, through a soft tissue injury claim, you can seek compensation for the costs of your medical treatment, physical therapy costs, and other expenses.

How Are Soft Tissue Injuries Treated?

How a soft tissue injury is treated will depend on the area affected and the severity of the injury.

For many soft tissue injuries, doctors will simply have you follow the PRICE method:

price method
  • Protect: Minimize the use of the affected area
  • Rest: Rest the affected area as much as possible and avoid activities that cause muscle spasms pain or other discomfort
  • Ice: Place ice or a cold compress on the affected area for 15-20 minutes every three to four hours 
  • Compression: Wrap the affected area in a firm bandage, but not so tight as to restrict circulation 
  • Elevation: When resting, keep the affected area elevated above the level of your heart to reduce swelling 

For more severe soft tissue injuries, medication, surgery, and physical therapy might be required. If this is the case, treatments can get expensive. This is why it’s important to file a claim and work with an attorney.

A soft tissue injury settlement can help you pay for your medical expenses and other potential damages. Contact us or call us at 410-753-4611 to set up an appointment.

Types of Compensation in a Car Accident Soft Tissue Injury Settlement

soft tissue injury

How much your car accident soft tissue injury settlement will be valued can vary greatly depending on several factors. Determining the at fault party, for example, can affect your claim. If someone else was at fault, you could file a claim against their insurance company or even file a lawsuit against them for compensation.

As opposed to states with comparative negligence laws, Maryland is a contributory negligence state. This means that you can only file a lawsuit if the other party was 100% at fault for your injuries. Good legal representation will be able to make a strong argument regarding who was responsible for the accident.

The damages you suffered as a result of the accident and your injuries can also determine the type of compensation you can recover.

Such damages can include:

  • Medical bills
  • Physical therapy costs
  • Future medical expenses
  • Lost wages 
  • Reduced future earning capacity
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Permanent impairment/permanent injury
  • Loss of consortium
  • Property damage

Essentially, the more that a car accident has affected your life and your finances, the more money you should be able to recover in a soft tissue injury case. However, there is never a guarantee that you will be awarded the full amount you deserve, which is why it helps to work with a personal injury lawyer. Specifically, you should choose an experienced car accident lawyer who understands the best way to make soft tissue cases successful.

An attorney can help you navigate the complex legal matters involved in your case, protect your rights, and ensure sufficient evidence is provided to prove how severe your injury is and how much you have suffered as a result. Contact us or call us at 410-753-4611 to set up an appointment with one of our personal injury attorneys today.

FAQs About Soft Tissue Injury Claims

These are some of the most commonly asked questions we hear from our clients about their soft tissue injury claims.

What is the statute of limitations for filing a soft tissue injury lawsuit?

The statute of limitations refers to the timeframe you have to file a lawsuit after an accident occurred. In Maryland, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is generally 3 years from the date of the accident. However, it’s best to speak with an attorney as soon as possible after your accident to avoid running out of time. It takes time to prepare a lawsuit that will get a good personal injury settlement amount, and the sooner you contact a law firm to establish legal representation.

What damages can I recover in a soft tissue injury lawsuit?

Accident victims can recover both economic and non-economic damages in soft tissue injury settlements. Economic damages include medical expenses, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, and other monetary losses. Non-economic damages cover chronic pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and emotional distress. An experienced attorney can help you seek full compensation for soft tissue injuries resulting in any kind of loss.

Do I need an attorney to file a soft tissue injury lawsuit?

It is highly recommended to have legal representation in a personal injury claim. The claims process is complex, and insurance companies are focused on minimizing payouts on soft tissue cases. An attorney knows how to prove liability, demonstrate the full extent of your damages, negotiate a fair settlement, and take your case to trial if needed.

How long does a soft tissue injury lawsuit take to resolve?

Most soft tissue injury lawsuits take anywhere from several months to 1-2 years to resolve. The timeline depends on factors like the complexity of your case, how much investigation is needed, how backed up the courts are, and whether your claim goes to trial. Your attorney will work to resolve your case as efficiently as possible.

Will filing a lawsuit get my claim settled faster?

Not necessarily. Lawsuits can sometimes pressure insurance companies to settle, but they may also choose to draw out litigation as long as possible. An experienced attorney will determine the best strategy for resolving your case quickly and fairly. Negotiating directly with insurers is often faster than a lawsuit. But if they won’t offer fair compensation, a lawsuit may be the only recourse.

How do you prove liability in soft tissue injury cases?

To prove liability, your attorney must establish that the other party was negligent and directly caused your injuries. Evidence like a police report from the accident scene, witness statements, accident reconstruction, medical records and/or medical evidence, and expert testimony help demonstrate fault and build a strong case.

Should I accept the first settlement offer from the insurance company?

No. Insurance companies typically start with unreasonably low car accident settlement offers. Experienced attorneys can negotiate a higher injury settlement amount. Don’t accept an offer of a car accident settlement without consulting your lawyer first. Be patient and allow them to vigorously negotiate on your behalf.

What is the average settlement for soft tissue injury cases?

Because every soft tissue case is unique, it is not possible to list a specific average settlement amount. Making a soft tissue injury claim is often part of a larger lawsuit with additional injuries and damages, and there are many factors that your settlement or court award is dependent upon. We recommend that you schedule a free consultation with a personal injury attorney who can help you determine the estimated value of your case.

What kind of documentation do I need to file an injury claim?

Victims of car accidents should keep all of their medical records, bills and receipts for medical treatment and physical therapy, police reports, documentation from their employer, photos and videos from the scene of the crash, and any correspondence with their insurance company.

When should I get an attorney for my soft tissue injury case?

You should contact a personal injury attorney immediately after seeking medical treatment. Your attorney can start gathering evidence, communicating with insurance companies, and building your case right away. This helps maximize your potential compensation down the road.

What should I look for in an attorney?

This is such an important question! When you are looking for a personal injury attorney to take your personal injury case, it is best to find someone who is compassionate, ethical, experienced, and knowledgeable. They should do everything possible to get you a fair settlement so that you can get on with your life. 

To make sure you have an experienced attorney providing representation make sure you ask the lawyer about the last three jury trials they did, when they occurred, and the result.  You will find that many attorneys claim to handle soft tissue injury cases, but have never actually been to trial in front of a jury.  Soft tissue injury settlement amounts may vary, but with an experienced personal injury attorney on your side, you can get a meaningful settlement for damages from your auto accident. Your attorneys should offer a free case evaluation before you are asked to make any sort of decision regarding retaining their services.

Have a Legal Question About a Personal Injury? We Have Answers.

If you sustain a soft tissue injury from a car accident in Maryland, the team at Zirkin & Schmerling can help you navigate your claim and help you get the highest settlement amount possible. Our compassionate team has experience handling a wide variety of Maryland car accident cases, and we are dedicated to ensuring every one of our clients gets the full and fair settlement they deserve.

Contact us or call us at 410-753-4611 to set up an appointment with one of our personal injury attorneys today. Don’t face your tissue injury car accident claim alone.

Contact Us About Your Case

Schedule your free consultation to take the first steps toward recovery from your loss after a tissue injury caused you pain. Our soft tissue injury car crash lawyers are ready to answer your questions and provide solutions at 410-753-4611.