Soft Tissue Injuries In Car Accidents
When one is involved in a car accident, the damage that one sees can include everything from scrapes and cuts, to broken bones, to traumatic brain injuries. However, the most common type of injury suffered in auto accidents is soft tissue damage, located primarily in the back and neck area. Soft tissue injuries can seem innocuous at first, but if not properly treated, can lead to permanent problems that can lessen your overall quality of life. If you have been injured due to another person’s negligence, you have the right to seek compensation.
Hard To Detect
A soft tissue injury occurs when a ligament, tendon, or muscle becomes stretched or otherwise altered from its natural state. There are two types of these injuries – overuse injuries are fairly self-explanatory, and acute injuries occur after blunt trauma (such as an auto accident). The most common types of acute soft tissue injuries are sprains, strains, and whiplash, which is where the head and neck are not restrained, so during blunt trauma, they move at a much different pace than the rest of the body.
Car accidents are among the most common reasons for soft tissue injuries, particularly rear-end collisions, where the driver and passengers are thrown forward into the dashboard or through the windshield. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments wind up strained or stretched, especially if one is wearing a seatbelt incorrectly. Bruising, stiffness, pain, and muscle spasms may occur immediately, or may not show up until a later date.
Timing Is Everything
Soft tissue injuries can cause a disproportionately high amount of long-term pain, because they do not always manifest themselves right after an auto accident (or other blunt trauma) – some can take days or even weeks to make themselves known. This can be an issue because Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to auto insurance, and in order to take advantage of one’s personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, one must seek medical treatment no more than 14 days after the accident.
If you have been injured in this manner by another person’s negligence, you will first use your personal injury protection coverage to try and get your medical bills paid, but if you exceed your coverage limit, you may be able to file suit against the alleged negligent driver. Florida law allows you to file suit if your injuries are “significant and permanent,” given that such injuries will often cost more than one’s personal injury protection limits, and if you have significant medical costs, you should have the chance to recoup those damages.
Contact A Tampa Auto Accident Lawyer
If you have been involved in an auto accident, you may not even notice a soft tissue injury until a fair amount of time has passed. Consulting a Tampa car accident attorney from the Rinaldo Law Group about your case’s potential may be a good idea for you, so that you can understand what options you have for getting your bills paid and your life back on track. Call our offices today for a free consultation.