Even serious soft tissue injuries can occur in an incident that seems relatively minor. Tripping over torn carpet, slipping in spilled liquid, or getting hit from behind at a red light can all lead to sprains, strains, tears, bruising, or other injuries. Even whiplash, common in rear-end collisions, is an injury involving the soft tissues of the neck.
Some of the main causes of soft tissue injuries are traffic accidents, falls, and other premises liability incidents. All of these could support a personal injury claim or lawsuit under the right circumstances. You may be able to recover money to pay for your treatment, missed work, and more.
What Causes Soft Tissue Injuries?
There are three ways soft tissues suffer injury:
- Direct force, such as in an accident or fall
- Overuse, such as when an athlete overtrains
- Wear and tear (chronic use), such as when your job requires repetitive motions
Most of the soft tissue injuries our clients contact us about occur because of direct force. They were in a collision, slip, trip, fall from a height, boating accident, or another incident, and wonder if they may have a case against the party who caused their injuries.
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What Is a Soft Tissue Injury?
The most commonly injured soft tissues are muscles, tendons, and ligaments. These tissues are found throughout the body and work to provide stability to joints, power to movements, and other important roles. A soft tissue injury can occur anywhere in the body, including the neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hands, hips, knees, ankles, and more. According to Merck Manual, some examples of soft tissue injuries include:
- Tears and ruptures
- Contusions (bruising)
- Injured due to a fracture, dislocation, or subluxation
These injuries can all range from relatively minor to serious. Moderate to severe injuries, even with appropriate treatment, may take weeks or months to heal in some cases. Swelling, bruising, and pain are all symptoms of a soft tissue injury. In some cases, complications can occur and cause additional issues and delays in healing. This could include:
- Blood vessel or nerve damage
- Compartment syndrome
- Infection or lasting inflammation
- Arthritis and other lasting joint concerns
Treatment for Soft Tissue Injuries
It is important to understand that soft tissue injuries caused by direct force can vary in type and severity. The severity of these injuries is, in part, determined by the force of the blow. However, there are other factors involved, as well. Even a relatively minor incident can cause a severe injury. Any pain or swelling after an accident calls for a visit to the doctor, a walk-in clinic, or your nearest emergency department.
You are likely familiar with the initial treatment for relatively minor soft tissue injuries: RICE.
- Rest: Rest the joint or body part for a few days as much as possible. Your doctor will recommend specifics.
- Ice: Using ice packs can reduce swelling and inflammation.
- Compression: Your doctor may put a brace or bandage on the area to provide compression and help reduce swelling.
- Elevation: When possible, prop up the injured leg or arm higher than your heart.
If your doctor is concerned that your injuries may be more serious, they may order medical imaging such as X-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In some cases, surgical repair, limited movement, and physical therapy may be necessary. Prescription pain relief, medications to reduce the risk of infection, and at-home exercises to maintain range of motion and strength may also be prescribed.
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Building a Case and Recovering Compensation for Your Injuries
If you were hurt and you believe another person or company is to blame, you may want to discuss your legal options with an attorney. A personal injury law firm can assess your rights and the strength of your case and determine if you may be able to file a claim and recover damages, including:
- Your medical care costs
- Losses from missed time at work, including wages and benefits
- Property damages
- Related expenses
- Pain and suffering damages
They may be able to navigate the claims process for you, identifying the liable party and building a case to show their negligence caused your injuries. This is required to recover fair and just compensation based on your related damages. In general, you have up to two years to file a lawsuit in a personal injury case per Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003.
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You can speak with an attorney from Loncar Lyon Jenkins about your soft tissue injury and a possible personal injury case. Our team helps those who suffered injuries and loved ones of those who died from their injuries. You can connect with our team today. Call in the Strong Arm.
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