Diagnostic Issues of Soft Tissue Injuries

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Soft tissue injuries are the most common kind of injury that people suffer when they are involved in a car accident, and are also among the most clinically challenging injuries to diagnose by emergency room personnel.

What Are Soft Tissue Injuries?

Soft tissue injuries are injuries to the connecting tissues of the body, such as the muscles, ligaments, and tendons. On the mild end of the spectrum of possibilities, these include things like bruises and strains that can be painful but are not usually a medically complicated issue, and on the severe end of the spectrum can include things like whiplash and damage to the connecting tissues of the joints such as the knees.

By their nature, soft tissue injuries can be hard to diagnose, and because of this are often difficult to prove in court as well. Unlike injuries to bones, most soft tissue injuries do not show up well or at all on imaging devices like x-rays, and instead have to be diagnosed symptomatically and through various manual tests. Further complicating this is the fact that soft tissue injuries can take days or possibly even weeks for symptoms to become apparent. After a car accident general aches and pains can mask underlying problems and cause people to not realize that they have an injury which needs treatment.

For example, some of the symptoms of a whiplash injury include:

  • Back pain;
  • Neck pain or stiffness;
  • Issues with concentration and memory.

All of the above are symptoms that people can expect to experience from being battered around in an automobile accident without sustaining a more serious soft tissue injury.  Because of this, people sometimes do not seek medical attention after a car accident for days or even weeks.

Legal Issues

There is a public perception that soft tissue injuries are often faked by greedy plaintiffs and unscrupulous lawyers. You have probably seen a movie or episode of a TV show where a plaintiff is pushed into the courtroom in a wheelchair with a million pounds of bandages, braces, and splints wrapped around them, only to have it turn out that the car they were riding in wasn’t even hit hard enough to scrape the bumper. While these sort of depictions may hold a sort of bad-joke slapstick value, they cause the very real problem of belittling a common occurrence that can cause very real injuries to people. And unfortunately, this perception can create an uphill battle for plaintiffs’ attorneys trying to help their clients get the settlements they actually need to fund their recoveries.


And, because of the difficulty of getting irrefutable medical evidence of a soft tissue injury, defense attorneys have a number of tactics that they can use to downplay the severity of these sorts of injuries in court. This is one of the reasons it is important to seek medical examination quickly after a car accident: the medical records from the hospital or doctor will help demonstrate the severity of the injury soon after its occurrence, and also will eliminate questions of, “If you were hurt so badly why did you wait to seek help?”

Contact an Experienced Greenville Auto Accident Lawyer Today

Getting hurt in a car accident is a horrible experience, and having to deal with the insurance companies afterwards certainly does not make it any better. If you or a loved one have been hurt in a car accident in or around Greenville, South Carolina the team at the Dan Pruitt Injury Law Firm is here to help. Contact our offices today to schedule your no-obligation free case consultation.

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