The sudden and traumatic impact of a car crash can leave victims with severe injuries, from visibly broken bones to not-so-obvious internal injuries. Acute soft-tissue injuries from car accidents are common, and all too often they are dismissed as minor and not treated properly.
After any car accident injury in Rhode Island, it is important that you see a doctor as soon as possible. Some injuries, such as whiplash, may not be obvious in the moments after a crash when your body is in shock and pain has not yet set in. Failure to seek immediate treatment for your injuries not only puts you at a disadvantage for healing properly, it also can be used against you if you need to pursue compensation through a personal injury claim.
At Gemma Law Associates, Inc., our experienced Rhode Island car accident lawyers understand the difficulties of demonstrating the severity of soft-tissue injuries after a crash.
We know how insurance companies will fight to keep from paying claims involving sprains, strains, and contusions, no matter how much suffering the victim is enduring. For more than 40 years, our skilled personal injury attorneys have been helping car accident victims secure the compensation they need to be made financially whole again after a crash.
Sprains from Car Accidents
Sprains involve injured ligaments, which are the soft tissues connecting bones. Car accident victims may suffer torn or stretched ligaments in the back, ankles, wrists, and other areas of the body that are hit or twisted due to the impact of a crash. Victims may feel a pop when a ligament is torn.
Symptoms of sprains include:
- Trouble moving your joint
Sprains from car accidents can range in severity. A serious sprain may leave a person unable to work for a period of time.
Strains from Car Accidents
Strains involve muscles and tendons (which connect muscles to bones) that are stretched or torn in a crash. The force of a collision may cause a victim’s body to be suddenly twisted or pulled, causing painful tears in back muscles, hamstrings, and other areas of the body.
Symptoms of strains include:
- Muscle spasms or weakness
- Cramping in the muscle
- Problems moving your muscle
Your doctor will likely recommend that you focus on rest and recovery after a strain from a car accident. This may include taking time off work and attending physical therapy as your injury begins to heal.
Contusions from Car Accidents
Contusions (or bruises) are common in car accidents, as many victims suffer blows from the force of the collision. When a body is slammed against a steering wheel, windshield, side door, or other part of a vehicle during a crash, the impact may cause serious damage to muscles and other soft tissue without actually breaking the skin. In addition to soft-tissue contusions, a crash victim may suffer bruises to bones and internal organs.
Symptoms of contusions include:
- Limited range of motion near the injury
- Discoloration due to torn blood vessels
- Weak or stiff muscles
- Hematomas, or pools of blood forming over the injured tissue
- Shock, in severe cases
Contusions may also be signs of other serious injuries, such as broken bones, internal organ damage, sprains, and strains. You may also need to be evaluated for injury to your nerves.
Treatment for Soft-Tissue Injuries After Car Accidents: Car Accident Injury Lawyers
Many people want to take a wait-and-see approach if they think their injuries will heal on their own over time. Car accident victims may feel like they are not “the type to sue,” so they may be hesitant to seek legal advice. The truth is, you will not be able to get an accurate picture of what a soft-tissue injury might cost you in the long run if you don’t seek medical help from the start.
Here is what you can expect as you seek treatment for a soft-tissue injury:
- Treatment for a sprain, strain, contusion, or other injuries to soft tissue such as muscles, tendons, and ligaments will begin with a physical exam to pinpoint exactly where you are hurt.
- Your doctor may perform tests such as MRIs, CT scans, or ultrasounds to aid in your diagnosis.
- Typical treatment involves the RICE approach:
- Rest the injured area and stay off it.
- Ice the injured area for 20 minutes at a time.
- Compress the injured area by wrapping it with a bandage.
- Elevate the injury to a level above your heart.
- Your doctor may brace your injured area or put it in a sling to prevent further injury from movement. You may also need to use crutches if the injury is to your leg, ankle, or foot.
- You may be prescribed medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or pain relievers.
- Once the injury begins to heal, your doctor may give you exercises to help strengthen the injured area.
- You may also be ordered to attend physical therapy.
Depending on the severity of your injury, it could take weeks or more before you are healed enough to participate in your normal activities. Some injuries, such as whiplash, can have long-lasting side effects that continue to haunt crash victims for years to come.
Do not hesitate to speak with a knowledgeable Rhode Island car accident attorney who has experience with claims involving soft-tissue injuries. At Gemma Law Associates, our team will thoroughly document the costs and losses associated with your accident, and we will demand full and fair compensation from the responsible party. Schedule a free consultation today.
Compensation After a Car Crash
You should not have to pay for someone else’s mistake if you are suffering from injuries of any kind after a crash. Although an insurance adjuster may try to brush off a soft-tissue injury as minor, only time will tell how much it truly costs you.
When we investigate your car accident claim, we will prepare extensive documentation of the losses you have suffered and will continue to suffer in the future. Based on our findings, we may demand compensation for:
- Medical bills, including emergency room visits, rehabilitative therapy, and medications
- Future costs related to treatment you may need as you continue to heal
- Lost income if you had to take time off work after your accident
- Diminished earning capacity if your injuries force you to accept a lesser paying job
- Costs to repair or replace your vehicle
- Pain and suffering ─ physical, emotional, and psychological
- Punitive damages, which can be awarded in extreme cases as a way to punish the at-fault party
If an insurance company approaches you about your claim, do not give a recorded statement, sign anything, or accept payment without talking to our experienced car accident lawyers. Protect your right to full and fair compensation by scheduling a free consultation with our team now.
Proving a Soft-Tissue Injury After a Car Accident
Unlike broken bones and spinal cord injuries, the physical evidence of soft-tissue injuries is not always as concrete. X-rays will not show tears to soft tissue, and MRIs and other imaging tests may not be able to accurately capture your injury. However, the pain from these injuries is very real, and treatment can be expensive.
As with any personal injury claim, documentation will be key to proving the seriousness of your soft-tissue injury. Insurance companies may try to argue that you are exaggerating the pain and don’t deserve the compensation you are seeking. That’s why it is crucial for you to attend all doctor’s appointments and therapy sessions and carefully follow your doctor’s instructions.
In addition to evidence found in your medical records, our attorneys will enlist the help of health care specialists and financial professionals to serve as expert witnesses in your claim. These specialists will help us prove how your injury has affected you and will continue to affect you in the future, so we can build a strong case for maximum compensation.
Contact Our Rhode Island Auto Accident Lawyers Today
If you have experienced a soft-tissue injury in a car accident and need help deciding what to do next, contact our experienced personal injury lawyers at Gemma Law Associates now. We do not hesitate to take on aggressive insurance companies that seek to minimize or deny valid injury claims. Schedule a free consultation today by calling or filling out our online form.
Our Rhode Island personal injury law firm does not charge any legal fees to start on your claim. In fact, we only collect fees if and when we recover compensation for you.