Automobile accidents can result in serious injury for the people involved. However, injuries sustained by car accident victims are not always straightforward, especially when they involve soft tissue damage. A soft tissue injury is damage sustained to the muscles, ligaments and/or tendons throughout the body. In car accident cases, these types of injuries are usually sustained to the neck and back and often involve bruising, swelling, pain and loss of function. Unfortunately, soft tissue injuries, while painful and even debilitating, can be difficult to detect by physical exam or through the use of conventional medical tools such as X-rays. Notwithstanding, many people who sustain such injuries end up missing work, are unable to perform daily functions, and are left with thousands of dollars in medical bills and lost wages. Given the foregoing, it is important to understand how to maximize your chances of successfully proving a soft injury claim.
First and foremost, it is crucial that a police report be taken at the scene of an accident and that it accurately state the facts giving rise to the crash. Moreover, you should also seek medical treatment at the onset of physical symptoms, which may take several hours or even days to manifest. The fact that you did not experience any pain at the scene of the accident does not mean that you have not been injured. When you wake up the next day feeling like you have been run over by a bus, don’t ignore these symptoms, as they can be serious. The longer you wait to seek medical treatment from the onset of your symptoms, the more suspect that insurance companies and defense lawyers will be regarding the credibility of your injury claims. Additionally, it is also important to seek treatment from a doctor, whether it be a chiropractor or orthopedic specialist, who is in the best position to determine how seriously you have been injured, and to prescribe the best course of treatment. Make sure to keep going for treatment, even if you feel better, as your doctor is the only one who is qualified to determine whether your condition is fully healed or not. In essence, you do not want to suddenly stop going for treatment against your doctor’s advice or because you think you have been healed. If you do and your symptoms start reappearing, you may not be entitled to additional compensation. Keep in mind that your doctor’s medical records of your injuries and subsequent treatment are the best way to keep track of your progress and to verify the nature and extent of your injuries, which is crucial if you later wish to pursue a car accident claim.
In light of the above, if you are unclear as to how to pursue a car accident claim and also, the amount of damages to which you may be entitled, then you should definitely consult with an attorney experienced in car accidents and soft tissue injury claims. An accident attorney is in the best position to advise you as to what your rights and responsibilities are and also, to assist you in determining whether a settlement of your claim is possible. Moreover, attorneys are trained in being able to determine what documentation is necessary to support your claim, in light of the injuries that you sustained, expenses that you have accumulated for treatment, and lost wages, if applicable.