Car accidents can be life-changing events especially when serious injury or death is the result of the accident. Some injuries are rather obvious like broken bones, loss of limb, and burns, while others are not so obvious and may require extensive diagnostic testing to discover. Soft tissue injuries due to accidents will cause pain, may require time off from work, and may result in weeks, months, or even years of physical rehabilitation to fully recover from. Some soft tissue injuries are so severe that a full recovery is simply impossible.
Types of Soft Tissue Injuries
Sprains – These injuries occur to the ligaments from over-extension of a joint. Ligaments are tough, fibrous bands of soft tissue that connect two bones to form a joint. If you have a soft tissue injury to the foot and ankle, it could be due to a sprain. Typical symptoms of a sprain include pain and swelling, muscle spasms and weakness, nerve damage, and cramping.
Strains – Strains are similar to strains except they involve stretching and/or tearing of a muscle or tendon. Tendons are similar in structure to ligaments, but they connect bones to muscles. Strains usually occur in the lower neck, back, or hamstring in the back of the thigh. The symptoms of a strain are also similar to those of sprains and include swelling, pain, muscle spasms, and limited mobility of the area injured.
The RICE method is typically used initially to treat sprains and sprains:
Although treatment at home is sometimes enough to treat mild strains and sprains, more often medical treatment is required. People who have suffered soft tissue injuries in car accidents may have to endure painful diagnostic testing to accurately pinpoint where the injury has occurred and the best course of treatment for that injury.
Contusions – A contusion is another word for bruise, a common soft tissue injury after a car accident caused by bleeding beneath the skin. Most contusions are minor and heal well without treatment within a couple of weeks. Occasionally, bruising is more serious and requires special treatment when these injuries extend to the ligaments or vital muscles.
One of the most common types of bruising comes from the wearing of seat belts during a vehicle collision. During high impact crashes, internal injuries to the abdomen or spinal cord may occur. Shoulder belts can also cause bruising on the shoulder, neck, chest, and sternum. When the impact is more severe, they can cause fractures, internal bleeding, spinal injuries, dislocations, and intestinal injuries. Although bruising is a normal response to all types and degrees of impacts, the potential for a serious or underlying injury needs to be investigated.
Whiplash is probably the most common type of soft tissue injury after a car accident. It is a strain of the neck that occurs when the head jerks forward and/or backward. The sudden force created by the impact of a crash causes the tendons in the neck to stretch and tear. Whiplash is a painful soft tissue injury that may take months to fully heal, and in the most serious cases, it may never heal, and the injured person will be left with a lifetime of discomfort or pain.
If you have been in an accident in Shreveport and are dealing with a soft tissue injury due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, please contact attorney J. Ransdell Keene. You may schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation so he may hear the details of your case and advise you on whether or not you are owed financial compensation for these injuries and the expenses incurred after your accident.