If you wind up injured in a collision, the range of injuries you could suffer run the gamut from minor bruising and soreness to fatal.
Many factors, of course, influence the injuries people suffer in auto accidents, such as the speed of both vehicles upon impact, the type of automobiles involved, and even the age and overall health of the victim(s).
Soft-tissue injuries common after wrecks
If a physician diagnoses you with soft tissue injuries post-accident, it means that the injuries you suffered involve the muscles, ligaments and tendons, i.e., the "soft" areas of your body as opposed to the bones or organs.
Often those who were injured in car accidents experience contusions (bruising), strains to the tendons or muscles, and sprains that damage the ligaments when joints get overextended.
Make no mistake — soft-tissue injuries can be very painful to endure, and may take months to fully resolve. But the good news is that, with proper treatment, soft-tissue injuries rarely cause life-changing consequences to the victims.
What you can expect from soft-tissue injuries
If you are diagnosed with soft-tissue injuries, your discomfort can include stiffness, soreness and inflammation. If you were jerked around violently during the impact and immediately after, you may experience whiplash, which is the number one diagnosis of those with soft-tissue injuries.
In medical parlance, whiplash is called a hyperextension injury or a cervical sprain or strain. People typically are diagnosed with whiplash after rear-end collisions. The blow from behind causes the neck and head to snap forward, then back, with great force.
After an accident where whiplash resulted, it's common to feel pain and stiffness in the neck and back that may manifest days or weeks after the collision. You might also suffer from cognitive deficits, such as finding it more difficult to concentrate or remember information.
Documentation of your injuries is vital
It's a mistake not to seek treatment for these type of injuries even if they initially appear minor. An untreated soft-tissue injury can cause chronic pain in that body part. While this is not a life-threatening injury, anyone who lives with chronic pain can detail the many adverse ways it affects the day-to-day quality of their lives.
Treating chronic pain can be a complex and expensive enterprise, as it often involves prescribing a series of different medications before the medicine(s) with the greatest efficacy are determined. Often, physical and/or occupational therapies and other treatment modalities must be explored in order to resolve the symptoms.
As one might guess, that can wind up costing a lot of money, as deductibles and co-pays add up quickly even for those with excellent health insurance coverage. Documenting your soft-tissue injuries and the progress of your treatment establishes an injury timeline that can be used in filing a successful claim for damages from the liable parties.