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Soft tissue injuries and car accidents

A car accident puts a lot of force on the passengers in the car. Even at relatively low speed, the damage which can be done can be severe, depending on the circumstances.

One category of common injuries is known as “soft tissue” injuries. They can happen in any accident and they can be just as devastating as other kinds of injuries. Worse, they can often be the hardest to diagnose and treat.

What is a soft tissue injury?

In a car accident, any part of the body can be injured in a number of ways. Puncture injuries are those which penetrate the body and cause bleeding, requiring immediate treatment. Bone fractures immediately hurt and show up on x-rays for quick diagnosis.

Soft tissue injuries occur when there is internal damage  to anything else. This includes muscles, ligaments, and tendons. The most common type of injury in an auto accident is whiplash, a condition where the weight of the head move the tendons that support it quickly, causing painful damage that leaves the neck and head without proper support.

The problem with diagnosis

Soft tissue damage is hard to diagnose for many reasons. The most important is that the pain and stiffness may not show up for days or even weeks after the accident.

Injuries such as whiplash commonly come as stiffness in the neck. But they can also appear as damage to the nerves in the arm, producing a tingling sensation. Problems all along the back can develop as well as the spine compensates for the injury to the neck.

For this reason, it is important to see a doctor if you have any unusual pain within two weeks of a car accident.

How serious is a soft tissue injury?

After a severe soft tissue injury to the neck, life may become very difficult. Many patients also suffer from loss of memory and concentration. Even simple movement can become painful if the injury is not properly treated right away. The recovery period can last for months.

A proper diagnosis can help you to file for an appropriate medical leave and not lose your job. But you are likely to suffer other financial losses from such an injury, especially in the area of health care deductibles.

It is important to see a doctor right away, but if you have a soft tissue injury a consultation with a personal injury attorney  is certainly worth your time. You should not have to suffer losses if you were in an accident which is not your fault.

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