Soft tissue injuries are very common, but don’t let that mislead you. In personal injury cases, especially those involving blunt trauma, soft tissue injuries often result in severe pain and lifelong issues. At Saeedian Law Group, our soft tissue injury lawyer in Los Angeles is dedicated to helping clients pursue the compensation they need to recover.
Here’s an overview of the different types of soft tissue injuries and how their severity may affect your case.
What Is a Soft Tissue Injury?
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, a soft tissue injury is any damage that happens to the skin, muscles, tendons, or ligaments. Typically, there are two ways that this type of injury occurs. The first is when an external force strikes the body, which is the most common cause in personal injury cases. The second is when the tissue becomes overused.
While some soft tissue injuries improve with some rest and ice, others may require a splint or sling. In severe cases of soft tissue injury, surgery is often the only option. Ultimately, it depends on the location and grade of the injury.
Signs and Symptoms of Soft Tissue Injuries
Although it’s easy to recognize some soft tissue injuries, others are much harder to detect. In addition, the longer the injury goes untreated, the worse it may get.
This is why it’s important to know the signs and symptoms, which include:
- Muscle weakness,
- Reduced range of motion,
- Cramping or spasms,
- Instability of joints,
- Inability to bear weight, and
- Hearing pops or snaps after the accident.
If you experience any of these symptoms after a personal injury incident, be sure to seek medical attention. Afterward, we recommend you contact a soft tissue injury attorney in Los Angeles to discuss your case.
Types of Soft Tissue Injuries
There are several types of soft tissue injuries that may occur depending on the circumstances. We’ll focus on acute trauma, or injuries due to an external impact, since those are the most common.
It’s important to note that any incident can cause a serious soft tissue injury. In addition, these injuries have the potential to result in long-term complications. That’s why it’s essential to retain a Los Angeles soft tissue injury lawyer if another person’s negligence causes this harm.
This type of soft tissue injury is very common and usually involves damage to a tendon or muscle. In car accidents, this injury often occurs in the form of whiplash due to the rapid movement of the neck.
While they sound similar, sprains are different from strains. A sprain involves the partial or full tear of a ligament, typically in areas like the wrists, knees, or ankles. In many cases, this requires surgery to repair.
Also known as bruises, contusions are quite common in car accidents, slip and falls, and pedestrian accidents. They occur when blunt force ruptures capillaries, causing blood to enter surrounding tissue.
Although these mostly affect the layers of the skin, they are quite painful. Much like burns, abrasions are measured in degrees to determine their severity. They happen when friction causes layers of skin to scrape away.
Cuts, gashes, and lacerations are some of the most serious tissue injuries. Depending on the depth of the laceration, victims may suffer from excessive bleeding, torn ligaments, or even infection.
A victim may develop a fluid sac between the bones and muscles after acute trauma. Known as bursitis, it is most likely to occur in large joints like the knees, hips, elbows, and shoulders.
Grades of Injury
When it comes to diagnosis, there are three different grades of soft tissue injuries. This helps differentiate the severity of each injury and estimate the amount of recovery time needed.
The grading system is as follows:
- Grade 1 (Mild)—around 5-10% of the muscle, tendon, or ligament is affected. The victim should recover in as little as a few days.
- Grade 2 (Moderate)—anywhere from 10-90% of the tissue is torn, resulting in abnormal laxity. This requires upwards of several weeks to repair and heal.
- Grade 3 (Severe)—the entire muscle, tendon, or ligament is ruptured. Although it’s usually less painful than a grade 2, it is more serious and requires surgery to repair.
While grade one injuries don’t usually result in permanent disability or chronic pain, the other grades may be more long-lasting. Be sure to ask your Los Angeles soft tissue injury attorney how the grade of your injury may affect the value of your claim.
Potential Damages Available
If you suffer a soft tissue injury, there are a few damages you might be able to pursue in your claim. The basis of your claim includes both economic and non-economic damages, which cover specific types of losses.
Economic damages are the most straightforward since they are the actual financial losses you incur due to your injury.
There are many expenses that fall into this category, including:
- Medical bills,
- Reduced earning capacity,
- Lost wages, and
- Property damage.
Typically, Los Angeles soft tissue injury lawyers calculate these by adding up your current and future medical costs, missed paychecks, and property repair quotes. For example, if you have $10,000 in treatment costs, $8,000 in lost wages, and $2,000 in vehicle damage after a car accident, you have $20,000 in economic damages.
Non-economic damages are much different. Instead of reimbursing you for financial losses, these damages are meant for more subjective losses. In other words, they’re for losses that have no monetary cost.
This includes things like:
- Pain and suffering,
- Reduced quality of life,
- Permanent disability, and
- Mental anguish.
Due to the intangible nature of these losses, many Los Angeles soft tissue injury attorneys have their own way of calculating them. Some use a version of the multiplier method, which assigns a whole number to your non-economic damages and multiplies the economic damages by that number. Others use the per diem method, which divides damages into a daily “cost” for the victim during recovery.
Contact a Soft Tissue Injury Lawyer in Los Angeles Today
While a bruise or a sprain may not seem serious at first, it can quickly evolve into something much worse. If you or a loved one receives an injury like this, you need a soft tissue damage attorney in Los Angeles with experience.
At Saeedian Law Group, we’ve helped recover millions of dollars for our clients by providing individual care with fearless advocacy. With a 10.0 Superb rating on Avvo and a Top 100 listing with The National Trial Lawyers, Michael Saeedian knows how to take on the insurance company.