What Damages Can Be Recovered After a Soft Tissue Injury Claim
Soft tissue injuries are very common in accidents throughout Pennsylvania. However, insurers often view soft tissue injuries as impermanent, resulting in lower awards. The reason being that they are not as obvious as a hard injury, such as a broken bone, which can make their severity harder to prove.
In general, a soft tissue injury claim will be worth more when classified as a moderate to severe injury rather than a minor. The longer the recovery and more extensive the treatment you require, the more valuable your claim. As a result, how much a soft tissue injury claim is worth will depend on the factors unique to your case.
What Is a Soft Tissue Injury?
Any damage to the body’s connective tissues, such as muscles, tendons, or ligaments, is known as a soft tissue injury. For example, a strain or a sprain, but the most common after an accident is whiplash. Whiplash occurs when a sudden jolt to the neck and head causes it to move rapidly back and forth. Whiplash can be severe, and symptoms may not appear for a day or more after the incident. Soft tissue injuries also commonly affect the back, wrists, ankles, calves, and elbows. With rest, ice, physical therapy, and rehabilitation, most heal completely within weeks or months. However, severe soft tissue injuries, especially severe whiplash, can result in years of chronic pain.
How Are Soft Tissue Injury Damages Calculated in Pennsylvania?
To calculate an estimate of your soft tissue injury claim’s damages will involve first adding up your economic damages. Those include your:
- Current and future medical bills;
- Current and future lost wages;
- Diminished earning capacity if you are unable to earn the same level of income as before the accident due to your injury; and,
- Any damage to property.
Next, that total is often multiplied by a number typically between 1.5 and 5 to calculate your non-economic damages (e.g., pain and suffering, emotional distress). The more severe your soft tissue injury, the higher the multiplier number used.
Calculating damages for a soft tissue injury claim can be challenging because these injuries are often invisible. In other words, they cannot be seen on an X-ray, CT scan, or MRI. Therefore, the value of your case will heavily rely on your diagnosis and the degree of injury (e.g., mild, moderate, severe), your injury’s prognosis, length of recovery, the extent of pain and suffering, age and overall health, and other factors.
How Can An Attorney Help With My Soft Tissue Injury?
Estimating your case’s worth typically requires an experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorney and their resources to consult a medical expert. It is the most effective way to accurately know the amount of compensation you are entitled to receive from the at-fault party. An attorney can also help you prove the extent of your damages by gathering evidence and documentation to build your case. For example, copies of your medical records, a letter from your physician, testimony from medical experts, testimony from family or friends on the impact of your injury, and more. They may advise you to keep a journal to log your daily pain and limitations as well. They will also handle all communication with the insurance company to ensure you are treated fairly and recover the compensation you deserve.