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Soft Tissue Injuries and Car Accidents

By: Heath C. Murphy +Car Accidents

The insurance companies have done a fantastic job of getting the American public to associate the term “soft tissue injury” with minor or not serious injuries. This is incredibly unfair to thousands of injured motorists each year. First of all, soft tissue injuries generally refer to injuries to the muscles, ligaments, tendons and discs in the spine. Just as there is a wide range of injuries to the bones, so too is there a wide range of soft tissue injuries that commonly occur in car accidents. Car accident victims suffer bruises and pulled muscles that will undoubtedly heal quite nicely, but there are many car accident victims that suffer “soft tissue” injuries that will cause the victim a lifetime of pain.

Soft Tissue Injuries Related to the Spine and Whiplash

People involved in car accidents can suffer a wide array of spinal issues. Many of these victims, with a conservative care regimen, can return to their pre accident condition in a matter of weeks. However, there are other car accident victims that suffer bulging, protruding or herniated discs. While some of these people may respond well to conservative care, most will never return to their pre accident health and some may require surgical options.

People who have been involved in a rear end car accident almost always sustain whiplash as the result of that car accident. When a car or truck is rear ended, the vehicle accelerates forward with impact causing the occupants to be rapidly accelerated. The person’s head is “whipped” backward, and which can cause the muscles in their lower jaw to experience a huge amount of pressure. When this happens the jaw is pulled open and places additional pressure on Temporomandibular Joint (the joint where the jaw and head connect). The head and jaw are actually being pulled in opposite directions and TMJ injury can then be the result of the severe whipping motion. While whiplash is a common cause of TMJ injury in car accidents, it’s also possible to suffer the injury as a result of your head or chin strikes the steering wheel or other fixed object in the vehicle. In addition to TMJ, whiplash causes a myriad of painful symptoms in the back, neck and head which the insurance companies will also label soft tissue.

Soft Tissue Injuries Related to the Knees, Hips, Elbows and Shoulders

As I have opined, the insurance companies have made the term soft tissue a dirty word in the American vernacular as it relates to personal injury claims. Every NFL player fears one soft tissue injury over all others…torn ligaments in the knee. Nobody would view that as a minor injury, but that is a soft tissue injury and at trial, you can bet the insurance company will be telling the jury that you suffered nothing but soft tissue injuries and therefore should be awarded less in damages.

Diagnosis of Soft Tissue Injuries

Typically soft tissue injuries are diagnosed using an MRI or a CT Scan. The problem with soft tissue injuries is that they are often difficult to prove. Unlike broken bones, less serious soft tissue injuries do not show up on x-rays. Insurance companies often refuse to adequately compensate car accident victim for less serious soft tissue injuries. Even when faced with more serious soft tissue injuries, such as a bulging, protruding or herniated discs in the neck or back insurance companies will almost always argue that the injury existed prior to the car accident and therefore was not caused by the accident.

Insurance companies will also try to argue that that damage to the vehicle correlates to the injuries to the occupants. In other words, if the vehicle was not damaged extensively, the occupant was either not injured or injured only slightly. This argument minimizes or ignores injuries and complaints that cannot be confirmed with an x-ray or MRI. Obviously, this is an incorrect assumption which requires an experienced car accident attorney to successfully fight.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer at Jones Law Group

Have you or a loved one been injured in a car accident? Contact an experienced St. Petersburg car accident attorney at Jones Law Group today. When you contact our office we will immediately set an appointment where you will meet your attorney and be provided with his/her personal contact information. If you do not have transportation or you cannot drive, your attorney will travel to meet you and discuss your case with you.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by the negligence of another, you should immediately call an experienced personal injury attorney in St. Petersburg at Jones Law Group at (727) 571-1333 during regular business hours or (727) 753-8657 on weekends or after regular business hours. We will evaluate your case for free and you will never pay us a dime unless we recover compensation for your injuries.

Jones Law Group
5622 Central Avenue
St. Pete, FL 33707



Heath Murphy

About the Author

Heath Murphy is a partner at Jones Law Group and focuses on personal injury law. He has been working as a lawyer for 18 years and routinely writes about auto accidents, wrongful death, and personal injury laws.

Read more: Heath’s Bio