Alabama Whiplash Attorney
An experienced whiplash attorney helping those who suffer injuries in a car accident
The human body is more than just skin and bones. In medical terms, "soft tissues" are muscles, ligaments, tendons, organs, and other tissues besides bone and cartilage. The most commonly injured soft tissues are tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Due to their position and role in the human body, these soft tissues can be stretched, strained, or torn, especially by the violent impact and sudden stop of a car collision. Greg Reeves, an Alabama whiplash attorney, will tell you that soft tissue and whiplash injuries may result even after low-speed collisions.
Whiplash and Soft Tissue Injuries: A Primer
Soft tissue and whiplash injuries which are caused by car accidents include:
- Strains. When tendons and muscles are stretched, a strain injury occurs. Tendons (the connective tissue which anchors muscles to the skeleton) are constructed of numerous fibers, as are muscles. In a manner similar to a sprain, a strain is a stretching or slight tearing of these connective tissues. It's common to sustain a strain in the legs, feet, or back. Symptoms of muscle or tendon strain are local swelling, weakness or pain in the muscles of the affected area, spasms, pain, and cramps. When strains get bad enough, the entire tendon may tear away from the bone, rendering the muscle it's attached to impaired or useless. Surgery may be required to correct this problem.
- Sprains. Whereas strains are the stretching or tearing of muscles or tendons, a sprain is a stretch or tear in a ligament. Ligaments are thick rings of connective tissue which help to bind bones together, providing support to the various joints. The ligaments which connect our upper leg bones to our lower leg bones, for example, enable us to move around freely and jog and sprint. Ankles, knees, and wrists are the parts of the body most commonly sprained. A sudden, violent twist or impact is usually how sprains occur. Sprains occur in three different severities. A Grade 1 sprain is a mild stretching, with light damage to the fibrous components of the ligament. Grade 2 is partial tearing, and results in an unnatural looseness in the joint afterward. Grade 3 is severe, and indicates a total shearing of the ligament, making the limb unstable and unusable. Common symptoms of sprains are inflammation, local swelling, and intense pain. Bruising may also occur.
- Contusions. "Contusion" is just the medical term for a bruise. Bruises occur when blood vessels and connective tissue are damaged beneath the skin. Blood pools in the affected area, resulting in discoloration and pain. Blunt force trauma often causes bruises. Bruises usually heal on their own, but medical treatment should be sought if symptoms don't clear up in a reasonable amount of time.
An FYI from a Whiplash Attorney
The word "whiplash" is an umbrella term used to describe various symptoms and injuries resulting from a violent, rapid, to-and-fro motion of the neck during a car accident or similar accident. While this can include strains and sprains of the neck muscles, tendons, and ligaments, it can also include other types of symptoms and complications. Whiplash is often lumped in with other soft tissue injuries, though, since it can have similar implications for long-term health and recovery.
Complications of Soft Tissue and Whiplash Injuries
Most people recover from soft tissue and whiplash injuries within a few months. Occasionally, though, the complications of these injuries become inconvenient or problematic. Victims of whiplash and soft tissue injuries should seek medical attention and a whiplash attorney if they have persistent nerve pain, aches, stiffness, soreness, immobility, or spasms in any of the affected areas.
It's very difficult to file suit to recover damages and costs incurred by soft tissue and whiplash injuries. Insurance companies frequently refuse to pay out for such injuries, as they can't be detected by X-rays or bone scans. Without hard evidence of an injury, many insurance companies refuse victims' claims. That's why it's vital to seek a doctor's advice if you've received a soft tissue injury in an accident. Getting a paper trail and medical record started as soon as possible after the accident occurs will give you the best chance at winning fair compensation for your injury.
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Soft tissue injuries are painful and debilitating, and can lead to even more severe complications. They can prohibit you from working, spending time with your family, or living the life you prefer. Don't let that happen to you. You shouldn't have to bear the brunt of someone else's negligence. An experienced whiplash attorney can help you recover the costs of your medical bills, physical therapy, and lost wages. The Reeves Law Firm has years of experience representing personal injury and accident victims. For a free and confidential consultation, call 256.355.3311.