Are Soft Tissue Injuries Compensable?
An auto accident is an event that no one ever wants to experience, and depending on how difficult the crash was, your injuries can range from cuts and bruises to a damaged spinal cord. However, some of the most common injuries that may arise from auto accidents are known as soft tissue injuries, and they can be difficult to deal with because depending on their severity, they may not make themselves known until days or even weeks after an accident. This can make obtaining treatment difficult, without an experienced attorney on your side.
Has It Changed Your Life?
A soft tissue injury is one that affects the muscles, tendons, or ligaments, rather than breaking bones or damaging internal organs. Examples include whiplash, which happens when the neck is thrust forward by force during a front-end or rear-end collision and the soft tissue is hyperextended, and sprains, which are stretches or small tears in a ligament. Some soft tissue injuries are minor, and can cause nothing more than stiffness or headaches, but some can have long-term effects, even if they may come on rather mildly.
Florida is a no-fault state for purposes of auto insurance, which means that instead of filing suit in court, minor car accident cases are generally handled by filing a claim with one’s personal injury protection (PIP) insurance carrier. Every driver in Florida is required to carry at least $10,000 in PIP coverage, and $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL) coverage, though many do not – which is another problem – but at least in theory, this coverage is intended to be used to pay medical bills in minor accidents. For larger, more serious accidents, one may file suit in court like with any other personal injury. If your soft tissue injury has materially changed your life, it is worth filing a claim.
Be Aware Of Time Limits
Most of the time, someone who has sustained a soft tissue injury will feel it relatively quickly – immediately, or within hours, especially if it is severe. However, it is not uncommon for soft tissue injuries to only become apparent as inflammation builds, and this can take a few days or more than a week, depending on the specific nature of the injury. However, Florida law states that personal injury protection coverage is only available if the injury is reported within 14 days of the accident. It may be too late by the time the injury shows itself.
These kinds of requirements are why most experienced attorneys suggest that those who have been in an auto accident always seek medical treatment as soon as possible, even if you suspect that other injuries may show themselves at a later date. In soft tissue injury cases, the more medical documentation is available to a judge or jury, the better, as they will then have as much information as possible with which to make their decision.
Contact An Orlando Personal Injury Lawyer
Many people do not think of potential soft tissue injuries after they have been in an auto accident, but they can cause significant harm if not treated properly. The Orlando personal injury attorneys at the Hornsby Law Group are well versed in these types of cases, and are ready to work hard to increase the chances of your getting the outcome you deserve. Call our offices today for a free consultation.