Published on January 30, 2020

Soft tissue injuries are one of the most common types of injury that result in legal action.

Some of the most common causes of soft tissue injuries (STIs) are automobile accidents and slip and fall accidents. Many parts of the human body are susceptible to STIs, and while they are rarely life-threatening, they can be exceptionally painful, debilitating and long-lasting.

Due to the nature of the tissues involved in STIs, it can take a long time to heal properly and can severely limit a person’s ability to move or use the injured area during treatment and recovery.

Some of the most common areas that are affected by STI in the cases that we review are:

  • Neck and back – Bulging or herniated discs, muscle tears, muscle sprain or strain, whiplash, nerve damage
  • Shoulders – Joint separation, joint dislocation, torn rotator cuff, muscle tears, muscle sprain or strain, torn ligaments, torn tendons
  • Elbows and wrists – Joint dislocation, torn muscles, torn tendons, torn ligaments, carpal tunnel syndrome, nerve damage
  • Knees and ankles – Torn meniscus, torn ACL, torn ligaments, torn tendons, joint dislocation
  • Skin – Lacerations, contusions (bruising), de-gloving injuries, burns

Types of Soft Tissue Injury

By definition, a soft tissue injury causes damage to skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments and/or nerves. Brain and internal organs, despite being ‘soft’, are not considered soft tissue. There are various types of STI, but some of the most common injuries we see are:

  • Contusion – bruising caused by broken blood vessels under the skin
  • Sprains – tears in ligaments (ligaments are the tissue that connects one bone to another)
  • Strains  – tears in the muscles themselves
  • Ruptures – tears in tendons (tendons are the tissue that connects muscles to bones)
  • Tendonitis
  • Stress injuries
  • Bursitis
  • Whiplash – an injury caused by a rapid, violent, back and forth or side to side “whipping” motion. Whiplash affects the muscles and ligaments in the neck and upper back.

How Car Accidents Cause Soft Tissue Injury

If you got injured in a car accident, you may have received a number of injuries, including STIs.

Whiplash typically occurs in rear-end collisions. It is caused by the head, neck and back being jerked back and forth violently. STI victims are frequently diagnosed with a concussion on top of their other injuries. In rare cases, spinal injuries can cause swelling to the C1-C2 joint in the neck that mimics concussion-like symptoms, but isn’t actually a concussion.

Other STIs that typically occur in car accidents is when someone hits their head on the windshield or on the side windows. Seatbelts can also cause significant injuries to the waist, shoulder and neck areas. Torn rotator cuffs are common, as are hand and wrist injuries and the inevitable bulging or herniated discs in the spine and neck.

Slip and Fall Accidents and Soft Tissue Injuries

Slip/trip/fall accidents are another very common cause of soft tissue injuries. Ice, snow, wet surfaces, spilled liquids, uneven surfaces and myriad other hazards are to blame for these injuries. Unlike many car accidents where the driver sits in relative safety, restrained by seatbelts and airbags and shielded by several thousand pounds of steel vehicle, in slip and fall accidents, the victim is completely exposed and unprotected.

As a result, soft tissue injuries in slip and fall accidents are frequently accompanied by much more serious injuries. Mild to catastrophic brain injuries from striking the ground, broken bones, broken neck, broken back, broken teeth, broken jaw, facial fractures, shattered kneecaps, full-thickness muscle, ligament and tendon tears, vision loss and skull fractures can accompany STIs in slip and fall cases.

One of the common threads that run thru all of these injuries is that soft tissue injuries can cause excruciating pain and loss of mobility. Another is that they all take a long time to heal and many of them never fully heal.

Considerations for Lawsuit Funding

If you’ve been injured in a car accident and are considering the idea of getting a lawsuit loan on your case, there are a couple of things you should be aware of.

If you only have soft tissue injuries, from a funding standpoint, they are considered “low value injuries”. What that means is that the maximum amount any lawsuit funding company will be willing to advance to you will be about $1,500 to $3,000, depending on the specific type and severity of the injury.

Something else to consider is this. There are companies in this industry that will tell you that they will start you out with between $500 and $1,500 and then “you can always come back and request more later”. It is a common sales pitch and unfortunately a lot of people fall for it.

When you eventually call back and request more later like they said you could, they tell you the answer is no. Then they tell you that you can find companie online that will buy them out and fund additional money to you.

On soft tissue only cases, both of these are untrue. Most legal funding companies will not consider a “buyout and a 2nd advance” on soft tissue cases, so whatever money you get with the first company is all you’re going to get until your case settles.

You can learn more about lawsuit funding on soft tissue injuries by clicking here.

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