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Steven M. Lee, PC

Q:
Why is the insurance company giving me such a hard time with my soft tissue injury claim?

A:

The most common types of injuries sustained in car accidents are regrettably the most criticized, overlooked, and underestimated—soft tissue injuries. This term refers to damage to tendons, ligaments, and muscles anywhere in the body. These are called soft tissues in contrast to bones.

Although potentially severe, injuries such as whiplash, sprains, and muscle tears can be difficult to see and diagnose. As a result, many car accident victims wind up suffering much more than they ought.

In addition to seriously affecting movement, these types of injuries cause:

  • Delayed symptoms. Although trauma to a muscle, tendon, or tissue can occur as a result of impact force, it may take several hours (or even days) for pain to be felt. This is due to the inherent swelling around the damaged area. As the swelling subsides, pain and stiffness take its place, allowing you to feel the symptoms of the injury.
  • Persistent pain. Muscle injuries are extremely painful as any type of movement can put strain on the already damaged tissue. Furthermore, most soft tissue injuries do not have a specific treatment (aside from PT) to aid in healing; they basically just need time to heal on their own and then physical therapy to help loosen any stiffness. Soft tissue injuries have the added annoyance of being able to cause pain and stiffness even years after they’ve healed.
  • Masked severity. Since soft tissue injuries generally provide no evidence of physical trauma, it is difficult to get an unbiased opinion of the severity of the damage. This suspicion and mistrust lead to problems with treatment as well as problems with injury claims.

Insurance Suspicions Can Affect Your Injury Claim

Insurance companies resist giving fair and full compensation for soft tissue injuriesUnlike a broken bone or laceration, there is no hard proof (other than your word) that you have suffered a soft tissue injury. Therefore, you’re faced with a larger burden than usual to prove to the insurance company that your injuries warrant financial compensation. Unfortunately, insurance companies are somewhat cynical when it comes to these types of claims, due to…

  • Lack of evidence. When victims are not diligent in seeking medical attention after an accident, insurers will do their best to prove that the injury and the accident are unrelated. Furthermore, if there isn’t any direct evidence that your injury exists—as documented by doctor reports, imaging scans, and the like—then the insurance company will claim the injury isn’t real and deny the claim.
  • History of fraud. Sadly, many people make fraudulent claims about soft tissue injuries. Since injuries like strains, sprains, and whiplash are virtually impossible to detect from the outside, some people believe that they can take advantage of the system by claiming they suffered injuries when they didn’t. In retaliation, insurance companies have grown wise to these fibbers and have made the process harder for both fraudulent and legitimate claims alike.

The severity of your soft tissue injury can cause medical costs and financial losses to become staggering. As such, you can’t afford to give up just because proving your case may be difficult.

Playing Hardball With Your Soft Tissue Injury Claim

With any soft tissue injury, creating a detailed paper trail of your doctor’s visits and treatments is crucial. You will need to prove as clearly as possible that your injury was the direct result of the accident and that you proactively pursued treatment options. If you injuries are well-documented, the insurance company can’t be leery of accepting your claim.

Filing a claim that includes a soft tissue injury after an accident can be an uphill battle. Give your case the extra strength it needs by enlisting the help of an experienced attorney. Connect with our firm today by clicking on the live chat link on this page now!

Steven M. Lee
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Houston Attorney at Law

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