Valuing Injuries: Soft Tissue Injuries
Valuing an injury is difficult, especially if the personal injury case goes to trial. At trial it is up to the jury to decide the value of the case. This article will discuss the valuing of soft tissue injuries in respect of settlements and lawsuits.
A soft tissue injury is when trauma or overuse occurs to muscles, tendons or ligaments. Such injuries are a result of a sudden, unexpected or uncontrolled movement like stepping awkwardly off a curb and rolling over your ankle. The most common example of soft tissue injuries is whiplash from a car accident. Such injuries are difficult to prove. As a result it is easy to suggest that a plaintiff is exaggerating the extent of a soft tissue injury. Therefore, it is extremely important for the plaintiff to strictly document the injury for the claim.
The majority of soft tissue injury claims come from car accidents. It is important to document medical diagnosis as this is the only likely available proof of the injury. Most insurance companies will have established an amount that they are willing to pay in order to settle a soft tissue injury case. If a plaintiff demands more than that the insurance company may refuse to settle.
There are no diagnostic tools that can determine the existence or severity and pain of such injury. However, this does not mean that soft tissue injuries like whiplash, are not painful and detrimental to a plaintiff’s lifestyle. That being said, a jury or an insurance company is not going to take a claim on good faith. Therefore, without hard to refuse proof, insurance companies and defense attorneys can make a variety of arguments why the plaintiff is not as injured as they claim to be. Hence the reason why it is extremely critical to seek medical treatment for any injury immediately. The medical records will serve as strong proof of the injury.