Getting a settlement for a soft tissue injury after a car accident can be either straightforward or draining, depending on whether the liable party has an insurer willing to communicate openly and in good faith. You could benefit from hiring a car accident attorney to seek a settlement on your behalf.
What Is a Soft Tissue Injury?
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, soft tissue injuries involve body parts such as:
Mild strains or bruises can often heal on their own without invasive treatments. They may require only some rest and proper application of ice or cold packs. If your injuries are more severe or compounded by other types of injuries (e.g., bone fractures), they may require:
- Extended periods of rest, including time off work
- Physical therapy
- Pain medication
The pain and inconvenience caused by such injuries, not to mention the medical bills and loss of income you incur because of them, gives you the right to seek compensation from whoever caused your soft tissue injury.
Other Types of Car Accident Injuries
Some people only suffer soft tissue damage in a car accident, while others suffer multiple injuries. Car accident injuries can be very severe and include:
- Bone fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries
It may be difficult for you to separate the symptoms of soft tissue injuries from other injuries, especially if you are still in shock or preoccupied with ensuring the safety of other passengers. It is a good idea to seek medical help as soon as possible. A doctor can:
- Give you a complete examination
- Order any necessary tests to diagnose/rule out certain types of injuries
- Save your life if you sustained a life-threatening injury
- Prescribe prompt treatment to prevent your injuries from worsening or causing unnecessary pain
- Follow up with you throughout treatment to check on your progress and adjust treatment as necessary
Seeing a doctor is a valuable form of proof. If you must go to court, a doctor’s visit shows the jury that you were scared or suffering enough that you went to the trouble of seeking medical care.
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When Can I Get My Car Accident Settlement?
Every case is different and takes various amounts of time to settle. Reaching a settlement in your case may take months or years depending on:
- How easy it is to find the liable party
- Whether the liable party’s insurance company cooperates with your case or decides to drag out the processes
- Whether you can settle at the negotiating table or must take the liable party to court
- How complex your case is; for example, cases involving multiple injuries or multiple liable parties may take longer to settle
Even before you start your case, there are timelines for you to consider. As O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33 explains, you have two years from the accident date to file a lawsuit on the basis of an injury, including a soft tissue injury.
The sooner you begin your case, the easier it will be for your lawyer to work within this statute of limitations, and the sooner you may be able to get your settlement.
What does a Soft Tissue Injury Settlement Include?
You could receive compensation for any loss or pain you suffered due to the soft tissue injury. A loss or pain may include:
- The physical pain of the injury
- The emotional or psychological strain you suffered from having to endure the injury and the traumatic event (the car accident) that caused the suffering
- Temporary or permanent disabilities associated with your inability to use the injured area to the extent you could before
- How the injury has hindered your ability to live independently or enjoy time with friends and loved ones
- Medical bills associated with treating the soft tissue injury
- Paychecks you could not earn while waiting for the injury to heal
- Income or benefits you cannot earn in the future because of your injury
Ultimately, what a soft tissue injury settlement includes is up to your lawyer and the insurance company to decide as you negotiate for a fair amount. However, sometimes a judge and jury may have to get involved. For example, if the liable party’s insurance company refuses to negotiate, your case may need to go to court.
An attorney can also help you by calculating an exact dollar amount for each injury, including intangible items like physical pain or reduced quality of life. Your attorney may also help by seeking evidence to support each amount.
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We Can Help After a Soft Tissue Injury From a Car Accident
Bader Scott Injury Lawyers can take care of everything when it comes to getting a settlement for a soft tissue injury after a car accident. Call us at any time to get a free case review. We can collect evidence connecting the liable party and your injury to the accident. We can negotiate with the liable party’s insurance company, and we can support you through this process.