Omaha Soft Tissue Injury Attorney
A car crash or slip-and-fall bring to mind broken bones, concussions, cuts, and the general emotional shock, but we often dismiss chronic pain after an injury as simple “whiplash.” More often than not, bruises, strained muscles, and neck pain can be a sign of long-lasting damage that we can’t simply walk off. These types of wounds are called soft tissue injuries, which refer to the connective tissue between muscles, bones, and organs. When these parts of the body get damaged, it limits our ability to go for a run, get out of bed, pick up our kids, and function on a day-to-day basis.
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Childhoods spent roughhousing and playing sports made us complacent about these types of injuries. We’ve all had or known someone who’s had a sprained ankle or pulled a muscle in their back, but as we grow older these injuries become harder to recover from. A sprained ankle can put you out of work from a few weeks or, if your Achilles tendon is torn, up to six months, not to mention the cost of physical therapy and surgery.
If you have suffered a soft tissue injury as a result of someone else’s actions, be it a negligent driver or a store owner who didn’t clean up a spill, you could be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Do not hesitate to contact our experienced legal team at Bottlinger Law, L.L.C. at (402) 505-8234 to discuss your personal injury case. We offer free consultations so there is no cost to letting us review your case.
Soft tissue injuries are often the result of blunt force trauma or our body parts being pulled or jerked in a violent manner – referred to as acute injuries – but they can also occur from overuse. Lifting or moving objects in a repetitive manner, such as at a factory, can steadily damage the tissues of the shoulders and arms. In the most serious cases, soft tissue injuries are caused by:
- Slip and Falls
- Auto Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Farm Equipment and Tractor Accidents
- Nursing Home Abuse
Because we are so used to soft tissue injuries, we often refer to it as generalized pain. We’ll say, “I have neck pain” or “my ankle hurts” or “it’s hard to bend over.” We know what the issue is, but we don’t know the specific medical terms. Victims of soft-tissue injuries may experience:
- Whiplash: One of the most well-known injuries, whiplash occurs due to the sudden movement of the neck during a car crash or fall. The pain is usually focused on the area where the neck meets the upper back and it may limit your range of motion. Recovery varies based on the incident, but most patients are fully healed in a few weeks or months. However, there are more serious cases where patients experience chronic, or long-lasting, pain for years.
- Sprains: Sprains are commonplace in sport’s injuries and occur when ligaments – the tissue that connects bones – is pulled beyond their limit, cut, or torn. These injuries mainly happen in the lower body, such as the ankles, thighs, and knees, but can also occur in the wrists or shoulders when we fall. Mild sprains like a twisted ankle have the quickest recovery time with rest but, if the ligament is torn, surgery and physical therapy will be required.
- Strains: Where sprains involve damage to our ligaments, strains involve the tendons, or the connective tissue between muscles and bones. All sports come with the risk of a strain and can cause chronic pain if the damage is repetitive. Just like sprains, strains can generally be resolved with rest and more serious cases involve surgery to reconnect the bones and muscles.
- Bursitis: A lesser known but definitely serious injury, bursitis happens when the bursae, or small sacs that form between muscles and bones, begin to swell. They are designed to create a cushion and provide support, but repeat injuries can cause these sacs to become inflamed. Anti-inflammatories such as Ibuprofen can help resolve minor bursitis, whereas in some cases doctors may have to perform surgery to reduce the swelling.
- Contusions: A fancy way of describing a bruise, a contusion is when blood pools underneath our skin. They are tender to the touch but will heal on their own. However, larger and darker bruises, especially on the stomach or chest, should be properly evaluated by a medical profession. Severe bruising could be a sign of broken bones or ruptured organs and should not be taken lightly.
Almost all soft tissue injuries involve inflammation – when the affected area swells and becomes hot – and can be resolved with the RICE procedure. Most of us know one or multiple parts of RICE, but the full procedure involves Rest, Icing, Compression, and Elevation. RICE should take place for the first 48-72 hours of a soft tissue injury. In moderate injuries, stretching and strengthening exercises will be required to fully heal and prevent further injuries. If these treatments do not resolve your pain or mobility issues, your doctor may recommend surgery.
If you are in a car crash, bike collision with another vehicle, or fall down a flight of stairs, you should seek immediate medical attention to have all your injuries checked out. Once you have spoken to a doctor, you’ll have a clearer idea of how extensive your injuries are, such as if you have brain trauma, broken bones, or soft tissue damage, as well as a proper course of treatment.
You may not think that soft tissue injuries are as severe as a traumatic brain injury or spinal cord damage, but consider the fact that these injuries do not only occur on their own. A car crash can result in a broken arm as well as a torn Achilles tendon. In this situation, healing from the broken arm will be your immediate priority, however that means in the long run it’ll be harder to perform the necessary physical therapy to heal your tendon.
Not only will your course of treatment be more difficult, but the medical bills will begin to stack up. Soft tissue injuries can occur in multiple parts of the body at once and add to the already considerable costs of your other injuries, not to mention any property damage or lost wages. It is important to ensure you are financially stable throughout your recovery period so you can solely focus on healing and moving on after an injury.
The state of Nebraska allows victims of an injury up to four years to file a personal injury claim. This time period is longer than most states, but it can be extremely stressful to juggle an insurance claim on top of your medical treatments, physical therapy, and re-adjusting to day-to-day life. Luckily, you do not have to do it alone. Bottlinger Law, L.L.C. was founded to help victims receive proper compensation for their injuries and has the experience necessary to handle your personal injury claim. Contact an Omaha personal injury lawyer at (402) 505-8234 to schedule a free initial consultation.
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