Understanding Soft Tissue and Whiplash Injuries After a Car Accident 

Understand Soft Tissue and Whiplash Injuries After a Car Accident

Atlanta car accident lawyers from the Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines understand the challenges related to driving in and around the city.

For example, six major interstates run through Atlanta. If you regularly commute to work or drive anywhere in the city, you have likely found alternative routes to avoid some of the busier roadways. This is a smart strategy since roads that aren’t as busy can help you stay safe and avoid accidents.

Unfortunately, even on quieter streets, accidents happen. If you are involved in an accident on an Atlanta highway or road, the situation can be confusing and chaotic. At this time, you need to work to stay calm and take the right steps to seek medical treatment and gather evidence related to the collision.

If the accident was caused by the negligence or fault of another party, it might be possible to file a personal injury claim to recover compensation. This is something that Atlanta car accident lawyers can help with.

Along with filing a claim, it’s important to note some injuries in car accidents aren’t immediately evident. Two of the most common include soft tissue injuries and whiplash. Learn more about these injuries and the dangers they pose here.

What Is a Soft Tissue Injury?

Soft tissue injuries occur to your tendons, ligaments, connective tissues, and muscles. These tissues are made of individual fibers, and injuries occur when the fibers are torn, stretched, or inflamed.

When your body experiences trauma, different types of soft tissue injuries can occur. One example would be overusing a certain body part, such as your back when lifting heavy things repeatedly. However, soft tissue injuries can also occur because of blunt force trauma, which is common in car accidents.

Soft tissue injuries are extremely common in car accidents since the force of the impact is often transferred to those inside the vehicle. Even in a seemingly minor collision, the force exerted can cause a violent jolt, which results in this injury.

The force creates a jerking motion that stretches tissue beyond its normal range, which occurs in whiplash situations. The stretching, depending on severity, can result in partial or complete tears in the tissue fibers. The force of an impact in a car accident may also damage the blood cells in the tissue.

It’s important to note that these injuries can take time to develop and show symptoms. Because of this, you may not be aware you were even injured right after a car accident. While this is true, Atlanta car accident lawyers recommend seeking medical treatment immediately since a doctor can find and start treatment for these “hidden injuries.”

Common Types of Soft Tissue Injuries in Car Accidents

Some of the most common soft tissue injuries in car accidents are highlighted here.

Sprains

A sprain can happen in a car accident when the jolt of a collision moves your body violently, causing the ligaments connecting your bones to stretch beyond the normal range of motion. The most common place for sprains to occur in car accidents is the neck, and this injury is commonly called whiplash. In more severe accidents, there may be tears in the ligaments of the neck.

The symptoms of sprains after a car accident include bruises or pain in and around the affected area, inflammation, swelling, and impaired flexibility. To diagnose a sprain, your doctor will likely take X-rays of the affected area. This ensures there are no fractures or breaks. A physical exam will also be conducted.

If you believe you experienced whiplash or another sprain in a car accident, talking to whiplash injury lawyers is recommended. They understand these injuries and their short- and long-term impact on your life and well-being.

Contusions or Bruises

The more common name for a contusion is a bruise. It occurs when blood vessels break beneath the skin. Blunt trauma is the most common cause of bruises in car accidents. When an accident occurs, you may develop bruises if your body collides with a side window, the dash, or the steering wheel.

Obvious symptoms of contusions include skin discoloration and tenderness. However, bruises may also appear as a symptom of a more serious injury. It’s important to have the underlying cause of a contusion determined to ensure you don’t have a more serious injury.

Strains

A strain is like a sprain. It also occurs because of the abrupt impact caused by an accident. The main difference between sprains and strains is that strains impact the tendons connecting your muscles or bones. Muscles themselves can also experience strain injuries. If you are in an accident, the lower back is the most likely area to experience this injury. Sometimes, the affected muscle may experience a complete tear if the impact is violent enough.

Common symptoms of a strain include bruising and tenderness in the affected area, muscle spasms, swelling, reduced range of motion, inflammation, and pain.

Lacerations

Car accident injuries vary, but the most common are lacerations. This injury varies and may be a small cut or deep gash that requires surgery and stitches.

In many car accidents, the force of the impact causes the glass in the vehicle to shatter. Additionally, debris from the road can come into the vehicle, and your belongings may even turn into dangerous projectiles. All these things can result in lacerations.

Unlike some other injuries on this list, lacerations are immediately obvious. If you experience this injury, be sure to request immediate medical treatment. This is the best way to ensure the injury doesn’t become more serious.

The Importance of Seeking Medical Care After Suspected Soft Tissue Injuries

After a car accident, you shouldn’t put off being evaluated by a doctor. Medical treatment is recommended even if you don’t believe your injuries were serious.

Soft tissue injuries, including whiplash, can cause delayed symptoms that may not be apparent at the accident scene. If you wait until you are in pain to seek medical treatment, the injury may have worsened, and more invasive treatment may be required. Also, by seeking medical treatment right after an accident, you have documentation of your injuries, which can be beneficial if you file a personal injury lawsuit.

Let Atlanta Car Accident Lawyers Help with Your Case

Atlanta car accident lawyers from The Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines have years of experience helping car accident victims. Reaching out to this legal team after a car accident is recommended. We will begin working on your case immediately to secure evidence and prove why you deserve compensation for your injuries.

Remember, soft tissue injuries like the ones mentioned above can result in debilitating pain and other issues that plague you for the rest of your life. You deserve legal representation and compensation for your injuries, losses, and pain and suffering.

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