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Soft Tissue Claim
Non Permanent Injury Claim (Part I)
A soft tissue claim exists when someone is injured but there is no tangible (or visible) damage to the tissue.
These claims are probably the most complex and most common claims.
They are complex because there are no broken bones or physical evidence that anything is wrong. Mainly, the injured person is in pain, but there would be no objective way to prove the injury (or the pain).
This does not mean that an injury did not exist or that it was not a “bad” injury. It only means that when settlement negotiations begin, the amount paid to you for pain and suffering will be highly disputed.
Claims adjusters seem to think that if there are no broken bones then injured person’s pain is not necessarily that serious (therefore the payment for pain and suffering should be low).
I have a difficult time with this. I know that there are several folks out there trying to take advantage of the insurance company. However, insurance adjusters should use that as the exception and take as a general rule to lower everyone’s settlement.
There are many things to consider when you have a soft tissue claim. You need to document your injury (you have the burden of proof). The best way to do this is by keeping a log of your symptoms and by going to the doctor.
Many people seek chiropractic care and/or physical therapy right away. Going to the doctor as soon as you can is always a good idea. However, going straight to the chiropractor and/or physical therapist can backfire on you. Adjusters will look to see if you were referred to this particular medical facility by an actual doctor. Why?
Adjusters seem to have two theories:
If you have visited this facility before, then you were probably injured or had some kind of problem before the accident. Or you are trying to document a soft tissue claim where it does not exist.
How can you get around that? Simply ask your doctor at the emergency room for a referral to a chiropractor or a massage therapist. The doctor will give you a referral and now you can show that the soft tissue claim is valid.
It is a hard reality and insurance adjusters will not come out and tell you that they do not believe you are hurt, but they are very cautious of settling this type of claim for a lot of money.
The usual complaints of the soft tissue injuries are neck, shoulder, and back pain. Depending on the type of accident that you had, these injuries should not be hard to understand.
A collision could create a lot of damage to your body without breaking any bones. Most soft tissue injuries and pains are not present until the day after the crash. Usually the pain will be very severe and you will not be able to move your neck in any direction. Your shoulder will be injured by the seatbelt, and the lower back will absorb most of the force of the impact.
Below we see a “dummy driver” being hit at 20 miles per hour. Your neck will have just about the same motion in a similar collision.
To this day, I am not sure why adjusters have such a hard time believing that a soft tissue injury is painful. Just watching the video above is painful to me. Either way, you must overcome this presumption in order to be compensated for your injury.
Looking at the motion above, I question if a collision like that is not only a valid soft tissue claim, but an injury that creates permanent injuries.
How do I argue the presence of injury?
As mentioned before, you want to show that the soft tissue injury was a severe one and that you are not making up the pain . The first step after going to the emergency room is to be checked out by a medical doctor. Your primary care physician can do this.
Just make an appointment as soon as possible and ask your doctor for a referral to a chiropractor or a physical therapist.
Follow the links below for more information about accident injuries, bodily injury claims, and what to ask when making this type of claim.
4. Permanent Injury Claim
5. Medical bills, medicine, expenses
6. Loss of Wages
7. Loss of Earning Capacity
8. Loss of Business Income
9. Loss of Consortium
10. Loss of Quality of Life
11. Loss of Essential Services
12. Future Treatment and Expenses
13. Pain and Suffering
14. Prior Injuries
15. Psychological Injuries
16. Personal Injury Claim Settlement (evaluation of a claim)
17. Car Accident Injury Claim and Burden of Proof
18. What affects compensation for back and other injury claims
19. A word about Head Injuries
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