The muscles, tendons and ligaments compose the soft tissues of the body, and they can easily be injured by any sudden, uncontrollable movements. These injuries usually fall under sprains, contusions, strains and tears. Auto accidents are the most frequent cause of soft tissue damage because the impact, followed by the braking of the car and bracing of the body, forces the tissue to stretch.
The general symptoms of soft tissue injuries are swelling and pain. In rare cases, victims may bleed or experience a loss in motor functions wherever the affected area is. Symptoms may not arise until days after an accident, leading some to delay medical treatment or to mistakenly believe that the injury is unrelated to the accident. Moreover, doctors may incorrectly diagnose the symptoms because X-rays cannot detect soft tissue damage.
When the soft tissues of the neck are sprained or strained, a condition known as whiplash arises. Those who are rear-ended by another driver are most likely to develop whiplash. Its symptoms range from a burning, tingling sensation in the neck to inflammation to headaches and dizziness. Pain may shoot through the neck, shoulders and back.
In serious cases, whiplash could cause one or more discs in the spine to herniate. Joints in the spine may also become dysfunctional. Whiplash could also provoke PTSD-related symptoms like depression and nervousness.
Those who are left with pain and monetary losses after a car accident might consult a lawyer about filing an insurance claim with the other driver. The lawyer may be able to determine, with the help of accident investigators and other third parties, just how negligent the defendant was. Medical experts might be brought in to show what the extent of the soft tissue damage was; that way, it is possible that the victim would be compensated for both past and future medical expenses. The lawyer may be able to negotiate for the settlement.