Aaron & Aaron, Attorneys at Law
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No harm no foul? Beware soft tissue injuries after an accident.

In the immediate aftermath of the car accident, you may have had many issues to address: ensuring the safety of everyone involved, documenting the scene, exchanging insurance information and completing the police report. In scrambling to record relevant details and striving to avoid making a mistake that could affect an insurance claim, you thought you handled the stressful situation well. Although your car may have suffered damage, you are thankful that you and your passengers seemed to have survived without a scratch.

Days after the collision, however, your body is sending signals that indicate you did sustain injuries. It's possible that the flood of adrenaline that coursed through your body after that traumatic event prevented you from feeling the full effect of the car's impact until the stress and adrenaline subsided. While you may have documented the visible effects of the collision, you may not have accounted for the effects that reveal themselves after time has passed.

While bones may not have been broken during the accident, victims err in declaring themselves to be "injury-free" when harm to their soft tissue has occurred. This type of damage affects tendons, ligaments and muscles.

These are injuries that surface after a motor vehicle collision:

1. Ligament sprain

Ligaments are bands of fibers that connect the bones in the body and help you move. When the fibers that make joints become damaged, this tissue can get stretched or torn. Pain and inflammation occur at the site of the injury, making it hurt to move.

2. Bruises

Contusions happen when an impact occurs to the body. This blow to the body may not cut the skin, but its pressure can damage underlying layers and cause blood to pool around the site of the injury. While most bruises will resolve on their own, severe bruising can indicate damage to soft tissues.

3. Strains

Like sprains, strains occur when the tissues that connect the muscles to the bones are stretched or torn. Damage to these tendons creates pain, swelling and weakened muscles.

In many situations, you can treat soft tissue injuries by resting and applying ice to reduce swelling. When serious damage occurs, however, you may need medical aid to repair severe tears.

It is for this reason that you should consider seeing a doctor after an accident: Insurance companies will resist paying out claims for injuries not documented. Those who have suffered serious soft tissue injuries are recommended to contact a knowledgeable attorney to discuss the best course of action to take.

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