What are soft-tissue injuries, and how long until they appear?

There are many kinds of soft-tissue injuries. Some occur immediately following an accident, while others don't appear for hours or days. For instance, if you suffer from an impact, a bruise may take time to develop, not fully developing for 24 to 48 hours. Until then, you may not notice how sore or injured you are.

Soft-tissue injuries are not usually life-threatening, but they can be painful and cause a change in your abilities. For example, if you injure your ligaments, you may struggle to walk to balance yourself well.

What are soft-tissue injuries?

Soft-tissue injuries include injuries to ligaments, muscles and tendons. Common soft-tissue injuries include strains, contusions and sprains. After a car crash, one of the most common soft-tissue injuries is whiplash.

Whiplash causes symptoms including stiffness in the neck, back problems, neck pain and other issues. It's normal for the signs of whiplash to develop over the course of several days instead of immediately following a crash.

Why is it important to seek medical help?

Getting medical attention for a soft-tissue injury is just as important as it would be for broken bones. Torn or damaged muscle, ligaments or tendons can be extremely painful and may require surgery or other interventions.

Early identification of issues also helps you get the compensation you need from an insurance company covering the at-fault driver. You'll know the kind of injuries you're dealing with and be able to seek compensation for those injuries instead of being unsure. Your attorney can help you file a claim once you go to the hospital and have more information on your injuries.

Source: FindLaw, "Soft Tissue Injuries Caused by Motor Vehicle Accidents," accessed Feb. 15, 2018

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