Car accidents cause 46 percent of all spinal cord injuries, but they are also responsible for several types of soft tissue injuries (STI). Even a so-called minor accident, such as a low-impact collision or fender-bender, can seriously damage the muscles, tendons or ligaments in the back or neck. Although STIs are often painful and require a long time to heal, it can be a challenge to get the proper compensation in a liability claim against the person at fault for the accident.
An investigation by CNN showed that big insurance companies like AllState and State Farm made it a policy to deny proper coverage for STI claims. They took advantage of the fact that the extent of these injuries is not as obvious as a shattered vertebra or severed spinal cord. Tissue injuries do not show up on X-rays. In addition, low-impact collisions typically do minimal damage to the vehicle. If the injured party refused to accept the ridiculously low settlement offer, the insurance company would argue that the claim was fraudulent in the first place. According to CNN, this “deny, delay, defend” strategy has been extremely profitable.
Typical collision-related STIs include:
- Hyperextension-hyperflexion, or whiplash — muscles and tendons in the neck injured when the head is thrown forward and back
- Herniated disk — impact displaces or ruptures the tissue that separates the vertebrae in the spine
- Lower back injury — violent rotation of the torso causes tears in the connective tissue in the lower back region
STIs can cause pain, headaches, numbness, tingling, progressive nerve damage and permanent musculo-skeletal impairments. People with these injuries often require long-term medical care and rehabilitation. Make sure you have a skilled auto accident injury lawyer who can present the medical evidence necessary to demonstrate the extent of your STI in order to negotiate a compensation package commensurate with all your needs.