Practicing law as an Injury attorney, I see a variety of serious injuries on a weekly basis and I spend hours talking to clients about the impact these injuries have on their lives. Serious car accidents frequently result in soft tissue injuries and many clients come to me after being told by the insurance company for the at fault driver that soft tissue injuries are not a big deal and they won’t pay much for them. This begs the question; what is a soft tissue injury and what is it worth in Georgia?
First, you have to draw a clear line of distinction between low impact cases where the majority of the medical care is chiropractic and moderate and high-impact cases. I do not accept low impact chiropractic cases and frankly the court system is overrun with claims that really have no business in the courts. Conversely, insurance carriers have a nasty habit of ignoring cases where the crash was serious but the MRIs and X-rays don’t show fractures or major disc herniations. I have written extensively about what an injury case is worth in Georgia, but this post will discuss soft tissue injuries specifically. Technically speaking, soft tissue injuries are those which affect anything besides the bones. This includes muscles, ligaments and tendons. A sprained ankle is a soft tissue injury as is a torn ACL. Just because the injury is to a soft tissue in the body does not mean it is insignificant.
Many of the lower grade insurance companies will argue that soft tissue injuries are unimportant. For example, recently the morons that operate an certain insurer of last resort in Georgia tried to low ball a client who had incurred $15,000.00 worth of bills from epidural injections at Resurgens Orthopedics and their only argument was “this is only a soft tissue injury.” After that conversation, we put his case into suit and I will enjoy taking a verdict in excess of their $25,000.00 due to their hubris. The point is, just because an injury adjuster for Cincinnati Insurance in Georgia tells you the case is not worth much because it is an injury to a soft tissue, does not mean they are right.
That said, clients will ask “what is my injury worth and what can I do about it?” The answer is, it depends. The most common complaints we see from Georgia car accidents are those about neck and back pain from rear end collisions. It is relatively common to have spinal soreness after a car accident. The first issue though is whether you should seek medical care just because you are sore after a day or two. This is a dilemma for many people. On the one hand, you don’t want to cry wolf and run to the doctor if it will just go away in a few days. On the other hand, if it turns out to be something serious, a delay in getting medical attention and the attending documentation it provides can be lethal to any eventual claim. My best advice is to trust yourself. If it hurts more than what you your muscles feel after a serious workout, at least go to your family doctor. Then listen their advice. They will normally tell you to follow up in 7-10 days. If you are not improving in that period, then go back to the doctor and be vocal about your symptoms.
What about the value of the soft tissue injury in Georgia? As I said earlier, soft tissue is a term that covers literally hundreds of body parts. A torn meniscus in the knee that requires arthroscopic surgery to repair is a valuable case worth in excess of most $25,000.00 policies. A strain/sprain injury to the spine that was treated with moderate physical therapy at Physiotherapy is worth pursuing but does not have the same value. The bottom line is that you should call an injury lawyer to discuss the merits of the case and make sure you do at least see your family doctor if you are having pain after the collision.