“Whiplash” has become a stereotype for insurance companies who try to change the public’s perception on personal injury cases. We’re all familiar with the trope of the accident victim who overexaggerates his injuries by claiming they have whiplash.
Yet whiplash and other soft tissue injuries can be serious. They often go untreated because the pain and complications don’t show up right away.
What is a soft tissue injury in a car accident?
A soft tissue injury is any sprain, strain, or ligament tear. Some can be very minor, needing just a few weeks to heal. Others can require months of recovery. They can be exceptionally painful, cause swelling, and restrict your range of motion.
In a car accident, the most common types are whiplash, back sprain, or herniated discs. Sometimes sprained wrists are also quite common.
What is the average payout for a soft tissue injury?
There is no average payout as it depends on the severity of your injury. An ACL tear that requires major surgery will require a lot more compensation than a common sprain that just needs to be rested for a few days.
The most important thing to understand is that the vast majority of soft tissue injuries are classified as “minor injuries” under Alberta law. This means that while your medical bills should be covered in full, your pain and suffering award will be capped at $5,500 unless your lawyer can make a convincing case that your injury falls under one of the allowed exceptions.
These exceptions include injuries that take more than six months to heal, or injuries which a medical professional has agreed is chronic.
How do you prove soft tissue damage?
You already know that the defendant’s lawyer, the insurance adjuster, judges, and juries are likely to be skeptical of your soft tissue injury. Fortunately, it’s possible to provide evidence of these injuries as long as you get medical attention immediately.
If you do you should have imaging test results, injury photos, and other medical records which can demonstrate the extent of your treatment. As you continue to follow doctor’s orders and seek follow-up care these records will help as well.
In some cases we may even have your doctors testify to your injuries and the damage that they found.
The number one mistake that most people make with these injuries is they don’t take them seriously enough from Day 1. They refuse medical care, thinking they’re “fine,” only for the full extent of the damage to rear its head later. The best thing you can do to strengthen your case is to seek immediate medical care after your accident, regardless of how you feel at the time.
Why Merchant Law?
When you work with a personal injury lawyer from Merchant Law you’ll be working with one of the most experienced lawyers in the field. You’ll get top-notch responsiveness, legal strategy, and advice. We’ll guide your case to a successful conclusion.
Call any time. We answer our phones 24/7. Reach us at (403) 225-7777 to schedule a free consultation and case review. You can also stop by our offices at 2710 17th Ave SE in Calgary.