Soft Tissue vs. Serious Injuries
By Chris Dixon
The type of injury you sustained in an accident plays a huge role in the amount of settlement you’re entitled to. For example, if you send a demand letter to the negligent party’s insurer saying you want $15,000 for a couple of bruises (which includes scans and labs taken at a hospital, pain and suffering, etc.), the insurer may immediately reject the settlement or counter it with a much lower number.
In this section of the FAQ, we’re going to discuss the different types of injuries that justify higher payouts. The types of compensation that are available to you depend on the incident, of course, and the present and future implications of said injury. If you lost a hand in a preventable accident, whereas a negligent party is proven to be the cause of the accident, an insurer will likely pay the claimed amount without question. Why? Because that victim would have jury sympathy if the case were to go to trial.
What Are Soft Tissue Injuries?
A soft-tissue injury ranges from damage to tendons, ligaments, muscles, an abrasion or contusion, and minor sprains or burns. If you don’t require serious medical attention or surgery, you have a soft tissue injury. These are injuries that don’t require long-term medical care.
Soft tissue injuries include sprains, strains, and other minor injuries that can be downplayed by insurers. The best thing you can do after an injury is document everything, contact an injury lawyer, and, to reiterate, document everything.
If, for example, you slipped and fell at a restaurant due to the establishment’s negligence, don’t expect to get several times time amount of expenses (special damages) for a bruised ankle. You can still open a claim, though, and special damages may be paid if the claim is justified and you supply valuable medical and other evidence that shows your loss vs. their negligence.
What Are Serious Injuries?
A serious or “hard” injury is much more serious. You can expect a better payout or, at least, a quicker and more responsive settlement offer from an insurer if you’ve sustained a serious injury. Serious injuries usually require recovery, continued medical care, rehabilitation, or could result in disability or even a loss of future career potential. This may include:
The more serious the injury, the more serious the insurance company’s response. The severity directly impacts the special damages you can receive.
What Are Special Damages?
Regarding personal injury claims, special or compensatory damages include any financial loss you suffered due to the acts of a negligent party. These include medical expenses, lost income or earning potential, property damages, out-of-pocket expenses such as gas money or child care, and others. These are damages you can include in the claim that are backed up by absolute proof (like a receipt) that were caused by the injury.
General damages, on the other hand, include more arbitrary side-effects of an injury like pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, loss of consortium, and other life-changing physical, mental, and financial symptoms of an accident.
How Your Injury Impacts Insurance Claims
The severity of your injury matters. The insurer’s client (the negligent party) may have a high enough policy to cover simple cuts and bruises or a small car crash, but if you’re maimed or suffered drastic financial loss due to the injury, it’s important to contact a personal injury attorney. Why? Because insurers will investigate your claim if it’s not serious, offer you a lower settlement amount, and poke holes in your story/situation.
It’s an insurance claim attorney’s job to help you get through the claims process as seamlessly as possible. For example, your claim may be way over-stated, resolving in the insurer ignoring it or offering a much lower number. A lawyer can help you formulate a demand letter, talk to the insurer, and, if it comes to it, take your injury claim to court. Reach out to the Dixon Injury Firm today for more information about our services and to learn more about the claims process.