When you suffer soft tissue injuries as a result of an accident it can be difficult to prove through medical documentation alone unlike a break to a bone, however it can still affect day to day life in the short or long term. Getting a fair settlement for your soft tissue injuries is extremely important however challenging it may be. We can help you to prove how the injury has affected your life to ensure you get what you deserve to help pay for medical treatment, loss of earnings and other related expenditures.
Although soft tissue injuries can factor in many different kinds of injury lawsuits, the most common is whiplash as a result of a car accident. It’s not always easy to get proof of this type of injury which is why it can be suggested that there is exaggeration by the plaintiff to try to get a bigger compensation claim. This is why it is so important that documentation is made thoroughly to support an insurance claim and/or lawsuit.
How the insurance company views soft injury claims
Because the majority of soft tissue injury claims are made as a result of a car accident the injured person or responsible person will need to pay for the injuries depending on the state. If you are from a ‘no fault’ state then it is the plaintiff that is responsible for paying for treatment and compensation. This means that the plaintiff is unable to sue unless they also have more serious injuries that can be proven and are documented to be as a result of the accident. For this reason it is extremely important to have as much medical documentation proving the injury as possible.
There is usually a set amount that insurers will pay for each injury should the admit liability. It is usual practice to offer a settlement which the claimant can then accept or refuse. If it is refused then it will be taken to court. If the amount they win as a result of the court case works out to be less than the original settlement offer the insurance company might also be able to claim back their legal costs. This is where getting too greedy could end up costing you the majority if not all of your claim.
How it can be problematic to prove soft tissue injuries
Unlike breaking a leg or other injuries that require immediate medical attention and diagnostics soft tissue injuries are not always easy to prove. You may have bruises and cuts, but this will not be deemed as proof of the soft injury. They cannot be proved by use of medical diagnostic tools such as CT scans and X-rays, but this by no means is proof that the injury has not and will not affect the plaintiff’s day to day life in the short or long term.
The media has advertised people entering court with medical aids such as canes and neck braces that alone have helped them to win the case, and then gone off to remove the aids once leaving the building. The ease of being able to use aids for sympathy is highly exaggerated and will be questioned but all the same being able to physically see an injury is more likely to prove your claim is real.
Without hard proof the insurance companies are able to argue that the plaintiff is exaggerating their injuries, which is why medical treatment should be sought immediately after the incident. This will enable trained medical professionals to examine and make notes of the injuries sustained. Without medical proof there is no hard evidence and by the time the court case comes around it is your word over theirs. Medical records make for stronger evidence in court than word of mouth and if you do require medical aids they will be proof that they were prescribed not bought or borrowed for the purpose of sympathy in court.
How to receive compensation for soft injury claims
As mentioned earlier in this article the best chance that a plaintiff has of winning a claim is by providing hard evidence through medical documentation. This will also describe the symptoms and an estimated time of which they expect the plaintiff to suffer. It will prove the amount of time the doctor has advised them to be off work and of any medical aids that have been provided. In addition to this any return check-ups will also be noted and will stand as testament. In most cases the insurance company will want to avoid a court case so by showing proof you will be more likely to be offered a settlement out of court which is usually a faster process. For plaintiffs living in a state that is ‘no fault’ the worry of winning a trial is not important but proof of the injuries will still be so that you can cover expenses accrued as a result of the accident.
Expert witnesses may be required to testify should there be a high damages claim. This expert witness will need to say how they feel the injuries were caused in their professional opinion. Providing medical evidence will help to get the claim settled faster and give you a higher chance of winning. Without medical records and a visit to a medical professional it is likely the case will drag on and that the settlement will be a lot less than you are expecting.
If the injury is as a result of battery rather than an accident where insurance companies will be brought into it, you will still need proof of injuries. This is due to the defendant making the same claims that the injuries are exaggerated. Insurance companies usually have a settlement amount in mind but in cases where a company is not involved the defendant will be paying from their own pocket and more than likely trying to avoid paying more so that they can pay legal fees too.
If an insurance company refuses payment on the claim it is up to the plaintiff to sue the insurance company or defendant instead. This is where medical records could make a difference between the plaintiff winning or losing the case. Once it reaches this point the end result will be final and there will be no recourse to reclaim.