There’s a common misperception that, when you’ve been in a car accident or otherwise injured because of the carelessness or negligence of another person, you only need to consider legal action to recover compensation if you’ve suffered serious injury—broken bones, burns, spinal cord or traumatic brain injury, amputation or loss of limb, paralysis or permanent scarring or disfigurement. The reality is that so-called “soft-tissue injuries” can often be as debilitating, if not more so, that what appear to be more serious injuries.
Soft-Tissue Injuries Defined
A soft-tissue injury involves trauma to muscles, tendons or ligaments, sometimes referred to as connective tissue. The injury may range from a bruise, sprain or strain to a tear. Regardless of the extent of the injury, though, the discomfort you experience can be substantial, and even a minor sprain can significantly limit your mobility. Medical professionals categorize soft-tissue injuries as follows:
- Grade 1 injuries—These are typically mild sprains, with microscopic tearing of muscle fibers, some swelling and a bit of tenderness. A grade 1 soft-tissue injury customarily takes about one to two weeks to fully heal.
- Grade 2 injuries—With a grade 2 soft tissue injury, you can’t apply weight or pressure to the injured area without pain. You’ll also experience moderate swelling and partial tearing of muscle fibers. A grade 2 injury may necessitate a recovery period of up to a month.
- Grade 3 injuries—A grade 3, or severe sprain, involves complete rupture of the muscle or connective tissue structure and an inability to use the tendon, ligament or muscle. This type of injury can take many months to heal.
The most effective treatment for soft-tissue injuries is the “RICE” method—rest, ice, compression and elevation. You’ll need to take time off from physical activities that stress the tissue, apply ice packs for up to twenty minutes at periodic intervals, use a compression bandage and keep the body part elevated.
Contact Mallon & Tranger
Don’t ignore a soft-tissue injury. We offer a free initial consultation to anyone in New Jersey who has been a victim of a personal injury. For a meeting, contact us online or call us at 732-410-6094 (toll free at 877-320-0692) for an appointment. We have offices in Freehold, Toms River and Point Pleasant.