Motor vehicle collisions are a daily occurance in our region. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) reports that there are an average of 933 crashes per day in the state. Accidents can lead to many different injuries—with soft tissue damage being one of the most common. This raises an important question: What is the average settlement for a soft tissue injury in a car accident? Some studies have found that the average settlement for a soft tissue damage is between $10,000 and $20,000—though your settlement could be lower or far higher.
At Bernheim Kelley Battista & Bliss, LLC, we are committed to helping injured victims secure real justice and real results. Following a serious accident, it is crucial that you are able to access the full financial compensation you are entitled to under the law. A settlement for a soft tissue injury should account for the full extent of your actual economic and non-economic damages. Our Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer explains the key things that you should know about the average settlement for a soft tissue damage injury after a motor vehicle collision.
Table of Contents
- What is Soft Tissue Damage?
- Symptoms of Soft Tissue Damage
- What Are the Most Common Types of Soft Tissue Injuries Caused in Car Accidents?
- What Is the Average Settlement for Soft Tissue Injury in a Car Accident Case?
- What is the Average Payout for Pain and Suffering?
- How to Prove Your Soft Tissue Injury?
- Why Are Soft Tissue Cases So Difficult to Pursue?
- Will No-Fault Insurance Affect My Car Accident Settlement?
- Is It Important to Prove Fault in a Soft Tissue Injury Case?
- How Can You Increase Your Soft Tissue Injury Insurance Settlement?
- What Should a Settlement Offer Include Compensation for?
- Why Should a Person Hire BK Law for a Car Accident Case?
What is Soft Tissue Damage?
As defined by Johns Hopkins Medicine, a soft tissue injury is some form of damage to muscles, ligaments, and/or tendons. Soft tissue injuries are among the most common injuries reported in motor vehicle collisions. Soft tissue injuries can vary widely in their nature, kind, and severity. While a relatively minor soft tissue injury (mild bruise) may not have any significant impact on the victim, a major soft tissue injury can be completely debilitating.
Symptoms of Soft Tissue Damage
The symptoms of soft tissue damage suffered by an accident victim will range widely. Some common symptoms include redness and swelling, limb tenderness, lumps or bumps, weakness, pain, and limited mobility. Every body is different, and everyone’s injuries will manifest in unique ways. Please see a doctor right away if you think you have suffered soft tissue damage. All soft tissue injuries that occur in motor vehicle collisions should be comprehensively evaluated by a doctor. This is important for several different reasons. To start, soft tissue injuries frequently occur with a gradual onset. A person who suffers soft tissue damage in a car wreck might feel far worse 72 hours after a crash than they did after the immediate impact. Another key thing to keep in mind is that you cannot get a car accident injury settlement for soft tissue damage without medical records.
What Are the Most Common Types of Soft Tissue Injuries Caused in Car Accidents?
Soft tissue injuries can take a number of different forms. It is crucial that your soft tissue damage is properly diagnosed and treated after a car crash. Some of the most common soft tissue injuries that occur in motor vehicle collisions in Fort Lauderdale include:
- Whiplash: A common and notoriously painful soft tissue injury, whiplash is an injury to the neck. It is often associated with motor vehicle collisions because it occurs when a person’s neck is forcefully jolted back and forth. Whiplash typically takes a few weeks to a few months to heal, depending on the severity of the impact. If you sustained a whiplash injury in a car crash, our attorneys are available to help.
- Contusions: A contusion is a bruise. Bruising is common in car accidents because most concussions occur due to blunt force trauma. A bruise can be anything from a minor, almost painless bump to a deep and debilitating injury. Do not assume that all bruises are “minor” issues that will heal on their own. Deep bone bruises require medical attention.
- Sprains: A sprain is another type of soft tissue damage that is relatively common in car crashes. A sprain is actually a slight tear of a ligament. It generally occurs when there is a wrenching or twisting of the body. Sprains can be severe. A serious sprain usually requires a prolonged period of rest. If a ligament is torn, it is possible that surgery will be required.
- Strains: Not to be confused with a sprain, a strain is an injury that occurs to a muscle. A strain most often happens when a muscle is stretched too much and/or too quickly and tears. Similar to other types of soft tissue injuries, muscle strains vary from relatively minor inconveniences to severe and debilitating injuries.
What Is the Average Settlement for Soft Tissue Injury in a Car Accident Case?
How much compensation can you expect on average as part of a soft tissue injury settlement? The reality is that there is no true “average” settlement for a car accident injury—or at least that is not the right way to think about the settlement process. Instead, a soft tissue damage car accident settlement should include compensation that accounts for your economic and non-economic damages. The actual severity—and adverse impact—of the injuries will determine the settlement. For example, imagine that you suffered severe whiplash in a car crash in Broward County. You got immediate medical attention for your injuries. Beyond dealing with excruciating pain, you were forced to take time off from work and required several months’ worth of physical therapy to recover from the accident. All of these specific damages―the initial medical care, the lost wages, the rehabilitative support, and the pain and suffering—should be considered in the settlement.
What is the Average Payout for Pain and Suffering?
An experienced personal injury attorney will never tell you an exact number you can expect to receive in a personal injury settlement of award. Every injury is different. Only by examining your specific case will a skilled lawyer be able to give you a rough estimate of the damages to which you may be entitled.
How to Prove Your Soft Tissue Injury?
Soft tissue damage claims can be complicated for many different reasons. One of the central challenges that injured victims face is that it can be tough to prove the severity and impact of their injury. Unlike with many other serious injuries—for example, a broken bone—it is actually quite difficult to clearly prove the severity of soft tissue damage with any particular medical test.
To learn more, schedule a free consultation with us today.
Why Are Soft Tissue Cases So Difficult to Pursue?
Defendants and insurers frequently try to use the inherent ability to their advantage. They may work to downplay the negative impact of a soft tissue injury and to try to settle the claim for the lowest amount of financial compensation possible. Protect yourself: Work with a car accident attorney who can help you prepare a well-supported case that proves your damages.
Will No-Fault Insurance Affect My Car Accident Settlement?
Florida has complex car accident laws. It is a no-fault auto accident jurisdiction. Under Florida law (Florida Statutes § 627.7407), all motorists are required to buy and maintain a minimum of $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. PIP coverage is a type of no-fault insurance policy that handles a person’s initial medical bills after an accident. As it is no-fault coverage, a PIP policy applies no matter who caused the crash. Many soft tissue damage car accident injury claims fall under PIP insurance. If you have any questions about bringing a no-fault claim in Florida for soft tissue damage, please do not hesitate to contact our Fort Lauderdale attorneys for help.
Is It Important to Prove Fault in a Soft Tissue Injury Case?
In Florida, it is possible to step beyond the state’s no-fault system and file a personal injury lawsuit directly against the at-fault party after a serious accident. To be eligible to bring a fault-based car accident claim in Florida, a person must have suffered a “serious injury.” Florida law defines a serious injury as one that is likely to result in:
- A substantial and permanent loss of a key bodily function;
- A permanent injury (reasonable likelihood); or
- Substantial and permanent scarring/disfigurement.
How Can You Increase Your Soft Tissue Injury Insurance Settlement?
The key to getting a full and just settlement for a soft tissue injury is knowing how to navigate the insurance claims process. Here are five tips for dealing with an insurer adjuster if you sustained soft tissue damage in an accident in Florida:
- Know the Role of the Insurer: Insurance companies are not on your side. Even when you are dealing with your own insurer through a no-fault PIP claim, it is crucial that you remember that insurance companies want to protect their own financial interests.
- Do Not Give a Recorded Statement: An insurance adjuster may ask you to give a recorded statement shortly after your crash. It is almost certainly not in your best interests to do so without a lawyer. The insurer is looking for information to use against you.
- Be Wary of Signing Documents: You may get a request from an insurer for your medical records. Be very careful about signing these documents. Often, insurers seek a far more extensive medical history than they are actually entitled to get under the law. They are looking for pre-existing issues to limit your compensation.
- Do Not Immediately Take the First Settlement Offer: The first settlement offer is rarely the best and final settlement offer. A settlement is an agreement between the parties. You have the right to negotiate for more compensation.
- Hire a Florida Car Accident Attorney: The best way to protect your rights when dealing with a major insurance company is to work through a lawyer. Your Florida auto accident attorney will put you in the best position to get justice and compensation.
What Should a Settlement Offer Include Compensation for?
If you sustained soft tissue damage in a crash in Fort Lauderdale, it is imperative that you are able to access the maximum available financial compensation. Most car crash claims are resolved through a settlement instead of a trial verdict. Insurers have a duty to use good faith settlement practices when handling claims. That being said, insurance companies are well-known to try to settle claims for as little as possible. Our Florida auto accident attorneys help people maximize their financial recovery for a soft tissue damage injury. You may be eligible to recover financial compensation for:
- Property damage (vehicle repairs);
- Initial medical bills, including diagnostic care;
- Other doctor bills and health care expenses;
- Physical therapy for your soft tissue injury;
- Lost wages and loss of earning potential;
- Pain and suffering; and
- Long-term physical impairment.
Why Should a Person Hire BK Law for a Car Accident Case?
Every soft tissue damage claim is unique. These are highly fact-specific car accident cases. With a commitment to personalized representation, our firm puts in time and resources into every case. We encourage you to review our client testimonials, history of case results, and to reach out to us directly with any specific questions about your rights or options. At Bernheim Kelley Battista & Bliss, LLC, our Florida car accident lawyers are aggressive, effective advocates for injured victims and their family members. Our firm knows how to hold insurers accountable If you or someone you know sustained soft tissue damage in a crash, we are here to help you seek a full and fair settlement. Call us now or contact us online to set up a free, no commitment initial legal consultation. With law offices in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Jacksonville, and Starke, we are well-positioned to handle soft tissue injury car accident claims throughout Florida.
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