What Is the Average Payout for Soft Tissue Injury?
If you’re reading this now, chances are you are considering filing a lawsuit because you sustained a soft tissue injury on the job or after a fall or a car accident. One of the first questions you may be asking yourself before you decide if it’s worth contacting a lawyer is, “What’s the average payout?” Depending on the severity, your payout could be five- or six-figures.
It’s not possible to give a general “average” because of the injury, its cause, and its severity will differ from case to case. In this article, we’ll cover the types of soft tissue injuries, how they are caused, and what you should do if you’ve been injured.
What Is a Soft Tissue Injury?
Soft tissue injuries are the result of trauma or overuse of soft tissues that include muscles, ligaments, and tendons. The most common soft tissue injuries include:
- Strained back
- Sprained ankle
- Strained hamstring
- Strained calf
- Tennis elbow
These injuries can cause a lot of pain, and they can interfere with your daily activities. Depending on the severity of your soft tissue injury, it may also interfere with your ability to work.
Grade 1 soft tissue injuries include mild strains, sprains, and tears. It typically takes one or two weeks to recover from a grade 1 injury. Grade 2 soft tissue injuries are more serious injuries, like the kind you may get in a car wreck. It can take three to four weeks or even longer for grade 2 injuries to heal.
If you’ve been injured, it’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions and get plenty of rest. If you don’t, it may take longer for your injury to heal.
The following are some of the treatment options you may be given for mild soft tissue injuries:
- Rest and take any weight off of the affected area
- Apply cold packs several times each day, for 20 minutes each time
- Wear an elastic compression bandage
- Elevate the injured area to keep it above your heart
This treatment is known as the RICE protocol, and it may not be enough if your injury is serious.
What Happens During an Injury Lawsuit?
You may be anxious about the lawsuit process, especially if this is your first time in court. Don’t worry—the chances of you being interrogated on the stand like you see on television are slim. Most cases will settle out of court before there is a jury trial.
The first step in your case is negotiating directly with the at-fault party’s insurance company. You should not accept the first offer. You should refuse to settle until they have offered you an amount that will cover all of your damages and any future care.
If the insurance company won’t settle, that’s when you may end up in court. You will need to gather your evidence, file your case with the court, and then prepare to present your evidence to a judge or jury. You may want to consult an attorney to help with this process.
Do You Need to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
Do I need a lawyer for a car accident, workplace injury, or slip and fall? No, you don’t, but it might be a good idea. You have the right to represent yourself in court, and there’s no reason you can’t negotiate with insurance directly.
Many people prefer to represent themselves because they don’t want to give up any of their settlement or award to a lawyer. However, your settlement will be higher if you use an attorney, and it could be significantly higher.
You may want to consider consulting with a lawyer before you speak to an insurance representative at all. The insurance company knows they can’t get away with tricking you or offering you too little if you’ve got legal representation. That alone can be worth its weight in gold.
By Sue Hall