Soft Tissue Injuries: What’s The Maximum Settlement?
Even in a seemingly minor auto accident, you can be injured. In most cases, these are soft tissue injuries and are mild in comparison to more serious injury accidents.
If you or a loved one sustained soft tissue injuries in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, property damage, and pain and suffering.
It’s important to note that even in a minor soft tissue injury car accident, you can benefit from the expertise of a North Carolina auto accident attorney.
Overview of a Soft Tissue Injury Car Accident Settlement
When the injured party, or parties, files a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company, they are attempting to recover compensation for their property damage, physical injuries, loss of earnings, pain and suffering, out of pocket costs, and more.
There are certain aspects of soft tissue injuries that are easy to document, like out of pocket costs. However, proving pain and suffering for a minor accident is not always easy.
It may not look severe from an outsider’s point of view, but even soft tissue injuries can cause complications during the recovery process. Failure to believe there is much pain and suffering involved can lead an insurance adjuster to offer very little compensation in a soft tissue injury car accident.
If you are looking for an exact amount, there is no chart that details what a soft tissue injury maximum settlement might be. This is one of the reasons why you want to retain a North Carolina auto accident attorney who can help you get the compensation you deserve.
What Are Soft Tissue Injuries?
The term soft tissue injuries typically refers to an injury to your ligaments, muscles, or tendons. Bruises (contusions) and abrasions fall under the category of soft tissue injuries as well. It’s also common to include a minor sprain, herniated disks that don’t require surgery, and first-degree burns under this umbrella.
If you hurt your neck in the accident and suffered pain for a few weeks, that is a soft tissue injury. If you had a broken bone or multiple burns and cuts, this would not be considered a soft tissue accident injury. Other hard injuries would be a traumatic brain injury or internal organ damage.
Determining Pain and Suffering in a Soft Tissue Injury Auto Accident
Determining a settlement amount for pain and suffering is directly related to the circumstances of your accident and the injuries you sustained.
If you sustained soft tissue injuries to your neck or back that caused you to miss a week of work and undergo physical therapy for two months, you would likely receive financial compensation designed to reimburse you for the pain and suffering you experienced as a result of the time off from work and the physical therapy you had to undergo.
Contributory Negligence in North Carolina
North Carolina is one of only a few states that still follows the very unfair rule of contributory negligence. Contributory negligence states have extremely strict requirements on who can collect compensation for damages after an auto accident. You cannot be even one percent at fault for your injuries or you are barred from recovery.
For example, the vehicle that hit you ran a stop sign and plowed right into you. However, you were also traveling eight miles above the speed limit and a jury put you at ten percent at fault for your injuries.
In a contributory state like North Carolina, that means you cannot collect anything for your injuries. This is a significant contrast to a state that uses the comparative rule of liability. In a comparative negligence state, you would’ve received compensation for 90% of your damages
Proving negligence is the key element in being able to collect compensation for your soft tissue injuries. In order to have a successful outcome in your soft tissue claim, you must establish negligence by showing:
- Duty of Care: Drivers have a duty of care to drive safely and use reasonable caution to ensure they do not injure someone else on the road.
- Breach of Duty: You are required to show that the defendant violated the duty of care.
- Causation: Breaching the duty of care is not enough. You have to show that the breach is what caused your injuries.
- Damages: The final element is that the breach of duty not only caused your injuries, but you must have suffered a loss because of it. Time off work, medical treatment, physical therapy, etc. Testimony from medical professionals, medical records, and affidavits from your employer are all helpful in proving damages.
Contact a North Carolina Auto Accident Attorney
If you sustained soft tissue injuries in an accident, it’s important to speak with a North Carolina auto accident attorney who can help get you the compensation you deserve. Contact the team at Dawson & Albritton, P.A. today at 252-752-2485 to schedule a consultation.