Interviewer: What are some of the most common injuries?
Soft Tissue Injuries Are Common in Auto Accidents
Kevin Roach: The most common type of injury cases I see are auto accidents that involve soft tissue-type injuries. More specifically, neck and back injuries are probably the most common in auto accident cases. In more serious auto accidents, I will see spinal injuries involving fractures and/or disc herniations and bulges of the cervical spine (neck), thoracic (mid back), or lumbar spine (low back). I see a lot of those.
Soft Tissue Injuries Typically Cannot Be Diagnosed from an X-Ray
Interviewer: When you mentioned soft tissue injury, what does that refer to? What does that mean?
Kevin Roach: Soft tissue injuries don’t show up on an X-Ray or CT (typically performed in the emergency room). X-Ray’s show only bones and will not show if you have a bulging disc in your back, which may be causing your pain.
A soft tissue injury, commonly referred to as whiplash, may leave you feeling stiff for weeks and/or months. It can be very painful. It’s very hard to diagnose anything definitive from any kind of diagnostic tests.
Interviewer: I would imagine just like in a case itself, it would be difficult. That’s one of the challenges of a case, is the whole idea and aspect of soft tissue injury just because it doesn’t come out on an x-ray.
Because of the Lack of Definitive Diagnostics, Soft Tissue Injuries Are Assigned a Lower Value by the Insurance Companies
Kevin Roach: Unfortunately, yes. Insurance companies typically have a lower value that they assign to those types of cases. This is because they know it is harder to prove permanent injury and/or pain and suffering for these types of injuries; versus a case involving a fracture, surgery, and/or scarring.
These Cases Are Substantiated by Submitting the Victim’s Medical Treatment Records
There are several different levels of soft tissue injuries and these have to be proven by showing all of the treatment records from the date of injury to discharge. For example, someone may have gone to a chiropractor for several months or may have gone to physical therapy or pain management. That’s how you prove up those cases. Obviously, with that information and documentation, they were in pain. Most people don’t like going to the doctor. They don’t go to the doctor for the fun of it.
For example, in a case where someone just goes to the emergency room and doesn’t have any follow-up treatment—they may still have a soft tissue injury, but their case is not going to have the same value as someone that had to go through six months of physical therapy with pain management.
Interviewer: What would you say are the most common time of day that auto injuries occur?
Kevin Roach: You see them more frequently during the heavy traffic times of the day or during bad weather. Most common time for an accident would probably be during bad weather.