Court Radio this Sunday: What You Need to Know About Vehicle Crashes and Soft Tissue Injuries
By Dean I Weitzman, Esq. on June 2nd, 2012
In a vehicle accident, you can be seriously injured without breaking a single bone in your body. Such “soft tissue injuries” include whiplash, which occurs when the human head is flipped back and forth very quickly in a crash.
When that kind of injury happens, muscles, ligaments and tendons are stretched and extended beyond their limits, causing intense pain, discomfort and lasting aftereffects.
The problem is that while such soft tissue injuries are one of the most common in vehicle crashes, insurance companies do as much as they can to minimize them and make them seem trivial since no bones are broken. To insurance companies, if there’s no visible evidence such as a broken bone, they are skeptical that the injuries are serious.
That’s not fair to seriously injured victims who face long and painful recoveries from such injuries.
On “Court Radio” at 7 a.m. on Sunday, MyPhillyLawyer managing partner Dean Weitzman and his co-host David Rapoport will talk about soft tissue injuries with a special guest, Dr. Bryan Ehrlich, a Philadelphia area chiropractor with Allied Medical Associates.
Court Radio is broadcast live at 7 a.m. every Sunday morning on Philadelphia’s WRNB 100.3 FM, with a simulcast on Magic 95.9 FM in Baltimore. You can also listen live on the Internet at WRNB 100.3 or on Magic 95.9 via streaming audio.
Despite skepticism from insurance companies, soft tissue injuries are real and can be significant and ongoing for crash victims, Ehrlich says.
“It’s a very wide range of injuries,” Ehrlich says of soft tissue injuries. “The most severe would be a gunshot wound to the chest that misses the patient’s ribs. It’s a very big misconception that soft tissue injuries are minor.”
One reasons for this, he says, is that insurance companies have done a good job of minimizing the meaning of that term. “A sports hernia is a soft tissue injury but we all saw how negatively it can impact someone like [former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback] Donovan McNabb, who was one of the world’s best athletes. With [injured Phillies first baseman] Ryan Howard, the whole world watched as he tore his Achilles tendon in last year’s baseball playoffs and he’s not back playing yet.”
A soft tissue injury is essentially an injury to any part of the body that is not bony, Ehrlich says. “The insurance industry uses the term interchangeably with the terms strains and sprains, again trying to minimize it.”
With whiplash injuries, which are very common in motor vehicle accidents, the head is whipped forward and backward in a fast and violent fashion, he says.
Today, insurance companies like to use the term “MIST” for “minor impact soft tissue” injuries, Ehrlich says. “What they’re basically trying to say is that there wasn’t that much damage to your car, so how can you be hurt? But that’s so far from the truth. There have been numerous studies in the last 15 years that show there is no correlation between the dollar damage to the vehicle and the injuries caused to vehicle occupants.”
In reality though, accident victims are hurt first in crashes and essentially are then victimized again by disbelieving insurance companies.
To properly diagnose a soft tissue injury, regular X-rays are taken while positioning a patient’s head and neck in a range of positions, according to Ehrlich. The bones should remain in some basic positions, but if they slide too forward or backward, that’s an indication that the related muscles and ligaments have been overstressed and can’t keep the bones in place on their own, he says.
Such injuries can be treated with physical therapy, medicines and healing time, he says. “They are often very severe conditions and they can be permanent, leading to chronic sprain and strain where the ligaments will never fully recover from the injury.”
Ehrlich said that his office works to educate insurance adjusters about such injuries and to advocate for patients “While these are soft tissue injuries, they are real and the patients require treatment and sometimes life-long treatment,” he says.
Ehrlich is a graduate of Pennsylvania College of Chiropractic and has been licensed and practicing in Pennsylvania since 1989. He is married and lives in Cherry Hill, N.J.
Soft tissue injuries can be devastating to accident victims, particularly when their insurance companies minimize such injuries and see them as unfounded. That’s why you need to know all about them so you can be sure that you will receive excellent medical treatment and sufficient monetary damages to properly compensate you for your injuries.
If you are seriously injured in a vehicle accident, we here at MyPhillyLawyer are here to represent you with compassion, expertise and energy to help you recover the compensation that you deserve.
So be sure to tune in for Court Radio at 7 a.m. Sunday to hear a topical discussion about soft tissue injuries and vehicle accidents with co-hosts Dean Weitzman and David Rapoport and their special guest, Dr. Bryan Ehrlich. And remember to call in with your own questions and comments.
When Winning Matters Most, call us to discuss any legal matters that arise. If you need us, we will be there to help you with friendly, professional and highly-skilled legal services.
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