‘Soft’ tissue is normally used to refer to muscle and skin and the term ‘soft tissue injury’ [‘STI’] is normally used to cover injuries from a motorcycle accident like bruising and torn muscles.
Fractures inevitably result in some form of STI. However, fractures will generally heal over a period of up to six months. STI’s can take a lot longer, if not be permanent, and can be difficult to obtain treatment for.
How do I know if I have a soft tissue injury?
The two most obvious indications of an STI are bruising, resulting in discolouration of the skin, or inflammation, characterised by pain, swelling, redness and heat. However, an STI can also be indicated by a ‘pulled’ muscle, tendonitis, grazed skin, a puncture wound and many other symptoms. Whiplash (ie stiffness of neck and/or back) may also indicate an STI.
Evidence of the injury can be gained by attending your GP or a hospital and having medical notes written about your injuries. This may not be necessary if it is a very minor claim, ie just bruising, but you should take photos where possible. The courts generally accept that bouncing down the road will cause some injury!
The amount of damages will depend on the type and severity of the injury. When damages are determined for the various injuries suffered they will almost always include an element of damages for the STI already. They will, in effect, be ‘part and parcel’ of the damages and will not, generally, be a separate head of claim. The only real exception to this is where the trauma results in major STI.
The most common form of soft tissue injury is whiplash. This is often undervalued although it should be treated more seriously than most injuries as it affects the spinal column. A whiplash lasting one month or more is normally worth in excess of £1,000.
By way of indication, but by no means definitive as every injury is different in at least some respect, some soft tissue injury awards (updated to take into account inflation) which have been given in the past are shown below.
||Severe whiplash resulting in continuing long-term pain
||Neck & lumbar spine STI with continuing pain from moderate back injury
||Cuts to left arm, STI to neck & back
||Severe wrench to shoulder involving STI
||Bruising to back, arms & legs with grazes on both thighs and left elbow, for six months, resulting in scarring
||Multiple scratches, bites and bruises
||Bruising of right calf, considerable bruising & swelling
Your actual award will depend on several factors, not just the injury itself. Whilst the above provides a guide it should not be relied on in isolation.
Do you think you are being advised to settle your soft tissue motorcycle injury claim for too low a sum? We frequently take over motorcycle accident claims where motorcyclists feel that their current solicitor (normally appointed by their motorcycle insurance company) doesn’t have their best interest at heart or isn’t interested in obtaining the maximum and fair level of compensation for a motorbike accident that involves soft tissue injuries.
Contact us for a free no-obligation discussion on freephone 0800 783 6191.