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How to Maximize a Settlement for a Soft Tissue Injury in a Car Accident

February 2, 2021

client receiving settlement checkIf you’ve been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be wondering how to obtain a soft tissue injury car accident settlement. Despite what insurance companies might lead you to believe, soft tissue injuries have value.

If someone else is responsible for your injuries in a car accident, you have the legal right to pursue a claim for damages. To learn more, contact our experienced Kentucky car accident lawyers.

Average Settlement for Soft Tissue Injury Car Accident Cases

Understandably, prospective clients want to know how much they can get in a car accident soft tissue injury settlement. However, there is no standard amount or average settlement number that we can tell you. Each case is different and requires independent analysis to come up with a potential value. Your case’s value will depend on the type of accident, how severe the impact was, what your injuries are, how long it took you to recover, medical treatment, and insurance coverage.

Common Types of Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissue injuries refer to injuries to your muscles, ligaments, and tendons after your body moves beyond its normal range during an accident. Some of the most common soft tissue injuries we see include:

  • Whiplash,
  • Contusions,
  • Headaches,
  • Back strain,
  • Bruising, and
  • Other strains or sprains.

Symptoms for soft tissue injuries will vary. It can also take one or two days for some signs to show up. Most injuries will require some rehabilitation with a chiropractor, physical therapy, and physician to oversee the care.  Serious cases will require more extensive treatment with specialists.

Generally, a soft tissue case does not involve surgery, broken bones, or permanent injury such as extensive scarring.

How Insurance Companies View Soft Tissue Injuries

Insurance companies will be reviewing all medical documentation along with any history of similar problems prior to the accident (pre-existing conditions) property damage and liability to determine a case value.  Since we have forty-five years of experience in dealing with insurance companies we often know the adjusters and what they may offer.

Soft tissue injuries can be very painful. To receive full compensation for your soft tissue injury, it is important to document your injuries and pain.  Take photographs of any cuts, scrapes, or bruising, keep an ongoing record of any pain you experience and anyways that your pain hinders you in going about your daily life.

It is also important to see a doctor or emergency room promptly after an accident.  Give your doctor a thorough account of any pain you have experienced so that they can document it in your medical records.  Comply with the doctor’s treatment recommendations and attend follow-up appointments as needed.

When you retain Flora Templeton Stuart Injury Accident Lawyers, we will protect your rights and fight for the compensation you deserve to maximize your recovery.  We work from day one to get witness statements to establish liability, get photographs of the vehicle and any bruising or visual injuries you may have, and locate excellent physicians for your care.

We will also explore all available insurance and reserve Personal Injury Protection coverage for treatment and lost wages while you are recovering from your accident.  We do not charge a fee from PIP benefits or property damage.

Important Factors That Affect a Reasonable Car Accident Settlement for Soft Tissue Injury

To better understand how attorneys reach a settlement for soft tissue injury car accident cases, here’s a more in-depth look at the factors that influence the value.

No-Fault

This should not be confused with the fault of the defendant driver or liability. No-fault in Kentucky only means that your own insurance company is required to offer no-fault Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits.

The at-fault insurance company for the driver who caused the collision will pay back your own insurance company or the insurance company of the vehicle in which you are a passenger for any PIP benefits paid on your behalf.  This type of insurance compensates you for medical bills, some lost wages, and other financial losses resulting from a car accident no matter who was at fault, up to the policy limit.

While PIP insurance can be waived in writing we strongly recommend against waiving your PIP.  In fact, we recommend raising your PIP from the $10,000.00 limits provided by law to up to $50,000.00 which can afford you protection in the event of a collision where you have extensive medical treatment or lost wages.

Under Kentucky’s no-fault rules, you typically cannot file a lawsuit if your soft tissue injuries are only minor.  However, you can sue an at-fault driver if your accident results in at least $1,000 in medical expenses, a permanent injury or disfigurement, a broken bone, or death.

Damages

One of the most important aspects of a car accident soft tissue injury settlement is your damages. The amount of your damages dramatically impacts what your case value is. Damages can be split into two main categories: economic and non-economic. Your economic damages are quantifiable, such as medical expenses, property damage, time off work, etc. There is a finite monetary value that we can attach to them.

Your non-economic damages are more subjective and are not connected to monetary losses. For example, your physical pain and suffering or your mental anguish can constitute non-economic damages. Non-economic damages are where much of the negotiations with the insurance company take place.  This is why it is so important to have medical records that document your injuries from reputable physicians.

Depending on your case’s circumstances, you could potentially receive another type of damages known as punitive damages in Kentucky. These are awarded only in very limited cases when you can show you were injured because of someone’s gross reckless or intentional behavior.

Kentucky Revised Statute Section 411.184(2) says that plaintiffs can only recover punitive damages if they can show by “clear and convincing evidence” that the defendant acted in a grossly negligent or intentional manner. The most common example of a case where punitive damages might be awarded is in a drunk driving case.

Liability

Kentucky is one of the few states that is a pure comparative negligence state. Your own liability in the accident will impact your potential settlement, but you are entitled to collect for a portion of your damages with pure comparative negligence, even if you are primarily at fault. Your percentage of fault will reduce your overall compensation. For example, if a jury finds you 10% at fault, you could collect up to 90% of your damages. If you are found to be 99% at fault, you can still collect 1%.

It’s crucial to point out that the other party can also collect damages from you in a pure comparative negligence state. If you are 99% at fault, then the other driver will be able to collect 99% of their damages usually from your insurance company.

Some examples of negligence on your part or contributory negligence would be the failure to wear a seatbelt where it would have prevented your injuries. We often see this in “red light cases” where each party claims the other party ran the red light.  With no witnesses, the insurance companies often split 50/50 liability between both drivers.

How Our Law Firm Works to Maximize Recovery in Soft Tissue Injury Cases

With forty-five years of experience, Flora Templeton Stuart personally works on her cases and with her clients to see that they recover all the damages they deserve after being injured in an automobile collision or semi-truck accident.  We begin from day one to maximize recovery as follows:

  1. Obtaining photographs of the damaged vehicles along with witness statements establishing liability.
  2. In punitive damage cases, we obtain criminal records of the Defendant who may be charged with drunk driving or another crime while operating the vehicle that caused the collision.
  3. We spend time with a client in our initial consult reviewing the injuries and recommending physicians to treat for those injuries. We explain the importance of medical treatment with not only therapists such as chiropractors or physical therapists but physicians who specialize in injuries from automobile accidents.
  4. We consult our clients throughout the case to make sure that they get the medical treatment they need with our attorneys and paralegals.
  5. Immediately upon being hired in a soft tissue case our law firm will reserve the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits for medical treatment and lost wages so it will be available to the client while they treatment for their accident injuries.
  6. We personally consult with our clients prior to any settlement demand to make sure that we understand the value of the case, likely offers, and how we can maximize a settlement. We always obtain written authority from the client before we proceed to settle a claim.
  7. We work to reduce medical expenses and “liens” so the client will take home a fair and reasonable settlement after they have completed their treatment and settled their case.
  8. We explore all types of insurance to collect such as liability, uninsured, and underinsured in an attempt to get those policy limits whenever possible.

These are just some of the ways that our law firm obtains the most we can for our clients in an automobile accident collision.  Our motto is that “we care and we provide personal representation with our top attorneys.”

Contact a Kentucky Car Accident Lawyer

flora templeton stuart and kentPursuing a car accident claim in Kentucky can be complicated. If you want to maximize your compensation in a car accident soft tissue injury settlement, you need a skilled Kentucky car accident lawyer on your side. To learn more about how we can help, contact Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers today to schedule an initial consultation.

Let us review your case with no charge and let you know what you can reasonably expect for a settlement amount.  We often travel to our injured clients who cannot come to us.  We only get paid if we recover a settlement for you.

Author Photo

Flora Templeton Stuart

Flora Templeton Stuart is the lead attorney and founder of the law firm Flora Templeton Stuart For the Injured, established in 1976. She is a nationally recognized personal injury lawyer with over 40 years of experience. Her story has been featured on Fox, The New York Times, ABC, Time, and NBC.