Average Settlement for Soft Tissue Injury Car Accident

Average Settlement for Soft Tissue Injury Car Accident

Imagine driving around town, heading to a grocery store, when you reach an intersection. You notice the light is red, so you stop. Suddenly, it happened- another car crashed into yours.

You may think it unlikely, but motor vehicle accidents are common and can happen almost anywhere. The Bureau of Labor Statistics echoes this sentiment, suggesting a road mishap like a car collision occurs every 13 minutes somewhere in the U.S.

While not all auto accidents are fatal, many result in injuries. In 2020 alone, there were over 1 million car crashes that led to bodily harm in the country, some of which were soft tissue-related.

Soft tissue injuries happen when your body experiences trauma, such as from a blunt force from a motor-vehicular accident. These damages affect muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other connective tissue.

Although not as severe as other car crash injuries, soft tissue damage can be physically and emotionally challenging. Fortunately, you may be able to pursue compensation for your pain and suffering.

This article dives into the average settlement amount for soft tissue injury cases and various aspects, including initial claim evaluation and tips to recover from this type of impairment.

Are you seeking a fair settlement for your soft tissue injuries? Visit PersonalInjuryLawyersSearch.org to find the most suitable law firms and advisors for your unique injury claim.

How Much Can You Expect to Receive in a Settlement?

It can be challenging to place a dollar value on what you can expect to receive from a  soft tissue injury settlement. After all, various factors, including the details of the car accident case, can influence this number.

That said, you can get a rough estimate of the settlement amount via the initial claim evaluation and pain and suffering calculation. Let’s explore what these two elements are, shall we?

Initial Claim Evaluation

When you file one with your coverage provider, an insurance adjuster will assess the soft tissue injury claim. Insurance companies conduct this step to determine the scope of your injuries and the damages involved.

Here’s an overview of the initial claim evaluation process:

  • Medical evaluation: To ascertain and verify the extent of the bodily harm you sustained from a car accident, your insurance company may require you to undergo a medical assessment.

  • Negotiation: Once the insurance provider establishes the severity of your injuries, it will give you an initial settlement offer. However, this dollar value is often lower than what you believe your claim is worth.

    Therefore, you must negotiate for an appropriate settlement. Fortunately, working with a personal injury lawyer can increase your odds of a successful soft tissue injury claim.

    Many lawyers often provide an initial free consultation or case evaluation without obligation. Once you decide to retain them, you only pay if they win the case.

    Consult with experienced legal advisors by visiting PersonalInjuryLawyersSearch.org. This resource connects you to experienced personal injury attorneys across the U.S.

  • Settlement agreement: After you or your car accident lawyer successfully negotiate a fair settlement amount, the insurance coverage provider will ask you to sign a settlement agreement.

    This document releases the coverage provider from any further liability involving your road incident. So, please don’t sign this unless you’re comfortable with the offer or your attorney recommends it.

What Is the Average Compensation for Pain and Suffering?

When filing a personal injury claim, you’ll want the settlement to cover economic damages, such as your medical expenses and property damage. 

But did you know you can also pursue compensation for the discomfort you experienced from your car accident injuries?

Enter “pain and suffering,” which insurance companies and jurors use to determine settlement offers and verdicts. You can calculate the pain and suffering amount in one of two ways:

  • Pain multiplier: This method determines the value of pain and suffering by multiplying the economic damages you sustained, like medical care expenses, by a multiplier, usually between 1.5 and 5. More severe injuries result in a higher multiplier.

  • Per diem: This process determines the pain-and-suffering value by multiplying the days you suffered from your soft tissue injuries by a daily rate. The daily rate is often equal to your daily wage.

Factors That Affect Soft Tissue Injury Settlements

Several factors are at play and affect the settlement amount you’ll receive from soft tissue personal injury cases. Understanding these elements can help determine how much to claim and what insurance companies will likely present as an initial offer.

Let’s explore these critical factors.

Severity of the Injury

Soft tissue damage can range from mild, leading to swelling, to severe, resulting in entire muscle or ligament tears. Generally speaking, the more substantial your injuries from the motor vehicle accident, the higher the potential settlement amount.

Medical Bills

Your medical bills play a significant role in shaping your settlement. After all, they can be the most prominent economic damage you take following an auto accident.

For this reason, you must document your medical expenses, including immediate medical attention, doctor visits, hospital stays, and rehabilitation costs, such as from physical therapy. You’ll need these medical records to support your injury claim.

Lost Wages

Severe soft tissue injuries, especially bodily harm that affects one’s range of motion, can impact an accident victim’s ability to resume work. Fortunately, settlements can include compensation for lost wages.

Note that you must keep documentation to provide accurate information to the insurance companies. These records include your missed work days, the potential earnings for that period, and days off used.

Pain and Suffering

As mentioned, you can file a claim for the physical and emotional distress you experienced post-car accident via pain and suffering. Unfortunately, seeking compensation for pain and suffering can be challenging. After all, measuring an intangible element can be subjective.

Therefore, it’s critical that you consult an experienced personal injury attorney. Doing so increases the odds that your pain and suffering will be considered in the settlement. 

Talk to a soft tissue injury lawyer about a free case evaluation.

Do No-Fault Insurance Laws Affect Car Accident Settlements?

No-fault insurance or personal injury protection (PIP) refers to coverage you can claim after a motor vehicle accident. This coverage allows you to seek compensation for incurred financial losses due to soft tissue injuries, regardless of who is at fault.

Unfortunately, insurance companies have limits on no-fault benefits. In other words, no-fault insurance can impact your car accident settlement. If the settlement amount doesn’t cover your economic damages, you may need to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. 

How Do Comparative Negligence Laws Affect Car Accident Claims?

Comparative negligence laws determine an individual’s fault in a car collision. If you live in a state that enforces comparative negligence, such as California, your settlement hinges on the percentage of proven fault.

To illustrate, let’s use the introduction’s scenario. If you abruptly stopped because you were using your phone and didn’t notice the red light immediately, and your negligence resulted in the collision, your settlement may be reduced proportionately.

Is There a Time Limit on My Injury Case?

Acting immediately is essential when seeking appropriate compensation in your soft tissue injury case. Personal injury claim statute of limitations can vary depending on the state.

In California, for example, you have two years to submit an injury claim. The countdown starts from the date you were injured. That said, you can extend the time limit if there aren’t signs of bodily harm until days or weeks following your motor vehicle accident.

How to Get the Compensation You Deserve

There are various ways to raise your odds of receiving a fair compensation if you’ve suffered soft tissue damages, whether minor injuries or not. How, you may ask? Here are steps you can take to navigate the claims process successfully:

Seek Medical Treatment

Once you’ve regained your bearings following your harrowing car accident, you must seek medical attention promptly. Doing so can help determine the severity of your injuries and allow you to receive appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

Document Your Injuries

Valuing intangibles, such as pain and suffering, are among the most difficult to prove in a personal injury case, as they can be subjective. What’s not subjective is documentation.

For this reason, you must ensure you keep detailed records of your medical expenses and experiences. Keep records of medical professional diagnoses and create a log of your discomforts, treatments, and recovery.

Hire a Personal Injury Attorney

Insurance companies will try to deny liability as much as possible. Unfortunately, if you’re unfamiliar with the intricacies of a legal battle, you may end up with a less-than-desirable settlement. Hiring a personal injury lawyer avoids this problem altogether.

Visit PersonalInjuryLawyersSearch.org to find an advisor who will understand your soft tissue injury case, advise you on the best legal action, and even assist you in gathering evidence and negotiating a settlement.

Be Flexible in Negotiations

As mentioned, insurance adjusters typically give you an initial settlement offer lower than your expected amount. In these scenarios, you must negotiate to receive compensation for what you believe your claim is worth.

That said, you must also be open to reasonable counteroffers. After all, receiving a higher settlement amount may mean little, if a substantial portion goes to your incurred legal expenses from an extended court battle.

Consider Your Life Post-settlement

The ideal settlement must cover ongoing economic damages, such as medical bills and lost wages. However, your financial losses don’t end after receiving your soft tissue injury compensation. Therefore, you must ensure it considers your future needs when negotiating the settlement amount.

Don’t Settle Too Quickly

Insurance companies will want to avoid a drawn-out legal battle. More importantly, they will want to sidestep paying a more significant settlement after several negotiations.

While it can be tempting to accept quick settlement offers, you may want to pause. The most optimal next move is to consult a personal injury lawyer to advise you on the most appropriate action for your unique case.

Visit PersonalInjuryLawyersSearch.org to find experienced legal advisors who can tell you when it’s fair to accept a settlement and when to negotiate for a better one.

What Is a Soft Tissue Injury?

As its name implies, a “soft tissue” injury is damage to soft tissue, such as muscle, tendons, and ligaments. In other words, a broken bone is not a soft tissue injury.

This type of bodily harm is common in car accidents, regardless of the severity of the crash. You’ll know you have a soft tissue injury when you experience soreness, swelling, skin discoloration, and restricted range of motion.

Unfortunately, soft tissue injuries aren’t immediately noticeable- not even in X-rays. Typically, signs of soft tissue damage appear 24 to 48 hours after the road mishap.

So, does that mean you can forego prompt medical attention? No. Although soft tissue injuries can be challenging to determine following an auto accident, you shouldn’t hesitate to seek treatment.

Doing so prevents exacerbating minor injuries and, most importantly, gives you supporting information you can use to receive fair compensation when filing a personal injury claim.

Some Soft Tissue Injuries Can Be Considered Catastrophic

As cited, the severity of soft tissue injuries can vary. Some can be mild, like tenderness. Others, such as muscle tears, can be substantial, requiring a significantly longer recovery.

Unfortunately, determining whether you sustained significant soft tissue damage can be challenging, as symptoms may not be apparent immediately.

For this reason, you must watch out for indicators that you have a significant soft tissue injury. These signs include the following:

  • An audible crack or pop when the car accident occurred
  • Numbness or tingling at or around the suspected affected area
  • Neck, limb, or back pain resulting in a limited range of motion
  • The suspected injury site is abnormal or misshapen

Note that soft tissue injuries are often categorized by grades, ranging between one and three, depending on the extent of the damage. 

Here’s what each category entails:

Grade 1

A grade 1 injury is the mildest type of soft tissue damage. Car accident impairments that don’t require extensive medical intervention, if any, fall under this category. The recovery period for grade 1 soft tissue injuries only takes a few days to weeks.

Grade 2

Unlike grade 1 injuries, grade 2 soft tissue damages may require you to opt for medical assistance instead of home remedies, such as ice packs and painkillers. 

Grade 2 soft tissue injuries may also involve cortisone injections, physical therapy, and several months of recovery.

Grade 3

A grade 3 injury represents the highest level of soft tissue damage you can sustain from a motor-vehicular accident. This impairment may require surgery and continued treatment for months up to years. Otherwise, it can cause permanent damage.

What Are the Common Types of Soft Tissue Injuries?

Soft tissue damage often leads to neck and back injuries. The neck and back are areas in your body with many soft tissues. That said, soft tissue injuries encompass various conditions.

Understanding the potential bodily harm you sustained from a motor vehicle accident is essential in getting appropriate medical treatment and compensation from an injury claim.

Let’s break down the common soft tissue injuries you may experience following a road incident like a fender-bender or a head-on car collision.

Soft Tissue Sprains

A sprained wrist or ankle results from the stretching or tearing of ligaments. Soft tissue sprains are one of the most common injuries you’re likely to get after a car accident.

Torn Ligaments

Soft tissue damage may seem negligible. After all, you’ve most likely experienced a sprain at one point. However, this soft tissue injury can cause radiating pain and potential complications, such as complete tears.

Ligaments connect bones and blood vessels. In other words, ripped ligaments can cause your knees, wrists, and ankles to weaken. You’ll need to receive imaging, such as X-rays and MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging), to rule out other issues like broken bones.

Soft Tissue Strains

Like sprains, strains happen when soft tissue is stretched or torn. The latter involves tendons instead of ligaments. Unfortunately, damage to this soft tissue can lead to immobility and chronic pain since tendons connect muscles to your bones.

Injury to Tendons

The most significant giveaway that you sustained an injury to your tendons is when you hear cracking sounds when you move a suspected injured body part. This crack usually accompanies a limited range of motion, swelling, tenderness, and pain.

Contusions From Car Wrecks

Contusions or bruises are common soft tissue damages in motor vehicle accidents. These injuries happen when your body receives blunt force strong enough to rupture blood vessels. Fortunately, contusions generally disappear after some time.


The abrupt forward and backward motion of your head during a car accident resulting in physical pain and cognitive problems is known as a whiplash injury.

Herniated Disc

Your spinal column consists of 23 vertebral discs. These discs become herniated when they’re not aligned. 

Following an auto accident, herniated discs can cause vertebrae to rub against each other or pinch a nerve, causing pain. This type of spine damage often comes with neck injuries like whiplash.


Depending on the severity of the car crash, shattered glass and other sharp objects launched toward you can cause lacerations. If you notice cuts or gashes in your skin, you must seek immediate medical attention, as lacerations may indicate potential internal injuries.


Your knees, shoulders, elbows, and other joints contain a bursa sac, which contains fluid that lubricates your bones, muscles, and tendons. This fluid allows these soft tissues to rub against each other without resulting in pain.

Unfortunately, bursitis or trauma to your bursa sac, such as irritation or inflammation, will cause you to experience discomfort whenever you move body parts that have this soft tissue.


As mentioned, some soft tissue injuries may not be immediately apparent after a motor-vehicular mishap. One of these damages is lipoma, a fatty, slow-growing tumor that can form under your skin.


It’s not uncommon for aches to accompany a car crash. However, if the pain is localized to a single or group of muscles or joints, it may be myalgia. It’s a soft tissue injury that causes constant or intermittent muscle pain, ranging from mild to severe.


If bursitis refers to damage to the bursa sac, then tenosynovitis refers to the inflammation of the synovium, the lining of the protective sheath surrounding a tendon. This soft tissue damage can cause swelling and stiffness to parts of the body with synovium, such as the feet and hands. 

MCL Injury

The MCL (medial collateral ligament) keeps your knee joint stable. An MCL injury occurs when the ligament bends and moves unnaturally at high speeds, typical in a car accident.

This soft tissue injury can lead to a swollen knee, stiffness, sharp or aching pain when you walk, and inability to stand. Depending on the extent of your MCL injury, you may need to undergo surgery.

Burns or Abrasions

During a car accident, the impact force may cause your skin to rub or scrape against objects, such as your seat belt. If the collision is violent enough, the skin abrasions may become permanent, and infections may occur. In some cases, you may require a skin transplant.

How Are Soft Tissue Injuries Diagnosed?

One of the most significant downsides of sustaining a soft tissue injury is that it can manifest in various ways. Unfortunately, some car accident-related soft tissue damages don’t appear immediately after the incident.

You must seek medical attention and get a thorough physical examination from a medical professional to accurately determine the extent of your injuries, which is crucial for prompt and effective treatment. The assessment may include X-ray, MRI, and other imaging scans.

Possible Causes of Soft Tissue Injury

This article tackles soft tissue injuries from a motor vehicle accident. While this event is a common cause of these types of bodily harm, it isn’t the only one that can lead to soft tissue damage.

Other personal injury incidents that can lead to soft tissue injuries include slips and falls, animal attacks, and even overusing your ligaments, muscles, and tendons, such as over-exercising.

Complications of a Soft Tissue Injury

If you get into a car accident, you must seek medical attention promptly. As mentioned, some soft tissue damages may not be immediately noticeable. Unfortunately, failure to get appropriate medical treatment can lead to ramifications, such as internal bleeding and nerve damage. 

Can Soft Tissue Damage Be Permanent?

Although rare, there have been cases where soft tissue injuries resulted in permanent damage. Fortunately, you can avoid any lasting effects from soft tissue damage by seeking medical assistance following a motor-vehicular mishap.

Soft Tissue Injury Treatment

As mentioned, soft tissue injuries encompass various impairments. Therefore, treatments can vary depending on the damage you sustained and its severity.

For instance, minor injuries like bruises may only require rest. At the same time, more severe soft tissue impairments, such as muscle tears, will need surgery before you can begin recovery.


You must undergo surgical intervention if you sustained significant soft tissue damage, such as rips in tendons, muscles, and other connective tissues in your shoulder, knee, or elbow.

Doing so may be necessary for long-term pain relief and restoring functionality to these affected areas. Note that the recovery time can range from a few weeks to several months.

Physical Therapy

You may opt for physical therapy if your injuries don’t require surgery. This medical treatment can aid you in regaining strength in your injured soft tissues and restoring their full range of motion.

Rest and Immobilization

Getting a good night’s sleep may be enough for some minor soft tissue injuries, such as slight tenderness. You can also utilize compression tools, heat, and ice packs and elevate affected areas to speed up rehabilitation.

How Long Does It Take to Recover From Car Accident Soft Tissue Damage?

The time you need to recover from car accident soft tissue injuries depends on the severity of the damages you sustained. For instance, recovering from a grade 1 injury may only involve a few days. However, healing from a grade 3 soft tissue injury may take years.

Proving Soft Tissue Injuries

Securing a fair settlement hinges on whether you can prove the soft tissue injuries you sustained in a motor-vehicular accident. After all, some injuries, like whiplash, may be more complex to substantiate than damages that require surgery.

Fortunately, tangible evidence, including photographs of the accident and your injuries, medical records, and employment records, are excellent ways to demonstrate and substantiate your soft tissue injury claim.

Is It Essential to Prove Fault in a Soft Tissue Injury Case?

As cited, no-fault states allow you to file a personal injury claim, regardless of who is responsible for the car accident. Unfortunately, only 12 states follow no-fault insurance laws.

If you don’t live in any of these states, determining who the at-fault party is may be necessary to receive appropriate compensation for your soft tissue injuries.

In some cases, you may also need to determine the party responsible for the accident in a no-fault state. One of these instances is when the settlement amount isn’t sufficient to cover your economic damages.

Insurance Companies Make Soft Tissue Claims Difficult

Many insurance companies will downplay the pain and suffering you experienced from your soft tissue injuries to undervalue the settlement. This approach highlights the importance of supplementing your case with tangible evidence, such as medical bills and diagnoses like X-rays.

Should You Pursue a Trial or Accept an Offer for Soft Tissue Injuries?

Choosing between going to trial and accepting a settlement offer is a crucial decision you must make. If you need help deciding, consider consulting a car accident attorney.

Visit PersonalInjuryLawyersSearch.org to receive legal advice on the most optimal choice for your unique car accident soft tissue injury case from experienced personal injury law firms and lawyers nationwide.

What Happens to Your Pain and Suffering Settlement If You Proceed Without the Assistance of an Attorney?

No law prohibits you from representing yourself in a personal injury case. So, if you’re confident you can prove your soft tissue injuries and receive appropriate compensation for your damages, you may proceed without a lawyer by your side.

However, negotiating pain and suffering settlement without legal representation can be challenging. Insurance adjusters will attempt to avoid paying for these damages and may abuse your lack of legal expertise.

Getting Fair Compensation for Soft Tissue Injuries

If you want to receive appropriate compensation for the soft tissue injuries you suffered from a car crash, you must build a robust claim. This process involves convincing the insurance companies and jurors of your sustained damages.

So, how do you accomplish this task? For one, you can secure testimonies from witnesses and medical professionals. You can also present tangible evidence, such as medical bills, police reports, and photos and videos of the accident scene and your injuries.

In a nutshell, you’ll want to prove what happened, who’s liable for your injuries, the economic and non-economic losses you suffered, and the appropriate dollar value for your insurance claim.

Can A Lawyer Help You Improve Your Car Accident Soft Tissue Injury Settlement?

Insurance companies may not have your best interest in mind, whether yours or the other party’s. Some will employ various tactics to minimize payouts for soft tissue injuries.

Fortunately, you can increase the odds of a successful settlement by seeking assistance from an experienced personal injury attorney. In fact, research suggests that doing so may allow you to get two to three times the compensation.

You can find legal advisors who will make an effort to understand your case and pursue the most optimal outcome by visiting PersonalInjuryLawyersSearch.org.


1. Will my soft tissue injury keep me from working?

Whether a soft tissue injury prevents you from going back to work will depend on the damage you sustained from the car accident. Sometimes it will take several months to years to recover from injuries.

2. Are treatments for soft tissue injuries invasive?

Not all soft tissue injuries are invasive. Some may only require you to use hot and cold compresses. However, some impairments, particularly grade 2 and 3 soft tissue damage, may need invasive surgery.

3. Are soft tissue damages serious injuries?

If a “serious” injury is one that can cause permanent damage and lasting effects, then some soft tissue damages are serious injuries. However, some, such as minor swelling and tenderness, are mild and only require you to rest.

4. Is a Grade 3 soft tissue injury serious?

Grade 3 injuries are the most severe soft tissue injuries you can sustain following a road incident, such as a head-on car collision. These types of damages generally involve surgical intervention and a substantial recovery period.

5. Can I receive a settlement for pain and suffering?

Yes, settlements can include compensation for pain and suffering. Unfortunately, proving you deserve compensation for pain and suffering is one of the most complicated elements of an injury insurance claim.

6. What should I do if the insurance company offers me a settlement?

Receiving a settlement offer from an insurance provider requires careful consideration. Before you accept, it’s best to consult with a lawyer, as this offer may be an attempt by the insurance company to get a quick settlement to avoid paying you a more considerable amount in the future.

7. How much does it cost to hire a personal injury lawyer?

As mentioned, the settlement amount must consider your life post-settlement, including your potential legal expenses. Fortunately, most personal injury lawyers only charge a percentage of the compensation.

In other words, you may not have to pay your legal advisor anything if you don’t win your soft tissue injury claim. So, there’s no downside to hiring one. Visit PersonalInjuryLawyersSearch.org if you want the best odds of getting justice for the damages you suffered from a car accident.

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