New Jersey Bike Accident Soft Tissue Injury Attorneys
Proudly serving all of New Jersey
When a Casual Ride Leads to Pain and Suffering
Bruises, sprains, and strains are all expected injuries after a car collides with a cyclist, but the damage can often be more pervasive. You may have difficulty putting weight on an ankle, stretching your knees, or lifting your arms over your head. This could be because your soft tissue, the parts of the body that connect your bones and muscles together, have become severely damaged, resulting in constant pain when performing daily tasks.
Cyclists know the risks they face when they are on the road with reckless drivers, but that doesn’t mean they should pay for that careless behavior. If you are New Jersey cyclist and suffered soft-tissue damage because of someone else’s negligence, contact the New Jersey bike accident attorneys at Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. We are a locally based law firm that utilizes our extensive legal knowledge and experience to ensure New Jersey residents receive proper compensation after an accident. Reach out to us at (609) 240-0040 to schedule a free consultation.
Types of Soft Tissue Injuries
When a vehicle strikes a bike, cyclists suffer the most amount of damage in the legs, either from the initial impact or from collapsing afterward underneath the bike. The upper body can also become injured in the fall or from hitting the car’s windshield or upper frame. This can lead to broken bones, head trauma, spinal cord damage, and soft tissue injuries. Soft tissue injuries like bruises are particularly common, but more serious conditions can occur where the tendons and ligaments become stretched, pulled out of place, or outright torn.
Following a vehicle collision, a cyclist can suffer from:
- Sprained Ankle
- Sprained Wrist
- Shoulder Tendonitis (Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy)
- Torn Achille’s Tendon
- Torn Hamstring
- Patellar (Kneecap) Tendon Rupture
Identifying what type of soft tissue injury you are suffering from comes down to a detailed medical evaluation after the bike accident. In addition, you will want to check up regularly with a physician to ensure you are recovering smoothly and to inform them of any difficulty walking, lifting objects, reaching out your arms, bending, and pain you may be suffering from. Soft tissue injuries are difficult to diagnose at first because there are few tests that will spot the damage, which is why insurance companies often downplay their impact.
While most people will tell you to simply walk it off, soft tissue injuries like these can require weeks to months to recover from, especially if you have additional injuries such a broken bone, which will limit your ability to complete physical therapy and fully heal.
How Long Will It Take to Recover?
Minor strains and sprains can be treated with “RICE,” or “Rest Ice Compress and Elevate.” In most cases, this simply means laying back with your limb elevated above your heart and the application of ice packs and compression for a specific period of time each day. But it is the more serious soft tissue injuries that require a more in-depth medical evaluation and treatment.
Depending on your age and activity level before the accident, soft tissue damage like tendonitis in the rotator cuffs or a torn Achille’s tendon could require months of treatment. You may require physical therapy, steroid injections, and in the worst cases, surgery to repair the damage. All of this will be costly, take time away from work, and limit your daily activities and hobbies, especially biking.
The Costs of a Bike Accident
As mentioned earlier, insurance companies like to simplify or dismiss soft tissue injuries, due to the difficulty to identify the extent of the damage in a short period of time and the desire to limit compensation. But these are real injuries that can impact every aspect of your life and limit your mobility for some time.
In the short term, you will have the immediate medical costs of your injuries to deal with, in addition to any immediate time of work you take to recover. Initially, you may think you can get back to work after a few days of rest, but you may quickly find that the damage is more extensive and that you are suffering chronic pain with simple tasks. This requires additional medical appointments, meetings with physical therapists and other specialists, and more time off work.
This will be both frustrating and costly for you in the long run, even after you have a clear treatment plan. We understand that many New Jersey residents work paycheck to paycheck, may spend a lot of time using public transport and/or biking to work, and can have their livelihood be devasted after a bike accident. You may try to push through the pain of a sprained ankle or shoulder injury because of your hard-working principles. You may also be tempted to accept a quick settlement offer from the at-fault party’s insurance company, but they will often low-ball you or cut out a major portion of your injuries from the settlement, including soft tissue damage.
No injury should be discounted in a personal injury case, and the bike accident attorneys at Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. believe that wholeheartedly. If your injuries are the fault of a negligent driver, you deserve every cent owed to you under their insurance policy. But to ensure you receive that compensation, you need to secure the representation of a law firm that will not leave a single detail – or dollar – out of your case.
Evidence in a Soft Injury Case
Soft tissue injuries are often viewed as invisible injuries, because they are mostly identified based on the amount of pain you feel and how well you can move. An insurance company may reject your claim if you’re an older adult, stating that you likely had difficulty lifting or stretching your arms beforehand. But this can be refuted with detailed medical records.
After your bike accident, make sure to attend every medical appointment and keep track of all your records, prescriptions, and treatment plans. These documents serve as hard, clear cut evidence of your injuries. In addition, physical therapy appointments and meetings with specialists should be clearly logged in a calendar or journal, along with an account of your pain, discomfort, and any mobility issues you may be dealing with. Physical therapy will be especially important in not only helping you make a full recovery, but also determining the extent of the damage and demonstrating that you couldn’t have simply “walked it off.”
The at-fault insurance company may request a follow-up appointment with their own specialist, but you should never agree to such an appointment without speaking to your attorney. We can help you determine if this second-opinion is necessary or if this is an attempt by the insurance company to discredit your injuries, which often occurs. The doctors they will ask you to see work with them regularly and can create a conflicting medical report. If you do choose to attend, request that an attorney be present to ensure that the doctor is performing a thorough analysis.
Building a Case for Compensation
Alongside your medical records, your personal injury attorney will thoroughly review every aspect of your case to ensure you have a fighting chance at compensation. This can include collecting witness statements, reviewing accident reports, tracking down footage or photos from the accident, and laying out a clear line of liability to your injuries.
At Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C., our lead attorneys, Gabriel R. Lependorf and David E. Silverstein, are both active New Jersey cyclists who understand the real dangers bikers face when they go out for a ride and the bias they face after an accident. When you bring your case to us, we will apply all of our skills, knowledge, and expertise into building a strong personal injury claim on your behalf. Your focus should be on recovering after a soft tissue injury; let us bear the legal burden of holding insurance companies to their policies and securing your compensation. Call us at (609) 240-0040 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced New Jersey bike accident attorney.
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