New York residents who have been in a car accident should know that soft tissue injuries often result from them. Even more importantly, they can be hard for physicians to detect as they do not appear on X-rays, and their symptoms can appear days after an accident, misleading some into thinking that they are unrelated.

These injuries affect the muscles, tendons, ligaments and other non-bony parts of the body. Soft tissue damage is different from hard tissue injuries, which affect the bones and cartilage. The impact of a collision causes the soft tissues to stretch and become strained, sprained or torn. Victims experience pain, swelling and sometimes bleeding and a loss of motor and sensory function in the neck.

In rear-end collisions, when the head snaps back and forth, the neck tissue can become damaged, causing whiplash. This form of soft tissue injury can leave the victim with shooting pains and a burning and tingling sensation in the neck. The pains may even travel down to the shoulders and back. Headaches, increased fatigue, memory loss and light-headedness may also accompany the injury.

In serious cases, whiplash will lead to dysfunction in the muscle joints and herniated discs in the spine. Other people can experience depression and nervousness, which could be diagnosed as a kind of post-traumatic stress disorder.

When a negligent driver causes someone to sustain car accident injuries, he or she will be liable for the damages. The victim will want to speak with a personal injury lawyer for assistance with the process of filing a claim. The attorney can evaluate the claim, factor any contributory negligence into the potential settlement and hire investigators to gather the police reports and any physical evidence from the accident scene. Once the proof is lined up, the lawyer can proceed to negotiations or litigation.