Muscle Soreness and Legal Action

We fill our lives with varying levels of activity. Our bodies were made to move. Exercise moves more oxygen through your blood, lifts your mood, and a host of other great things for your body. However, with exercise comes muscle soreness. Muscles that don’t get used often can often hurt for days or even weeks afterward. More activity leads to more risk of injury too, especially in the winter where conditions for sports, biking, or running are wet or even icy. Even just playing outside on a snow day can mean slipping and falling. Most of the time the pain that comes from these situations is minor and will resolve by itself, but when they don’t it can mean reduced activity and more.

Keep reading to learn what to do when you’re sore not hurt.

Minor accidents and muscle soreness

That sore feeling you get after exercising is called delayed-onset muscle soreness, or DOMS for short. Most people believe it is caused by a buildup of lactic acid in the muscle fibers, but it is more closely associated with the micro-tears in the muscle fiber. This happens when the body is pushed past its current capacity. During recovery from exercise, the fibers knit back together to form stronger bonds. Recovery can be uncomfortable and sometimes painful, but by doing a few things it becomes more manageable. 

A common acronym R.I.C.E provides some specific guidance:

  • R – Rest
  • I  – Ice
  • C – Compression
  • E – Elevation

Resting and elevating the sore part of the body helps take the pressure off of the affected area. Elevation especially helps with blood flow and inflammation. Ice packs can be applied periodically for 15-20 minutes while the body heals. Compression gear keeps the muscles together, promotes better blood flow, and reduces how long the soreness lasts. The sore areas can also be massaged to help relieve soreness.

What if I’m sore after a more serious accident?

While we might get sore from our normal everyday activities, some things we don’t plan for might leave us sore. A runner might trip, a biker might crash, or you might even get hit in a car accident. People can walk away from accidents like these and feel fine only to have pain set in a day or up to a week after.

Reported symptoms might include headaches, sore neck, and shoulders, or lower back pain. If you’re feeling this way, your pain might have been delayed due to adrenaline. During stressful situations, your body pumps out this powerful hormone to help you move through the pain. When it abates the muscle soreness sets in. Feeling sore after a minor car accident can be signs of whiplash, concussion, or even spinal injuries. Ask your doctor if you have questions about these or other possible accident-related injuries.

When treating these minor injuries, know that R.I.C.E still applies. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or naproxen can be taken to reduce pain and swelling.

Do I have a legal case if I have long-term muscle soreness?

For an effective muscle soreness case to be built, the client must be able to prove that another party is responsible for their pain. However, if fault or responsibility cannot be traced back to another party, then the case will most likely collapse. Negligence is often another requirement for the plaintiff to get legal recourse.

For example, if you were working with a personal trainer and you had a back injury that you didn’t want to hurt, you would be responsible for telling your trainer about your injury. If your trainer was made aware, and then pushed you to do an exercise that irritated your injury, your trainer may be held responsible. However, there are other factors that must be present when building a personal injury case.

Linking soreness to more obvious events like an auto accident makes it easier to build a personal injury case. Because whiplash and concussions are more closely related to car accidents, it becomes easier for the plaintiff to prove causation. Damages are also more obvious as auto-accident injuries lead to longer-lasting soreness, reduced mobility, and medical care.

Should I go for a quick settlement?

Since these injuries may not become apparent immediately after the accident, victims should receive medical examination soon after the accident. This should be done before signing a release of liability for the defendant. A release of liability essentially ends any further legal proceedings or claims related to the accident. Therefore, if you sign a release of liability before you can determine if you have whiplash or another subtle injury, you will not have a case.

Once you’ve received a medical examination, try to find and calculate the costs for your treatment. This may not be until your symptoms have stabilized, but with soreness or minor injuries, you should know relatively soon. You will most likely want to know about any and all costs that need to be covered by the other person’s auto insurance.

If you are experiencing soreness after a minor accident, connect with one of our professional legal advisors who will help you get the legal coverage you need.

Contact an Attorney Today

Lawsuits can be difficult when you’re facing them alone. Our personal injury attorneys are here to help you win. If you have questions about building a personal injury case when you’re sore not hurt, set up a FREE consultation today. Call us at 1-800-THE-FIRM or visit us at www.cochranfirm.com.