At Fair Rate Funding, we process over one thousand inquiries each month. Our clients request funding amounts ranging from $1000 to $400,000. Also, we routinely receive applications for lawsuit funding amounts of less than $1,000. Although some plaintiffs with “heavy” cases may only need a few bucks, the majority of our clients who are approved for less than $1000 are involved in personal injury lawsuits with “soft tissue” injuries.
How to define a soft tissue case has changed considerable throughout the years. The term was originally used to describe “whiplash” type of injuries sustained in personal injury lawsuit such as automobile accidents. Soft tissue was used to describe that the injury only involved muscles, flesh and body tissue such as a bruise, sprain or muscle spasm. When comparing this type of injury with tears to ligaments, bone fractures, or other more severe conditions, soft tissue injuries were so categorized so as to minimize their severity.
The use of imaging equipment such as x-rays, MRI’s and CT Scanners, has increased the accuracy in which injuries can be diagnosed. Conditions such as ligament tears, herniated disc between the vertebrae, fractures and other conditions are all objectively seen by doctors, lawyers and insurance companies through the use of these incredible machines.
In response, insurance companies took the liberty to label injuries without objective evidence (e.g. a positive x-ray for fracture) of injury as “soft tissue” injuries. Generally, and as it pertains to orthopedic injuries, a “soft tissue” injury became an injury where no abnormality was found on any objective type of study.
Redefining “Soft Tissue”?
As stated above, a soft tissue injury has historically meant an injury involving the muscles and excluding more severe injuries such as those that can be seen on an imaging study like an MRI. Over the years, insurance companies and their attorneys tried to expand this definition. Currently, defense attorneys and their clients routinely attempt to include such positive findings disc bulging and/or herniations into the ‘soft tissue’ definition. The argument being that even though it comes up on the study, the injury is not severe. In many instances, this endeavor has been successful. Whereas a positive finding of disc bulging in an MRI used to meet the “objective evidence of injury” test in the past, defense attorneys are now trying to remove injuries with these types of findings from the pool of compensable injuries.
What to Expect When Applying for Funding of Soft Tissue Lawsuits
Because there is more limitation on these painful injuries, lawsuit funding operations must adjust their approach to help mitigate the additional risk.
One such adjustment is to eliminate the funding of soft tissue cases altogether. Many lawsuit settlement funding businesses simply do not consider personal injury lawsuits involving slip and falls, or other premises liability injuries, without a surgery. Some lawsuit funding companies only consider automobile cases which have a positive finding of abnormality on a MRI or CT Scan and some additional treatment such as extensive physical therapy, if there is no surgical intervention involved.
Another adjustment might be limiting the settlement loan amount. When approved, soft tissue lawsuits are generally approved for lawsuit settlement loans for $1,000 or less.
The mission of lawsuit funding as an industry is to provide financial relief to those unfortunate plaintiffs who face financial pressure while their lawsuit is pursued in the court system. Applicants often request small amounts of funding against their lawsuit, regardless of the severity of their injury. Small lawsuit funding amounts can satisfy our mission as well.
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