Can a Motor Vehicle Collision Cause Arthritis?
Arthritis is the swelling or tenderness in one or more joints of the body and affects millions of Americans.
In most situations, arthritis occurs due to natural wear and tear on the body, but physical trauma can also lead to an exasperation of existing arthritis or even cause the arthritis in the first place.
Here, we want to examine whether or not a motor vehicle accident can lead to arthritis.
Understanding Arthritis – How Does it Usually Occur?
Arthritis can cause significant pain and swelling and can limit a person’s movement, according to Johns Hopkins. Millions of people across the country have some form of arthritis, and the vast majority of arthritis is not caused by direct traumatic injury.
Osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear on the joints over time. In contrast, rheumatoid arthritis and other types of arthritis are caused by the body’s own immune system attacking its tissues.
However, Johns Hopkins does point out that traumatic injuries are a risk factor for individuals developing arthritis. They say that any joint that sustains damage caused by an injury is more likely to develop arthritis at some point.
Other risk factors include a person’s genetic conditions, gender, overall health, and age.
Vehicle Collisions and Arthritis
Vehicle accidents could cause a joint injury that increases the likelihood an individual will sustain arthritis later on. Additionally, vehicle accidents can also worsen a person’s already existing arthritis.
However, recovering compensation for arthritis after a vehicle accident could prove to be a complex process.
Actually determining that the arthritis or the worsening of the arthritis was caused by a vehicle accident is challenging. This is particularly true if a person does not develop arthritis until long after an accident occurs.
Typically, after a claim is settled, there will be no way to go back and recover compensation for future injuries that are discovered.
If a car accident victim wants to recover compensation for arthritis that develops after a vehicle accident or worsens after the incident, they must seek immediate medical treatment and let their doctor know all signs and symptoms they are experiencing.
In particular, crash victims should let their doctor know about any pain or stiffness in their joints that could indicate arthritis.
It is likely that a doctor will perform various types of imaging tests to assess the extent of any damage. Medical records could show that a person had arthritis already, and if the accident worsens the arthritis, the physician can document this in their notes and prescribe a course of treatment.
Crash victims must obtain copies of their medical records and begin documenting all of their symptoms. This can include documentation inside of a daily journal discussing how the arthritis has affected or is currently affecting their daily life.
Car accident victims can reach out to a skilled personal injury attorney who can conduct a thorough investigation into their claim.
An attorney will and all communication and negotiation with other parties, including the insurance carrier. We encourage you to schedule a free consultation with an attorney so that they can help you determine the best options moving forward for your particular situation and injuries.