Some people may wonder why they suffer from ongoing, debilitating pain long after being involved in a car accident, sometimes even when there was no visible physical injury.
Our attorneys at Greg Coleman Law discuss chronic pain syndrome, including what it is and why you may need an attorney to help you obtain compensation for this hard-to-prove injury.
Get answers to your legal questions and find out if your chronic pain syndrome injury may be a valid case for recovering compensation. The initial free case review we offer carries no obligation. Call our firm to learn more.
What is Chronic Pain Syndrome?
Chronic pain syndrome (CPS) in its most simple form is defined as pain that last longer than six months. Since CPS is often the result of a trauma involving the nervous system, pain levels may vary in location and intensity.
CPS related to damages an individual suffered in a car crash commonly include:
- Spinal cord injury or trauma
- Soft tissue injuries
- Head injuries
- Whiplash and other neck injuries
- Arm or leg injuries, such as a dislocated shoulder or fractured leg
- Herniated disc
- Back sprain and strains
Other Types of Chronic Pain Syndrome
Other than CPS, which has become a general diagnosis for pain that continues for longer than six months, there are other, more specific types of chronic pain that impact individuals differently, including:
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), a rare, but more severe type of chronic pain, is especially debilitating and long-lasting. Injuries that lead to this type of chronic pain syndrome are often catastrophic, but not always. CRPS – which was formerly called reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) and causalgia – may occur anytime a nerve is injured in an accident. Individuals who suffer from CRPS often report burning, shooting pains, muscle spasms and weakness, skin temperature changes or discoloration and other symptoms.
People who suffer from fibromyalgia often suffer from muscle pain and stiffness throughout the body. It is often accompanied by tiredness, cognitive difficulties, anxiety and depression.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic fatigue, also called myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) is less common after a car accident, but those who suffer from it experience debilitating fatigue over a period of six months or longer. Individuals with ME may also have joint and muscle pain.
Chronic Pain Syndrome Symptoms and Treatment
When someone is suffering from CPS, the most common symptoms described include:
- Joint pain
- Lower back pain
- Unexplained headaches
- Muscle aches and pains
- Sudden jolts of sharp pain
- Burning and tingling sensations that may be experienced in multiple areas of the body
People with CPS often suffer from other symptoms as well due to the ongoing pain, including having trouble sleeping, anxiety, depression, extreme fatigue, loss of sexual desire, irritability and difficulties at work. Individuals who continue to suffer from CPS without receiving medical treatment may lose their job, struggle with drug or alcohol abuse, have relationship problems and suicidal thoughts.
Possible Treatments for CPS
While CPS has no real cure, there are many treatment options that help patients to manage the symptoms. Often, these therapies are combined to achieve a better outcome that may result in less pain, anxiety, depression and stress.
Current treatments include:
- Surgical interventions
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Various medications to help with pain management and stress
- Relaxation methodologies that may include meditation and deep breathing exercises
- Nerve blocks
Why it is Difficult to Prove
Since CPS often has no visible or obvious cause or evidence, patients who develop a chronic pain syndrome after a car crash will have a difficult time establishing proof of this condition without the help of a knowledgeable lawyer. For this reason, if a negligent driver caused your car accident, we urge you to contact an attorney for legal assistance as soon after the incident as possible.
In addition to seeking medical treatment, following up with your doctor and following all prescribed care, a successful claim will also often require the testimony of medical experts who are familiar with, and treat, these conditions. Medical records describing the diagnosis and include your treatment records will also be a critical part of building a robust claim.
The most difficult task for any case involving CPS is linking this condition to the accident, especially since it is often not immediately diagnosed. Seeking medical care immediately after a car accident is an important step in protecting your health, but it can also help to link your injuries to the incident.
How an Attorney May Help
Having an experienced attorney on your side throughout the legal process of an injury claim often improves your chances of recovering compensation. Injured victims typically recover a significantly larger compensation when they have legal representation than when they do not. Our knowledgeable car accident lawyers in Knoxville are prepared to fight for maximum compensation on your behalf.
At Greg Coleman Law, we are dedicated to holding negligent parties responsible for the injuries and other damages they cause. If we represent you, we do not collect our fees up front - we only get paid at the end of your case if we achieve a recovery on your behalf.
Experienced legal help on your side. (865) 247-0080