Chronic Pain After an Accident
As might be expected, in a personal injury action, an individual’s injuries are central to their lawsuit.
In Florida, money damages are recoverable for both economic damages (i.e., medical bills, property damage, etc.) and non-economic damages (i.e., pain and suffering).
Pain—including chronic pain after an accident—can be a key part of an individual’s personal injuries and thus his or her damages.
Chronic pain after an accident is not something that everyone experiences. Unfortunately for those who do suffer from chronic pain, it can be very hard to prove.
Chronic Pain and Malingerers
When a person is injured, for example, in a car accident, they will experience pain due to their bodily injuries and often emotional trauma due to the event.
Acute pain after an accident is pain that eventually goes away.
Chronic pain after an accident, on the other hand, is not normal.
Chronic pain remains long after the bones and bruises have healed.
Pain that continues more than 3-6 months is considered to be “chronic pain syndrome” (CPS).
CPS starts with an acute injury, but then a person’s symptoms go beyond the pain itself to include depression and anxiety. The symptoms of pain, depression and anxiety can become so debilitating that they interfere with a person’s ability to perform daily functions.
Some of the more common injuries arising out of car accidents that can lead to CPS are:
- Head injuries
- Back sprains
- Whiplash and other neck injuries
- Spinal cord injury or trauma
- Broken or dislocated bones in the arms or legs
- Herniated discs
Although chronic pain is real, when it comes to personal injury lawsuits, proving the existence of chronic pain is challenging to do.
Well, because pain does not show up on MRIs or X-rays. It cannot be easily documented, measured or demonstrated to a jury the way broken bones can.
Also, because chronic pain persists long after the injury has healed, many times both the medical profession and juries think that the injured person is “malingering.”
All of this makes proving the existence of chronic pain difficult.
Does That Mean You Cannot Recover for Chronic Pain?
Of course not. Experienced personal injury lawyers know that “difficult” does not mean “impossible.”
If you are suffering from chronic pain after an accident, you can recover for your injuries, but it will require evidence and it may require additional effort.
The evidence presented at trial will be a key factor in determining the success of your case. Evidence can come from:
- Your medical records: having medical documentation of your pain immediately after the accident and going forward, helps to paint a picture of the level of severity of the pain, as well as how long it has lasted, and how it impacts your daily life.
- A daily journal: It can often be advisable for plaintiffs experiencing chronic pain to keep a journal that describes your daily pain level and how it is affecting you in your everyday life
- Medical testimony: often, cases involving chronic pain will require testimony from medical experts. Objective testimony from a medical expert can do much to establish the credibility of a person’s claims of chronic pain.
Chronic pain from an accident can be debilitating. But with the right lawyer at your side, you can recover the compensation you deserve.
Car Accident Attorneys in Orange Park, Florida
Our team of personal injury attorneys are dedicated to helping those who are injured through the negligence of another. If you have been injured in a car accident or have questions, contact us or call the firm at 777-JOHN. Our main office is in Orange Park, but we serve clients throughout Florida. We have consulting offices in Palatka, Middleburg, Keystone, Starke, Gainesville, and Ocala.