Car accidents can have short-term and long-term effects on the human body, with serious injuries that show up immediately and others that linger on afterwards. Even when you think you are finally healed, consistent pain and other symptoms can wreak havoc on everyday living. How can you tell if those aches in your knees, ankles, elbows or hips are related to the crash you were involved in a while back?
Why Do Some Symptoms Take Long to Appear After Accidents?
When people get into accidents, their bodies release adrenaline. The rush of adrenaline creates a “fight or flight” response to aid in escape or life-saving decision making. This can lead to a temporary increased flow of oxygen, more strength and energy, and masking of pain. Once the levels decrease after the trauma, the symptoms may present themselves.
Many injuries like whiplash, joint injuries, and ligament or muscle strains take longer to develop because the stiffness, inflammation, and swelling develop slower. It is also common for auto accidents to damage one’s intervertebral discs, which can bulge, herniate, or tear, and put pressure on the nerves and surrounding tissue over time. Other symptoms that can show up later include a reduced range of motion, numbness, and chronic joint pain.
What Else Could Be Causing My Joint Pain?
Soft tissue injuries (sprains, strains) caused motor vehicle crashes can also affect the joints. One example is a strained ligament: these strong, connective tissues attach the bones of joints, and can lead to chronic pain when strained. The same thing can happen with tendons and muscles, and in some cases, patients require surgery and other medical interventions. Fortunately, most minor/moderate strains and sprains heal over time, but some people have symptoms that are more challenging to eliminate.
Your pain could also be a result of post-traumatic arthritis. This inflammation forms in joints after a trauma and appears much faster than osteoarthritis. Like soft tissue strains it can be temporary but for some patients, it becomes a chronic problem. Post-traumatic arthritis is more often seen after bone dislocations and fractures.
Chronic hip post-traumatic arthritis could develop from a hip dislocation or fracture as well, and accident survivors can also develop hip bursitis that presents with sharp pains on the tops of the thighs. A hip labral tear affects the cartilage surrounding the hip socket where it meets the thigh bone – this can cause stiffness and pain in the hips, buttocks, and groin areas. Nerve pain is also common with joint injuries.
Can I Reasonably Claim That My Joint Pain Was Caused by My Car Accident?
Automobile crashes can cause bodily injuries that can later manifest into joint pain and other chronic medical problems, and a medical professional will be able to tell you if your lingering pain is a result of your crash. Besides pain and stiffness, your symptoms might also include nausea, problems sleeping, a reduced range of motion, dizziness, headaches, and fatigue. Seek out a medical diagnosis if you are experiencing these problems after an accident as well, because they could be related to the trauma that your body went through.
To make a claim like this, you will have to prove in a court of law that the joint pain was caused or worsened by the crash. This involves having a solid diagnosis that shows a link between the accident and your condition, as well as other evidence to support your case. It is crucial that you be checked by a medical professional after a car accident, and to save all of the documentation related to your treatment and expenses.
Contact a Freehold Car Accident Lawyer from Ellis Law for Legal Help with Car Accident-Related Joint Pain Claims
Chronic joint pain can affect your quality of life and if it is linked to a car accident, a Freehold car accident lawyer from Ellis Law may be able to help you build a case. For a free consultation, call our Freehold, New Jersey offices at 866-672-8816 or complete our online form. We proudly serve clients in Freehold, East Brunswick, Toms River, Middletown, Jersey City, Neptune, Hudson County, Union County, Essex County, Monmouth County, Marlboro, and Ocean County, as well as Brooklyn, and New York City.