Trauma caused by a car accident can lead to chronic pain and illness that require long-term treatments.
Rear-end collisions are a common occurrence on the roads. Passengers sitting in the vehicle that get hit by another vehicle from behind often sustain injuries to the head, neck, and spine. These injuries can range from minor to serious, depending upon the severity of the collision and the force of the impact. A rear-end collision can cause a hyperextension/hyperflexion injury to the neck or whiplash injury. Whiplash can cause minor injuries that heal quickly or they can cause severe trauma that leads to chronic pain that requires long-term treatment. There is increasing evidence in medical science that traumatic injuries can lead to autoimmune disorders such as lupus, fibromyalgia, and thyroid disorders.
The thyroid gland controls the regulation of calcium and metabolic function. Any impairment to the thyroid gland can lead to a number of disorders. Various medical studies have shown a correlation between car accident-related trauma and a delayed development of thyroid disorders. The studies revealed thyroid lesions caused by trauma that developed into a chronic thyroid-related disorder, long after the injuries caused by the accident had healed. The victims experienced pain that had no related cause and their thyroid reports appeared normal.
The concern with such cases is that though the patients exhibit chronic illness, there is uncertainty with regards to the cause and diagnosis and therefore uncertainty about the treatment as well. Thyroid disorders are known to cause heart disease, infertility, depression, and autoimmune disorders.
Compensation for Chronic Illness
Victims of car accidents who develop thyroid and autoimmune disorders often face difficulties in claiming compensation due to the fact that a number of doctors are unwilling to accept the correlation. Insurance companies may also deny the cause-effect between car accident trauma and chronic thyroid and autoimmune disorders. They often cite ‘lack of medical evidence’ as a reason to avoid paying more compensation for these long-term effects of car-related injuries.
Chronic Pain Disorders From Injuries
In addition to physical injuries, a car accident victim may experience long-term psychological effects.
While many car accident injuries appear right away, chronic pain disorders may develop long after the accident. A study published by the University of North Carolina School of Medicine revealed that 70 percent of car accident victims experience persistent musculo-skeletal pain.
Chronic Pain from Whiplash
Whiplash is a common type of neck and back injury. Whiplash occurs when a stationary or moving vehicle is struck with force, causing the neck of the driver or passenger to move back and forth vigorously. This can cause soft tissue damage in the neck area and lead to chronic pain.
Effects of Chronic Pain Disorders
The effects of chronic pain disorders can be long-term and debilitating. A car accident victim may have to rely on pain medications and anti-inflammatory drugs to counter the pain and related symptoms. Chronic pain may be caused by improperly healed injuries and may require medical treatment.
Depending on the severity of the chronic pain disorder, pain may interfere with daily activities and hinder the quality of life of the victim. The victim may find it hard to perform basic activities such as standing or walking. A large percentage of accident victims who suffer from chronic pain disorders report that symptoms lead to limitations in both work and recreation.