Healing from a vehicular accident is about far more than re-setting bones or waiting for lacerations to scar over. It’s also about more than figuring out insurance paperwork, overcoming psychological trauma after a car crash, or managing time off from work.
Car accidents can lead to severe injuries—injuries that can mark their victims for life. Long after you’ve visibly recovered from an incident, you may sustain internal pain. You may never walk quite the same way again. You may need to take medications or pursue physical therapy on a long-term basis.
Here are some symptoms and considerations to remember as you navigate therapies and strategies for dealing with chronic pain.
What Symptoms Should I Look Out For After an Auto Accident?
Very severe, apparent injuries will be easy to spot and treat immediately after your incident. There are other types of injuries – internal ones, for example – that will be harder to spot but may have insidiously damaging effects. In the weeks following your accident, keep an eye out for:
- Abdominal pain
- Neck pain
- Unexplained bruising
- Back pain
- Memory loss
- Consistent headaches
These are more subtle symptoms that could signal a more significant issue with your body. Whiplash, herniated disks, spinal injuries, brain injuries, and other conditions are frequent results of car accidents that can be very painful – and permanent.
What Is Chronic Pain?
There are many ways that chronic—or long-lasting, constant—pain can manifest itself. Some examples might include:
- Arthritic pain
- Back pain
- Neurogenic pain
Chronic pain can be debilitating. It can last for days; it can last for years. It can also cause downstream hardships, such as anger, stress, insomnia, or depression. Resources from the American Psychological Association note that people with chronic pain may also require psychological help to treat their ongoing trauma.
Chronic pain may necessitate medication, recurring visits with medical professionals, extensive treatment plans, and more. Even with high levels of support, patients may still not find complete relief. However, working with a medical professional does create a history of care, which will be very important when you decide to pursue compensation for your pain and suffering.
What Should I Do If I Suspect I Have Accident-Related Chronic Pain?
If you believe that you have chronic pain related to an accident and it’s time to pursue compensation, you’ll need to put together evidence to support your claim. This will require two distinct information groups: Evidence that you have chronic pain—and evidence linking it to an accident.
Here are the best pieces of documentation to look for:
- Medical records: As soon as you realize that you’re suffering from chronic pain, go to a doctor for treatment. If the date of your treatment is near the date of the car accident, you’ll have documentation in place that links the two events. This is particularly vital because pain tends to be difficult to prove through objective tests—so your history of care will be one of the most concrete pieces of evidence.
- Expert testimony: If possible, work with a doctor or other medical expert who has some idea of an underlying diagnosis for your pain or is an expert in post-accident trauma. Having a logical, experience-backed rationale for your pain in place can help validate your claim.
- Journal or log detailing your experience: Once you realize that you suffer from chronic pain, keep a dated log of your daily pain levels or other injury-related experiences. (A computer document or private online log may be most helpful, as you’ll be able to more easily prove the journal’s age and other marks of authenticity.)
Illinois is a tort state with comparative negligence. This means that parties involved in the accident can have partial responsibility for the accident—and consequently reduced compensation, depending on how liable each party was. Reach out to a personal injury lawyer to make the best case possible for your own support to receive the most compensation possible.
The Cullotta Bravo Law Group: An Illinois Personal Injury Firm Ready to Help You
At the Cullotta Bravo Law Group, we’re ready to work hard for you to pursue the compensation that can secure your future. After a catastrophe that’s affected you and your family adversely, after experiencing the frustration of chronic pain, you need legal expertise to help you move forward. We’re here to help with just that. Call us now at 630-898-7800 or visit www.cullottalaw.com for more information.