Fibromyalgia is an incurable medical condition that causes sufferers to experience widespread musculoskeletal pain. According to the Mayo Clinic, fibromyalgia affects the way pain signals in the brain are processed, amplifying painful sensations. Fibromyalgia symptoms commonly begin after someone experiences a trauma, such as the physical trauma caused by an auto accident. As a car accident lawyer, I have seen some of my clients struggle to contend with this terrible condition.
Once fibromyalgia has developed, there is no cure, and the toll it takes on sufferers’ lives is significant. Treatment focuses on managing the symptoms, and they can be very costly. Someone who develops fibromyalgia from an accident should pursue his or her legal right to hold whoever caused their trauma accountable for the resulting damages.
Fibromyalgia is Common After a Car Accident
According to Everyday Health, many types of trauma can trigger fibromyalgia. The current thinking is that head and neck trauma are especially likely to bring on the condition. Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) also increases the risk of fibromyalgia, according to the Mayo Clinic. Car accident victims who experience head and neck trauma during a crash, and then suffer PTSD after the accident, are especially at risk of developing fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is very difficult to diagnose. Traditionally, a tender point exam was used to check the pain in 18 points on a patient’s body. Newer diagnostic guidelines consider patients to have fibromyalgia if they have medically unexplained, widespread pain lasting at least three months. Oftentimes people aren’t properly diagnosed with fibromyalgia for months or years after the car accident that triggered it.
Accident victims who develop fibromyalgia experience a variety of symptoms including:
- widespread pain that is often described as a constant dull ache;
- cognitive impairment or “fibro fog” that affects the ability to concentrate;
- extreme fatigue despite sleeping for long periods of time;
- pain in the lower abdomen;
Because fibromyalgia cannot be cured, treatments focus on managing and minimizing the symptoms. Patients may be prescribed antidepressants to help fight fatigue, and pain relievers to help reduce discomfort. Certain anti-seizure drugs have also shown some success in reducing certain pain associated with fibromyalgia. Many patients with fibromyalgia receive counseling to learn how to better manage the stress associated with this chronic condition.
The medical costs associated with fibromyalgia can be very high since lifetime care for this incurable condition is required. These costs will be covered by a negotiated settlement or jury verdict awarded to a car accident victim in a personal injury claim. That assumes the accident victim is properly diagnosed. Car accident victims should remember that fibromyalgia symptoms do not always show up immediately, and should not settle their case until the full extent of their injuries and damages are known.
How Can a Long Beach Car Accident Lawyer Help?
Your Injuries are Personal to Me
When you are involved in an auto accident and develop symptoms of fibromyalgia, it can be challenging to prove the crash was the cause. To recover compensation for your fibromyalgia treatment costs, your pain, and your diminished quality of life, you will need to show who was to blame for hurting you. That is what I do. Your injuries are personal to me, so I handle every aspect of your case until your claim is resolved.
Call the Law Office of Michael D. Waks at 888-394-1174 or use the convenient online contact form to schedule a free consultation to speak with me, a Long Beach car accident lawyer, and learn how I can help you if you’ve suffered a car accident injury. You will be under no obligation and you will never pay any money unless you recover compensation for your losses.
You can also download my convenient glove box checklist to keep in your car so you will know what to do if a crash occurs.
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