Can I Include Post-Traumatic Arthritis in a South Bend Car Crash Claim?

Posted on behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak

on March 29, 2024

. Updated on April 14, 2024


man with inflammation in kneeSome car crash injury symptoms take weeks or even months to present themselves. For instance, a broken bone or ligament damage to one of your knees could cause serious inflammation. Months after the crash this could turn into post-traumatic arthritis.

Below, the experienced South Bend auto accident lawyers at Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak explain how a car accident can cause arthritis, its lasting effects and how to seek compensation.

We have decades of experience serving injury victims and their families after South Bend car accidents. If you sustained post-traumatic arthritis or any other injuries in a collision, you may be able to claim compensation.

More than $200 million recovered for our clients. FREE consultation. (844) 678-1800

What Is Arthritis?

Arthritis is a side effect of a joint injury. Arthritis could be caused by using a joint a certain way too often, or because of one physically traumatic event, like a motor vehicle collision.

A collision could cause structural damage to a joint, such as a fracture, dislocation, soft-tissue damage or some combination of these three things. This can inflame the bones and surrounding tissues and cartilage, causing slow deterioration. Eventually, this causes arthritis, which is painful and limits the use of the joint. This can make it much more difficult to perform everyday activities.

Post-traumatic arthritis usually does not show up for months after the crash. Some of the first signs of this condition may include:

  • Swelling in the joint
  • Instability in the joint
  • Grinding noise when using the joint
  • Pain or tenderness when you move the joint
  • Pain when the joint is stationary

Injuries That May Cause Arthritis

Thees are some of the car crash injuries that might result in post-traumatic arthritis:

  • Fractured bones, especially in the legs or arms
  • Dislocated joints
  • Ligament tears
  • Torn tendons, especially in the joints

The severity of your injury and the treatment you seek can play a significant role in your long-term health. Getting proper treatment, such as rehab and physical therapy, can help prevent long-term damage and symptoms like post-traumatic arthritis.

Doctors can take steps to reduce inflammation and help prevent tissues from deteriorating. They can also prescribe physical therapy to help victims build strength and increase range of motion.

Even if you develop post-traumatic arthritis, you can improve it with treatment.

Long-Term Effects of Arthritis for Crash Victims

Arthritis can be an overwhelming problem. The pain can make it much more difficult to engage in physically demanding activities like sports or playing with your children.

Arthritis can limit you at work, especially if you have a job that requires repetitive activities or heavy lifting. Even sitting at a desk in front of a computer and typing on a keyboard or using a mouse could be a challenge.

Many people who develop arthritis see a decline in their physical activity level. This is not only because of the physical pain and discomfort, but also the emotional toll. Feelings of frustration, depression, anxiety and loneliness can spring up as arthritis becomes more prevalent.

Treating arthritis can be quite expensive, as you may need prescription medication, follow-up visits with doctors and ongoing physical therapy. You may also be dealing with a loss of income because you cannot work as much as before.

Challenges of Including Arthritis in a Claim for Compensation

You must establish a direct connection between your car crash injury and the onset of post-traumatic arthritis symptoms. If you cannot do this, you cannot recover compensation for damages from your arthritis.

Unfortunately, this can be a challenge, as it often takes months for arthritis symptoms to develop. This leaves the insurance company room to question what caused your symptoms.

Medical records from before and after the crash, an opinion of your symptoms from a medical expert and a timeline of when your symptoms began can help strengthen your case.

However, if you had preexisting arthritis or other joint conditions before the accident, it may be challenging to separate the effects of the accident from your preexisting condition.

These are all reasons why you need an experienced attorney’s help. He or she can review your situation to determine the evidence you will likely need to build a strong case. He or she can also explain how you can document your damages, such as by keeping a journal and gathering statements/testimony from friends and family about how arthritis has impacted your life.

Your lawyer may also want to retain a medical expert to explain how your arthritis may have developed and how it may affect you in the future.

Schedule a Free Consultation With Pfeifer, Morgan and Stesiak Today

At Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak, we are committed to helping crash victims recover the maximum compensation for their medical care and other post-crash damages.

There are no upfront costs if you hire our services. We only get paid if you do.

Call our firm today to discuss whether you might have a case. (844) 678-1800

Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak

Serious Attorneys for Serious Cases