Can Minor Car Crash Injuries Result in Long-Term Disabilities?

When many of us think of car accidents, we often visualize horrific car crash scenes where the vehicles involved are crushed or smashed beyond recognition. This is probably due to the images we see on television news or online publications. These are typically the types of accidents that are reported on by the media and often victims in these crashes suffer severe injuries or even death.

Accidents that appear to be minor fender-benders rarely make the news, yet these minor accidents can actually cause severe and debilitating injuries to car crash victims. It is not uncommon for symptoms of auto accident injuries to show up hours, sometimes days, after the accident occurred. This is often the case with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), a condition that many crash victims develop.

CRPS is a painful, chronic condition that can become progressively worse. Victims of CRPS suffer from severe pain in one or more limbs. Some victims describe the pain as a combination of burning and electric shocks. There is often inflammation, as well as changes to the skin itself, becoming either very hot or very cold to the touch.

If a patient has suffered from this type of chronic pain for six months or more, a doctor may suspect CRPS, after ruling out other types of chronic pain causes. This diagnosis is made based on patient history, clinical examination, and laboratory results.

Ninety percent of CRPS are Type 1. There is usually a slight injury, such as a sprain, but no nerve damage. In Type 2, victims develop the condition after they have broken a bone, had an infection, or had surgery.

In both types, the onset is quick and the pain intense. The affected limb or limbs often become super sensitive to touch or temperature changes. CRPS victims often will not use the limb less because of the severe pain and this can lead to atrophy of the affected area.

A common scenario for CRPS car crash victims goes like this:

The victim is in a car accident. They either have no symptoms of injury and go home or maybe are feeling a little banged up and end up going to the emergency room just to get checked out. If they do go to the hospital, CT scans and/or x-rays usually reveal no broken bones and they are sent home.

Within a day or two, that car accident victim is in excruciating pain and usually back at the hospital. The pain typically spreads from the original area to different parts of the body.

If caught early enough, treatment may be successful in alleviating most of the symptoms, however, it can take months before an actual diagnosis of CRPS is finally made. Unfortunately, there is no current cure for the condition, leaving victims to suffer life-long injuries. This is why it is important for victims who have been injured in car accidents to contact a skilled Virginia Beach personal injury attorney to find out what their legal options may be for their pain and loss.

Contact a Virginia Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been in a car accident, contact a seasoned Virginia Beach car accident attorney for legal help. Most Virginia personal injury firms represent car accident victims on a contingency fee bases, which means there are no upfront attorney fees. The attorney only gets paid when they recover financial damages for your injuries. Our personal injury firm has successfully represented many injured victims in getting them the compensation they were entitled to for their injuries, like a $235,000 personal injury insurance settlement for one client who suffered a concussion, soft tissue injuries to her back and neck, and a laceration to her face when another driver negligently failed to yield the right of way when attempting to cross a busy highway.

Call Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp today to schedule a free consultation. We will evaluate your case and let you know what type of legal options you may have.