Can a Motor Vehicle Collision Cause Arthritis?

Most people are familiar with arthritis, which is the swelling or tenderness of one or more joints in the body. Arthritis can occur in various areas of the body where cartilage can break down around the joint. However, can a vehicle accident cause arthritis?

Here, our personal injury lawyers want to discuss this question by examining how arthritis typically occurs in the body as well as how a vehicle accident could contribute to or worsen arthritis.

How Arthritis Typically Occurs

Arthritis means swelling and redness of a joint, according to Johns Hopkins. More than 100 types of arthritis diseases exist, including those that cause significant pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints, tendons, muscles, ligaments, or bones. Usually, arthritis is a chronic condition, and individuals typically link arthritis with old age. However, individuals of all ages can be affected.

Osteoarthritis is a form of arthritis caused by wear and tear of joints over time and due to overuse. Rheumatoid arthritis and other forms of arthritis are caused by the body’s immune system attacking its own tissues. Various risk factors can increase the chance of a person developing arthritis, including their age, gender, and hereditary genetic conditions. Additionally, individuals who are overweight and those who suffer from infections are more at risk of suffering from arthritis.

Importantly, injuries to a joint could make that joint more likely to develop arthritis at some point. This includes vehicle accident injuries

Vehicle Accidents and Arthritis

There is a chance that arthritis could be caused by a vehicle accident or a crash that could worsen already existing arthritis. However, individuals wishing to recover compensation for arthritis after a vehicle accident may face an uphill battle. Proving that the arthritis was caused by the vehicle accident can be incredibly challenging, particularly because arthritis develops over longer periods of time and can have different causes.

Individuals wishing to recover compensation for arthritis that is worsened or develops after a vehicle accident must seek immediate medical care and let their doctor know about their condition. Victims should make sure their doctor knows about any stiffness, pain, or other symptoms that could indicate an injury or possible arthritis. A doctor may order imaging tests, including CT scans, MRIs, or X-rays, to assess the extent of the damage. Often, medical records will show whether or not a person had a previously diagnosed arthritis condition or not. If the vehicle accident worsens existing arthritis, a doctor will need to document this in their notes and suggest a course of treatment.

Individuals should gather copies of their medical records and begin documenting all of their symptoms. We suggest victims in these situations keep journals of their symptoms and how arthritis has affected their daily life.

Speak To an Attorney Today

Crash victims should reach out to a skilled car accident lawyer in Seattle who can help them investigate their claims and work to recover compensation for their losses. When you talk to an attorney for a free consultation, they will advise you about the best path moving forward for your particular situation. If an attorney does take a vehicle accident case, they will advise their client on the steps that they should take to bolster their claim.