Chronic pain is pain that lasts longer than three months and affects millions of Americans – and the condition is often the result of a car accident. For some accident victims, the injuries heal and the pain goes away after a few weeks. Unfortunately, many others will have to live with chronic pain from a car accident for the rest of their lives.
Waking up every day with severe pain can impact people physically, emotionally and financially. Chronic pain can affect every aspect of your life and make you feel hopeless.
Physical Effects of Chronic Pain
Chronic pain can result from an accident-related injury anywhere on the body. While there is no way to measure a patient’s level of pain, doctors will rely on the patient to explain what they are feeling. Many patients report a non-stop, intense or dull pain that affects mobility, flexibility, and strength. People suffering with chronic pain may find themselves unable to sit, stand, or walk comfortably.
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Psychological Effects of Chronic Pain
Suffering with pain that never goes away can leave accident victims emotionally drained. Many chronic pain sufferers become depressed. In fact, the Columbus Dispatch recently published an article about chronic pain’s link to suicide. Needless to say, chronic pain sufferers often need mental health care in addition to their physical care.
Personal and Social Effects of Chronic Pain
Patients with chronic pain struggle to do basic things such as brush their teeth or change their clothes. Even getting out of bed in the morning can be a challenge. People who were once fully-functioning, independent adults may now be forced to rely on a spouse or other family member to help them with everyday activities.
As a result, patients may become depressed and withdrawn from society. Their pain may keep them from socializing with friends and family or engaging in activities they used to enjoy.
Financial and Earning Potential Effects of Chronic Pain
When a person is dealing with ongoing pain and suffering, it may affect their ability to work. Many accident victims have had to give up their jobs and leave the workforce as a result of chronic pain.
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Many people have to take time off after their accident to recover and end up losing income. Lost wages refer to the amount an accident victim should have earned between the date of the accident and the date they return to work.
Lost Earning Potential
Some people will never fully recover from a car accident, limited by their injuries and chronic pain. And many of them will suffer a loss of earning potential as a result. Future earning capacity refers to the person’s ability to earn money in the future. The impact on their future earning capacity will be based on their earning capacity before the accident, prognosis, and severity of injuries and pain.
For many car accident victims, the pain and suffering never completely goes away. Chronic pain is a very serious issue and can impact many areas of a person’s life. Victims must account for pain and suffering when calculating the damages owed to them in a personal injury lawsuit.