Indiana car accident lawyer discusses recent medical journal article documenting that chronic neck pain is common after car accidents.
I practiced chiropractic for over 16 years in Lake County. Over these years, I saw a number of patients injured in car accidents. Some patients responded pretty quickly and went on with the rest of their life. Others, developed chronic neck pain and I followed some of these patients for years. These patients would do well for a few weeks or a month and then do something and their neck would start to hurt, get stiff and wreak havoc with their life. I did not see a relationship between a patient who was making a claim for injuries versus a patient who was not making a claim.
In my experience, most patients were not planning on making a claim and when their condition did not respond and developed into something chronic they decided to bring a claim. Insurance adjusters and insurance defense lawyers have attitudes about these folks. I can't tell you how many times I hear – “your client should be better by now – its been six weeks” “your client must be faking it – he should be better by now.”
I've also seen this rhetorical with doctors hired insurance companies that come in a testify that the client was not injured in the accident and the reason that they are complaining is because they are making a claim. They throw out terms like “litigation neurosis” “malingering” “somatoform disorder,” etc. I've actually seen doctors get up on the witness stand and insinuate that the client will “get better” as soon as the claim is finished.
A recent study from the University of North Carolina dispelled this insurance company rubbish. The author said:
In the U.S., if someone develops chronic neck pain or other pain after a car accident, and they go to their doctor or tell their friends, they are often not believed or are viewed with great suspicion, as if their symptoms are not real and they are just trying to sue someone,” said Samuel McLean, MD, MPH, first author of the study and associate professor of anesthesiology and emergency medicine. “Our findings indicate that persistent pain is very common among those who aren't suing, and that only a minority of those with persistent pain are engaged in litigation.
It is hard enough to be suffering from a persistent pain condition after trauma that is moderate or severe, and/or occurring across many body regions. Unfortunately, these patients also often have to deal with the additional burden not being believed. Hopefully the results of this study will contribute to helping doctors and the public understand that these symptoms are common, including among patients who aren't suing anyone.
What's the takeaway from this?
A number of people are injured in car accidents and will develop chronic neck pain whether they are making a claim for money damages or not.
If you have any questions about chronic neck pain after an accident – you can always give me a call or fill out the internet consultation form.