Can You Develop Arthritis Because of a Car Accident?

Post-traumatic arthritis occurs after you suffer a joint injury in an accident such as a car crash. The condition causes joint pain, swelling, and joint instability. Severe cases prevent you from performing normal activities without intense pain.

In most personal injury cases, you file a claim at the time of injury. However, filing for post-traumatic arthritis may not take place for several years after your accident. This delay can cause legal complications in obtaining compensation for your injury. Hiring a personal injury lawyer increases your chances of a successful resolution.

Post-traumatic Arthritis

Post-traumatic arthritis (PTA) is damage to joint cartilage caused by inflammation after an injury. PTA causes about 12% of osteoarthritis cases and some chronic inflammatory arthritis cases. It reduces your range of motion, causes chronic pain, and may cause the development of bone spurs.

The most commonly affected joints are the ankles, knees, hips, and elbows. Several kinds of injuries contribute to the development of PTA, including broken bones, sprains, strains, torn ligaments, and dislocations.

Symptoms of PTA may appear long after the initial injury and include:

These symptoms make performing everyday activities painful or impossible and can lessen your enjoyment of life.

Obstacles to Getting Compensated

Delayed diagnosis may be a significant obstacle to getting compensation for post-traumatic arthritis. Some cases may not appear for two to five years after an accident, and the civil statute of limitations in New York is three years.

Insurance companies will likely claim there is no evidence that their client’s actions caused your PTA. An excellent personal injury attorney ensures that the insurance companies’ lawyers don’t dismiss your claim without a fair hearing.

If you have already settled your claim for the crash in which you sustained the injury that caused your PTA, you can’t file another suit. Speak with the legal team at Catalano Law to determine your available legal options for compensation.

Proving PTA is Connected to an Accident

To prove your post-traumatic arthritis was caused by the actions of a negligent driver, seek medical treatment immediately after the accident. Keep all documentation about any injuries you sustain, especially those in or near a joint. This includes any X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs.

If you begin to show signs of post-traumatic osteoarthritis or post-traumatic inflammatory arthritis less than three years after the initial injury, make sure your doctor knows about the previous injury and keep all documentation from this visit.

Contact a car accident attorney at our law firm after this appointment to help you determine your next steps.

If you have an underlying joint disease that was exacerbated by the accident, it may be easier to win a personal injury claim. Our skilled car accident lawyers have the expertise and resources to help you prove you have an existing injury that was aggravated by your car crash. 

Benefits of Hiring a Lawyer

A personal injury attorney knows the tricks insurance companies use to avoid paying claims, like saying your accident wasn’t the cause of your post-traumatic arthritis or that you were responsible for the accident.

An experienced attorney has access to a wide range of experts who can investigate the accident, interview witnesses, and provide medical testimony that can be used in settlement negotiations or at trial. Some of these experts can also illustrate the financial value of the non-economic damage your PTA caused, like pain and suffering.

If your PTA causes you to miss work, work fewer hours, or work on modified duty, your lawyer can get compensation for loss of income, as well as for all medical bills and physical therapy.

A good car accident lawyer knows what documentation you need from the accident and what medical records are relevant to a personal injury lawsuit.

Catalano Law Provides a Free Consultation

Contact Syracuse car crash lawyer Catalano Law for your free consultation. We know the importance a financial recovery can have on our clients’ ability to pay bills and move on after severe injuries.

We believe that victims of accidents caused by negligence or recklessness deserve financial compensation. We also believe car accident victims deserve the right to excellent legal representation, which is why we operate on a contingency fee basis. You pay our car accident lawyers nothing unless we win a settlement or judgment on your behalf. 

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