Chronic pain is the most common cause of long-term disability, according to the National Institutes of Health. While there are treatments available, chronic pain after an accident can take a significant toll. The effects seep into every aspect of a person’s life, preoccupying thoughts, affecting the body, interfering with relationships, impairing the ability to work and function, and ultimately, wearing the sufferer down emotionally, physically, and financially.
Our firm represents people who have been injured in accidents, and many of them suffer from chronic pain. We have witnessed just how much pain can impact a person’s life. Below, we share some information about the effects chronic pain, a few of the treatments that are available, and how accident victims may be able to collect compensation for their pain and other losses.
For questions about a claim or your legal rights, contact Montero Law Center at 954-767-6500 and request a free consultation.
The Physical Effects of Chronic Pain
Over time, chronic pain — pain that lasts more than 12 weeks — places a physical burden on your body, and can lead to secondary conditions that manifest physically.
In Pain Medicine, researchers at the Pain Research Center reported than chronic pain effects brain function, cardiovascular health, sexual function, and because of its complex pathophysiology, becomes potentially more difficult to treat over time.
Many people with chronic pain also experience:
- Sleep problems (which in turn, cause difficulty concentrating, memory issues, fatigue, compromised immune system, etc.)
- Headaches and nausea
- Disinterest in food
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Poor physical performance
The Emotional and Psychological Effects of Chronic Pain
Dozens of research studies and volumes of literature testify that chronic pain has far-reaching and very damaging effects on a person’s psyche. Because pain hijacks your thoughts, it can drain your energy, affect your mood, and sap your motivation for everyday activities. It is hard to concentrate on work, relationships, family, etc., let alone have fun and enjoy life when you are in pain.
Many people with chronic pain develop disorders such as depression and anxiety, which has a ripple effect that reaches every aspect of life. Your marriage, your relationship with your children and friends, and your job may all suffer as a result.
You may have difficulty interacting with others, processing multiple things at once, and coping with stressful situations that others can easily handle. Worse yet, the anxiety and depression that people develop can magnify their pain and make their symptoms more profound, causing a vicious cycle.
The Financial Effects of Chronic Pain
In addition to altering your entire personality and affecting the overall qualify of your life, chronic pain also can have a substantial impact on your finances. All of the complications chronic pain causes can lead to mountains of debt. Treatments for chronic pain are expensive, and most patients must use several or even dozens of remedies to find some relief, and many require long-term pain management.
Some people miss work because of their chronic pain symptoms, which exacerbates financial stress. And many accident victims’ health insurance policies do not cover things such as alternative chronic pain treatments like acupuncture and massage, mental health care, or counseling. Those suffering from chronic pain resulting from an accident will want to investigate all potential sources of compensation to offset their financial burden. (More on possible resources for compensation later.)
What types of treatments are available for chronic pain?
There is no cure for chronic pain, but there are various treatments that can provide relief and help manage it. Speak to your doctor about what you are experiencing and work closely with a pain specialist to develop a plan suited to you. Some of the treatments that may help treat chronic pain include:
- Physical therapy
- Meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, tai chi, and other mind-body healing techniques
- Psychological and behavioral therapies
- Vibration therapy, massage, and hot/cold packs
Note: It is important to check in with your doctor or therapist if you are experiencing symptoms of depression or are having suicidal thoughts. The earlier you receive treatment, the less the pain will impact your life.
Can I obtain compensation for chronic pain resulting from an accident?
If your chronic pain stems from an accident you were involved in, you might be entitled to financial compensation for your losses. This includes your physical, emotional, and financial losses. Florida law provides that injured victims can file a claim and recover damages when their injuries were caused by another party’s negligence.
If you were hurt in an auto accident, slip and fall, work accident, or other type of accident, we encourage you to contact us to review your case. We will investigate your case, determine liability, and explain your legal options. If another party is responsible (even partly responsible) for your accident, we can help you take legal action and seek recovery, such as for:
- Your medical bills
- Future treatment for chronic pain
- Loss of income
- The effect of your injuries and pain on your family and career
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced qualify of life
While obtaining a settlement will not undo your injuries or stop the pain, it will afford you the opportunity to obtain the best treatments and to take care of your family.
Our team is dedicated to proving excellent services and helping our clients recover maximum compensation for their accidents. Contact Montero Law Center today at 954-767-6500 and schedule a consultation.