After a car accident, many victims experience a number of aches and pains. At times, it can be difficult to determine if an injury was preexisting, or if it was actually caused (or exacerbated) by the motor vehicle accident.
Consulting an experienced California personal injury attorney is essential after you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident. With the assistance of an attorney, you will be able to identify which of your injuries and health conditions are related to the crash.
Arthritis and Motor Vehicle Accidents
Most individuals know that arthritis is a condition that may develop over time. However, there is another type of arthritis, called post-traumatic arthritis, that occurs after an injury. Most post-traumatic arthritis injuries occur in the hip, ankle, or knee.
With post-traumatic arthritis, a joint is unable to function as efficiently because of an injury. A sudden injury, such as those caused by car accidents, damage the bone or cartilage in a joint. This damage results in an accelerated breakdown of the joint.
How Do I Know if My Arthritis Was Caused by My Accident?
There are several symptoms associated with post-traumatic arthritis. These include:
- Fluid build-up in the joint
- Pain in the joint
- Losing one’s range of motion in the joint or a reduced ability to use the joint
Your doctor will be able to diagnose post-traumatic arthritis.
Post-traumatic arthritis may require extended medical treatment. If anti-inflammatory medications are ineffective, it may be necessary to undergo cortisone injections or even surgical procedures.
Can You Obtain Compensation for Arthritis?
If you were injured in a California motor vehicle accident and have been diagnosed with post-traumatic arthritis, you may be entitled to compensation.
A car accident claim is a type of negligence claim. In a negligence claim, the following elements must be proven:
- The at-fault driver owed a duty to the victim;
- The at-fault driver was negligent and breached this duty; and
- Due to this negligence, the victim was injured.
Each of these elements must be proven for an individual to prevail in a motor vehicle accident claim.
All drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles in a manner that is safe and reasonable under the circumstances. For example, all drivers should pay attention while they drive—they should not try to text and drive, for example.
Texting and driving, speeding and ignoring traffic signs are all examples of negligence and breaches of the duty to drive safely and reasonably. When accident victims are injured because of this negligence, they may be able to file a claim against the at-fault driver.
The amount of damages an accident victim is entitled to depend on the severity of the victim’s injuries, the behavior of the at-fault driver, and a number of other factors. Your California car accident attorney will pursue all available damages to ensure you are fully compensated for the injuries you have sustained.
Damages may include:
- Medical expenses, including the cost of future medical care that may be needed
- Lost wages
- Loss of employment benefits
- Loss of earning capacity
- The cost of altering a home to accommodate an injury, such as installing handrails or wheelchair ramps
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Other types of compensation may also be available, depending on the individual circumstances of the case.
Most insurance companies will argue that your arthritis was a preexisting condition and was not caused by the at-fault driver in your accident. Insurance companies usually try to settle claims for as little money as possible, even if it does not fully compensate an accident victim for the losses he or she has incurred.
However, with the guidance and assistance of an attorney, the insurance companies must make a fair offer—or else they may be forced to go to court.
At Kuvara Law Firm, We Are Not Intimidated by Insurance Companies
The personal injury attorneys at Kuvara Law Firm are experienced in a variety of accident claims and know how to prove the link between your injuries and your accident.