Can I Sue for Post-Traumatic Arthritis Caused By a NJ Car Crash?

Posted on behalf of James Lynch on January 4, 2024  in Car Accident News. Updated on January 18, 2024

young man walking on a bridge grabbing knee in painCar crashes often leave victims with a lot of challenging consequences, many of which extend far beyond the initial impact or injuries. One potential aftermath is the development of post-traumatic arthritis. This condition is not only painful and debilitating; it can also have a lasting impact on an injured victim’s quality of life.

Were you injured in a New Jersey car crash and now find yourself struggling with arthritis? If so, it might not be a coincidence. Injuries from car crashes can sometimes cause post-traumatic arthritis. This painful condition requires treatment to help with things like mobility and pain management. However, you may also wonder whether you can sue for post-traumatic arthritis.

Our experienced New Jersey vehicle crash lawyers explore this important question in the article below, including whether you may be able to include these damages in an injury claim.

Need legal help after a car crash? Call: (800) 518-0508

What Is Post-Traumatic Arthritis?

Post-traumatic arthritis is different from other types of age-related arthritis or a developing autoimmune condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Post-traumatic arthritis begins after an injury, like those caused by car crashes. There are varied symptoms, which may include joint pain, stiffness and swelling.

Crash victims might notice any symptoms right away, or if they do, they may dismiss any discomfort they feel as lingering aches and pains from the crash. Unfortunately, post-traumatic arthritis can worsen over time. The pain and stiffness can be severe enough to have a serious effect on your mobility and overall quality of life.

Can I Sue for Post-Traumatic Arthritis if it Was Caused by a Car Crash?

In New Jersey, if your car accident was someone else’s fault, you may be eligible through the law. This includes cases where you develop arthritis because of the accident. But this condition is not easy to prove or link to a car crash.

How Can I Prove My Arthritis Was Caused by a Car Accident?

To win your case, you need to show that the arthritis came from the car crash. This means connecting your current pain to that accident.

To successfully claim compensation, it is crucial to demonstrate that the arthritis was a direct result of the car crash. In other words, but for that driver’s negligence and the resulting crash, you would not have been injured and you would not have post-traumatic arthritis.

Proving this is no easy task. You need solid evidence linking your injuries and resulting post-traumatic arthritis to the crash.

Taking these steps after a crash is key to supporting your ongoing physical recovery and establishing evidence for your claim:

  • Seek medical care immediately after a crash – Delay puts your health at risk and also leaves room for insurers to argue that you could have been injured elsewhere.
  • Be diligent to adhere to your doctor’s prescribed plan of care and any recommended restrictions
  • Make every effort to attend follow-up medical appointments, treatments and physical therapy
  • From day one, be sure to tell your doctor about any symptoms you are experiencing. While some symptoms may seem unrelated to your injuries, they may provide your doctor with additional insight about what is going on.

Every visit to the doctor gets recorded in your medical records, along with your symptoms, diagnosis, recommended treatment, prescribed medication, and more.

What Symptoms Are Common With Post-Traumatic Arthritis?

Post-traumatic arthritis has some symptoms that are common to other types of arthritis. This is another reason why it is vital to get a specific diagnosis and link the onset of post-traumatic arthritis to your car crash.

Symptoms you may experience with post-traumatic arthritis could include:

  • Pain and stiffness in car crash injuries, especially joints, such as a wrist or knee
  • Fluid that accumulates around the affected area
  • Limited range of motion in the affected joint or injured area
  • Stiffness and swelling in the affected area
  • Hearing or feeling crunching, grinding or grating sensation when moving the affected area
  • Internal bleeding may occur in some cases

How Is Post-Traumatic Arthritis Different From Osteoarthritis?

The difference between post-traumatic arthritis and osteoarthritis is how the condition develops. Osteoarthritis develops over many years and is often due to wear and tear of a joint. Post-traumatic arthritis (PTOA) develops in the joint where an injury occurred and it develops much faster. Often, crash victims may begin to experience symptoms of PTOA in less than a year. However, some individuals may not develop symptoms for years after the initial injury occurred.

How Is Post-Traumatic Diagnosed and Treated?

To determine whether you may have post-traumatic arthritis, your physician will require diagnostic testing, which could include:

  • Physical exam
  • Lab tests of bodily fluids drawn from surrounding the injured joints to check for inflammation
  • Imaging tests, like MRI scans, and X-rays, which may reveal signs of arthritis
  • Additional synovial fluid tests, which can help doctors more specifically determine the type of arthritis

Treatment for PTOA may include:

Treatment of an injured joint could include surgery to help minimize the possibility of PTOA. However, if PTOA develops, treatment may include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for pain management
  • Corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation and swelling
  • Acupuncture
  • Weight loss, depending on the joint that is affected
  • Physical therapy
  • Bracing
  • Surgery, which is typically reserved for more severe instances of PTOA

Why Seek Legal Help?

This situation is one where a good lawyer can make a significant difference. At Lynch Law Firm, PC, we handle car crash claims every day. We know how to protect your legal interests and accurately calculate all of your damages to help ensure you recover the maximum possible compensation for damages resulting from your crash.

What Can You Get Help For?

Suing for arthritis after a car crash is about more than paying for your doctor visits. It is also about the money you lose while you are unable to work, the pain you feel every day, and how your life changes because of arthritis. A lawyer can help you understand all the ways you can get help.

Generally speaking, damages you may be eligible to recover could include:

  • Ambulance transportation after your crash
  • Emergency room treatment and diagnostic testing
  • Ongoing medical treatments and appointments
  • Physical therapy
  • Mobility assistive devices, such as braces, splints or crutches
  • Medications, such as those used to prevent infection, treat inflammation or for pain management
  • Other related medical costs, including any surgeries required
  • Lost wages if you were unable to work while recovering
  • Pain and suffering damages, such as anxiety, depression, scarring, disfigurement and more

Why Time Matters

It is important to seek legal help as soon after a crash as possible. Your attorney needs time to build a solid case on your behalf. In New Jersey, crash victims have just two years from the date of the accident to file for damages.
If you are dealing with post-traumatic arthritis after a car crash in New Jersey, you have options. It is not only about the pain you feel today; it is also about your future. A good lawyer can help you navigate the complicated legal process, protect your rights and fight for the full and fair compensation you need.

Need Legal Help After a Car Crash? Call Our Trusted Law Firm Today

At Lynch Law Firm, PC, we have been helping injured victims recover compensation for their car crash damages for decades. Our firm has extensive experience and a proven history of success.

Call our law offices any time of day or night to find out whether you may have legal options for recovering compensation. There is no cost or risk to you. If you choose our firm to represent you, there are no upfront costs to pay.

Request your FREE case review today. Call: (800) 518-0508

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