This post discusses chronic conditions from car accident injuries. Unfortunately, car accidents can leave us with more than frightening flashbacks.

In my Social Security Disability practice, I have represented many individuals whose disability has resulted from car and motorcycle accident injuries. At my firm, our personal injury lawyer, Ava Lynch represents personal injury victims who have sustained life-altering injuries in mere seconds. The point is that in a few moments your life can be changed forever due to someone else’s distracted, drunk or drowsy driving.

Post- Traumatic Osteoarthritis from Car Accident Injuries

The most common long term effect that I see from car accidents is post-traumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA). According to Arthritis.Org, PTOA is caused by the wearing out of a joint that has been exposed to physical injury, including an anterior cruciate ligament tear (ACL) or a meniscus tear, and can lead to osteoarthritis (OA) development years after the initial joint trauma. PTOA causes nearly 12 percent of OA of the hip, knee, and ankle—affecting approximately six million people.

If you are involved in an accident and injure a bone or joint, there is a great chance that down the road you are going to have issues with that same area. In my practice, damaging your hips/pelvis at an early age can leave you with lifelong pain as the pelvis balances the weight of the upper and lower body.

Traumatic Brain Injury from Car Accident

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) frequently arise from car accidents, especially motorcyclists. Wearing a helmet (which is mandatory in my state of North Carolina) can reduce your chances of sustaining a head injury by 69% according to CDC. But, TBIs are a serious issue for motorcycle riders, even when wearing helmets. A traumatic brain injury can leave you with memory loss, confusion, anger and the need to relearn basic living skills, to name a few. While many recover from mild TBIs, moderate and severe TBIs are more challenging to overcome. This is not to say that mild TBIs are not life altering but statistically mild TBI patients tend to gradually improve.

The family members of my TBI clients usually describe their loved one as “a completely different person” than what they were before their accident. Moderate to severe TBIs can come with years of speech, physical and behavioral therapy with little progress.

Stroke or Heart Attack from Car Accident Injuries

Unfortunately, the shock and trauma of a car accident can cause a stroke or heart attack. In my cases, TIA (transient ischemic attack) and stroke patients usually recover very well. Rehabilitation is imperative for a stroke victim. However, a heart attack occurs when a part of the heart muscle is damaged or dies according to the American Heart Association. Shortness of breath, chest pain and fatigue are all symptoms that one may have to live with. Lifelong care for your heart condition is a necessity.

Chronic conditions from car accident injuries can arise and result in life-long disability. The most important step is to seek medical treatment as soon as possible after your accident and continue following medical treatment. The cost of your or your loved one’s current and future medical expenses as well as pain and suffering should be taken into consideration when thinking of pursuing a personal injury claim.

At The Bishop Law Firm, we represent clients who have been injured in car and motorcycle accidents through no fault of their own in Raleigh, NC and surrounding areas. While being compensated for your injury will not magically cure you, it will help your family have one less worry while they help you recover.