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Can a Car Accident Cause Fibromyalgia?

Colburn Law

Fibromyalgia & Car Accidents

Fibromyalgia is a painful condition that can cause multiple symptoms, including fatigue, widespread pain, sleep problems, and emotional distress. Many physical and psychological factors can trigger fibromyalgia, including car accidents.

Not only can the physical injuries sustained in a collision contribute to fibromyalgia, but post-accident emotional trauma and post-traumatic stress can cause a victim to develop this condition. If you develop fibromyalgia after an accident, you may be eligible for financial compensation.

Signs and Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

The main symptom of fibromyalgia is widespread pain that occurred all over the body. People who have fibromyalgia are often more sensitive to pain than those who do not suffer from this condition, which can impact the ability to rest and obtain a good night’s sleep.

In addition to widespread pain, fibromyalgia patients can suffer from several physical and emotional symptoms. This may include the following.

  • Concentration and memory problems
  • Migraines
  • Digestive problems
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Tingling and numbness in the extremities
  • Temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ)

Some people are at a higher risk for developing fibromyalgia than others. Older people and women are more likely to develop this condition, as well as people who are overweight or obese or have a genetic history of fibromyalgia. Repetitive stress and certain illnesses, such as viral infections, lupus, or arthritis, can increase the risk of this condition. However, anyone can develop the condition.

Fibromyalgia and Car Accidents

Studies show a link between fibromyalgia and traumatic events, including serious illnesses, the death of a loved one, and car accidents. Researchers believe repeated nerve stimulation that occurs after or during these events triggers fibromyalgia, affecting the neurotransmitters that are responsible for receiving and signaling pain. These chemicals then become more sensitive to pain.

During a traumatic event such as a car accident, these neurotransmitters can experience this intense stimulation and trigger the condition. Both the physical and psychological trauma following a collision can contribute to fibromyalgia, but an accident victim may not notice its symptoms for weeks or even months after the collision. If the victim already has fibromyalgia at the time of the crash, the accident can worsen his or her condition.

Can You Sue for Fibromyalgia?

If you develop fibromyalgia after a car accident someone else is responsible for, you do have the right to file a claim against the negligent driver for your damages. You can choose to file a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim to collect compensation for past and future medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and the physical and emotional pain you endure due to the condition.

In a fibromyalgia lawsuit, you will need to prove four elements to establish the driver’s negligence and your right to damages.

  • The at-fault driver owed you a duty of care to follow traffic laws and drive safely.
  • The at-fault driver breached his or her duty of care.
  • The breach of care directly caused your injuries, including fibromyalgia.
  • You suffered damages you can claim in your lawsuit.

However, filing a successful fibromyalgia claim can be difficult. You will need medical records and expert witness testimony to establish the nature of your injuries and prove that you require the damages you intend to claim. If your claim involves pre-existing fibromyalgia, you will need to clearly discern that the damages you intend to claim are directly related to the aggravation of your condition. This can be difficult to accomplish without the right resources.

Hiring a Seattle car accident attorney can help. Your lawyer will have the resources and experience necessary to guide you through the litigation process, consulting with expert witnesses and launching a full-scale investigation to identify your damages and prove the cause of your fibromyalgia. If you have not done so already, contact a Washington personal injury lawyer immediately after the accident to discuss your case.