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How a Motor Vehicle Injury Can Lead to a Chronic Illness

How a Motor Vehicle Injury Can Lead to a Chronic Illness
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How a Motor Vehicle Injury Can Lead to a Chronic Illness

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How a Motor Vehicle Injury Can Lead to a Chronic Illness

Motor Vehicle Injury Life care planner supportA host of different injuries can occur in a motor vehicle accident (MVA) from minor cuts, scrapes, and bruises to more serious or life-threatening injuries such as gashes, broken bones, head trauma, and whiplash. Other secondary conditions could develop including thyroid complications that can lead to autoimmune disorders. The most common primary injuries in an MVA are concussions and whiplash, which can vary in seriousness depending on the gravity of the crash. We covered in a previous article on Med League what the common symptoms of concussions are. While many of these injuries can be recovered from, some leave lasting impressions in the form of chronic pain, which is not always fully curable, leaving the victim to suffer their entire life.


Whiplash injuries are common, disabling and incur costly treatments. The adverse effects such an injury has on the brain’s stress responses are often associated with a transition from acute to chronic pain. Studies have shown that following a motor vehicle accident, 15% to 40% of those who sustain whiplash go on to develop chronic neck pain. Moreover, current data indicates that 50% of people who experience a whiplash injury never fully recover, and up to 30% will have both physical and psychological problems of a diffuse nature, according to a study by the Journal of Annals of Rheumatic Diseases. These chronic injuries, unfortunately, can also lead to secondary conditions that are more difficult to diagnose and treat.

Victims of MVAs can often incur a chronic illness that is not directly connected to the impact of the collision. Chronic autoimmune illnesses such as fibromyalgia and thyroid disorders have been associated with accidents involving injuries to the head, neck, and spine. The Journal of Endocrine Practice suggests that trauma to the shoulder caused by a seatbelt, as a result of an MVA, led to the discovery of a thyroid lesion in a victim. The thyroid is an important gland as it regulates metabolism and calcium in the body. An injury to this particular gland can result in the development of chronic conditions, in the form of autoimmune disorders, long after the primary injuries heal. It can also lead to heart disease.

Whether developed from natural causes or through incidents, like a car crash, chronic illnesses are on the rise. These conditions are fast becoming the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. With more care and treatment needed, this has led to a shortage of qualified nurses and caregivers. Maryville University notes that by 2025 chronic illnesses are projected to affect an estimated 164 million Americans, nearly half of the population. Therefore, the demand for nurses will only increase, and so will job openings with an estimated 15% increase by 2026. More students, therefore, are entering the field as nursing degrees can be obtained online, usually in 20-40 months, depending on the program. 

Where once car accidents were mostly associated with physical and mental trauma, the research is clear that an MVA can lead to serious health problems later in life. The Med League team offers life care planning for your clients (and their families and representatives) so that they can more effectively respond to the challenges caused by chronic illness or disability.

The Blog was specially written for medleague.com By Hannah Davis.

Med League provides medical expert witness, life care planner and legal nurse expert witness who can provide comprehensive case evaluation, reporting and expert testimony services for plaintiff and defense, to meet your catastrophic injury case needs.

Contact us today at 908-788-8227 or by email [email protected] to discuss your next case!

 

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