Can a Car Accident Cause Fibromyalgia?

Car accidents | July 1, 2021

Vehicle Accidents and Fibromyalgia

Car accidents regularly lead to injuries that are immediately apparent. This can include broken and dislocated bones, severe lacerations, spinal cord trauma, and more. However, car accidents can also cause injuries that do not show up right away. One of these injuries is called fibromyalgia, which is a medical condition that can lead to severe pain and mental health complications over extended periods of time.

As we discuss fibromyalgia, we want to point out that researchers do not know the exact cause of this condition. However, they have linked it to infections, trauma, and genetics. Vehicle accidents could potentially trigger fibromyalgia through physical trauma and psychological stress.

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a medical condition that can affect a person’s bones and muscles. This condition is relatively common and can amplify a person’s typical musculoskeletal pain throughout their entire body. The main symptom of fibromyalgia is widespread, chronic pain that usually lasts for a period of a few months.

Some fibromyalgia patients report pain coming across as sensitive pressure points, including tender spots on their bodies. However, other fibromyalgia patients experience achiness and discomfort Additionally, injuries such as bruises will often feel much more painful to individuals with fibromyalgia for seemingly no reason at all.

Those who suffer from fibromyalgia can develop a range of other symptoms, including cognitive difficulties, fatigue, trouble concentrating, and more.

Vehicle Accidents and Fibromyalgia

Even though doctors and researchers do not know the exact cause of fibromyalgia, there are certain people more likely to develop fibromyalgia than others. For instance, women are most commonly diagnosed with fibromyalgia, as are people with family histories of this condition and those with lupus or arthritis.

Researchers have come to believe that those who have experienced physical injuries also face a higher risk of developing fibromyalgia. Nerve stimulation caused by injuries can impact the brain of a person with fibromyalgia, thereby increasing the chemicals that receive and signal pain throughout the body. 

Studies have shown a link between traumatic events such as car accidents and fibromyalgia. A car accident could potentially trigger fibromyalgia by impacting the brain’s pain receptors and making them more sensitive due to the physical injury or emotional stress. The overall psychological stress of a vehicle accident, including symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, could also trigger fibromyalgia.

Working With an Attorney for Fibromyalgia Compensation

If a person develops fibromyalgia in the aftermath of a vehicle accident, they may be able to make a claim for the damages connected to the condition. In general, car accident victims are typically able to cover various types of economic and non-economic compensation as a result of a crash caused by another party. Any compensation paid for fibromyalgia pain and suffering will typically fall under non-economic damages, and it will have to be well documented. The courts will allow crash victims to establish a causal link between the vehicle accident and their fibromyalgia, but the reality is that it may be necessary to work with a skilled Chicago car accident attorney in these situations.

Proving fibromyalgia as a compensable loss after a vehicle accident could require significant medical documentation as well as expert witness testimony. An expert medical witness could help a jury or a judge understand the link between the traumatic event and the fibromyalgia condition.