Many crash victims don’t plan to sue for compensation for their injuries, in spite of the fact that they continue to suffer from persistent and chronic pain in several areas of the body for up to six weeks after the accident. Those are the results of a new study that should help change the popular misconception promoted by the tort reform lobby that accident victims simply cannot wait to get out of the hospital and into the office of an attorney.
The study is believed to be the first that specifically looks at the incidence of musculoskeletal pain after an accident. Approximately 950 people who had been involved in accidents and treated in hospital emergency rooms for their injuries, were included in the analysis. The study found that approximately six weeks after being involved in the accident, more than 70% of the patients reported feeling persistent and consistent pain in at least one area of the body. Another one-third reported pain in five or more areas of the body.
In spite of the fact that the pain was persistent and interfered with their ability to go about their normal activities, only 17% of the patients had bothered to contact a car accident attorney six weeks after being involved in the accident. A large majority of the victims had no plans to contact a lawyer, in spite of the fact that they were feeling persistent pain.
A further analysis finds that this was not just ordinary pain that most of these car accident victims were experiencing. Approximately 28% reported having moderate or severe neck pain, while 13% reported that they continued to experience musculoskeletal pain affecting at least seven areas of the body. Even more worrying was the fact that 4% of the patients reported symptoms of fibromyalgia, which include stabbing pain and extreme fatigue. Only a small minority of the patients who suffered pain after the accident were involved in litigation at the time of the study.
According to the researchers, one of the reasons why so many car accident victims are hesitant to sue is because they believe that their complaints of back pain or neck pain will not be taken seriously. Many of them simply do not want to be seen as “sue-happy.” This kind of thinking is due in large part to the tort reform lobby which has simply chosen to paint everybody who wants to file for compensation after an accident with the same greedy and money-chasing brush.
Accident victims who suffer from pain or any other symptoms after an injury, must take these symptoms seriously, and must look into their rights for compensation. Musculoskeletal pain, if left untreated, can affect a person’s ability to return to a productive and normal life after the accident.
The Indiana personal injury lawyers at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson Kennedy LLP represent persons of victims of car accidents across Indiana.