Broken bones or fractures are a common consequence of car crashes. The trauma of the collision can break ribs, arms and legs. Typically, once the bone knits and the cast comes off, the person who suffered the fracture will return to their life as it was before their injury.
However, in a small number of people who have a broken bone, bone healing will actually result in worse pain and increased symptoms. These individuals develop a rare condition called complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) instead of healing the way that most people do.
What does CRPS do to the body?
The symptoms of CRPS vary from person to person, so the financial impact of the condition differs as well. For some people, there will be a dull, persistent pain. For others, there will be a deep or burning sensation combined with the loss of strength and range of motion. Changes in skin tone and texture, changes in body temperature and even changes in how hair or nails grow are sometimes reported.
Treatment can help with symptoms, but currently, there is no cure. The condition may even continue to worsen over the years. People with CRPS average $43,026 in care costs in an eight-year period, in addition to over $12,000 for prescription pain medication during the same time. The cost is even greater when you factor in the effect on someone’s work.
Those who do physically demanding jobs are particularly at risk for CRPS derailing their careers, but even office and retail workers may struggle to do their jobs well when dealing with chronic pain. A severe medical condition like CRPS will significantly increase the financial impact of a car crash and may push your total costs well over what insurance will cover.
Knowing your rights when you have a catastrophic injury, including the right to file a lawsuit, can help you recover after a crash.