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Can a Motor Vehicle Collision Cause Arthritis?

Posted on April 10, 2023 in Car Accidents

Arthritis is a common medical condition characterized by inflammation of the joints, which can lead to pain, stiffness, and difficulty in movement. Many factors can contribute to the development of arthritis, including car accidents. Car accidents can cause various types of injuries to the body, including joint injuries that can lead to inflammation and over time, lead to or worsen arthritis.

how car accidents can cause or exacerbate arthritis

Types of Arthritis Caused by Car Accidents


One common type of arthritis that can result from a car accident is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage in a joint breaks down. The cartilage acts as a cushion between the bones in the joint, and when it deteriorates, it can cause the bones to rub against each other, leading to pain, stiffness, and inflammation. Car accidents can cause several injuries that can lead to osteoarthritis. For example, a person’s knee can be injured in a car accident, causing damage to the cartilage in the knee joint. Over time, the damage to the cartilage can cause osteoarthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Another type of arthritis that a car accident can cause is rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder, which means the body’s immune system attacks the joints, usually many at once. A car accident can potentially trigger the onset of rheumatoid arthritis in a person predisposed to the condition.

The likelihood of developing arthritis after a car accident depends on several factors, including the severity of the accident, the person’s age, and overall health. For example, older adults may be more likely to develop arthritis after a car accident due to the natural wear and tear on their joints.

Worsening of Arthritis

A motor vehicle accident can also worsen or exacerbate pre-existing arthritis symptoms. The impact of a collision can cause sudden and forceful movements that put stress on the joints, which can lead to further inflammation, pain, and stiffness. Even minor accidents can cause trauma to the joints, leading to long-term damage and worsening of arthritis symptoms. Additionally, the stress and emotional trauma can produce hormones that increase inflammation and pain.

Can You Recover Compensation for Arthritis Caused by a Car Accident?

To recover compensation for arthritis caused by a car accident, you must be able to prove that the accident led to your arthritis or worsened it. However, proving that arthritis was caused by a car accident can be challenging, as it can develop due to various causes. Here are some steps you can take to establish a causal link between the accident and your condition.

Seek Medical Attention

See a doctor as soon as possible after the accident. Make sure to report any joint pain, stiffness, or other symptoms. To determine the cause, they may order imaging tests such as X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans to assess the extent of the damage to your joints.

Gather Copies of Medical Records

Obtain copies of your medical records, including your diagnosis, treatment plan, and any imaging studies that were performed. These records will provide evidence that your arthritis was caused or worsened by the car accident.

Document Your Symptoms

Keep a journal of your symptoms and how they affect your daily life. This can help demonstrate the impact of your arthritis on your quality of life.

File a Personal Injury Claim

Once you have evidence that your arthritis was caused or worsened by the car accident, you can file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver or their insurer. A Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer can help you build your case, consult with experts, and negotiate a settlement or pursue a lawsuit if necessary to recover fair compensation.