Recovery and Treatment for CRPS After a Car Crash

The type of chronic pain that CRPS patients experience is frequently characterized as a burning, tingling, or throbbing that can be worse than the initial impact itself. In severe cases, even a light touch from something as soft as skin contact or a blanket can cause extreme pain in the injured area.

That level of pain may interfere with everything from sleep to maintaining steady employment. Aside from dealing with chronic pain, simply achieving a diagnosis is often intensely frustrating for CRPS patients as other possible causes are crossed off the list. Dealing with mental and emotional issues such as depression and anxiety can become just as important as managing the physical pain. An overall treatment plan for car crash victims dealing with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome may involve:

  • Pain relief medication like opioids
  • Nerve blocking or anesthetic medication to prevent pain at the source
  • Steroids to reduce inflammation
  • Surgeries to potentially resolve certain pain and mobility issues
  • Ongoing physical therapy to improve mobility and learn coping techniques for dealing with pain.
  • Counseling for dealing with both the physical and emotional effects over the long term.

All of the treatment options are likely to become extremely expensive as the months or potentially years drag on. Even if the at-fault driver has insurance that covers your medical costs, your actual bills are likely to exceed the policy’s cap. That’s why after seeing a doctor, the most important call you can make is to an attorney with an extensive knowledge of this kind of personal injury case.

Insurance adjusters and the negligent driver will likely argue that your pain was caused by something else not directly related to the accident to avoid their monetary responsibility. That’s a particular concern in cases where you don’t have a scan that can easily show specific nerve damage leading to your chronic pain. An attorney can help you overcome those sorts of obstacles that interfere with recouping the full and fair amount you are owed by the negligent driver who caused the accident. 

A car accident lawyer can thoroughly investigate the accident, argue your case in court, and ensure any potential compensation factors in the full extent of your past and future costs, like:

  • Lost income during the recovery period, whether you are an hourly employee, salaried worker, or self-employed.
  • Future lost earning potential if CRPS or some other injury from the car crash prevents you from returning to the same position or forces you to leave the workforce.
  • Medical expenses covering your initial hospitalization after the crash, other doctor’s visits afterward, and any medications or treatments you will need in the future.
  • Non-economic damages that don’t have a direct price tag like a week’s lost wages or the bill from an ER stay, but still negatively impact your life after the crash, such as physical pain or emotional suffering.
  • Out-of-pocket costs while seeking treatment for complex regional pain syndrome.

There is one important catch to keep in mind here, however. Symptoms of CRPS typically appear well after the accident takes place, but there is a statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit after a car accident in Virginia. Your financial recovery hinges on contacting an attorney with extensive experience in invisible injuries like CRPS as soon as possible.


Kevin W. Mottley
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Richmond, VA trial lawyer dedicated to handling brain injuries, car accidents and other serious injury claims