Can a Car Accident Cause Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?

September 19, 2022

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease that affects the brain and spinal cord and can potentially lead to severe long-term disability for an individual. When a person has MS, this means that their immune system begins to attack the myelin (protective sheath) that surrounds the nerve fibers in the nervous system, and this can disrupt the flow of communication from the brain to the rest of a person’s body.

But can a car accident cause multiple sclerosis?

MS and Car Accident – Is There a Correlation?

There is no evidence that can correlate MS and car accidents. However, a study from Everyday Health says there are neurologists in the US who think trauma could have an effect on the systems in our body and raise the risk of inflammatory cells entering the central nervous system. In a counter study, one that involves much more consensus, there is no link between pre-existing or new multiple sclerosis diagnosis and traumatic injuries.

There is no general consensus on whether or not vehicle accidents actually cause MS, and most doctors would tell you that no, this disease is not caused by traumatic incidents like this. After a vehicle accident occurs, medical teams typically run countless tests and imaging of patients to search for head trauma or broken bones. However, it is very unlikely that a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis will be made after a vehicle accident occurs because there is no single test that determines if a person is suffering from MS. A diagnosis of this disease can only be made by ruling out all other diseases, something that is not likely to occur during the scans and tests run after a car accident.

A much more likely scenario is that multiple sclerosis will be triggered by the events of a vehicle accident, and this could certainly influence the outcome of a vehicle accident insurance settlement or personal injury lawsuit.

The Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis

Individuals who develop multiple sclerosis may suffer from a wide range of symptoms that affect their bodies. The most common symptoms associated with MS include:

  • fatigue and general weakness
  • struggles walking
  • tingling or numbness
  • muscle spasms
  • dizziness
  • impaired vision
  • pain or itching
  • problems with the bladder
  • cognitive changes
  • mood swings and depression

The signs and symptoms of multiple sclerosis are not always apparent. In some cases, individuals live completely normal lives until an MS flare up. However, each diagnosis of MS is different, and individuals will experience signs and symptoms differently.

Recovering Compensation After a Car Accident

Recovering compensation for multiple sclerosis after a vehicle accident can be challenging. As we mentioned above, many traumatic incidents, like a car accident, could trigger an MS incident that would not have occurred otherwise. However, proving that the vehicle accident triggered the multiple sclerosis will involve working with trusted medical experts and a Martinsburg auto accident attorney who can provide testimony as to the cause move to flare up and establish a link between the traumatic incident and the current signs and symptoms.

If the vehicle accident was caused by the actions of another driver, individuals should be able to recover various types of compensation. This includes coverage of medical expenses, lost income if a person is unable to work, as well as pain and suffering losses. Any compensation paid out for MS in these scenarios will likely fall under the non-economic, or pain and suffering, umbrella.


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