Can a Car Accident Cause Fibromyalgia?

September 12, 2022

Fibromyalgia is a musculoskeletal disorder that often causes significant pain throughout a person’s body. This condition can also lead to extreme fatigue, sleep, and mood disorders. Fibromyalgia is not well understood by the masses, but this is a disease that affects many individuals throughout the US.

Currently, there is no understood cause of fibromyalgia, and it is unlikely that a car accident can cause this disease. However, just like other types of diseases and disorders, a car accident could certainly exasperate the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Understanding Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a condition that affects an individual’s muscles and bones. Even though this is a relatively common medical diagnosis, according to Mayo Clinic, there are still a lot of questions about the cause of this disease. Those who suffer from fibromyalgia can experience musculoskeletal pain throughout their entire body, and flare-ups can last for weeks or months at a time.

Those who do have a diagnosis of fibromyalgia often report pain at sensitive pressure point areas as well as various tender areas throughout the body. Other patients who suffer from fibromyalgia experience more general pain and discomfort throughout the entire body. This condition can also cause injuries, including bruises, to become more excruciating than they otherwise would have been in those who do not have fibromyalgia.

Why Would a Car Accident Make Fibromyalgia Worse?

In general, we will find that doctors and researchers will say that fibromyalgia is likely not caused by a vehicle accident. There is actually no general consensus as to why some individuals are more likely to develop fibromyalgia than others. We do know that women are more likely to develop fibromyalgia than men, as our individuals who have family histories of arthritis or lupus.
There has been some research that indicates individuals have a higher risk of developing fibromyalgia if they have suffered physical injuries, including injuries caused by vehicle accidents and other similar types of traumatic events. However, what is much more likely is that a car accident would trigger fibromyalgia by impacting pain receptors and making victims more sensitive to the physical and emotional stress resulting from the incident.

Recovering Compensation After an Accident

Individuals who have been involved in a vehicle accident caused by the careless or negligent actions of another individual will likely be able to recover some sort of compensation. Whether this compensation revolves around a fibromyalgia diagnosis or not is a different question. Typically, car accident victims will be able to recover compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, and patient suffering damages, and we will likely find that fibromyalgia triggered by a vehicle accident would be considered a non-economic or pain and suffering loss.

Courts in West Virginia will typically allow car accident victims to establish a causal link between their vehicle accident and any pain and suffering they sustain as a result of the incident, and this would include fibromyalgia triggered by the incident. However, individuals in these situations need to work with a skilled car accident attorney who has experience establishing pain and suffering losses. This can be challenging because there are not any direct bills or receipts associated with this type of physical and emotional pain and suffering.

Proving fibromyalgia was triggered by a vehicle accident and that there was subsequent pain and suffering will require extensive documentation as well as possible expert witness testimony from medical experts for the insurance carriers or a personal injury jury.


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