• News
  • Chronic Pain: A Long-Term Reminder of Your Accident That Merits Compensation

Chronic Pain: A Long-Term Reminder of Your Accident That Merits Compensation

Chronic Pain: A Long-Term Reminder of Your Accident That Merits Compensation

Although we hate to say it, some accident victims never fully recover from their injuries. Pain and suffering resulting from such deep-seated injuries as brain traumas or peripheral nerve damage can linger for many years, or even last a lifetime. That being the case, we thought it would be helpful to discuss the long-term impacts of chronic pain, and how Michigan law provides victims the opportunity to receive fair compensation for these devastating, and potentially lifelong effects.


What is Chronic Pain?

First of all, it would probably be helpful to define what we mean by chronic pain as opposed to acute pain, which is the typical kind of pain you experience immediately after an injury, and subsides relatively quickly as the injuries heal over a couple of weeks or so. People who experience chronic pain, on the other hand, can suffer for many months, years, or even for the rest of their lives with bouts of agony that can have inexplicable severity and duration. Mysteriously, chronic pain can sometimes fade for periods of time and then recur with little or no explanation. As the Cleveland Clinic notes, that factor can result in anxiety and depression for many individuals, especially when their pain lingers or comes back for no apparent reason. Indeed, the dictionary defines “chronic” as persistent or recurrent, as well as “long-lasting and difficult to eradicate.” So, pain that can be described as chronic has a perplexing yet enduring nature which can be a challenge to relieve. Sadly, that can sometimes lead to addictive use of painkillers such as opiates, bringing additional challenges of their own to accident victims.


What Kinds of Accident-Related Injuries Can Result in Chronic Pain?

There are numerous ways you can be hurt – especially in car accidents which apply dramatic forces to the human body resulting in whiplash and broken bones, internal injuries, lacerations from flying glass, airbag impacts, concussions, and other forms of physical trauma. The more severe the injuries, the more likely you may be to experience chronic pain. As Forbes notes, more than a dozen different types of injuries are common in car collisions, ranging from object penetration of soft tissues to broken bones, and from organ damage to concussions and amputations. Any or all of these obvious or hidden injuries can result in chronic pain.


What Types of Pain Qualify for “Pain and Suffering” Compensation in Michigan?

As we discussed in a comprehensive article, there are numerous causes and manifestations of pain and suffering, ranging from physical discomfort to extreme mental agony. Some (but not all) forms of suffering include physical pain, but they can also extend to physical impairments or disabilities, disfigurement, mental trauma, loss of sexual function, clinical depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), among many others. A courtroom jury takes innumerable elements into consideration in determining pain and suffering awards in personal injury lawsuits, so there’s really no way to predict how much compensation you could receive in a successful suit. We can, though, point to some notable recent settlements reached in a few of our own cases – which range from the high six figures to more than a million dollars awarded to deserving, long-suffering clients.


What Does Michigan Personal Injury Law Say About Pain and Suffering?

State law defines pain and suffering as “non-economic damages” (as opposed to actual “economic” damages that cost you money, such as medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation charges, etcetera). As we discuss elsewhere on our website, victims in need of compensation for chronic pain and suffering are required to meet what’s called a “bodily injury threshold” (also known as a “tort threshold”) to satisfy legal requirements for receiving compensation. Specifically, that means you must have experienced “serious impairment of bodily function, or permanent serious disfigurement” to meet the mandatory filing threshold. Furthermore, one or more of three essential criteria are used to define a victim’s ability to qualify for pain and suffering awards in a personal injury lawsuit. First, injuries must be “objectively manifested,” meaning they must be visible or noticeable to people other than the victim. Second, they must impair an important or consequential body function. Third, they must affect the victim’s ability to lead a normal life or require the victim to alter his or her usual lifestyle. Chronic pain often can be said to have an impact on victims in all three of these life-changing ways.


What Are Some Ways People Can Mitigate Chronic Pain?

Aside from potentially addictive painkillers, there are a wide range of treatments that can sometimes help mitigate chronic pain. For instance, numerous types of microsurgery and neurosurgical treatments can help patients who are seeking permanent relief from chronic pain. Experts at the Cleveland Clinic also note that corticosteroids can help temporarily reduce inflammation associated with chronic pain, but it’s vital to know that they shouldn’t be used for long periods of time due to the risk of dangerous side effects. Other effective treatments for chronic pain include targeted electric shock therapynerve blocksmassageacupuncturephysical therapyhypnotherapychiropractic medicine, and cognitive-behavioral therapy among more options. It’s important to remember that many of these alternative forms of pain treatment might not be covered by traditional health insurance plans, which means that the costs can become significant financial burdens to people suffering from chronic pain. That makes it essential to find a reputable personal injury attorney to help you receive sufficient compensation to cover these expenses.


What to Do if You Suffer Chronic Pain From an Accident

Finding ways to deal with chronic pain (and paying for them) can be almost as bad as living with the pain itself. But you don’t have to do it all on your own. We stand ready to help you in any way we can as you seek compensation for the injuries that resulted in the pain and suffering you’re experiencing. To get us working on your behalf, you need only pick up the phone and dial 855-MIKE-WINS (855-645-3946), or contact us online. Don’t let another painful minute pass. Get in touch with us today.

Chronic Pain: A Long-Term Reminder of Your Accident That Merits Compensation

Content checked by Mike Morse, personal injury attorney with Mike Morse Injury Law Firm. Mike Morse is the founder of Mike Morse Law Firm, the largest personal injury law firm in Michigan. Since being founded in 1995, Mike Morse Law Firm has grown to 150 employees, served 25,000 clients, and collected more than $1 billion for victims of auto, truck and motorcycle accidents. The main office is in Southfield, MI but you can also find us in Detroit, Sterling Heights and many other locations.