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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder May Increase Patients’ Self-Report of Pain

Car accidents in Charleston, South Carolina can have a serious impact on victims and their families. Serious disabling injuries, broken bones, traumatic brain injury, and chronic pain are all common outcomes of car accidents. Most of us think of quantifiable injuries when considering personal injury losses following a car accident. While physical trauma, broken bones, internal injuries, and serious traumatic brain injury are often diagnosed immediately after an accident and may lead to temporary or permanent disability, a patient’s experience of pain can also have an effect on whether a person becomes disabled.

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According to the Journal for the International Association for the Study of Pain, many of the factors that lead to disability in patients suffering from back or neck pain are not well understood. The researchers reviewed 12 different pain studies to evaluate how back and neck pain could result in disability. Researchers found that psychological trauma and fear can have a serious effect on whether patients suffering from back and neck pain experience disabling symptoms.

This information could be particularly valuable to personal injury lawyers and their clients who are in the process of evaluating pain and suffering damages. Pain and suffering damages are often the most difficult to quantify in a personal injury case because, unlike medical expenses, lost wages damages, and property damage, pain and suffering involves a subjective analysis of a victims’ suffering. Insurers will often use formulas to evaluate pain and suffering based on medical costs, but these calculations involve a subjective determination of a patient’s level of suffering or severity of injury. Yet, the current research suggests that pain and suffering can have a direct impact on a patient’s disability and on physical outcomes.

Another study published in the Journal of Neuropsychology corroborates with these findings. Researchers studied patients suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder to determine how pain is perceived by PTSD sufferers. The research found that those who suffered from PTSD were more likely to experience anxiety and more likely to self-report higher levels of pain than patients not suffering from PTSD. The role of emotions and trauma clearly needs to be further evaluated.

These studies together suggest that a patient’s emotional response to a car accident can have a significant effect on his or her perception of pain, quality of life, and likelihood of being disabled.

Disability can have an impact on a person’s ability to enjoy life, to work, and to recover following an injury. If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Charleston, South Carolina, a personal injury lawyer can answer the questions you might have about recovering damages from negligent parties and from insurance companies. A personal injury lawyer can also evaluate your case and determine whether you can receive damages for pain and suffering.

The Drescher Law Firm, L.L.C. is a personal injury firm that works exclusively with those who have suffered from serious injury in Charleston, South Carolina. Contact us today to learn more.

Personal Injury Attorney Profile

Scott Drescher, Personal Injury Lawyer in Charleston SC. imageMr. Drescher's knowledge and experience in the field of personal injury and wrongful death law have made him an outstanding personal injury and wrongful death attorney in South Carolina. He understands the thinking process of juries, due in part to his educational background in psychology and sociology. He is experienced in trying large civil cases, which has helped him become a very successful trial attorney in Charleston and the surrounding areas.
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