Chronic pain is a tricky injury, both medically and legally. Medically, chronic pain is poorly defined and can mean a lot of different things. Legally, it can be difficult to convince a jury that the pain is real because it is often unexplained.
However, for people who suffer from chronic pain, these difficulties do not take away from the fact that you are constantly suffering. The personal injury lawyers and staff physician at the Baltimore law office of Gilman & Bedigian understand this and do all that they can to show to others that your pain is legitimate and that you deserve compensation for it.
What is Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain is pain that does not go away. Beyond that broad and vague definition, though, even medical experts disagree.
Some medical experts hold that chronic pain is the feeling of physical pain over a long duration of time. Even these experts, though, disagree at what point latent pain turns into chronic pain: some say it is three months, while others require an entire year to pass, while still others merely require the pain to linger for longer than expected.
On the other hand, some medical experts focus less on the duration of the pain and more on the mysteriousness of its source. Instead of counting months, those in this camp consider pain to be considered chronic if it is unclear what is causing it. This prevents identifiable pain from taking on the label of chronic, but also severely narrows what can amount to chronic pain, as well as giving it a suspicious look.
In either case, though, the unfortunate result is that medical professionals are unsure what is causing the pain, making it difficult to convince others that the pain you are feeling is real, is intense, and is something that should be taken seriously.
Causes of Chronic Pain
Because chronic pain is so poorly understood, the exact causes of the condition are difficult to pinpoint. However, instances of chronic pain can arise from many different kinds of accidents, including:
- Motor vehicle accidents. Crashes involving cars, trucks, buses, pedestrians, or bikes can all lead to chronic pain. Conditions like whiplash can strain tendons and muscles in ways that are difficult to diagnose or treat, creating latent pain that becomes chronic under any definition of the term.
- Workplace injuries. Some of the most intensive manual labor jobs require repetitive motions that can strain muscles and tissues in incredibly painful ways. If left untreated, these conditions can become chronically painful.
- Slip and fall injuries. If you were on someone else's property and fell because of something on the ground or were hurt by a hidden danger, the force of the impact can cause an injury that leads to chronic pain.
While each of these problems can cause chronic pain or lead to it, down the road, perhaps the most common source or cause of chronic pain is medical malpractice. Doctors and surgeons who are a part of internal medical procedures like surgeries can make mistakes that have lasting and complicated impacts on your muscles and nervous system. If they, for example, strike a nerve during an operation and do not notice, it can lead to intense and chronic pain.
Legal Damages for Chronic Pain
In Baltimore, personal injury law aims to compensate you for all of the ways that you have suffered at the hands of someone else's negligence. Totaled up, these losses are your legal damages. When it comes to chronic pain, those damages can be substantial because of how debilitating your injury can be: not only does chronic pain create the physical sensation of pain, it also drastically reduces your quality of life, prevents you from enjoying the things that you enjoyed before, and can even make it difficult for you to earn a living.
- Compensation for your pain. The most obvious form of compensation that you deserve for chronic pain that was caused by someone else is for the actual pain that it has caused. While it is difficult to put a dollar amount on the feeling of pain that you have been put through from your condition, Baltimore personal injury law lets the jury decide what you are owed. This often forms the bulk of the compensation that you deserve to receive for a condition of chronic pain, particularly if the pain you are feeling is intense and pervasive.
- Suffering. Chronic pain can also prevent you from enjoying life, causing significant suffering. When you are kept from doing the things that you enjoy the most because your chronic pain is holding you back, the mental and emotional suffering that you are put through should be compensated by the person who caused your injuries.
- Lost wages and earning capacity. Chronic pain can also keep you out of work, as well, drastically impacting your ability to make an income and a stable living. Because this difficulty would not have been the case, were it not for someone else's negligence, you deserve to be compensated for these losses, as well.
Finally, the medical expenses that you have been forced to pay to diagnose and treat your chronic pain – even if they were futile – can be recovered in a successful personal injury lawsuit. After all, you would not have been put through these expenses, were it not for the poor conduct of the person who caused your injuries that led to your chronic paid.
Baltimore Personal Injury Attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian
The personal injury attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian in Baltimore know and understand how difficult it can be for someone who is suffering from chronic pain. Other people and even doctors can frown and doubt that you are actually experiencing pain. They think that, because they cannot find the source of the pain or make it go away, it must not exist.
Our lawyers will fight for you, both in the courtroom and outside of it. By advocating on your behalf, we can do all that we can to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us online.