If you've suffered injury to a joint or ligament, you may be at risk for developing post-traumatic arthritis. If your injury is the subject of a car accident or other injury case, failure to properly investigate such a possibility can put you at risk of settling your case without being fully compensated for the harm you may suffer in the future.
Injuries to joins or ligaments can lead to post-traumatic arthritis. Post-traumatic arthritis is a serious condition that can be both expensive and disabling. Treatment for arthritis can include surgery, including joint replacement surgery. Moreover, your ability to work can be limited or your work life horizon shortened by post-traumatic arthritis. Unfortunately, post-traumatic arthritis can take years to develop and may not be apparent or known to you in the immediate aftermath of a car accident.
If you've been injured in a Pennsylvania car accident and have injured a joint, you should ask your doctor about your chances of developing arthritis in the future. If you (or your lawyer) do not properly investigate and document the likelihood of post-traumatic arthritis, then you risk settling or trying your case without being properly compensated for the risk that post-traumatic arthritis and attendant surgical care or lost wages are in your future.
Injuries to joints often cause damage to cartilage. The cartilage damage does not ordinarily repair itself and, over time, fails to support weight or facilitate movement as well as pristine cartilage. Even if the cartilage itself is not damaged, an injury to a joint can alter the manner in which the bones of the joint related to one another. Examples of such a change include bony fragments that heal in a way that is different from the way the bone was originally or ligament damage that causes instability in the joint.
If you've been in a Pennsylvania car accident and you've injured a joint, it is important to ask the right questions in order to determine whether you have a risk of developing post-traumatic arthritis in the future. Only through the proper investigation and documentation of such risk can you be adequately compensated. If you settle your case without thoroughly investigating and document risk of future harm you will have no opportunity to obtain compensation later in time for harm that was not compensated at the time of your settlement.