Maryland Automobile Accident Update: Surviving a Bad Car Crash Doesn’t Mean the Pain is Over

As personal injury lawyers representing victims of traffic accidents in Maryland and Washington, D.C., we know that recovering from a serious car, truck or motorcycle wreck involves more than just being treated for severe or life-threatening injuries, but also means facing the possibility of persistent and sometimes chronic pain for months or years after the initial collision.

Nearly anyone who has been severely injured in an automobile or trucking-related traffic collision will likely tell you that the pain associated with certain injuries can continue on, long after the physical wounds have more or less healed. Nerve damage and other medical and neurological complications can make even day-to-day tasks painful and sometimes difficult to complete.

For anyone injured in a car, truck or pedestrian accident, these are concerns that should always be considered when pursuing a personal injury claim against another negligent party. An article published not long ago brought this topic to the fore, if only because it applies to many individuals in similar situations here in Maryland and around the rest of the country.

The report focuses on a Westminster, MD, man who has had to deal with what medical professionals refer to as chronic pain syndrome. Suffering from full-body complex regional pain syndrome, Michael Harris follows a regimen of aquatic therapy exercises, as well as other physical therapies, in an effort to alleviate the pain resulting from complications after an auto accident back in August 2007.

According to the article, Mr. Harris was apparently caught up in a 2007 car wreck when the vehicle in which he was riding was struck from behind by a drunken driver. The crash happened at an intersection along a stretch of Maryland Rte 140. The victim’s vehicle was reportedly stopped at the intersection waiting for a red light when the crash occurred.

As a result of the crash, Harris received several injuries, including a ruptured spinal disc. Some time after the wreck, doctors discovered that a piece of bone was impinging on the nerves in the man’s back, causing significant pain and discomfort. Harris apparently began to experience a number of associated symptoms, including tingling in his arms all the way to his fingertips, as well as numbness in his upper limbs. Unfortunately, these initial symptoms only got worse as time progressed following the car crash.

Subsequent pain throughout the man’s body included severe shooting pains felt all the way down his right leg, plus complaints of a sharp, “burning sensation” in other portions of his anatomy, as well as excessive sweating and changes in body temperature. His legs and hands also experienced swelling and color changes.

According to the news article, it took three years and visits to more than 30 separate doctors to narrow down the cause of this man’s pain. Harris was subjected to numerous procedures and tests, including blood tests, spinal taps, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), X-ray computed tomography (CT) scans. By administering a variety of tests, doctors were able to rule out numerous potential disorders such as various blood diseases, Lyme disease as well as MS or multiple sclerosis.

Eventually, doctors settled on complex regional pain syndrome, which is a kind of nervous system disorder that causes the subject to suffer from, among other things, a hypersensitivity to touch. As a result of the injuries sustained in that 2007 auto accident, Harris’s body began to send erroneous pain signals to his brain. A personal injury attorney helped the victim win an injury suit on the order of $11 million to help recover much of his costs to date, as well as additional monies for future treatment and quality of life compensation.

Although Harris won the initial suit in a Carroll County courtroom, the defendant has filed motions to have the awarded amount reduced, as well as requesting a new trial. This is one of many examples of how one individual’s negligent act can result in a possible lifetime of pain and suffering to another person. Of course, there is much more to this man’s story. We can only wish him well and hope for a quick and favorable resolution to his legal case.

Car crash leaves Westminster man struggling with chronic pain syndrome,, August 9, 2011

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