Have you been in a car accident and noticed joint pain or stiffness soon after? 

While it may seem like a coincidence, studies have found a link between trauma and the onset of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in people genetically predisposed to the disease.

RA is a debilitating autoimmune disease that can cause inflammation, pain, and damage to the affected joints. If left untreated, it can lead to a significant decrease in quality of life.

In this article, we’ll explore the link between car accidents and RA, including the latest research on the topic. We’ll also discuss the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options for RA and how to seek compensation for your injuries.

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the joints, causing inflammation, pain, and stiffness. 

It can also affect other body parts, including the lungs, heart, and eyes. RA is more common in women than men and often develops between 30 and 60.

Causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis

The exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. 

Researchers have identified several genes that increase the risk of RA, but not everyone with these genes will develop the disease. 

Environmental factors triggering RA include smoking, obesity, and exposure to certain viruses and bacteria.

Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can vary from person to person but often include joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. The symptoms may be worse in the morning or after periods of inactivity. Other symptoms may include fatigue, fever, and weight loss.

Diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis can be challenging, as there is no specific test for the disease. A diagnosis is usually based on symptoms, medical history, physical examination, and blood tests. X-rays and other imaging tests may also be used to assess joint damage.

Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis

While there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, several treatment options are available to manage the symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. Medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), can help reduce inflammation and pain. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair or replace damaged joints.

Physical therapy can also be beneficial for people with rheumatoid arthritis. A physical therapist can develop an exercise program that helps maintain joint flexibility, improve muscle strength, and reduce pain. They may also recommend assistive devices, such as braces or crutches, to help reduce stress on the affected joints.

Can a Car Accident Cause Rheumatoid Arthritis?

While there is no direct evidence that a car accident can cause rheumatoid arthritis (RA), studies have found a link between trauma and the onset of the disease in people who are genetically predisposed.

RA is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks healthy tissue in the body, leading to inflammation, pain, and damage to the affected joints.

Physical trauma, like a car accident, can activate the body’s immune system, potentially triggering the onset of RA in people already susceptible to the disease. 

If you have been in a car accident and are experiencing joint pain or stiffness, seek medical attention to receive an accurate diagnosis and begin treatment. If you believe your rheumatoid arthritis was caused by a car accident, reach out to an experienced attorney. Act quickly because there are statutes of limitations that limit the amount of time to file a claim or lawsuit.

The Link Between Trauma and RA

While a car accident may not directly cause rheumatoid arthritis, some studies suggest that trauma can trigger the onset of RA in people who are genetically predisposed to the disease. 

One study found that people who experienced physical or emotional trauma were more likely to develop RA. Let’s look closer at the symptoms and diagnosis of RA.

What to Do if You Think You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis Following an Accident

If you suspect that you may have rheumatoid arthritis, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent or slow joint damage and improve quality of life. Your doctor may refer you to a rheumatologist, a specialist treating autoimmune diseases, for further evaluation.

Document any potential causes of your rheumatoid arthritis, including any car accidents or other traumas that may have triggered the onset of the disease. If you believe your rheumatoid arthritis was caused by a car accident, it may be worth seeking legal help to determine if you are eligible for compensation.

Seeking Legal Help

If you suspect your rheumatoid arthritis was caused by a car accident, it may be worth seeking legal help to determine if you are eligible for compensation. 

A personal injury attorney can help you navigate the legal process and seek damages for your losses, which may include:

  • Medical expenses: This can include the cost of doctor visits, medications, diagnostic tests, physical therapy, and other medical treatments related to your rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Lost wages: If you have had to miss work due to your rheumatoid arthritis or related medical treatments, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages and reduced earning capacity.
  • Pain and suffering: This can include physical pain and discomfort, as well as emotional distress, anxiety, and depression related to your condition.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life: If your rheumatoid arthritis has limited your ability to participate in activities you once enjoyed, such as sports, hobbies, or social events, you may be entitled to compensation for the loss of enjoyment of life.
  • Punitive damages: Sometimes, a personal injury attorney may seek punitive damages to punish the responsible party for their negligence or reckless behavior.

When seeking legal help for your rheumatoid arthritis, it is important to choose an attorney with experience handling personal injury cases. 

They can review the details of your case, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you in court if necessary.

Are you struggling with an RA diagnosis after a car accident that wasn’t your fault? Contact our team at Injury.io to get the answers you need.


Justice McDaniel is an experienced copywriter and blogger. She has over three years of experience providing outstanding legal content that ranks.