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MS, Accidents and Insurance

I wanted to discuss something I recently experienced after I had a bad car accident 2 years ago. First I should say I have been fortunate with a slow and relatively mild form of PPMS. I walk and go places, but I use a cane outdoors. In fact, when I was initially diagnosed 23 years ago, I had one scar and no exacerbations so was told I had CIS MS.
I don’t participate anymore in many sports, except Kayaking, my fav!
But I can drive a car well and have never had an issue related to my MS.

Yet two years ago I was driving in my neighborhood through an intersection with a green light. And to my left came a commercial van speeding into me through his red light. My car was totaled and for the grace of God, I walked away… rattled but unharmed.

Over the next few months I realized my gait and sensation was different. I went to a neurologist (I had recently moved) and explained my concerns. She ordered new MRIs and within weeks I found I had a second scar.

My first neurologist confirmed that the scar was new and re-diagnosed me with PPMS.

The point of this posting, however is that I had no idea that there was a possibility my advancing MS could be related to my accident. I found out that many research studies have found advances in addition to the exhibition initially of MS is tied often to Stressful Life Events.

And had I walked into the neurologist’s office stating that I had been in a devastating car crash 4 months before, the examination and facts would have been admissible to the discovery of my insurance claim. But because I did not associate the accident to my new symptoms, the doctor was not allowed to make a statement as to it’s likely being related.

That is the first point I want to make.
The second is that most states allow 24 months for the victim of something like this to make a legal claim to their injuries from a crash. However Connecticut, my home state, allows up to 12 more months if it could be established that an injury was related but was not immediately evident. In that case, they state there would be 24 months from the time of discovery of such an injury.

The insurance company I was dealing with refused to allow this. (I was representing myself.) Despite I had been honest about no announcing my accident when I went to the doctor, and required more details to present the association of the event and my results, I lost a great deal.

Please keep in mind you experienced a Stressful Life Event if you ever report an issue within 12-24 months after something like a bad accident. Report it to your doctor just In Case It Was Relevant …Please..

I hope you don’t have accidents, or haven’t. Have any of you had anything similar happen? What were your results?
Thank you!

  1. I first want to say how grateful I am that you weren't critically harmed in the car accident that you mentioned. I've been in a car accident myself and boy oh boy, talk about stress!!! It's such a rush of anxiety, fear, trying to rationalize and recall the events, etc. It's just so much. I'm really glad you were ok, namrod. Secondly, I hope others see this forum thread and share their experiences with you because you have made some really great points and asked some interesting questions. I've seen quite a few people in this community that have mentioned that they noticed MS like symptoms or progression after a S.L.E., as you mentioned. I'm so sorry that your insurance company refused the information you sent over to them. I can't imagine how frustrating that must have been to deal with. If I may ask, how have you been doing and feeling lately? 🧡 Kayleigh, team

    1. Yes, but no question about my medical situation was ever raised and I didn't offer any.

      1. Me

        1. Thanks you for your kind and caring comments. I have suffered undoubtedly from the results of my accident in a few ways. My MS obviously advanced advanced. In fact, as I mentioned 8n another thread about being mis-diagnosed to the type of MS I had.

          Initially my MS was clearly evident, I could hardly walk it write my name more than 4-5 times..before it was unclear. This was then I spent 5-6 years searching for a diagnosis. When I did find a wonderful doctor, he diagnosed me immediately. And I began taking Avonex for the next 18 years.

          Yet when Asked what type of MS I had, he thought it was single episode. After a year of grueling PT and OT to get my legs and hands working, I was pretty good and nearly unnoticeably challenged. I even begged my doc to let me stop the Avonex since it was for RR MS and I was ill for 24-36 hrs every week for 18 years.

          Yet after the accident, and looking more closely at my abilities the 2-3 years since I stopped the drugs, my symptoms came back quickly. They advanced even faster after the accident when for the first t8me in 20 years I had a new scar.

          So yes. Life is different. I even had surgery on my thumb that wasn’t covered after the accident, because I have Eulers Danlos,,and who would have thought? Until my family saw how I held the striped ring wheel..and we realized the impact tore my thumb out of the socket.

          Gee, sorry for this lengthy reply. However I still firmly believe that if anyone with MS is in an accident. Think. And be cautious when going to a doctor for any ailment following the accident. Discuss it thoroughly with all your doctors when you’re there with a new issue.
          Again, stay safe. But be smart!

          1. Thank you so much for sharing!!! I really loved what you said at the end about thinking about everything and sharing with your doctors, especially if you're ever in an accident and experience any symptoms post-traumatic event. This is such great advice. I'm sorry that it took a while to get the diagnosis but I'm so glad that you got some answers. Sometimes the waiting can be the hardest part. Sending you lots of love this afternoon, namrod! 🧡 Kayleigh, team

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