When Chronic Pain Prevents Employment
When Chronic Pain Prevents Employment
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal injury attorney. Having helped seriously injured clients since 1982, I am familiar with the devastation caused by chronic pain due to vehicle crashes and other accidents. This kind of pain that prevents someone from working is not a moral failing, and it’s not your fault if you have been traumatically injured due to someone else’s reckless behavior, or if you suffer chronic pain due to serious illness.
“Unemployed” or Not Employed due to Chronic Pain?
A recent Washington Post article cites 11.5 percent of men aged 24-54 are not currently employed and are not looking for work. This compares to 3.3 percent of working-age men in 1948. These men are not considered “unemployed” by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and are not figured into the unemployment rate; they are assumed to have simply left the workforce. Why? Half of today’s unemployed men aged 24-54 are not working because they are in school, responsible for housekeeping and/or childcare, or have already retired. It’s the other half that I fight for. These individuals are not working due to disability and illness. Simply put, they are unable to work – through no fault of their own.
An American Enterprise Institute demographer looked at the statistics regarding men aged 24-54 who are not working and concluded the problem was due to moral or social dysfunction. However, a Princeton professor, whose previous jobs include chief economist for the Department of Labor and chairman of the Obama administration’s Council of Economic Advisers, took into account the fact that these men were all suffering from chronic pain. Their lack of employment was not due to moral failing; it was due to chronic pain and disability. The issue is not that these men won’t work; it’s that they can’t.
Chronic Pain Issues
These men are on prescription-strength pain medicine, have one or more disabilities, suffer depression and sadness, and are fatigued or stressed out. Some have memory and concentration issues, and others can’t even walk up and down stairs. All of these difficulties can be caused by traumatic injury and chronic pain, which is often caused by having been in a car crash, motorcycle or other accident. If your pain lasts longer than six months, it is considered chronic. It is typically at least partially debilitating and often unbearable. The consequences of chronic pain include depression, anxiety, sadness, fatigue and more. Unfortunately, these emotional problems can make illness and injury even more debilitating.
A Pain Epidemic
Is America experiencing a chronic pain epidemic? In 2015 Princeton economists researched and discovered that death rates are increasing among middle-aged working Caucasians, an historic anomaly. Although opiate-related deaths are largely the cause for the increase, most people use opiates because of legitimate chronic pain. Severe joint pain and neck pain are among the most oft-cited reasons for opiate usage.
Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney
I’m Ed Smith, a personal injury attorney serving the Sacramento area. I have seen many clients who may never work again due to the actions of a drunk driver, careless motorcyclist, or reckless truck driver. Some have suffered traumatic injuries at the hands of negligent corporations. Others have been harmed by defective medical devices that caused chronic pain or irreparable damage. Others suffer chronic pain due to illness. I’ve been helping people who have chronic pain recover damages for more than 33 years and have many success stories. If you’re suffering from chronic pain, please call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice.
I am a member associated with the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
You may read through my Past Verdicts and Settlements page.
Photo Source: Wiki Media Commons – grief.jpg