How Can I Prove I’m Still in Pain for My Accident Claim?

Posted on: 5 mins read
Melanie Burden

Partner, Head of Employer's Liability - Serious Injury

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If you suffer an injury in an accident you may be left with persistent pain and suffering. So if you’re going to claim compensation, it’s important to prove that you’re in pain, so you can access the treatment and rehabilitation you need to manage it effectively.

Our Serious Injury Solicitors can do this in several ways, including:

  • Getting independent medical evidence
  • Recommending you keep a pain diary or journal
  • Gathering witness statements from you, close friends and family members
  • Looking at what pain medications or treatment you’re getting to manage your pain
  • Obtaining photographs of any visible symptoms, such as swelling and mottling of the skin

If you’re suffering from Chronic Pain after an accident, it’s important you instruct Solicitor who specialises in serious injuries who can expertly guide you through the claims process, and also take the stress out of it for you.

For a free assessment of your claim, call our Serious Injury Solicitors and we will help you. Ask if we can deal with your claim on a No Win, No Fee basis.

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Proving Long-Term Pain

Generally, pain reported immediately after an accident is rarely disputed. Doctors and nurses treating you in the aftermath in hospital will assess your injuries, ask how you’re feeling and note down their assessment, which will be recorded in your medical records.

But proving that you’re suffering from ongoing pain after an accident can be a real source of frustration and despair.

Doctors can do various tests to assess your pain levels, your reactions and if you’re sensitive to pain. But the truth is that pain is subjective, so only you as the person who has been injured can know just how you are feeling. 

Many accident victims may also try putting on a brave face and concealing their chronic pain. All too often, some people can make hurtful comments to suggest you’re only claiming for the money or you’re exaggerating your symptoms to get more money, and others might simply not want to worry their family and friends.

But if your pain doesn’t settle down after an accident and is continuing for longer than three months, despite medication or treatment, then it can be classified as chronic pain.

If you’re diagnosed with a long-term chronic pain condition, the claim can be high-value, so the insurance company representing the other side will often go to great lengths to dispute the claim. So it’s very important to get as much evidence as possible to prove your claim.

What Evidence Can Help My Claim?

  • Expert Medical Report - Our Serious Injury Solicitors work with a trusted network of medical experts who specialise in chronic pain, who can assess you and provide a diagnosis of your injuries. We ask them to provide their professional opinion and recommendations for treatment. The expert also reviews your medical records and may arrange for further diagnostic tests and scans to help them reach their opinion. The reports prepared by these experts, along with your medical records, can be crucial in proving that you’re suffering pain after an accident.
  • Pain Diary / Journal - We recommend you keep a pain diary or journal to record how you are feeling and note the good days and bad days. Also note how the pain restricts you from carrying out day to day tasks.
  • Witness Statements - We’ll take a statement from you to describe your injuries and the effects they’ve had on your life. We also take statements from close family members and friends who can say what you were like before the accident and any changes they have noted in you since you were injured.
  • Pain Medication - We’ll also look at any pain medications you are taking and other treatments you’re receiving to help manage your pain.
  • Photographs - Most types of pain aren’t visible, but there are some pain conditions such as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome where there can be visible symptoms, such as swelling, redness, mottling of the skin, changes to the nails and abnormal hair growth. If you have any photographs showing any visible symptoms, we ask you to take photographs to help demonstrate the changes.

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What if the Medical Expert Can’t Find a Reason for My Pain?

It’s quite common to see medical reports where GPs and consultants confirm they would have expected you to fully recover by a certain period of time and they cannot explain why you’re still experiencing ongoing pain.

If you’re still in a lot of pain, this can be upsetting to read. 

But if the medical expert hasn’t addressed other possible causes of the pain in the report, then your Solicitor can ask them if the symptoms could be caused by a pain condition, if psychological factors could affect your perception of the pain, and if they think you should be examined by a pain medicine consultant.

Medical experts should only comment on conditions which are within their field of expertise and so if they answer positively to this sort of question and agree you should be examined by a pain Consultant and/or a psychologist, then we can arrange these assessments with the necessary specialists.

Could There Be a Psychological Explanation for My Pain?

It’s well recognised that many people suffering from chronic pain conditions can experience psychological symptoms and recognised psychiatric disorders. 

This can be because living with a long-term pain condition can be very distressing and can cause depression and anxiety. You can get caught up in a cycle of pain, so accessing psychological treatment and support can really help. 

Many of our clients have described the real benefits of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) treatment to help them come to terms with their injury and pain, and to teach them coping strategies to help manage their pain.    

Sometimes, an accident can provoke a psychological response where you perceive pain that you believe has been caused by the accident, which can cause you to suffer symptoms and pain which feel very real. This is sometimes referred to by doctors as a pain syndrome. 

There are some recognised complex disorders, such as Conversion Disorders and Somatic Symptom Disorders (sometimes described in medical reports as somatoform disorder, conversion disorder, and dissociative disorder). These do require specialist medical opinion to diagnose, so you get the specialist treatment you need.

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