We offer a free consultation and our Serious Injury Solicitors may be able to help you get the compensation and treatment you need if you’re suffering from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).
If you developed symptoms of CRPS after being injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you should be able to access the care and support you need, and compensation to cover the associated costs.
Our Serious Injury Solicitors can commission an independent medical report regarding the injuries you sustained in the accident, and we’re trained to spot key indicators within these reports that suggest a person may be suffering from CRPS.
Our Solicitors can also push for you to receive interim payments, so you can access the treatment you need immediately.
For free legal advice get in touch with our Serious Injury Solicitors. We may be able to deal with your claim on a No Win, No Fee basis, so ask us for details.
How Much Compensation for CRPS?
According to Judicial College guidelines, a person claiming with moderate Complex Regional Pain Syndrome can expect to receive between £26,000 and £49,000 compensation. A claimant with severe CRPS symptoms, meanwhile, could receive up to £78,000 in compensation.
We should make it clear that these are just rough guidelines, rather than a guarantee of how much compensation you will receive. Our Serious Injury Solicitors will value your case based on your specific circumstances, so it fully reflects your individual needs.
Guidelines on the value of CRPS compensation falls under chronic pain claims, with Judicial College guidelines considering the following factors when valuing compensation claims for CRPS:
- The level of pain experienced by the sufferer
- The overall impact of symptoms
- Whether the claimant's ability to work has been affected
- Whether medication is required to manage pain, if so the costs and effect medication could have on daily life will be considered
- The extent of current treatment and the predicted effect of future treatment
- The areas of the body affected by the chronic pain condition
- Whether the sufferer has developed, or is likely to develop, a psychiatric disorder because of their continued pain
- The age and prognosis of the claimant
More Information on CRPS
CRPS is a form of chronic pain that causes long-lasting suffering and discomfort. Most CRPS cases are triggered by an injury, with the resulting pain more serious and long-lasting than would normally be expected from an accident.
But while an estimated 28 million Brits suffer from some form of chronic pain, awareness and understanding of CRPS is relatively low. That means sufferers are often misdiagnosed.
Two Recognised Types of CRPS
Type 1: Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) - RSD is the most common form of CRPS and usually follows an injury to a specific area of the body. RSD is characterised by damage to a certain area but does not involve nerve damage.
Type 2: Causalgia - this develops after a distinct injury to the nerve. Causalgia is rarer than RSD and its symptoms are usually more painful and difficult to manage. Sufferers often feel a severe burning pain in a limb, which is caused by nerve damage.
Anyone can develop CRPS following an accident or injury. However, women account for three-quarters of reported cases, and teenagers can be especially susceptible following an injury.
The average age for the onset of symptoms is around 50 and it’s estimated that 1 in 3,800 people in the UK develop CRPS every year.
Symptoms of CRPS
Some of the most common symptoms associated with CRPS include:
- A burning, intense, and ‘stabbing’ pain, also described as ‘cold pain’
- Feeling pain from the lightest of touches – the medical term for this is allodynia. This is usually characterised by experiencing a painful reaction to something that would not normally hurt, such as stroking the skin with a feather
- Experiencing pain from pressure or temperature that would not normally cause pain - this is often described by its medical name, hyperalgesia
- Continued intense pain after injury where normally the individual would have been expected to make a full recovery
- Abnormal swelling in the area affected, also known as oedema
- Changes in skin colour or mottled appearance to the skin
- Excessive sweating in the affected area
- Abnormal nail growth and/or abnormal hair growth
- Abnormal skin temperature in the affected area
- Joint tenderness and/or stiffness
- Cracked, grooved or brittle nails
- Tremors and muscle spasms, known as dystonia
At present, there’s no single diagnostic test to confirm CRPS. And the fact many of these symptoms aren’t exclusive to CRPS can make it even harder to identify.
If you experience any unusual symptoms or your pain is burning and intense and doesn’t seem to be improving after an injury, we strongly recommend that you ask to be referred to your local pain clinic.
There’s no single therapy or management programme that will benefit every CRPS sufferer. When treating other chronic pain conditions, medical professionals usually advise a dedicated multidisciplinary pain management programme.
A collaborative approach is the preferred model and the earlier a person can access a pain management programme the better the outcome is likely to be.
A package of rehabilitative treatment for a person suffering from CRPS may include:
- Prescribed pain relief medication
- Physical rehabilitation, including input from occupational therapists and physiotherapists with psychological support
- The fitting of a spinal cord stimulator (in severe cases where other methods of pain control do not work). This involves a device being surgically implanted, which uses electric currents to control and manage pain.
A treatment or pain management programme may also include psychological support, as living with long-term pain can be very distressing and cause depression and anxiety.
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Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Bristol, Cardiff, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.