How Do I Claim Compensation For Chronic Pain?
By Fern Easton. Last Updated 3rd March 2021. Welcome to our guide on chronic pain injury compensation, where we’ll look at the chronic pain injury claims process in detail. Do you suffer chronic pain and believe that someone else could be responsible for this? Whether you have suffered chronic pain resulting from an accident at work or from a road accident, if someone was liable for the accident that has led you to suffer chronic pain syndrome, you could be able to make a claim for compensation. In this guide, we aim to cover everything you may need to know when you are seeking advice on claiming for complex regional pain syndrome or other conditions causing chronic pain. We will explain different types of chronic pain, including reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome, and answer such questions as ‘can fibromyalgia be caused by a car accident?’, ‘does chronic pain syndrome go away?’ and more. We will also go through some situations that could lead you to make a personal injury claim for your pain and explain how we could help provide you with a lawyer to help you make chronic pain injury claims. For situation-specific guidance, call 0800 073 8801, but before you do, why not read on to see if we’ve already answered your question?
Select A Section
- A Guide To Chronic Pain Compensation Claims
- What Is Chronic Pain Syndrome?
- What Could Cause Chronic Pain?
- What Is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?
- How Is Chronic Pain Diagnosed?
- Types Of Chronic Pain
- Am I Eligible To Claim Compensation For My Chronic Pain Injury
- Chronic Pain Compensation Claims Calculator
- Chronic Pain Claim Amounts For Special Damages
- No Win No Fee Chronic Pain Compensation Claims
- How We Could Help You Claim For Chronic Pain
- Start Your Chronic Pain Claim Today
- Essential References
If you’ve been suffering from chronic pain, it could have an effect on many different areas of your life. You may find it difficult to work, look after your children, or perform activities that you used to do with ease. You may suffer psychological effects from suffering a long-term medical condition such as this, and as such, your quality of life may suffer significantly. But what if the development of your chronic pain syndrome could have been avoided. What if it was actually caused by the actions or negligence of someone else?
At Accident Claims UK, we understand how debilitating long-term pain could be, and we know that if someone else is liable for the injuries that caused your chronic pain, you could deserve compensation not just for the actual pain but for any financial losses you may have suffered as a result. Within the guide below, we explain more about this type of pain, as well as talking about situations that may lead to you being able to make a claim. We’ll give you some information about our services too, and let you know how we could help assess your case and provide you advice and support, as well as a personal injury solicitor should you need one.
Chronic pain syndrome is pain that a person suffers that lasts longer than three months. It could be referred to as its shortened name of CPS. The usual pain that a person suffers when they are injured could be considered to be ‘good’ pain. It lets us know something is wrong within the body, and if serious enough, we seek treatment for it, which ensures we have a good chance of a full recovery.
However, in some cases, pain does not go away. In fact, it could consider for years after an initial injury, even if the injury itself has fully healed. There could be symptoms that include shooting pains, tight muscles, sensitivity to touch and aching. Some chronic pain syndrome sufferers feel these symptoms at the same level for months, or even years, while in others, there may be ‘flare-ups’ of these symptoms that happen intermittently.
Because this is such a long-term condition, it could cause psychological symptoms too, including depression and anxiety. You may feel unable to take part in activities that you once did for fear of a ‘flare-up’ of your symptoms, and you may be unable to work. All these could have a devastating effect on your quality of life.
It may be quite difficult to say what has caused your chronic pain because time may elapse between the initial injury and the time your symptoms of pain began. Injuries such as head injuries, back injuries and spinal cord injuries could cause this type of pain, as could amputations, but in some cases, a simple fall, sprain or dislocation could lead to the condition developing.
Root causes of chronic pain could include accidents at work, road traffic accidents or slips, trips, and falls, amongst other accidents. Specialist assessment of your condition may lead to you being able to make chronic pain injury claims as a result of an accident you’ve suffered, as long as it was someone else’s fault and they could be held liable for your injuries.
Complex regional pain syndrome could be considered a diagnosis for pain lasting over 6 months in a patient that has suffered an injury to a leg, arm, hand or foot after it has been injured. The condition is thought to be some sort of malfunction in the nervous system, affecting the transmission of messages between the nerves and the brain. Changes in the temperature of the skin in the area, swelling and change of skin colour, as well as prolonged pain. The pain could be described as burning, or like pins and needles, or as if someone were squeezing down on the affected part of the body.
There are two types of CRPS.
CRPS1 is where there is no known cause for the pain – i.e. no confirmed nerve injury
CRSP2 is where there is an identifiable cause of nerve pain – i.e. damage to the nerve that could be classified.
There could be a huge variation in terms of how long the syndrome lasts and how severe it is. In some cases, CRPS could cause long-term disability. The treatment for CRPS is usually a combination of medication, psychotherapy and physical therapies. The prognosis for recovery is often better in younger, healthier people but does vary widely between cases.
Because there are so many different symptoms that you may suffer because of chronic pain syndrome, it could be difficult to diagnose. It could also take a long while to get a diagnosis in some cases. While it is important that certain conditions are ruled out before a diagnosis is given, unnecessary and inappropriate investigations could only serve to heighten a patient’s anxiety surrounding their condition.
In terms of treatment for chronic pain syndrome, it could be thought that a variety of combined therapies may help in some cases. These could include:
- Medication – NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and naproxen could be utilised in some patients, while paracetamol or topical capsaicin patches could be used in other cases. Opioids do not appear to be a preferred choice for treating this type of pain in some cases, as there does not appear to be quality evidence to support their usage. Anti-epileptic drugs could be considered in some cases, and so could antidepressants.
- Psychological treatments – Pain management programmes could be considered for some patients, while others may benefit from CBT.
- Physical therapies – Physiotherapy might help with some conditions. Manual therapies, which could include mobilisation and manipulation, could be useful to some patients.
- Exercise – There is some evidence that exercise could be beneficial to some patients.
- Electrotherapy – While not widely used, low-level laser therapy could be a course of treatment for some patients, while TENS machines may also help some sufferers.
- Acupuncture – This is thought to help with some osteoarthritis or back pain sufferers in the short term.
While some of these options may be covered under the NHS, it may be that you would have to pay privately for others. If so, it may be a possibility to get these costs covered within your chronic pain injury compensation.
This type of pain could be described as pain that has lasted for more than 12 weeks but could be medically classed as falling into certain categories. These could include:
Fibromyalgia – With fibromyalgia, symptoms could present differently in different patients. It could be associated with lifting heavy items or performing repetitive tasks, or making sudden movements. Some symptoms might include extreme stiffness in the joints, affecting mobility and causing pain in the body, to extreme sensitivity to someone touching the area.
Myofascial Pain Syndrome – This condition is specific to certain muscles or muscle groups. It could be caused by an accident and could present as spasms within the muscles.
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome – This is a condition that could be caused by relatively minor injuries, which trigger a response within the nervous system, leading to chronic pain. Triggers of this condition could include:
- Damage to soft tissue
- Broken bones
- Nerve damage
Whatever type of chronic pain you’re suffering with, if you believe it was caused by someone else, why not get in touch with the Accident Claims UK advisors for an assessment of your case and to see if you could be entitled to chronic pain injury compensation.
Injuries causing chronic pain- facts and statistics
Research from Public Health England has revealed that as of 2017, 34% of survey respondents were living with pain that persisted for three months or longer. The prevalence of chronic pain increases with age; 18% of people aged 16-34 reported suffering from chronic pain, and this increases to 53% of over-75s.
This research also found that 81% of people living with musculoskeletal conditions reported being in chronic pain. HSE reported that 480,000 workers were suffering from work-related musculoskeletal disorders in 2019/20. Although these statistics don’t specify how many of these are the cause of chronic pain, we can assume that many do.
The graph above, based on HSE injury statistics, looks at the prevalence of injuries in the workplace that may lead to chronic pain. We can see that the most common kind of reported injury in the workplace in this period were bone fractures. A study looking at UK chronic pain sufferers in 2017 highlighted a possible link between fractures and chronic widespread bodily pain. It found that those who reported having fractured a bone in the past were significantly more likely to report chronic widespread bodily pain, even when other risk factors were taken into account.
It could be important for potential claimants to understand that chronic pain syndrome payouts may not be payable for all sufferers of this type of pain. Specialist assessments would need to be undertaken to work out how chronic pain syndrome was caused and then to see if someone else could be held liable for the condition.
Complex regional pain syndrome compensation claims could be successful if the claimant’s symptoms have resulted from an accident at work, an accident on the road, medical negligence, a slip trip or fall or another accident that someone else could be liable for. You would also need to be able to claim within the personal injury claims time limit for such cases. This would usually be three years from the date it was discovered that the pain you were suffering resulted from the accident that wasn’t your fault. However, there may be some complexities surrounding this, so please do get in touch to check how long you might have to make your claim.
Read on to the next section to find out how much you could receive in a chronic pain injury compensation claim.
It could be difficult to put a value on chronic pain claim amounts without a full medical assessment being done. You would be required to have one of these for chronic pain injury claims – this is a standard procedure that all personal injury claimants must go through. The medical assessment would be used to value your claim, which is why it could be hard to find a personal injury claims calculator that could give an estimate on how much CRPS settlement amounts in the UK are worth.
What we have chosen to do here is display in a table the Judicial College guidelines for some chronic pain injury claims. We hope you find it useful.
|Complex Regional Pain Syndrome – AKA Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy||£49,270 to £78,840||The prognosis for claimants in this bracket could be considered poor. They will have little to no ability to work, and psychological symptoms may also exist.|
|Complex Regional Pain Syndrome – AKA Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy||£26,300 to £49,270||At the higher end of this bracket, there. Could be some prognosis for improvement that could lead the sufferer back to work (perhaps not full-time) but future care needs would be only modest. Where medication helps, or symptoms vary in intensity, the lower end of the bracket may be appropriate.|
|Pain Disorders||£39,530 to £59,110||Severe - Where there is an adverse effect on the claimant’s ability to work, as well as them requiring some assistance with daily living. Fibromyalgia that has severe persistent symptoms could be settled within this bracket.|
|Pain Disorders||£19,770 to £36,120||Higher amounts within this bracket relate to ongoing symptoms where there is an effect on the ability to work. Lower amounts relate to symptoms that could have been almost completely eradicated or significantly reduced.|
If you don’t feel that your chronic pain is covered here, please do get in touch. We’ll be happy to explain the guidelines we feel could fit your condition.
If you’re wondering what can be included in a chronic pain injury compensation other than the general damages, then this section could be helpful for you. Chronic pain solicitors, as well as getting you a payout for the suffering and pain you’re experiencing, could also help you claim for costs incurred because of your pain. Chronic pain payouts could also include special damages awards for:
Loss of wages – If your complex regional pain syndrome, fibromyalgia or other chronic pain syndrome leads you to have to take time away from work or even give up the job you have, then you may be able to claim for lost income.
Care costs – If you require care with day to day tasks because of your pain, you may be able to include these costs as part of your personal injury claim.
Medical costs – If you needed to pay for counselling, physiotherapy, or other medical costs, these could be covered within a chronic pain or fibromyalgia claim.
Travel costs – Costs that could be incurred, such as train fares to hospital appointments or car parking fees at the hospital, could also be covered.
If, as a result of your pain, you have incurred other costs, then do let us know. We could then advise on whether you could claim for such costs within your chronic pain claim.
Utilising the services of a personal injury solicitor when making a claim for compensation could be considered beneficial. After all, this is what these professionals train for, and they could bring their capabilities to building a strong case that any liable party would find hard to dispute. Not only this but with experience of what compensation settlement offers would be fair, they could be in a position to advise you whether you could think about taking what has been offered or whether you could likely get more compensation if you refused an initial offer of settlement.
But of course, a lawyer should be paid for their services, and while you may assume paying a lawyer right away for their services is your only option, with a no win no fee claim for chronic pain, you would not be required to pay your lawyer until you were awarded a payout.
No win no fee claims work under an agreement, which is often referred to as a CFA (Conditional Fee Agreement). You would sign this to agree to pay a personal injury lawyer a percentage of your compensation payout, which can’t, by law, be more than 25% of your total settlement.
When your lawyer successfully gets you a compensation payout, their percentage would be paid to them, and you would benefit from the rest. If they weren’t successful in getting you chronic pain payouts for your valid claim, then you would not have to pay this percentage.
If you’re wondering how Accident Claims UK could help you make a claim for compensation for chronic pain and why you should choose to reach out to us, then there are several things you may need to know. The first is that we’ve been helping people in a similar situation to you make claims for the compensation they deserve, and we put all of our efforts into making the claims process as straightforward as possible. The way in which we do so is by firstly assessing your situation and providing free legal advice on what you could do about the situation you are in. We’ll also answer any questions you might have, again, without charging you for our advice. There may be some occasions where you may not be eligible for compensation. If we don’t think you are, then we will tell you, and we will explain the reasons why we feel this is the case. We don’t want to waste your time with a claim that would not be likely to end up with a compensation settlement.
If we think that you might be in a position to successfully claim compensation, we could put you in touch with one of our personal injury lawyers, who could then help to build a case for compensation on your behalf. Of course, if you want to think about your options or would like more time to decide on whether to make a claim with our help, then you are well within your rights to this. We would never put pressure upon you to claim chronic pain compensation before you are ready to do so; we simply want to help.
Are you looking for more information on whether you could make a claim for compensation for your chronic pain, or have you decided you’re ready to make a claim? Either way, we’d be delighted to help you. There are several ways in which you could go about contacting us:
Via email – email@example.com
By telephone – 0800 073 8801
Via our contact form or via Live Chat
When you get in touch, we’ll ask you some questions about your situation, and if appropriate, we could offer the services of a personal injury lawyer who could help you get the compensation you deserve.
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome – If you would like more information on this condition, then you may find some useful advice on this page.
Ways To Manage Chronic Pain – Managing chronic pain could be difficult. This NHS page has some more information on different options.
Musculoskeletal disorders at work – Details from HSE on managing the risks of MSDs in the workplace.
Whiplash – One cause of chronic pain could be a whiplash injury. For information and support on making such claims, our guide can be found here.
Head Injury Claims – If you have suffered chronic pain because of a head injury, you may be interested in this guide.
Road Traffic Accident Claims – If your chronic pain has been caused by an RTA, this guide could offer some useful advice.
Thank you for reading our guide on chronic pain injury compensation. We hope that all your questions around chronic pain injury claims have been answered.
Article by Jo