Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), as the name suggests is a complicated condition that causes persistent severe and debilitating pain. This condition is usually triggered by an injury.
I have dealt with many clients who appeared to have suffered minor soft tissue injury or fractures, but went on to experience excruciating pain. In a few of these cases, the condition compromised my clients’ lives quite considerably. They had to give up their pre-accident jobs, could not go out independently and relied on members of their family for assistance with activities of daily living. In one case, the impact was such that my client attempted suicide. She was devastated by what had happened and could not cope with the fact that people were doubting her. Her ankle was not physically fractured, but it felt as though it was fractured. She could not weight bear and walked around with crutches. Her ankle was so sensitive that she could not sleep with her ankle under the duvet.
CRPS is a somewhat controversial condition and often the sufferers are labelled as “making it all up” or told “it’s all in the head.” Whilst liability for this particular client’s accident was not in dispute, causation was very much contested. The insurers’ experts went as far as saying it was a psychological issue and to suggest that my client, who was a very young woman, was prone to suffering such symptoms, due to her pre-accident history. In fact, her medical history hardly contained any psychiatric illness and she was, prior to the accident, leading a normal life.
With the support of her family and medical experts specialising in this condition, we were eventually able to settle the claim for a six figure sum.
It goes without saying that such claims need careful consideration of the medical evidence and the circumstances leading to the diagnosis. With supportive expert evidence, claimants bringing claims for CRPS following an accident need not be made to feel as though they are imagining their symptoms.