If you’re suffering with a chronic pain condition that’s been caused because of negligence then it’s likely you have a right to claim compensation.
Lodging A Claim For Chronic Pain Compensation
While traditionally there is a three-year time frame in which to pursue a claim for personal injury compensation, the situation is often a little different when it comes to chronic pain compensation. As it may be months or years down the line before the issue of chronic pain is diagnosed, and directly linked to an accident or improper working practices, it does not impact a person’s legal right to pursue compensation for negligence. The three-year time frame will simply reset when the individual receives the diagnosis of chronic pain which is directly linked to negligence by one or more third parties.
The most important element of any chronic pain compensation claim is the actual medical diagnosis due to the fact that it can occur months or years after the original injury. There are specialists in the field of chronic pain who can assess what may have brought on the issue thereby creating strong evidence for a claim. This together with perhaps a copy of an employer’s accident book if work related, citing similar injuries over the years, evidence from witnesses and a collective approach from other sufferers can also add more backbone to a chronic pain claim. One other important element of evidence is a timeline of events showing when the original accident occurred, the circumstances and the elements of negligence leading to the original injury and subsequent chronic pain.
Experience Of Personal Injury Solicitors
If you’re thinking of claiming compensation for chronic pain then you should ask for advice from a personal injury solicitor. Most solicitors are at the very least able to provide an initial free consultation and advise a chronic pain sufferer whether or not (in their opinion) a claim is likely to be successful. Should they decide you should claim then a solicitor will put together all of the medical data and background evidence to support your claim for chronic pain compensation. This is a very specialist field and the majority of law firms may well require further medical feedback from parties they work with. In many cases this will give them a greater insight into the original injury and the consequential chronic pain.
No Win No Fee Chronic Pain Claims
With a No Win No Fee arrangement the personal injury solicitor/law firm will exclude the claimant from any liability to legal costs they incur while pursuing the chronic pain claim. In exchange they will collect a “success fee” which equates to a maximum 25% of any compensation award. In the majority of successful prosecutions the solicitor will also be able to reclaim their legal expenses from the defendant. Even though No Win No Fee has attracted more than its fair share of criticism over the years, for many claimants it is the only viable financial option and it also ensures that negligent parties are held to account. Keep in mind however that prior to signing any agreement always check the fine print, and if you’re unclear of anything make sure you ask.
Once the solicitor and claimant have come to an agreement then a copy of the chronic pain claim will be forwarded to the courts and made available to the defendant. Where negligence is fairly obvious, perhaps there have been many similar injuries at a particular place of work, then the defendant may look to negotiate an out-of-court settlement. This will limit their legal fees, ensure that the claimant receives their chronic pain compensation in a timely manner and bring to an end what can be an extremely challenging and difficult situation for all parties.
There will be chronic pain claims where negligence is refuted or perhaps there is two or more potentially negligent parties involved. Very often these situations will end up before the courts where a judge will make a ruling after taking account of evidence presented from all parties.
Chronic Pain Compensation
Many people don’t realise that there are in fact two different types of compensation which you can pursue in personal injury claims. They are known as general damages and special damages.
When calculating chronic pain compensation various elements to general damages include:
- Severity of the chronic pain
- The level of suffering
- Psychological effects
- Life altering injuries
Compensation Amounts For Chronic Pain
We know that chronic pain can vary in severity but we also know there it can have a major impact upon not only a person’s life but also their personality. While the Judicial College regularly publishes historic data related to compensation settlements for chronic pain disorders, each case is considered on its own merits. The guidelines from the Judicial College, while having no legal standing in law, are well respected by law firms and used as a basis for calculating compensation awards. There is a degree of variation/discretion over the general guidelines which will reflect the individual nature of each claim.
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
- Described as moderate, compensation can range from £21,300 to £31,900. Taken into consideration are various factors such as the intensity and frequency of the pain, care requirements, medicinal effects on the pain and future prospects.
- Described as severe, the amount of compensation could range from £39,900 to £63,850. Various factors that are considered to determine the settlement paid out will include future prognosis, ability to work, care/assistance requirements, psychological effects.
Other Pain Disorders
- £16,000 to £29,250 compensation for moderate pain disorders. Points to consider will be if symptoms are on-going, the ability to function or work, whether a complete recovery might be made or is likely to be made.
- £32,000 to £42,875 compensation for severe pain disorders. In these types of cases symptoms will be severe and on-going even with treatment and symptoms are expected to continue.
The second type of damages is referred to as special damages and is simply financial recompense for costs/expenses paid out because of the chronic pain condition and funding requirements going forward. These will take in a number of various issues such as:
- Lost earnings
- Loss of future earnings
- Medical costs
- Future medical expenses
- Additional transportation expenses
- Adaptions to vehicles
- Alterations to the home
This list of elements to special damages is by no means inclusive but it does give you an idea of the potential issues considered when arriving at a compensation award. Unlike general damages there is no discretion/variation when calculating special damages.
If you think you may have a chronic pain compensation claim please contact us today for a free consultation.