Chronic pain can have a dramatic impact on your life many months after an accident has occurred. It can drain you both physically and mentally and also affect your loved ones as well. If your suffering is the result of an accident that was not your fault, you may be able to sue for chronic pain compensation. Any compensation awarded for chronic pain can help to support financially you while you’re suffering and be used to aid your recovery.
We can help if you or a loved one has been affected by chronic pain through no fault of your own. However, if you prefer to find out more about chronic pain compensation claims first, please read on. If you’d like to talk with a specialist about your options at any point right now, please call us on 0800 652 1345.
What is chronic pain?
Chronic pain can be a life-changing condition that can last for many months or years after an accident has occurred. Generally, chronic pain is a condition that lasts for 3 months or more after an injury and continues despite medication.
While you are likely to suffer some pain at the time of an accident, chronic pain will continue well after your injury has healed. In fact, chronic pain can cause a lot more suffering than that suffered initially and can cause many more problems.
What causes chronic pain?
One of the problems with chronic pain is that it can be difficult to isolate its cause and this can make treatment difficult. This can lead to serious health problems such as:
- Sleep problems.
- Anxiety, depression and other psychological issues.
- Problems with the immune system.
- Cognitive issues.
- Tiredness and weakness.
Any of the above can have a massive impact on your quality of life. As such, it is important that any chronic pain compensation claim considers exactly how you have suffered.
Common types of chronic pain syndromes
Chronic pain claims can be based on several forms of suffering including:
- Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) – a long-term condition resulting in pain across the whole body.
- Visceral pain – causes deep aches or feelings of pressure in the internal organs.
- Somatic pain – pain that affects the tissues of the body including skin, muscles and joints. Headaches are a form of somatic pain.
- Neuropathic pain – where damage to the nervous system causes pain signals to the wrong parts of the body.
Some of the conditions that can be diagnosed include chronic pain syndrome, complex regional pain syndrome, reflex sympathetic dystrophy and somatoform disorders.
Whatever form of chronic pain syndrome you’re dealing with, we can offer free advice about how to claim compensation if your suffering has been caused by somebody else. Please contact our team to find out more.
Treatment for chronic pain
There are several ways to manage chronic pain including:
- Physical therapy and physiotherapy.
These strategies may take many weeks or months to ease the symptoms of chronic pain and, it is possible, that they won’t help at all. As with other medical conditions, you should speak to your GP about chronic pain and let them propose a course of action that might help.
Can I claim compensation for chronic pain?
Before one of our personal injury solicitors agrees to represent you, they’ll assess whether you have a reasonable chance of being compensated for chronic pain. That means that they’ll check whether:
- The defendant in your case had a duty of care towards you;
- As a consequence of their negligence, an accident took place;
- This accident caused you to sustain injuries, and you have since been diagnosed with chronic pain.
Proving that a duty of care existed is not as hard as you might think. In most cases, legislation will exist to provide a duty of care while you’re at work, on a public road or footpath, on a company’s premises or in a public place. We’ll check this for you as part of our initial consultation.
The harder part of a chronic pain compensation claim is proving how you have suffered. As we progress through this guide, therefore, we’ll examine the types of proof you could use to support your case.
Common types of accidents that cause chronic pain
Importantly, chronic pain cannot be diagnosed straight after an accident has happened. Usually, it will become clear that you’re still suffering some weeks or months after your initial injuries have healed.
Chronic pain doesn’t affect everybody but it can be caused by traumatic accidents including:
- Workplace accidents.
- Road traffic accidents.
- Slips, trips and falls.
- Medical negligence.
- Criminal assaults.
Essentially, any type of accident can result in long-term chronic pain and each claimant will be affected differently.
As part of the claims process, your solicitor will arrange for an independent medical specialist to discuss your suffering with you. They’ll also review your medical records before filing a report to explain how you’ve been affected by chronic pain and how long you are likely to suffer. This report will be used to help determine how much compensation for chronic pain you’ll receive if your claim is successful.
How much compensation do you get for chronic pain?
How much compensation you’d claim for chronic pain would be decided on all the forms of suffering you’ve endured because of the pain. That means that you may be entitled to claim compensation to cover:
- Physical pain, suffering and discomfort caused by chronic pain.
- Loss of amenity i.e. any loss of enjoyment of your usual activities and hobbies.
- Mental suffering including depression and anxiety.
- Loss of income.
- The time a loved one spent caring for you (or the cost of a professional carer).
- Travel costs e.g. for medical appointments.
- Medical expenses including prescription fees or physiotherapy costs.
- Future loss of earnings due to your chronic pain.
- Modifications to your house to make it easier to cope with chronic pain i.e. changing a lounge into a bedroom if it’s difficult for you to climb the stairs.
If one of our solicitors agrees to represent you, they’ll use their skills and experience to try and make sure that you are fully compensated for chronic pain. If you’d like to find out more about how we could help, please call our team today on 0800 652 1345.
Compensation amounts for chronic pain
We know that chronic pain can vary in severity but we also know that it can have a major impact on 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.
While having no legal standing in law, the guidelines from the Judicial College are well respected by law firms and used as a basis for calculating compensation awards. However, 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 £28,030 to £52,500. 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 £52,500 to £84,010. Various factors that are considered to determine the settlement paid out will include future prognosis, ability to work, care/assistance requirements, and psychological effects.
Other pain disorders
- £21,070 to £38,490 compensation for moderate pain disorders. Points to consider will be if symptoms are ongoing, the ability to function or work, and whether a complete recovery might be made or is likely to be made.
- £42,130 to £62,990 compensation for severe pain disorders. In these types of cases, symptoms will be severe and ongoing even with treatment and symptoms are expected to continue.
If you think you may have a chronic pain compensation claim please contact us today for a free consultation.
Chronic pain compensation claims time limits
In most cases, personal injury claims have a 3-year time limit beginning from the date of the accident. However, that is generally not the case for chronic pain claims. Instead, the limitation starts from the date of diagnosis. The time limit for children’s chronic pain claims does not start until their 18th birthday so you can claim at any point before then.
In our experience, starting the chronic pain compensation claims process as soon as you can will make it easier as proof to support the claim should be easier to obtain.
In cases where the claimant’s prognosis is not fully understood, it may be possible for interim payments to be made before the claim is finalised. These could help with the financial impact caused by chronic pain i.e. to cover lost earnings, care costs and medical expenses.
Claiming chronic pain compensation for someone else
If a loved one is suffering from chronic pain, you may wish to make a compensation claim on their behalf. Legally, you could do so by becoming their litigation friend if they:
- Lack the ability to claim themselves in accordance with the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
- Are a child under the age of 18 years old.
If approved as a litigation friend, you’ll able to manage the case on behalf of the claimant and instruct their solicitors for them. If the claim is successful, funds will be managed in a court trust fund until the claimant is 18 years old or until they retain their mental capacity.
You’ll be able to request funds to be released by the court by writing to them and explaining how the money will be used.
Providing proof for compensation claims
It is important that proof is gathered to support any type of compensation claim. This will be used by your solicitor to try and prove why the defendant is to blame for your condition and how you’ve suffered as a result.
The types of proof that can help in chronic pain compensation claims include:
- Medical records. First and foremost, medical notes from your GP or a hospital can be used to prove a) the diagnosis of your initial injuries and b) the symptoms caused by chronic pain.
- Witness statements. These can be helpful if there is any argument over how your initial accident occurred. As such, you should give your solicitor the contact details of anybody else present when you were injured.
- Personal statements. Your own statement and those from friends and family may be used to help explain how your life has changed because of chronic pain.
- Accident report forms. Most businesses must record details of any accidents on their premises. A copy of that report could be used to prove when, where and how you were injured initially.
- Financial records. Chronic pain conditions can lead to serious financial problems so it is important to provide bank statements, pension statements, wage slips and other financial records to help recoup any costs.
- CCTV footage. If your initial accident was caught on camera, you may be able to request a copy of any subsequent footage. This can be challenging though as recordings aren’t always retained for too long.
If you’d like help with securing proof or would like us to review any proof you’ve already obtained, please call our team today.
Do chronic pain claims go to court?
If you make a chronic pain claim with one of our solicitors, they’ll usually try to settle the claim amicably with the defendant. This is usually beneficial to both parties as court hearings can take a lot of time and can be expensive. However, in some cases, court hearings may be required when liability for your chronic pain is not accepted or where an appropriate settlement offer is not received.
No Win, No Fee claims
We know that some people don’t use solicitors for personal injury claims because they’re worried about the cost of legal fees if their claim fails. For that reason, our solicitors offer a No Win, No Fee service to any claimants they agree to represent. This reduces both the financial risk of hiring a solicitor and the stress involved with claiming.
No Win, No Fee means that:
- You don’t pay legal fees upfront.
- No legal fees are charged if the claim fails.
- If your claim is won, up to 25% of any compensation will be deducted as a success fee to cover your solicitor’s work.
During the claims process, your solicitor will handle everything on your behalf. That means you won’t need to deal with any complex medical or legal questions yourself. You’ll be kept up to date throughout the case and any settlement offers will be discussed with you before being accepted.
To see if you could claim on a No Win, No Fee basis, please speak to a member of our team today.
Start a chronic pain compensation claim today
If you would like to find out whether you could be compensated for chronic pain, please call us today on 0800 652 1345. A specialist advisor will explain the claims process in detail and offer free legal advice about what to do next.
If you agree for a personal injury solicitor on our panel to proceed with your claim they’ll represent you on a No Win, No Fee basis meaning you’ll only pay legal fees if the claim is successful.
Please get in touch if you have any more questions about chronic pain compensation claims or arrange a free consultation here.