If complex regional pain syndrome has set you back, we'll help you move forward
Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is chronic pain following an injury, surgery, or nerve damage, often experienced in an arm or leg. Treatments may include medication, physical therapy, and nerve blocks.
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by complex regional pain syndrome, we can help. If your injuries were caused by someone else's actions or negligence, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
You can make a compensation claim for complex regional pain syndrome with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
In this article
You are not alone
Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic pain condition that can be triggered by a traumatic injury. CRPS can be severe, debilitating and long-lasting. Although the condition can often be managed with medication and various treatments, there is no known cure.
It is estimated that 1 in every 3,800 people will develop CRPS each year in the UK. Of these, around half will completely recover. The rest are likely to live with the pain of CRPS for the rest of their lives.
If you have been diagnosed with CRPS as a result of an accident that was not your fault, you may be eligible to claim compensation.
If you decide to make a complex regional pain syndrome claim, your personal injury solicitor will take you through every step of the claims process. Your solicitor will be with you until you win your claim and get the compensation you deserve.
For information on CPRS symptoms and treatment, visit: Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (nhs.uk).
Do I have a complex regional pain syndrome claim?
If you've been injured in an accident that was caused another person or organisation in the last 3 years, you will be entitled to make a claim for financial compensation.
Find out online if you can claim with our injury claim calculator. Alternatively, you can speak to a claims advisor on 0800 376 1001 and find out if you have a claim in minutes.
How long after a complex regional pain syndrome do I have to start a claim?
In most cases, you have 3 years from the date of your accident or injury.
If you were injured due to someone else's negligence but didn't realise it at the time, the clock starts ticking from the 'date of knowledge' - the day you become aware of your injury.
If you were injured when you were under 18, a parent, guardian or adult 'litigation friend' can make a claim on your behalf. Once you turn 18, you have until your 21st birthday to start an injury claim.
How much compensation can I claim for complex regional pain syndrome?
The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:
- the seriousness of your injury, and
- any financial losses or costs you have incurred.
At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.
Complex regional pain syndrome
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General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.
Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred because of your accident. In addition to paying for loss of earnings, special damages can cover any care costs and medical procedures you need, such as pain medication, physical therapy, sympathetic nerve blocks and spinal cord stimulation.
Average complex regional pain syndrome general damages compensation
The following complex regional pain syndrome payouts refer to the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases, Sixteenth Edition by the Judicial College.These tables are used by solicitors or by the courts as a starting point when calculating your compensation.
Please note: these average figures represent general damages only, and do not include any element of special damages (e.g. lost wages).
|Chronic pain||Moderate||Moderate pain disorder||£19,150 to £34,990|
|Chronic pain||Moderate||Moderate Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)||£25,480 to £47,730|
|Chronic pain||Serious||Serious, persisting pain disorder||£38,300 to £57,260|
|Chronic pain||Severe||Severe Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)||£47,730 to £76,370|
Can I claim for PTSD or other psychological trauma?
If you have experienced psychological issues in addition to physical symptoms, you are not alone.
Our 2023 Personal Injury Claimant Survey found that 29.03% of claimants reported a psychological injury, with 70.97% of these relating to a physical injury.
This syndrome is often associated with psychological conditions and depression, typical in pain-related conditions.
A specialist solicitor will consider psychological harm when calculating your compensation. Psychiatric injuries are recognised in the official guidelines for compensation, and the cost of treatment and other mental health support should be included in your compensation award or settlement.
Our compensation calculator can estimate your compensation for psychological injuries. Or you can call us on 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor.
What are the causes of CRPS?
CRPS typically develops where there is damage to the nervous system, usually after the patient has received an injury or trauma to the affected area. However, a patient may receive a diagnosis of CRPS even where there is no obvious nerve damage. This type of CRPS is known as 'Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy'.
While CRPS is a poorly understood condition, most medical experts agree that it is the result of the attacking healthy tissue after a trauma, a type of autoimmune disease. This means that the is in effect overreacting to an injury.
What are the symptoms of CRPS?
Symptoms vary from person to person, but the condition is characterised by continuous, disabling pain at the site of injury which may spread to an entire limb or other parts of the in some cases. The pain is usually described as burning, although some patients may experience stinging, tingling and numbness in the affected area.
Other symptoms include:
- Swelling in the joints
- Changes in the temperature and skin colour of the affected area
- Extreme sensitivity to touch
- Abnormal hair and nail growth
- Tremors and muscle spasms
- Sleeping difficulties.
The periods of pain associated with CRPS are known as flare-ups. They can last for several days or weeks. As well as causing extreme discomfort, flare-ups can make it difficult for the sufferer to work, move around or carry out their daily activities.
How does CRPS manifest?
The symptoms of CRPS may manifest within a few days of the primary injury, or they may not become apparent for several weeks or even months after the primary injury has healed.
The gap between the onset of chronic pain and the primary injury means that people often don't link the two and do not claim the compensation they would otherwise be entitled to.
How making a claim can help you
CRPS can have a significant and debilitating effect on your quality of life. In addition to the pain associated with the condition, individuals often experience loss of income during flare-ups and many find that their ability to work is decreased.
While a settlement can never fully compensate individuals for long periods of suffering, it can help ease the financial burden. An experienced solicitor can help individuals with CRPS secure the highest levels of compensation for specific losses which include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of earnings
- Pain management services
- Cognitive behavioural therapy and counselling to assist with the psychological effects of the condition
- Physiotherapy to prevent muscle wastage and strengthen the affected area
- Travel costs.
Your compensation will be calculated based on the severity of your illness and the long-term effect it has had on your life. As an initial step, a personal injury solicitor will arrange an independent medical assessment to assess the severity of your condition and ensure that you receive the medical attention you need.
The medical report will then form the basis of your compensation claim.
The process for a complex regional pain syndrome claim depends the circumstances of the accident. To learn more, click the icons below:
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About the author
Chris Salmon is a co-founder and Director of Quittance Legal Services. Chris has played key roles in the shaping and scaling of a number of legal services brands and is a regular commentator in the legal press.