Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Compensation Claims

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by complex regional pain syndrome we can help.

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered complex regional pain syndrome and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.

In our guide to claiming complex regional pain syndrome compensation:

Introduction

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic pain condition that is usually triggered by a traumatic injury. The condition can be severe, debilitating and long-lasting. There is no known cure.

It is estimated that one in every 3,800 people will develop CRPS each year in the UK. Of these, around half will get better spontaneously. The rest are likely to live with the pain of CRPS for the rest of their lives.

Anyone who has been diagnosed with CRPS as a result of an accident that was not their fault may be eligible to claim compensation.

Do I have a complex regional pain syndrome claim?

As a basic rule, you can make a complex regional pain syndrome claim if you sustained an injury:

  • within the last three years, and;
  • another person was to blame, and;
  • that person owed you a duty of care.
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Injury claim eligibility - Common questions

What if a child was injured?

The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.

A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start a complex regional pain syndrome claim on their own behalf.

Read more about claiming injury compensation on behalf of a child.

What if I can't prove who is responsible for my complex regional pain syndrome?

Your solicitor will work on your behalf to assess your complex regional pain syndrome claim and gather evidence. They will identify the party responsible for your accident.

Causes of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (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 body attacking healthy tissue after a trauma, a type of autoimmune disease. This means that the body is reacting in a greater than normal way to an injury.

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 body 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 association 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 injury itself has healed.

The gap between the onset of chronic pain the original cause can mean that many people who develop CRPS some time after a road traffic accident or an accident at work fail to claim the compensation they would otherwise be entitled to receive.

How making a claim can help you

CRPS can have a significant, debilitating effect on a person's 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.

Compensation is calculated by reference to the seriousness of the illness and the long-term effect it has on a person's life. As an initial step, an injury lawyer will arrange an independent medical examination to assess the severity of the condition and to ensure that the claimant receives the medical services that can help ease the condition.

The medical report will then form the basis of the compensation claim.

How much compensation can I claim for complex regional pain syndrome?

The amount of money you could claim for your complex regional pain syndrome will depend on:

  • the extent 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 complex regional pain syndrome has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.

This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.

General damages

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

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.

What can I claim for after a complex regional pain syndrome? (see list)

Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:

  • Lost earnings (including future earnings)
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Travel costs
  • Costs of care
  • Costs of adapting your home or car

Complex regional pain syndrome compensation amounts

The following complex regional pain syndrome payouts refer to the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases, Fifteenth Edition by the Judicial College.

These tables are used by solicitors or by the courts as a starting point when calculating your compensation.

Example Amount
Chronic pain
Moderate pain disorder £16,800 to £30,690
Moderate Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) £22,340 to £41,860
Serious, persisting pain disorder £33,590 to £50,210
Severe Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) £41,860 to £66,970

What is the average injury compensation for a complex regional pain syndrome claim?

The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.

However, the money you would receive following a complex regional pain syndrome will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your complex regional pain syndrome compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life, your ability to work, and the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.

See the injury table above for some examples.

Should I set up a personal injury trust?

If you are receiving means-tested benefits and are awarded compensation following a complex regional pain syndrome injury, your benefits could be affected. In order to ring fence your compensation and protecting your benefits, you may be able to set up a "Personal Injury Trust" or "PI Trust". Read more: Should I set up a personal injury trust?

Complex regional pain syndrome compensation

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a complex regional pain syndrome injury can be complicated.

Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.

Find out what your complex regional pain syndrome claim could be worth now:

Calculate compensation

How long does a complex regional pain syndrome claim take?

How long it can take to win compensation for complex regional pain syndrome can vary considerably.

For example, a simple liability accepted injury claim can settle in a month or two. However, if liability is denied it could take considerably longer. On average an injury claim should take 4 to 9 months. For more information on how long your claim could take, see: How long will my claim take?

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your complex regional pain syndrome claim from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to help you with:

  • Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
  • Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
  • Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
  • Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.

Will I get advice on treatment options?

As part of the complex regional pain syndrome claims process, your solicitor can arrange a thorough and independent needs assessment. The assessment may offer advice on treatment, access to treatments and therapies not always available on the NHS and co-ordination with rehabilitation providers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists etc

How did your injury occur?

The claims process that your solicitor follows will vary, depending on how the injury occurred:

No win, no fee - the facts

With a no win, no fee agreement, your solicitor agrees that you will have no legal fees to pay whatsoever if you do not winn your claim .

Our no win, no fee promise

Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is no financial risk in making a complex regional pain syndrome claim - even if you don't win your claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

What do I pay if I win my complex regional pain syndrome claim?

Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after your compensation is awarded. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.

What do I pay if I do not win my complex regional pain syndrome claim?

If your complex regional pain syndrome claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees whatsoever. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.

Why do most solicitors charge 25%?

25% success fees are charged by most law firms as this is the maximum fee that the Ministry of Justice allows them to charge. complex regional pain syndrome claims can take a solicitor hundreds of hours work and they receive nothing if the case is lost. The success fee will be subject to your individual circumstances and the actual fee may vary. Call us for more information.

Is there a penalty if I withdraw?

Under a No Win, No Fee Agreement (CFA), fees may apply if a claimant refuses to cooperate, or abandons their claim after the legal work has started, or if the claim is fraudulent.

How can Quittance help?

Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.

If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.

Call us FREE 0800 612 7456 or arrange a callback:

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Complex regional pain syndrome FAQ's

Can I claim for someone else?

Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.

If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.

The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.

Read more about claiming on behalf of another person.

Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?

You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.

However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.

Read more about claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long do I have to make a complex regional pain syndrome claim?

In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the complex regional pain syndrome to make an injury claim.

The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your complex regional pain syndrome claim becomes 'statute barred'.

Can I claim for a complex regional pain syndrome after 3 years?

Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.

However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.

If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.

There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 612 7456 to find out if you are still able to claim complex regional pain syndrome compensation.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a complex regional pain syndrome claim will be taken on by a solicitor.

Calculate your claim limitation date

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the solicitor panel are settled out of court.

Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.

Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.

Read more: Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.

Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.

Read more: Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

Can I get an early compensation payment?

If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.

An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

About the author

Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert