Write your search here
  • FAQs
  • Claim Journey
  • Serious Injury
  • INK

In the Serious Injury Team at Minster Law, we see many chronic pain cases.

These cases can be extremely complex and challenging, and we pride ourselves on achieving the best outcome for clients who are struggling to adapt to the disruption their condition has caused.

As detailed in this BBC article Chronic pain: The ‘unbearable’ condition affecting one in four – BBC News, chronic pain is common and affects 1 in 4 people in the UK alone. There are a variety of examples of chronic pain including Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. These can develop from high or low impact accidents – a recent study shows that 10 to 15% of soft tissue injuries lead to chronic pain.

Causation is always a hard-fought aspect of chronic pain cases and the defendant is likely to point to some aspect of the claimant’s medical history that could be the cause of their chronic pain. A common argument is the presence of degenerative changes. However, some pain experts believe that the degeneration is unlikely to be the cause of the claimant’s symptoms. Whilst degenerative changes are present in every individual to a variable extent, a claimant would not, but for the accident, become symptomatic with the traumatic evidence.

The development of symptoms and chronic pain depends on how a person reacts to the trauma as well as the nature of the trauma itself. Things to look out for include whether any underlying condition has become more prominent as a result, and whether the muscle(s) is/are spasming, as well as the development or exacerbation of any psychological symptoms affecting the internal hormones, which in turn could make the body more sensitive to pain.

Client care is key during these cases and once the condition is confirmed, it can understandably be hard for the client to accept that the pain will not disappear, it will have to be managed. As such, seeking any available treatment is vital. With chronic pain this is likely to be in the form of physical and psychological treatment. One of the main ways to manage chronic pain is through pacing and this applies to domestic duties at home and in the workplace, should the client be able to carry on working or return to employment.

A pain management programme is likely to be needed during a chronic pain case, which can be expensive although it can be vital in helping the client return to their previous life. The treatment will likely consist of physical and psychological treatment and will give the client the tools they need to manage their condition. These can be in-house programmes over a course of a few weeks or sometimes they can be remote and last for a few months. An assessment by both a physiotherapist with experience of chronic pain and a psychiatrist will be required.

Obtaining the correct amount of compensation in these cases can be tricky as defendants are almost always likely to point to a possible past medical condition, physical or psychological, that would have led to chronic pain regardless of the accident. As such, a strong medical expert and strong medical evidence is required to support that the chronic pain condition is linked to the accident and would not have been present otherwise. Medical evidence will need to be thorough and fully cover the likelihood of any current or future care needs. It will also need to cover a possible timeframe for a return to work, or a possible reduction in hours should the client still be working. This will of course depend on each individual and their circumstances.

In the Serious Injury Team at Minster Law, we take great care in the handling of chronic pain cases. We have a vast amount of experience within the team and use carefully selected experts and barristers to achieve the best outcome for our clients.