I have taken over conduct of a claim on behalf of lady who has developed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type 1 (“CRPS”) following a fall in a shop, which resulted in her breaking her wrist. Court proceedings were issued by her previous solicitors and liability is admitted by the Defendant.
Her previous solicitors were seeking to rely upon a medical report from a consultant in accident and emergency medicine, who described her symptoms of CRPS as “somewhat unusual and unlikely to be a direct result of the accident“. I have recently obtained and served on the Defendant’s solicitors, a report from a consultant in pain medicine, which both confirms the diagnosis of CRPS and points directly at her accident as the cause of the condition.
Last week I telephoned the Defendant’s solicitor to discuss the claim. I was told that a new person was now dealing with the matter. I took a direct telephone number for the new person, but was unable to get through to them. Eventually, I telephoned the main switchboard and asked for them by name. After a few rings the call was answered by somebody with the words “Fraud Prevention Team“!
To cut a long story short, it seems that this particular insurer and their panel solicitor have a policy that where a Claimant alleges that they have developed a chronic pain condition such as CRPS, their claim is transferred to a department set up to investigate fraudulent claims!
When I did manage to speak to the new person handling the claim, they seemed somewhat embarrassed when I challenged them about this.
As for my client, she is, quite understandably, now paranoid that she is being followed and filmed everywhere that she goes and despite my reassurance that she has absolutely nothing to hide, she is extremely nervous about leaving the house.
This confirms what was already obvious – that the insurance industry and their legal advisers really do not understand chronic pain. If only they followed a more co-operative and pro-active policy akin to the approach adopted in brain injury and similar cases, they would soon realise that significant savings could be achieved in relation to both the Claimant’s own losses and their legal costs.
In the meantime, if you suffer from a chronic pain condition, it seems that you are going to be labelled a fraud!