Two of the more recent cases that we have taken over from other firms of solicitors have caused us particular concern. The cases are remarkably similar and involve Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) in the right upper limb.
Both Claimants have limited movement in their neck, particularly to the right, and very restricted movement and intense spasm in their right shoulder. The expected skin and temperature changes are present in the hand and almost the entire forearm, as well as changes to the nails in the right hand and intense pain and hypersensitivity to touch. Both have severe pins and needles in their right hand and an almost total loss of function of the hand, with clawing of the fingers.
The deep concern in each case is that both Claimants have been seriously let down by both the medical and legal professions.
In over two and three years respectively since their accidents, the medical profession has failed to diagnose and, therefore, effectively treat their conditions. In all likelihood, both Claimants had initially developed a more straightforward Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS), but as a result of the failure to diagnose and treat the condition, they have each become progressively worse, to the extent that now, even with urgent treatment, it is unlikely that anything other than a partial improvement can be expected.
Further, in each case, the former solicitors had totally failed to take a medical history and had simply instructed ineffective medical agencies to obtain reports from orthopaedic surgeons, who in turn had simply scratched their heads and concluded that they could not offer an explanation for the symptoms. A review of the medical records in each case clearly documents the progression of the condition, but for whatever reason, the solicitors in each case had decided that was not required.
We were able to arrange urgent appointments to obtain better medical evidence from more appropriate consultants and have now received funding for the urgent treatment that is required. Early treatment is fundamental for the effective treatment of most chronic pain conditions, but effective treatment is not possible without a diagnosis.
Bizarrely, we are starting to notice that medical experts instructed by the insurance industry are starting to closely question Claimants over what information about their conditions they have found on the internet. The implication is presumably that there is some degree of fabrication going on for financial gain. However, the reality is that if you are suffering chronic, disabling pain and the medical profession cannot tell you what is wrong with you, it is not unreasonable to expect that you may start searching for answers elsewhere!