Kevin, a 41-year-old carpenter working in the building industry, was sitting in stationary traffic when his car was struck from behind by another vehicle. Despite having applied his handbrake, the collision was forcible enough to shunt his car into the vehicle in front.
Immediately after the accident his neck was painful and by the following morning he was painful and stiff over much of his body. He was off work for a week but was then forced to return for financial reasons. His symptoms became worse and he was feeling “constantly drained of energy”. After struggling on for three weeks at work, he was unable to continue and his doctor signed him off with ‘whiplash’.
“Immediately after the accident his neck was
painful. That night he slept badly and by the
following morning he was painful and stiff over
much of his body. He was off work for a week but
was then forced to return for financial reasons.”
In addition to the constant fatigue, he was by then suffering pain in his neck, head, shoulders, chest, lower back, right buttock, groin and thighs.
Kevin had been referred to a large firm of solicitors by his insurance company. After obtaining an initial medical report from a GP, they referred him to an orthopaedic surgeon who concluded: “On the balance of probabilities such accidents can cause symptoms for up to twelve months, but these continuing symptoms cannot be related to the accident. Certainly I could find no physical cause for them.”
At this point Kevin’s solicitors advised him to disclose the orthopaedic report to the insurance company and settle the claim based upon a 12-month loss. Kevin contacted BLB Solicitors as specialists in chronic pain and we agreed to take over his claim.
“In addition to the constant fatigue, he
was by then suffering pain in his neck,
head, shoulders, chest, lower back,
right buttock, groin and thighs.”
It was clear to us that the symptoms Kevin was reporting were indicative of fibromyalgia. Furthermore, published medical research suggests that people who suffer a whiplash injury are significantly more likely to develop fibromyalgia than people who suffer an injury to another part of the body.
However, Kevin had never been formally diagnosed. We therefore referred him to a leading consultant rheumatologist who diagnosed fibromyalgia and recommended appropriate treatment. He also wrote to Kevin’s GP recommending an immediate change in his medication.
“It was clear to us that the symptoms Kevin
was reporting were indicative of fibromyalgia.
However, Kevin had never been formally
diagnosed with fibromyalgia. We therefore
referred him to a leading consultant rheumatologist.”
We obtained funding from the other driver’s insurance company to fund the recommended treatment which, combined with the change in medication, did help to improve Kevin’s symptoms, although a subsequent report from the consultant rheumatologist confirmed that he was likely to remain symptomatic indefinitely.
However, the improvement in his symptoms did allow him to undergo some retraining for a less physically demanding career, albeit on a lower income than before. Kevin’s claim settled for £212,000, including damages for pain and suffering, past and future lost earnings, disadvantage on the employment market, care, equipment and further treatment.