Andrew was 42 years old and employed as a warehouseman. Whilst he was walking past a stack of metal box sections on a pallet in the warehouse, a forklift truck reversed into the other side of the pallet causing one of the sections on the top of the stack to fall and strike Andrew’s dominant right forearm.
Although he was in immediate pain, an x-ray at the hospital showed that there were no broken bones and he was told that he had a bad bruise. The bruise initially seemed to be getting better, but after a month or so it had not healed completely. He then started to develop some very unpleasant symptoms, including a burning pain in his right hand and forearm, which also started to sweat, even on a cold day.
Eventually his forearm and hand started to swell and became extremely sensitive to touch. It reached a point where he could not even bear to wear a long sleeved shirt. His doctor signed him off from work but seemed perplexed as to the cause of the problem. He undertook his own research on the internet and found that his symptoms seemed to exactly fit a condition known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).
Armed with this information he returned to his doctor who referred him to a specialist. He then underwent a series of nerve block injections. Whilst these helped to reduce the pain in the short term, his symptoms soon returned.
Andrew instructed us. We applied for all of his medical records, which were then collated professionally. A medical chronology was prepared and a detailed witness statement was taken from Andrew. We also obtained witness statements from his family and a number of friends and colleagues. It is vital to preserve at an early stage the recollections of those closest to a client as to how the accident has affected every aspect of their life; home, work, leisure etc.
We instructed leading experts in pain medicine and pain psychiatry. The pain medicine specialist believed that Andrew may benefit from Spinal Cord Stimulation, an invasive and usually permanent procedure. After much consideration and discussion with his family, Andrew decided to proceed. Funding for the procedure, which cost around £30,000, was obtained from the insurance company. Initially, Andrew experienced little benefit in terms of pain relief. On the advice of the his treating consultant he underwent a further procedure to alter the position of the leads in his spine. This was successful to the extent that he was now experiencing at least some pain relief.
Following a re-examination by the medical experts, it was agreed that Andrew would not be able to return to his job in the warehouse. Indeed, shortly thereafter his employer terminated his position with them on the grounds of long term incapacity.
In addition to helping him financially, further interim payments funded firstly a course of private pain management, followed by a period of retraining in new skills. This helped Andrew find a new job, with which he was delighted. However, his salary was lower than before and he was only working part time.
A detailed schedule of Andrew’s past and future losses was prepared, including lost earnings, treatment, care, and equipment.
Following discussions with the insurance company, Andrew’s claim settled for £335,000.