Richard Lowes, a partner at BLB Solicitors, has issued an urgent warning to personal injury claimants suffering with a chronic pain condition. He says “I am continually shocked at how little many personal injury solicitors know about chronic pain.”
“We receive regular enquiries from very frustrated people who believe that the person representing them does not understand their condition. This leads to solicitors obtaining medical evidence from wholly inappropriate medical experts, which in turn usually leads to the claim being grossly undervalued.”
“I took a call the other day from a gentleman who had been diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome by his treating consultant. He telephoned his solicitor who told him that he had never heard of the condition. When he tried to explain the condition to the solicitor, they responded that the orthopaedic medical expert in the claim had already commented upon the ongoing symptoms and advised that they were not related in any way to the original accident. When he asked the solicitor whether they were prepared to obtain a second opinion from a consultant in pain medicine, the solicitor initially refused, and then agreed, but only on the basis that his client pay for the further report.”
“The clear point here is that given the symptoms exhibited by this gentleman at the time that his solicitor instructed the orthopaedic surgeon, that was a wholly inappropriate choice of medical expert by the solicitor. His client should therefore not have to pay for his error.”
“Chronic pain conditions such as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) and Fibromyalgia are often difficult to diagnose. From the point of view of expert medical evidence, it is unlikely that a court will accept a diagnosis and opinion on causation from anybody other than consultants in rheumatology or pain medicine.”
“We have seen many examples of people with truly terrible levels of disability, advised that their claim is worth a pittance because medical evidence has been obtained from a medical consultant with no clinical experience of diagnosing or treating chronic pain conditions.”
Should you wish to discuss your own claim, please feel free to call BLB Solicitors on 01225 462871 for a free, completely confidential, no obligation discussion.