The medical condition known as complex regional pain syndrome or CRPS has received significant media coverage in recent years. The RMB Compensation division explains the syndrome and suggests that timing is critical for people affected to claim compensation.
CPRS can arise from an incident that does not involve a great deal of physical force, but the pain and other symptoms can be severe and extremely debilitating.
Aside from searing nerve pain, other symptoms of the condition include abnormal nail and hair growth at the site of the injury, a change in temperature of the affected limb and changes in colour and wasting of the muscles of the affected limb.
When the injury is sustained in the course of employment or a car accident, the length of time and amount of compensation someone can receive benefits for is governed by their level of whole person impairment or WPI - the percentage of impairment of the affected body part when compared to the whole person.
CRPS usually attracts a high percentage of WPI if it is able to be assessed by a suitably qualified medical specialist. The reason timing is so important for CRPS is because a CRPS diagnosis can only be made, for legal purposes, if there are a certain number of differing symptoms observable by the medical specialist at the time of the assessment.
The severity and number of symptoms can fluctuate over time. Often the symptoms will fade but may re-emerge later.
To maximise the chances of receiving a CRPS diagnosis, the injured person should ideally have their injuries assessed when the symptoms are at their peak and after ungoing a reasonable amount of medical treatment.
If the injured person waits too long, some of the symptoms may fade or not be present at medical assessment of the injury. The timing of the assessment is therefore critical because if the required number of symptoms are not found by the medical specialist at the time they are examined, a CRPS diagnosis may not be able to be found by the doctor despite the treating doctors having treated the CRPS for a considerable amount of time.
People suffering CRPS, in a situation where a claim such as a CTP or workers compensation exists, should speak with an expert lawyer immediately to assist the lawyer to arrange the timing of the medical assessment when a high number of symptoms are present.
If CRPS is able to be legally diagnosed, it will maximise the length of time benefits can be claimed and the amount of compensation ultimately paid to the injured person
If you have suffered from CRPS or a similar injury, RMB Lawyers can help. Your first step should be to contact our office to arrange a free consultation. You can contact us by by phone or our 'Ask a Question' tool on our website.