Q: Last year I was injured in a road traffic collision. I sustained injuries to my back and neck, and although I was not said to have broken anything, I am still struggling with the pain. My GP suspects that I am suffering from chronic pain, but says this is difficult to prove. What can I do?
A: Suffering from chronic pain can become a major problem in the long term for those who have it and the difficulty in pinpointing the exact cause or reason for the pain can also be extremely frustrating. Often individuals who have suffered an injury through no fault of their own are left in chronic pain and unable to recover as anticipated following the injury.
Essential to personal injury claims is the need to establish causation, i.e. proving that another person is at fault and caused the injury. Unfortunately, chronic pain matters are complex to diagnose and difficult to prove. However, whilst providing a prognosis is challenging it does not mean that compensation cannot be awarded.
The key is instructing an expert who specialises in chronic pain to carry out an assessment and report on your condition. Firstly this enables your lawyer to better understand your pain, diagnosis and prognosis, and secondly it will form the basis of your claim. In addition to this, other losses will also be considered; for example, if you have taken time off work, have incurred transportation costs whilst unable to drive, or have needed to be cared for. All these out of pocket costs will be added to the total of your claim.
If you are suffering from pain as a result of an injury through no fault of your own, you should in the first instance approach an experienced personal injury lawyer to ascertain whether you could make a claim on a No Win, No Fee basis.
(Article published July 2017)