Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic pain condition that lasts longer than six months and often affects a limb such as an arm, leg, hand, or foot.
This condition usually occurs after an injury, and is believed to be associated with damage to or malfunction of the peripheral or central nervous systems.
Causes of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
Though it is unclear why some individuals develop CRPS and others do not, 90% of CRPS cases involve a clear history of trauma or injury. Fractures, sprains, soft tissue injuries such as burns and bruises, limb injuries and immobilization within casts can all trigger complex regional pain syndrome.
It is important to note that CRPS can stem from minor injuries as well as major ones. The level of pain may not be proportional to the seriousness of the injury triggering the condition.
Some common causes of CRPS include:
- Car accidents – Though car accidents can lead to a variety of obvious injuries, the results are not always visible, and may include brain or spinal cord damage, or internal injuries. It is always advisable to see a doctor after an accident, even if no problems are immediately apparent.
- Truck accidents – Like car accidents, crashes with large commercial vehicles can cause a variety of injuries. The massive size and weight of these vehicles can amplify or intensify resulting damage, so it is imperative to seek medical attention, and the aid of an attorney.
- Motorcycle accidents – One of the primary dangers of motorcycle accidents is the lack of physical protection for the rider. Injuries from motorcycle accidents that could lead to CRPS include head injuries, broken or fractured bones, sprains, cuts, scrapes, or abrasions.
- Workplace accidents – The aforementioned injuries, fractures, and sprains can lead to CRPS when sustained in the workplace as well. CRPS could be a contributing factor in a workers’ compensation claim. Speak with an attorney to learn more about this possibility.
- Slip and fall accidents – Property owners are responsible for any injuries that occur on their property. As with any accident, even minor injuries such as sprains and cuts could trigger CRPS. You should seek medical attention and explore your options with an attorney.
Do You Have a Personal Injury Claim for CRPS?
If the original injury that set off your pain began with someone’s negligent behavior, then that person may be liable for costs created by your medical condition — and you can pursue a personal injury claim.
CRPS takes two forms:
- Type 1 – Your nerves appear to be functioning normally, yet you struggle with CRPS. This type of CRPS often appears after a car wreck.
- Type 2 – You have direct damage and trauma to your nerves. The damaged nerve “misfires,” causing pain. Because doctors can see the damage, this type is easiest to diagnose. It can start with an accident or surgery.
An experienced personal injury attorney at our law firm can examine your medical history to determine if your CRPS resulted from someone else’s negligence — someone who should pay for what you’re going through.
Compensation in a Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Lawsuit
Because complex regional pain syndrome can have such a profound effect on a victim’s life, compensation should be considered for many related consequences.
Medical care, time lost from work, pain and suffering, and long-term disability all need to be compensated. These considerations can be complex, and an attorney experienced with complex regional pain syndrome claims can help determine the amount of compensation you should seek.
Do You Have a Social Security Disability Claim for CRPS?
If your pain is severe enough to prevent you from working, you may have a Social Security Disability claim for CRPS. Social Security Disability gives you monthly checks to help cover your basic expenses and stabilize your life when health problems mean you can’t work.
But you have to prove to the Social Security Administration that you have CRPS and that it’s bad enough that you can’t work in any job.
You’ll need medical evidence, like reports from physical exams, blood test results and other test results.
A disability lawyer can help you document your case and give you the best possible chance of securing benefits either in your initial application or on appeal.
Symptoms of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
To make a legal claim to compensation for CRPS, you need more than your complaints of pain.
You need a diagnosis from a doctor confirming that your pain is serious enough to limit your daily life. CRPS can even lead to loss of use of a limb.
Common CRPS symptoms you can document with medical evidence include:
- Skin color or texture changes in the affected area
- Temperature change in the affected limb
- Excess hair or nail growth
- Excessive sweating
- Twitching or other involuntary movements
As part of your personal injury case or Social Security Disability claim, you need reports from a doctor about the severity of your condition.
The crps lawyers at Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer know how to gather the evidence you need to seek the compensation you deserve.
Treatment for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
Treatment for CRPS, especially when undertaken early (within the first few months of experiencing symptoms), can help to improve the condition.
Over-the-counter (OTC) medications can treat mild pain, but your doctor may prescribe stronger painkillers if OTC remedies aren’t sufficient. Some antidepressants and anticonvulsants may be used to treat pain stemming from nerve damage. Steroids may reduce inflammation and increase mobility in an affected limb.
Other methods used to treat CRPS include heat and physical therapy, as well as electrical stimulation of the spine and of nerve endings. Patients can also learn biofeedback techniques to become more aware of their body and relieve pain.
Talk to a Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Attorney Now
If you suffer from CRPS in connection with a recent accident, please contact the experienced legal team at Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer today. Treatment and compensation for this medical condition is complex, and your focus should be on managing your health. We can answer whatever questions you may have about your legal options.