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What Is The Average Settlement For Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)?

on  Personal Injury

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), formerly known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), is a debilitating chronic pain condition that usually affects the arms, legs, hands, or feet after an injury or trauma. CRPS causes intense burning pain, swelling, skin color changes, and hypersensitivity and can significantly impact a person’s quality of life and ability to function normally.

When CRPS occurs due to someone else’s negligence, such as in a car accident, slip and fall, or medical malpractice incident, you may be entitled to compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. However, CRPS can be challenging to diagnose and prove, making these cases complex from a medical and legal perspective.

If you or a loved one is suffering from CRPS after an accident in Florida, you may wonder what kind of settlement or verdict you could expect from a lawsuit. In general, CRPS settlement offers vary widely depending on the level of injury and its impact on your life. In Florida, it is not unlikely for CRPS awards and settlements to reach $100,000 or more. In fact, according to one study, the average CRPS settlement in Florida reaches nearly $700,000. 

To learn exactly how much your case is worth, call Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys, PA., for a free consultation. He will meet with you and examine the details surrounding your unique case. 

What is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?

Complex regional pain syndrome is a chronic pain condition that typically affects an arm or leg following an injury, such as one sustained in a car accident. The pain associated with CRPS is often disproportionate to the severity of the initial injury and can persist long after the injury has healed. Symptoms may include intense burning sensations, sensitivity to touch, swelling, changes in skin color or texture, and decreased mobility in the affected limb.

While the exact cause of CRPS is not always clear, it is known that the condition can be triggered by physical trauma or injury, making car accidents a common culprit. The force of impact during a collision can cause damage to nerves, leading to the development of CRPS. It’s important to note that even seemingly minor accidents can result in this condition, as the severity of the injury does not always correlate with the onset or intensity of CRPS symptoms.

The Value of CRPS Claims in Florida

Determining the potential value of a CRPS claim is a complex process that depends on numerous factors. While some online sources suggest that the average settlement for CRPS cases ranges from $10,000 to $30,000, others say it can be as high as $700,000 or more. It’s crucial to understand that every case is unique, and these figures may not accurately reflect the value of your specific claim.

Factors Affecting CRPS Settlement Amounts

The true value of your case is based on numerous factors, including:

Severity of symptoms

The severity of CRPS symptoms is one of the most significant factors influencing the potential value of a settlement. Cases involving more severe symptoms are likely to result in higher compensation, as they often require more extensive medical treatment, lead to greater pain and suffering, and have a more substantial impact on the individual’s quality of life.

When these symptoms are severe and well-documented, it can strengthen the case for higher compensation, as they demonstrate the significant physical, emotional, and financial toll the condition has taken on the individual.

Credibility of the plaintiff

In CRPS cases, your credibility as the plaintiff is crucial, as the condition’s symptoms are often subjective and may not have clear, visible signs. Insurance companies may attempt to argue that you are not being honest when pursuing a claim for CRPS. This is where the role of a Florida personal injury lawyer becomes particularly important.

Your attorney will need to build a strong and credible case for you and your injuries. To do this, they will gather detailed medical records and documentation of your symptoms and treatment. They’ll also work with medical experts to provide testimony supporting the CRPS diagnosis and its impact on your life. 

By establishing your credibility, a skilled Florida personal injury lawyer can increase the likelihood of securing a higher settlement value.

Presence of other injuries

When CRPS occurs in conjunction with other serious injuries sustained in the car accident, the overall value of the claim may be significantly higher. This is because the combination of injuries can lead to more extensive medical treatment, longer recovery times, and a greater impact on your ability to work and maintain your quality of life.

Some examples of serious injuries that may accompany CRPS include:

When these injuries are present alongside CRPS, it can strengthen the case for higher compensation, as they demonstrate the full extent of the harm caused by the car accident.

Other factors that can influence CRPS settlement amounts include:

  • Your age and occupation
  • The cost of past and future medical treatment related to CRPS
  • The impact of CRPS on your ability to work and earn income

Challenges in Proving CRPS

When it comes to proving complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) in a personal injury case, there are several challenges you and your attorneys may face. These challenges stem from the nature of the condition itself, as well as the limitations of current diagnostic tools and the potential for skepticism from insurance companies and defense attorneys.

Lack of definitive diagnostic tests

One of the primary challenges in proving CRPS is the absence of a single, definitive diagnostic test for the condition. Unlike other injuries, such as fractures, which can be clearly seen on X-rays, CRPS is typically diagnosed based on a combination of factors, including:

  • Patient-reported symptoms, such as pain, sensitivity, and changes in skin texture or color
  • Physical examination findings, such as swelling, stiffness, and limited range of motion
  • Results of medical imaging, such as MRIs or bone scans, which may show changes in the affected limb

However, these diagnostic methods are not always conclusive and may be open to interpretation, making it more challenging to establish a clear, objective link between the car accident and the development of CRPS.

Subjectivity of symptoms

Another challenge in proving CRPS is the subjectivity of the condition’s symptoms. Many of the key symptoms, such as pain and sensitivity, are self-reported by the patient and cannot be directly measured or quantified. This can lead to skepticism from insurance companies and defense attorneys, who may argue that you are exaggerating or falsifying your symptoms to secure a higher settlement.

To counter this skepticism, a personal injury lawyer must work to build a strong, credible case that documents the individual’s symptoms and the impact of CRPS on their daily life. This may involve gathering detailed medical records, working with medical experts to provide testimony, and collecting statements from friends, family, and colleagues who can attest to the changes in the individual’s behavior and abilities since the onset of CRPS.

Delayed onset of symptoms

In some cases, the symptoms of CRPS may not appear immediately after the car accident. This makes it more challenging to establish a clear causal link between the trauma and the development of the condition. This delayed onset can provide an opening for insurance companies and defense attorneys to argue that the CRPS is not related to the accident and may be due to other factors, such as pre-existing conditions or subsequent injuries.

To address this challenge, your car accident lawyer in Florida must work to demonstrate the connection between the car accident and the development of CRPS, even if the symptoms emerged sometime after the initial trauma. This may involve presenting medical expert testimony that explains the potential for delayed onset in CRPS cases and highlighting any other relevant factors, such as the absence of prior symptoms or the consistency of your symptoms with a diagnosis of CRPS.

Complexity of CRPS

CRPS is a complex and poorly understood condition, making it challenging to explain to a judge or jury. The mechanisms underlying the development of CRPS still need to be fully understood, and there is ongoing debate within the medical community about the most appropriate diagnostic criteria and treatment approaches.

This complexity can make it more difficult for a personal injury lawyer to present a clear, compelling case for the link between the car accident and the individual’s CRPS. To overcome this challenge, attorneys may need to work closely with medical experts who can provide clear, accessible explanations of the condition and its potential causes, as well as present evidence from the most current research and literature on CRPS.

Given these challenges, it is essential for individuals with CRPS to work with an experienced attorney. By gathering comprehensive medical evidence, working with expert witnesses, and presenting a compelling narrative of the individual’s experiences, skilled attorneys can help overcome the challenges of proving CRPS and fight for the compensation their clients deserve.

Contact Our Florida CRPS Lawyers

If you’ve been diagnosed with CRPS following an accident, do not accept an insurance settlement offer without first consulting with a personal injury lawyer at Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys, PA. Insurance companies may attempt to pressure you into accepting a low offer that does not fully account for the long-term impact of your condition. Our lawyers can evaluate your case and help you determine whether a settlement offer is fair or if you should pursue further legal action.