Challenging case establishing the extent to which an accident exacerbated pre-existing conditions versus causing new injuries

This case study was written thanks to the expertise of our team, including Alex Cohen, Philip Cohen, and Steven Akerman, leading experts in compensation claims for chronic pain and serious injury.

Brian Barr Solicitors recently represented Mrs W, a dedicated college teacher who experienced a life-altering injury while at work. This case highlights the complexities and challenges of personal injury claims, especially when pre-existing health conditions are involved.

Whilst at work, Mrs W slipped on liquid on the floor as she was heading to the staff toilets. The fall resulted in significant injuries. Liability for the accident was admitted by the college, acknowledging that they were at fault for the unsafe condition that led to Mrs W’s fall. However, the extent and impact of her injuries became the central issue in this case.

Mrs W had a comprehensive medical history prior to the accident and suffered from various auto immune conditions. Despite this, she managed an active lifestyle, working four days a week, performed household chores, went shopping, and was largely independent.

The accident dramatically changed Mrs W’s life. She reported severe, persistent ankle pain that significantly limited her mobility, requiring her to use two crutches. Additionally, she suffered from severe back pain, painful joints in both hands, and elbow, shoulder, and neck problems. She was subsequently diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) and suffered from worsening widespread pain, stiffness, and mobility issues. These complications rendered her unable to continue her teaching career, profoundly impacting her daily life and independence.

The primary challenge for Brian Barr Solicitors in representing Mrs W was establishing the extent to which the accident exacerbated her pre-existing conditions versus causing new injuries. There was significant dispute among pain experts and rheumatologists regarding the origins of her symptoms post-accident. The Defendant scrutinised her extensive medical history, arguing that her health issues were primarily due to non-accident-related pathology and thus valued the claim at just £18,000. However, we meticulously analysed her medical records and established that the accident had substantially exacerbated her pre-existing conditions, causing new injuries and intensifying her suffering.

By providing compelling evidence and expert testimonies, despite the complexities, Brian Barr Solicitors successfully navigated the medical disputes and legal intricacies of the case and demonstrated the profound impact of the accident on Mrs W’s health. After thorough negotiations and expert consultations, the case was settled at a Joint Settlement Meeting (JSM) for in excess of £300,000. This case underscores the importance of expert legal representation in personal injury claims, especially those involving pre-existing conditions and complex medical histories.

To learn more about our success stories, and get the legal support of leading specialists in the field, call us on 0161 737 9248.


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