What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a pain syndrome of chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain and fatigue. The pain is thought to be caused by abnormalities in the pain pathways in the central nervous system. Other symptoms are believed to be caused by sleep abnormalities.
Fibromyalgia specifically means pain in the muscles, ligaments and tendons, generally all the softer, more fibrous tissues in the body. There is a sense, according to most patients, of ‘aching all over’, with the related symptoms of a chronic case of flu. Muscles often feel as if they have been pulled or worked too hard and there are instances where muscles may twitch or feel like they’re burning. Cognitive abilities can also be affected with many patients reporting having ‘brain-fog’, where they find functions such as concentration and memory to be impaired.
Fibromyalgia can affect people of all ages and backgrounds, but it is seven times more likely to be diagnosed in women than men. The condition tends to develop between the ages of 30 and 50, however, it is not uncommon for it to occur in people of all ages – from the very young to elderly.
It is most commonly caused – or exacerbated by – physical traumas, such as car accidents and falls, often due to no fault of the patient.
Can I Claim Compensation for Fibromyalgia?
If your fibromyalgia symptoms were caused, or were made worse as a result of another person’s negligence, then you may be eligible for a fibromyalgia compensation claim. Whether you were involved in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, had an accident at work, or had a slip/trip, you may be able to claim compensation for your losses.
In order to claim, you will need to be able to demonstrate that the negligence was the cause of your fibromyalgia symptoms. Additionally, the value of your claim will depend entirely on the severity of your symptoms and the effect it has had on your ability to work.
Medical experts will be instructed to assess your symptoms and provide their opinion on the effect your accident has had on your quality of life, and how that is likely to change in the future. If you’re looking to make a claim, the general rule is that you must claim within three years of knowledge of the negligence which caused your symptoms, however, there are exceptions to this rule.
What is the Average Settlement for Fibromyalgia Claims?
Fibromyalgia personal injury claims can often attract a large sum in compensation, however, the exact amount will depend on the severity of the injury and the impact it has had on your life. The value of the compensation claim can vary greatly from one case to another, from around 100k to more than 1.5 million.
The injury aspect is compensated with an award for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA), with the guidelines being set by the Judicial College. The other aspects of the damages award is compensation for financial losses and expenses which occur due to negligence. This includes loss of earnings, aids, equipment, medical treatment and care.
When it comes to fibromyalgia compensation claims, it’s difficult to predict the average settlement, due to the fact that claims are assessed on a case-by-case basis. For example, if a young person in a high-paying job claimed compensation for fibromyalgia, they would assess the effect it has had on their life. For example, if they were never able to return to work and required a high level of care, then they could expect to receive a large compensation payout.
However, someone who is close to retirement in a lower-paying job were to claim, it would be decided that the negligence will impact their life for a much shorter amount of time, so they could expect to receive a much lower award of damages for the same injury.
Fibromyalgia is a widespread musculoskeletal pain and fatigue disorder that is recognised as a syndrome and is sometimes known as Fibromyalgia Syndrome. It has become a syndrome due to the large number of symptoms and other conditions which can indicate this particular disorder.
Unfortunately there is no complete understanding of what causes fibromyalgia and research is continually being carried out to determine this cause. Research currently suggests that there is a link and interaction between physical, mental and psychological factors in each sufferer. The pain that is felt in any individual is often affected by their emotional state and conditions such as anxiety and depression can exacerbate physical pain. The alternative can also be true.
Fibromyalgia is well-known for its difficulty when it comes to diagnosis. There is no specific test which gives a straight diagnosis of fibromyalgia syndrome and therefore it may take some time to get to the final answer. The symptoms of fibromyalgia are very similar to several other conditions and therefore it is important to be as specific as possible when discussing symptoms with the doctor, including the way in which they may be having an impact on daily activities, work and general day to day life.
The treatment of fibromyalgia varies considerably from patient to patient dependent on individual symptoms. No single treatment works for the condition and most sufferers find themselves handling a range of medication and treatments. Medication is most commonly teamed with lifestyle changes to help alleviate the worst symptoms.
Fibromyalgia affects everyone in different ways. The condition is very personal and even in support groups members will suffer differing degrees of the syndrome and may experience only a few shared symptoms or the same symptoms at different levels and intensities.
Alongside professional medical treatment you can make changes to your lifestyle and your activity levels which may have a positive impact on your fibromyalgia symptoms. As well as making changes to your lifestyle you could also consider joining a support group like those provided by UK Fibromyalgia. Below are some other key areas where you can make changes which may positively affect your symptoms.
There is no cure for fibromyalgia but many people who have been diagnosed with the syndrome are able to live a healthy and full life, especially those considered to be suffering with the lower level, less severe versions of the syndrome.
Fibromyalgia is considered a notoriously difficult condition to diagnose. Many sufferers experience frustration as GPs struggle to come to a conclusion and some doctors believe it to be psychosomatic. A lack of understanding of a physical source of the pain and fatigue does not mean that the problem is psychological, although this is one theory that is widely put forward, so you may find you need to push for the diagnosis you need in order to be able to move forward with your life.
I was really impressed with the team at Brian Barr helping me to achieve a settlement for my claim for fibromyalgia which was caused as a result of a car accident. I was kept well informed all the way through the process and was able to have “jargon free” conversations with Brian and Counsel about my case. Brian always made me feel at ease, even when the litigation process was frustrating and difficult at times. Brian also found me a fantastic CBT therapist which has really helped with some of my day-to-day struggles. I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending Brian Barr Solicitors.
I would like to thank Alex Cohen and his team for bringing my personal injury case to a satisfactory conclusion recently. I contacted Brian Barr Solicitors almost 2 years after my accident following a total dissatisfaction with my previous solicitor. This immediately put Alex under a great deal of pressure to get the case accessed and prepared to court within weeks, which was achieved by the skin of our teeth. 3.5 years later and it’s all over, but the important thing to note here is that without the understanding of the complexity of chronic pain syndrome and fibromyalgia in this complicated case, it would have fallen away a long time ago, without Alex’s expertise, his meticulous attention to detail, along with the overall quality and professionalism of all involved. The medical experts that Brian Barr have used on my case have been incredible and they truly understand the mechanics of the complaint. The barrister on my case was Marcus Grant and again was also very calming and explained all the potential hurdles along the way.
Alex and his team have got time for you, you actually forget that they are your acting solicitor, a friendship has been built up, and when you are getting worried or dragged down on so many occasions Katie helped me get through the sticky patches with her empathy with the effects of pain (she gets it) many thanks Katie you’re a gem!
If you are anywhere in the UK and you are looking for a quality solicitor firm which specialises in Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia, look no further than Brian Barr Solicitors – believe me you’re in safe hands.
I hope you’re well and safe Steven. The past 1,838 days have been a pleasure to get to know you and work with yourself, Sophie and Brian Barr Solicitors. Not only do I feel I made the right choice in choosing Brian Barr, I couldn’t be happier having yourself and Fiona as my counsel. This was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to go through as it was never my intention for the first year to seek litigation, but you made the process as smooth, reassuring and simple as possible. Myself and my wife are truly grateful for everything you’ve done for us.
Highly recommend this firm for their expertise in fibromyalgia. I am eternally grateful for all the hard work and care taken in supporting me during one of the most challenging periods of my life. Thank you.
How We Can Help with Your Fibromyalgia Compensation Claim
If your fibromyalgia was triggered or made worse by an accident or trauma, then you may be entitled to fibromyalgia compensation. Additionally, if you have already claimed for fibromyalgia compensation, but your previous solicitor advised you to settle for too little, then we may be able to help.
We are Experienced in Fibromyalgia Compensation Claims
As leading solicitors for fibromyalgia cases in England and Wales, Brian Barr Solicitors can help you get the compensation you deserve. We have collectively secured fibromyalgia compensation payouts of over £20 million for victims in the past.
So if you’re looking for a fibromyalgia lawyer to represent you, then get in touch today to see how Brian Barr Solicitors can help you.