As experts in serious injury compensation, Brian Barr Solicitors understand the life-changing
impacts that an accident can have on your physical health, your mental health, your daily
life, and also your relationships with family and loved ones, which is why we work tirelessly
to ensure you get the compensation that you deserve. With over 60 years’ combined
experience, our team know how to get you the life-changing sums of money that you will
need for your future.
By their very nature, catastrophic injuries often happen without prior warning. Unlike many personal injury claims which involve injuries which are resolved in a relatively short period of time, catastrophic injuries are more long-lasting and have more disabling effects on the
patient’s life, requiring expert handling. These injuries can include:
Serious and catastrophic injuries can happen due to accidents at work, car accidents, falls from height, medical negligence and a number of other incidents and can have potentially life-changing effects.
As well as the physical effects of catastrophic injuries, one can also suffer from psychiatric injuries, such as PTSD, anxiety and depression – to name a few. Although these mental health problems may not present themselves immediately after the devastating accident, they may cause a much bigger impact on life than the injury alone.
A serious injury will have a significant impact on your day-to-day life and it is important to quantify this.
Everyone is unique, and everyone’s situation following a serious injury is different. At Brian Barr we do not apply a one-template-that-fits-all approach to our personal injury claims, instead we look at your individual situation and the impact that the injury has had on your life. We tailor our approach to the individual. We will work hard to ensure that you, as an individual, get the compensation you deserve. For many clients this has resulted in compensation awards of over £1 million.
The areas that will be taken into account when calculating the compensation you are owed generally include:
Brian Barr Solicitors are unique in that we specialise solely in claims involving serious or catastrophic injury, CRPS, fibromyalgia, and chronic pain. We are a dedicated team who are committed to building strong relationships with our clients and providing them with access to the leading experts whose understanding of serious injury is second to none. This will help secure you the highest levels of compensation.
We are passionate about helping our clients in a caring, understanding and professional manner. We pride ourselves on going the extra mile for our clients, whether this is arranging for carers to take you to medical appointments and putting you in touch with charities or other support groups. We are sensitive to your situation and can provide expert support and advice in your time of need, securing you the compensation you deserve. At Brian Barr Solicitors we will offer you peace of mind throughout the whole process and will be there for you every step of the way. The claims process can take time, and we know this can be frustrating, but it is important for us to be thorough in order to achieve the highest levels of compensation for you. We can also sometimes obtain an interim compensation payment to allow you to pay for medical care or to make adjustments to your home before your claim has settled.
Every day we help clients move forward with their lives securing the compensation they deserve and our team have successfully concluded many complex personal injury claims, resulting in six and seven-figure settlements for our clients.
If you’re looking to claim serious injury compensation, you will need to be able to prove that it occurred due to another’s negligence, whether this is an accident at work, a road traffic accident, or other major incident. The value of your claim will depend on the severity of your injury, the impact on your life, your working capabilities and your needs for care. Whether you have suffered physically or mentally, it is likely that your life is going to be different and you will have to put measures in place to adapt to your new situation.
When claiming serious injury compensation, medical experts will be instructed to evaluate your symptoms in order to comment on the effect the injury has had on your life, as well as the effect your injury is likely to have in the future in order to calculate how much compensation you’re owed.
Brian Barr Solicitors work with the best medical professionals in the country – from GPs, to pain relief specialists and rheumatologists, to neurologists and psychiatrists – we know who to speak to help prove your case and you can be assured that Brian Barr will ensure that we compile as much evidence as possible so that you have the funds to help ease your situation. We appreciate that living with chronic pain or a serious injury can be exhausting.
The last thing you want to do is see yet another doctor as part of your claim process. However, each medical expert will be able to give evidence as to your condition and how this impacts your life. Even if we cannot cure your condition, which we would all prefer, these reports are essential in securing the highest levels of compensation to ease the difficulties caused by chronic pain as much as possible. The more evidence to support you, the higher the award.
Clients move to Brian Barr every day – it is easy and hassle free and we have a 97% compensation claims success rate.
The reason for changing personal injury lawyers will vary from person to person, but firstly you should ask yourself “are your current solicitors a specialist firm whose expertise is chronic pain and serious injury litigation?” If they are not specialists, then your claim could be misunderstood and undervalued.
Some of the key reasons clients move to Brian Barr include:
Whether you are just starting your claim or are close to settlement, if you’re unhappy with the progress being made on your serious or catastrophic injury claim, you may wish to consider transferring your case over to Brian Barr. We are a specialist firm of solicitors whose expertise is in chronic pain and serious injury litigation.
In any accident or insurance claim, transferring your claim from your current solicitor to Brian Barr Solicitors is easy and hassle-free. You are under no obligation to stay with your current solicitor and are entitled to switch your solicitors for whatever reason you wish whether you are unhappy with their service or feel that you are not going to get the compensation that you deserve.
If you’re considering changing your personal injury solicitor, you can talk to one of our specialist solicitors to discuss your specific claim in some detail. Even if you’re just looking for some advice and guidance on what to do next, we’re here to help you where we can. Instructing a specialist Serious Injury Solicitor should be a priority. We can provide a free, no-obligation assessment of your claim, and advise you on whether we can support your claim. If we can, we will make all the arrangements to transfer your claim to one of the experts at Brian Barr Solicitors.
Funding your legal representation for your serious injury compensation claim with Brian Barr is easy and stress-free.
You will not need to worry about your legal fees if you have Legal Expenses Insurance – if you are acting within the terms and conditions of your policy. Your insurer may inform you that you must use one of the solicitors they appoint in order to take advantage of their policy. However, this may not apply in the following circumstances:
If you have no suitable legal expenses insurance, and you have a strong case, we can often act for you under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), often called a ‘no win no fee’ arrangement. Then you would pay a capped proportion of your damages to us if you win, and absolutely nothing if you lose.
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.
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, but 24 hours a day. 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.
Fibromyalgia affects people of all ages and backgrounds, although it is seven times more likely to be diagnosed in women than men. The condition often develops between the ages of 30 and 50 but it can occur in people of all ages including the very young and very old, especially when it is the result of an accident or injury.
Figures regarding how many people are living with fibromyalgia vary, although it is often described as a common condition. Arthritis Research UK and other charities and bodies in related areas believe that 1 in 25 people in the UK may be affected with the condition to some degree.
There are more severe cases and those where people can function comfortably from day to day, with only mild symptoms.
Diagnosing fibromyalgia is difficult because of the conditions which are closely related and have very similar symptoms. There is no specific test for the condition and therefore one of the main processes in diagnosing fibromyalgia is ruling out other conditions, often through urine and blood tests and a range of scans.
Many people suffering with fibromyalgia have related conditions such as chronic pain syndrome.
Fibromyalgia can be triggered by a sudden forceful injury to the muscles such as a whiplash injury, injury caused by a fall or due to being hit with a falling object or a sprain developed from lifting a heavy object.
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.
Many people experience a trigger event which results in the fibromyalgia symptoms. These trigger events are often things such as viral infections, mental trauma or physical trauma such as an injury in a public place, at work or in a road traffic accident. Many of the people currently living with fibromyalgia have suffered a traumatic event which wasn’t their fault yet they are left with the long-term after effects.
Recent studies into the causes of fibromyalgia show interesting comparisons and are looked at in more depth below.
Abnormal Nervous System Processes
One of the leading theories is that people living with fibromyalgia have developed changes in the way their central nervous system processes the pain messages around their body. This could be due to chemical imbalances in the nervous system. Research has shown that people living with fibromyalgia syndrome have strikingly low levels of the hormones noradrenaline, dopamine and serotonin in their brains and the cause of the syndrome could be linked to these differences. These hormones are essential for regulating certain behaviours integral to a happy healthy life including mood, sleep, behaviour, stress management and appetite.
Further research suggests that disturbed sleeping patterns may be a cause of fibromyalgia or exacerbate the condition. Conversely, fibromyalgia sufferers often live with chronic fatigue but continue to suffer with disturbed sleep.
Most studies have concluded that there are no links between fibromyalgia and genetics, although there is further research being carried out in this area.
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.
Throughout diagnosis, you will be asked about your symptoms and how they affect you. Your body will be examined in depth to check for visible symptoms which may suggest other conditions, including arthritis and chronic fatigue syndrome.
When your GP is clear that fibromyalgia may be a possibility the next stage is to start ruling out other conditions which could be responsible for the symptoms including chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. There are clear tests for these conditions including both urine and blood tests and also x-rays and MRI Scans. Sometimes, even when you are found to have another condition this doesn’t always rule out fibromyalgia.
Specific Fibromyalgia Criteria
For a diagnosis of fibromyalgia syndrome specific criteria usually have to be met. The most commonly used criteria, as outlined by the NHS, are:
– A similar level of pain / discomfort / symptoms in general for at least three months
– You have either severe pain in three to six areas of your body or milder pain in seven+ areas
– No other explanation for your symptoms has been found
The next stage of diagnosis is usually assessment of the extent of the pain through the application of pressure to certain ‘tender points’ on the body – this type of assessment isn’t as common as it used to be.
Alongside a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, many people also find themselves with other closely related conditions such as depression, anxiety or irritable bowel syndrome, although this may mean more testing and assessment.The diagnosis process isn’t quick or easy but once an answer is found, treatment can be sought.
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.
Overall fibromyalgia is recognised as a chronic condition, but the symptoms of the condition may come in waves and there may be periods which are relatively pain free and others which can leave the individual with the syndrome unable to leave bed. The impact that fibromyalgia has on daily activities such as working a full-time job is highly dependent upon the individual in question. Many individuals with fibromyalgia are able to work comfortably, although they may need time off for additional medical appointments, others are not in position to hold down a regular job.
Fibromyalgia is recognised as a disabling condition and has the same life-impacting possibilities as conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. As such, sufferers may be entitled to financial assistance such as Disability Living Allowance.
There has been an increase in awareness surrounding the condition and many people who previously may have felt unable to work have since found themselves in a position to do so thanks to increased awareness in the workplace.
It remains difficult to predict the prognosis of fibromyalgia on an individual basis because so many factors, physical, psychological and even environmental play a role in the development of the condition. Many individuals go through both positive and negative periods with the condition and in time find a treatment method which makes living with the syndrome more manageable.
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.
Two of the most common symptoms of fibromyalgia are chronic fatigue and pain which can make exercising difficult or impossible at times. An exercise programme designed for your condition can help improve your overall health and manage your symptoms. This is something that should be managed by your GP or physiotherapist and can be made up of both aerobic and resistance training. The exercises will be gentle and designed to help improve your endurance and help alleviate pain. Exercises such as hill walking, tai chi and yoga are popular, however you should seek medical advice before undertaking any strenuous exercise.
Once you have your diagnosis of fibromyalgia you will often hear the phrase ‘pace yourself’. It’s a fact that you really do have to take a step back when it comes to the pace of your life and pacing yourself, understanding and listening to your body, can help avoid periods of downtime and inactivity. Learning your body’s limits and working with them will help with managing your condition comfortably and not overexerting yourself and ending up with excessive pain.
Studies show the risks of depression and anxiety are higher for sufferers of fibromyalgia. Taking time to relax and practice relaxation techniques will help allow your body and mind to heal. You could choose to simply enjoy extra naps or time relaxing in bed or you could partake in meditation, deep breathing or specialised relaxation techniques. Talking therapies including counselling can also be a relaxation method.
The National Fibromyalgia Research Association reports that more than 75% of sufferers complain of disturbed sleep. Basic good sleep techniques including building a sleep routine with the same waking and going to bed times, avoiding caffeine, nicotine and alcohol before bed and avoiding eating heavy meals late at night. Your bedroom should be a relaxing environment without electronics, kept dark and quiet and you should also avoid checking the time throughout the night.
If you’re interested in finding out how you can help yourself if you suffer with fibromyalgia, then we have more information for you within the exercise, relaxation and sleep sections of our blog.
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.
Many of the treatments available for fibromyalgia have been researched in depth and have been shown to alleviate and manage the symptoms. Chemical treatments can be paired with lifestyle changes and it is important to manage both alongside each other. The wide range of medications available means that if a treatment becomes less effective your GP may be able to prescribe something else which works well.
Living with fibromyalgia is a trial but with many different treatment methods there is always hope there will be something else to try or a new combination to consider. The syndrome is also becoming more well-known and awareness is also increasing, leading to more research and interest in finding answers to the root cause of the condition.
The business of fibromyalgia cures has been discussed at length. As with many other conditions, there has been a notable interest in unscientifically proven cures, usually available online. As a condition which has no cure and this is, at this moment in time, medically proven, you should always be aware and cautious of anything that is sold as a fibromyalgia cure. As well as being a potential waste of money you cannot be sure of the ingredients and medical benefits of these products, despite the claims that they alleviate your symptoms. The only way to manage and improve fibromyalgia syndrome is by following the advice of your doctors and other medical professionals.
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.
Doctors are there to help you get this diagnosis and, in the short time they have with you, they only get a snapshot of your condition. It is important to be as descriptive as you can be, describe your day to day life and provide them with examples if you can, even a written log. There are a large range of symptoms of Fibromyalgia and diagnosis will be easier if you can accurately describe yours. Not being able to understand what you deal with on a daily basis may lead a doctor to believe you’re imagining your condition or that you may have hypochondriac tendencies.
If you feel that you have not had the diagnosis you need in order to move forward with your life. It may mean moving doctors or even surgeries. But there will be a doctor out there who is happy to work with you and can help to reduce your symptoms.