If you have been diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) that have arisen out of a workplace injury, you might be entitled to a lump sum compensation.
What is CRPS?
CRPS is a broad term to describe excess chronic pain and neuro-inflammatory condition that usually affects a limb (arm, hand, leg or foot). CRPS is uncommon, cause of which is not clearly understood. It typically develops after an injury to an arm, hand, leg or foot due to damage to or malfunction of nervous systems.
Signs and symptoms may vary from person to person. In some people, the symptoms of CRPS are mild and go away on their own. In some severe cases, however, the symptoms may persist for months to years and the individuals may end up having long-term disability.
The pain can be excruciating. It has been described as burning or throbbing sensation in the affect limb. Occasionally CRPS may spread from its source to elsewhere in the body such as the opposite limb. Other symptoms may also include:
- Swelling of the affected limb
- Skin colour changes, ranging from blotchy and pale to red, blue, or purple
- Skin temperature changes, such as cool or hot to touch
- Changes in skin texture, which may become shiny and thin
- Abnormal sweating and nail and hair growth
- Stiffness in affected joints
- Sensitivity to touch
- Impaired ability to move the affected body part
Making a successful claim for CRPS
In order to be eligible for lump sum compensation entitlements, an injured worker needs to get assessed by an accredited medico-legal specialist under the Workers Compensation Act 1987, and the impairment needs to satisfy a threshold of 11% Whole Person Impairment (‘WPI’) (for physical injuries).
In workers compensation claims in New South Wales, for legitimately diagnosed cases of CRPS can rate very high for the purposes of a WPI assessment. The WPI rating for someone who has suffered CRPS may well exceed the threshold of 11% as the assessment involves both range of movement and the impact of sensory deficits.
However, this kind of claim is not easy. There are certain criteria that need to be met in order for injured workers to be eligible to have CRPS assessed for WPI. First of all, a diagnosis of CRPS must have been provided and verified by at least two physicians. Secondly, the diagnosis of CRPS must be present for at least one year to ensure the condition has reached maximum medical improvement.
If the above criteria are not met, injured workers may not be able to proceed to undertake the WPI assessment, and even they do the claims may be disputed by the insurer.
Legal advice without the cost
CRPS is often overlooked by medical practitioners, insurance claims managers and even injured workers themselves which may cause a delay in diagnosis. If you suffer any symptoms of CRPS arising out of a workplace injury, we urge you to discuss it with your doctors. The sooner you get a diagnosis the better, so that you can get proper treatment and also ensure you get the condition covered in a WPI assessment.
Trying to manage a CRPS related compensation claim yourself without any legal advice and support can be very daunting and may also make your claim process costly and inefficient. Please contact Alliance Compensation and Litigation Lawyers and discuss your potential lump sum compensation claim. Our IRO approved workers compensation lawyers will ensure that every aspect of your diagnosis is explored and covered to assist you in receiving your full entitlements at no cost to you.