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Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) Lawyers

Complex regional pain syndromeComplex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) or reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) is a form a chronic pain that usually affects the arm or a leg and develops after an injury, surgery, heart attack or stroke. CRPS has long been regarded as one of the most challenging pain conditions in medicine and has been classified as a rare disorder by the United States Food and Drug Administration. It is typically characterized by sensory and autonomic disturbances such as hyperalgesia, edema, and changes in skin blood flow. The intensity and duration of the disease tends to vary greatly between patients.

CRPS is divided into two groups. Type 1 (sympathetic dystrophy) develops without any known nerve damage. Type 2 (causalgia) develops when there is a specific nerve damage. Around 3 out of 4 CRPS cases involve women and the disease tends to be very rare in children. The majority of CRPS cases develop in people between the ages of 37 to 70 years of age. It also occurs most frequently in people of European ancestry. In the United states, Type 1 CRPS developed in around 5.46 out of every 100,000 people in any given year. People who develop CRPS may be able to seek aid through a civil claim. The complex regional pain syndrome attorneys at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. are here for you. They have decades of experience and focus 100 percent of their practice on helping accident victims. They can examine your case free of cost and let you know if you have a claim that can be pursued. Call us today for a risk free consultation at 800-529-9997. 

What Causes Complex Regional Pain Syndrome? 

CRPS is caused by damage or a resulting dysfunction of injured peripheral sensory neurons. This causes improper signals to be sent from the brain and spinal cord to all parts of the body. In around 90% of cases, CRPS is triggered by damage to the thinnest sensory and autonomic nerve fibers. Fractures, particularly in the wrist, are the most common incident associated with the onset of CRPS. Nerves often become displaced or splintered by bones. This is especially true when a cast is placed too tightly on a patient. Patients may develop CRPS following many different incidents. 

  • Falls are one of the leading causes of fractures for older adults. Stairs can be particularly hazardous in that regard. But a fall can happen in any setting including getting out of a chair too fast or slipping on a damaged sidewalk. 
  • Car accidents are another major cause of injuries associated with the onset of CRPS. It is very common for drivers to suffer wrist injuries when they are involved in a crash.
  • Surgeries can also cause nerve damage which can lead to CRPS. This is particularly true when some part of a surgery does not go according to plan. But even after a surgery goes well, CRPS can still develop.

In addition to trauma, there are many conditions that could potentially contribute to the onset, severity, and duration of CRPS. Conditions such as diabetes and exposure to nerve toxins can leave nerves less resilient. Many people with CRPS also have elevated local levels of inflammatory chemicals called cytokines. CRPS is also more common in people with inflammatory and autoimmune conditions including asthma. Genetics also plays a role in who develops the disease. A family history of CRPS makes it more likely that a patient will develop it.

Who Can Be Liable For Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?

There are many situations in which a person can develop CRPS. Some of these situations involve negligence while others may not. In general, though, there are several elements that must be demonstrated in a negligence claim. The defendant owed the plaintiff a legal duty of care. The defendant breached that duty of care. The plaintiff suffered an injury. The defendant’s breach was the proximate cause of the injury. Depending on how CRPS developed, there could potentially be numerous liable parties.

  • Medical Malpractice: A large portion of CRPS cases develop after surgery. If a surgical error contributed to the onset of CRPS, the hospital where the surgery was performed could be held at fault through a medical malpractice claim. Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor’s or surgeon’s actions deviate from the standard of care of other professionals in their field.   
  • Car Accidents: All drivers must exercise due care in order to avoid causing car accidents. If a driver caused an accident by speeding or committing traffic infractions, they could potentially be liable for CRPS injuries that a victim developed. If the at-fault driver was working at the time of a collision, their employer could also potentially be held at fault. 
  • Falls: Property owners have a legal obligation to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition. When someone falls and is injured due to a dangerous condition on their premises, this could form the basis of a negligence claim. A large portion of CRPS injuries begin after a person suffers a bone fracture due to a fall. 

Pursuing any claim after developing CRPS can be very difficult. This is why it is nearly always a good idea to seek the guidance of a skilled attorney who can handle your claim. Medical malpractice claims, in particular, can be very expensive and difficult to pursue. Insurance providers will often try to do everything in their power to deny liability against any malpractice claim. One of the great advantages of hiring an injury attorney is that they work entirely off of a contingency fee basis. This means that you do not have to pay anything unless they win your case. 

How Is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Diagnosed? 

CRPS is diagnosed based on a patient’s medical history and a physical exam. While there is no single test that can positively identify CRPS in a patient, there are several procedures that can offer insight. Bone scans can help identify changes to a person’s bones over time. Bone loss is commonly associated with CRPS. X-rays can also show mineral loss in bones that occur in later stages of the disease. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can show tissue changes that can help doctors rule out conditions not related to CRPS. There are also a number of symptoms commonly associated with the disease.

  • Continuous burning or throbbing pain in the arm, leg, hand or foot
  • Muscle spasms, tremors and weakness in the affected area
  • Joint stiffness, swelling and damage to the affected area
  • Sensitivity to touch as well as cold
  • Swelling around the area in pain
  • Changes in hair and nail growth

After a patient has been diagnosed with CRPS, there are a number of treatment options available to them. Many pain relievers are available without a prescription including aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen sodium. These can help with mild pain and inflammation. Bone loss medications can also help prevent further deterioration of the affected area. Heat therapy and various topical analgesics can further decrease pain. Physical therapy for the affected area can increase mobility. Patients who are diagnosed with CRPS and treated early tend to have the best health outcomes.

Getting Legal Help After Developing Complex Regional Pain Syndrome 

If you have suffered from complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) due to someone’s negligence, you may be entitled to substantial compensation for your injuries. There are a number of laws designed to protect your rights. Damages in a civil claim can help cover lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering. You do not have to go through the recovery process alone. Living with a chronic, painful condition can be extremely challenging in the best of circumstances.

The personal injury attorneys at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. understand what you are going through and are here for you. They will do everything in their power to get you the medical and financial support that you need in order to recover. In fact, they have recovered nearly $1 billion for their deserving clients. There is a reason so many people and families have trusted us to handle their claims. We care about winning on your behalf above all else. Whether you just have legal questions or need any type of support, we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at 800-529-9997. 

FAQ's

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