Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes the sensation of pain throughout the body. It mostly affects soft fibrous tissue such as the muscles, tendons and ligaments.
Often, the condition presents with other symptoms too, such as general fatigue, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, and impaired memory or concentration.
The widespread pain associated with this condition can significantly and negatively impact a person’s quality of life. It may manifest as a burning, throbbing, shooting, or stabbing sensation with muscular twitching. Also, some people feel as if their muscles have been pulled or worked too hard.
Depending on how you developed this condition or had it diagnosed, you may be able to make a Fibromyalgia claim for compensation.
In this guide you can learn more about Fibromyalgia, under what circumstances you may be owed compensation for it, and how to get legal help to start your claim.
What Causes Fibromyalgia?
It is not yet fully clear what causes this debilitating illness, but medical experts believe it is somehow connected to abnormalities of pain pathways in the central nervous system.
Researchers have found that genetic factors and disturbances in sleep patterns can cause this condition. Other studies suggest that mental, psychological, or physical trauma may also precipitate symptoms in some individuals. Such triggers may include traumatic events such as being involved in a car accident or experiencing the loss of a loved one.
Fibromyalgia can affect people of all ages. However, women and individuals between the ages of 30 and 50 are shown to be more likely to develop it.
Unfortunately, there is no known cure for this syndrome. That said, it is possible to manage the symptoms through a variety of treatments. For instance, anti-inflammatories and analgesic medications could help to alleviate pain.
Whereas, for fatigue and sleep disturbances, a doctor or general practitioner may prescribe anti-depressants.
Besides drugs, other treatment methods that could prove to be helpful include physical therapy, counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
Who Is Eligible For A Fibromyalgia Claim?
Not every patient diagnosed with Fibromyalgia will be able to claim for compensation.
The only situation where this may be possible is if you develop symptoms, or they end up getting worse, because of another person’s negligent actions. There are a couple of ways that this could happen.
For instance, a car accident is a traumatic event that could trigger Fibromyalgia. If another motorist is responsible for injuries, such as whiplash that causes you to experience chronic pain that won’t just go away, you can claim for compensation against them.
The insurance company for the driver who caused the crash would pay for the treatment prescribed for you, once the claim is found in your favour.
If Fibromyalgia is already a pre-existing condition for you, a road traffic accident can cause your symptoms to get worse. In such cases, you may also be able to bring forward a claim for that, as long as the accident was not your fault.
Secondly, you may also be eligible to file a Fibromyalgia claim if the condition was misdiagnosed or not detected in good time when you went to seek treatment for your symptoms.
A wrong diagnosis can happen when a medical professional fails to conduct enough tests to rule out other conditions, thus resulting in being prescribed inappropriate treatment for something that you don’t have. When Fibromyalgia goes undiagnosed like this, it may result in you going through unnecessary pain and suffering.
You may also have been a victim of late diagnosis if your doctor dismissed Fibromyalgia without conducting enough tests to rule it out. In some cases, the symptoms may even get worse if proper treatment is not started early.
How Do I Start A Fibromyalgia Claim?
Anyone looking to start a Fibromyalgia claim must begin the process within three years of finding out that a negligent party was responsible for causing the condition or increasing suffering by exacerbating the symptoms. However, there is an exception to this rule when minors are involved.
If you are looking to start a Fibromyalgia claim, it would be prudent to talk to a solicitor who specialises in medical negligence and chronic pain claims. An expert in this area of litigation would listen to your account of what happened and why you believe you should be compensated, to determine if you have a legitimate claim.
If there are valid grounds for pursuing the case, your solicitor would then guide you on how to gather evidence to support your claim.
Part of this would involve going through your medical records, establishing a link between your symptoms and a traumatic accident or misdiagnosis, getting a consultant rheumatologist or a pain expert to assess your symptoms, and detailing the progression of pain.
What Kind Of Compensation Can You Get From A Fibromyalgia Claim?
The settlement awarded in a successful Fibromyalgia claim takes into account several factors. Your solicitor can provide their expertise to ensure that you get the maximum pay-out for your suffering. Generally, if your claim is successful, you can expect to get compensation for:
Pain & Suffering
The pay-out awarded for your pain and suffering and loss of amenity (quality of life) falls under ‘general damages’. The amount due to you in this category would be calculated by following guidelines set out by the Judicial College.
Your claim can also include the associated medical expenses you have had to bear. For instance, this can include expenses for diagnostic tests, doctor fees and medications. Your claim can also take into account any future treatments that you will require as well.
We suggest you keep all receipts and invoices in a safe place, so you can easily prove the costs incurred.
Loss Of Income
Fibromyalgia often impacts a person’s ability to carry out normal daily activities. As a result, it may affect your ability to work, forcing you to cut back on working hours, leave your job permanently, or take on a less demanding job with reduced pay. You can claim for loss of income due to this chronic condition and this will form part of the ‘special damages’ settlement.
Also under the category of ‘special damages’ you can seek compensation for any additional out-of-pocket expenses incurred whilst trying to get treatment for Fibromyalgia.
For example, this could include travel costs to and from your doctor/hospital appointments or the extra expense incurred needing alternative transportation if the condition made you unable to drive (taxi fares etc).
How Much Can I Get As Settlement From A Fibromyalgia Claim?
Compensation for Fibromyalgia claims can range anywhere from thousands of pounds to over a million pounds. However, the exact amount you may get will depend on several factors.
To begin with, the severity of your symptoms and what kind of impact they have on your daily life will play a significant role in the compensation amount. For instance, a higher pay-out would be expected if your ability to work has been significantly compromised.
Age is also a consideration for these types of cases. If a young person with a high paying job would never be able to return to work, they could expect to receive a larger compensation pay-out than someone who is almost retiring and earns a lower wage.
Other factors that could affect your settlement amount include your medical prognosis, whether you would require long-term assisted care, as well as the psychological impact of your condition.
Need Help Starting A Fibromyalgia Claim?
Fibromyalgia claims can be challenging to prove because of the complex nature of this condition. However, a solicitor who specialises in chronic pain cases should be able to advise you honestly and objectively.
If you don’t know where to start, use the form below to request a call-back from a UK based claims advisor. They can provide you with a free, no obligation consultation, to discuss your case further and provide assistance with the claims process.