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Case Study: CPRS Work Injury Claim Following TFCC Repair and Carpal Tunnel Release

Background

 

The Claimant worked for a large car manufacturer on an assembly line when they were injured between 2016 and 2018. They developed carpal tunnel syndrome as a result of the work processes as well as TFCC tears.

Initial Injury Aftermath

 

The Claimant underwent surgery in the form of TFCC repair and carpal tunnel release. Secondary to carpal tunnel surgery they developed mild symptoms of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).

After a short period of recovery and whilst on light duties offline, the employer made them go back to the manufacturing line against the advice of the orthopaedic surgeon.

 

As a result of a premature return to heavy manual work, the Claimant subsequently developed a repeat TFCC tear resulting in the need for revision surgery. Due to the revision surgery, they developed severe symptoms of CRPS.

From the symptoms of CRPS, the Claimant was unable to return to work, was crippled with 24/7 symptoms of CRPS, developed depression and anxiety secondary to pain and became closed off from all aspects of their life.

Knowing all the Facts

The Defendants made an early admission of liability, in which they specifically stated they admitted that exposure to forces sufficient to give rise to injury had occurred, that the exposure was as a result of the Defendant’s breach of duty and some loss and damages had been caused, although crucially the nature and extent was not admitted.

The Claimant transferred their case to us from a large national non-specialist personal injury law firm that had advised in favour of settlement of the claim for £25,000.

Award Winning compensation claim experts for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), Fibromyalgia and other Chronic Pain conditions

Average award for a CRPS claim:
£1,140,000

See our other awards here.

Male Mechanic in Car Factory.jpg

Thankfully the Claimant understood the severity of their condition and sought a second opinion from FT Chronic Pain Solicitors on the offer received. We strongly advised against the settlement and ultimately, they were extremely glad they took our advice. Four years later we managed to settle their claim for £1.2 million.

The eventual settlement was by no means easy to achieve. The arguments and evidence mounted and how we countered the Defendant’s evidence are explained within this abbreviated case study

Injury Claim Transfer To FT Chronic Pain Solicitors 

 

The Defendants argued that, due to his raised BMI and because he had done weight training in the past, the Claimant was predisposed to develop carpal tunnel syndrome.  

A proportion of the population, some 10% or more, will develop carpal tunnel syndrome naturally. The defendant’s case was that this Claimant would have developed carpal tunnel syndrome in any event, even if he had not worked for the defendant.

They therefore argued that he would have required surgery in any event and so would also have developed CRPS in the absence of carrying out work for the defendants, which they alleged was just incidental.

The Defendant's case was supported by medical experts who disputed the diagnosis of CRPS and accepted he had carpal tunnel syndrome but in terms of ongoing symptoms, stated the Claimant was at best suffering from a psychological disorder such as Somatic Symptom Disorder (SSD) or else was exaggerating his claim for purposes of financial gain.

Liability And Causation

 

Throughout the case a prominent disagreement about what the Defendant had admitted and its consequences for the claim. Despite very precise and repeated requests, even on the day of settlement, the Claimant was no closer to understanding what the Defendant considered it had admitted in relation to ‘liability’. There is no doubt the failure to directly set out their case, weakened the Defendant's evidence. 

The Defendants produced over 300 pages of medical reports, from disciplines including pain management, orthopaedic consultants and psychiatrists. Each making a case that the Claimant was vulnerable and that the ‘but for position’, i.e., if the accident hadn’t happened, that the Claimant would have developed carpal tunnel syndrome in any event and would have required surgery and that CRPS was secondary to surgery.

 

Further, the Defendant's case was that the symptoms described by the Claimant were not as bad as alleged, that he could work and didn’t require care. Further, they felt he was psychologically vulnerable and that a lot of his symptoms were psychologically driven.

Intense But Rewarding Final Outcome

 

The vulnerability to developing carpal tunnel syndrome was hotly contested. The Defendants relied on pre-accident entries in medical records to show that the claimant was a hypochondriac and, would routinely present at the GP for symptoms of one type or another without organic explanation. 

Whilst there was some evidence of the Claimant being anxious and perhaps overly health aware, he had never worked a manual job before working for the Defendants. Nor had they complained of arm or hand pain before working for the Defendants, and thus we were successfully able to negotiate that on balance of probability, the Claimant would have continued to work had the Defendants not injured him and that the carpal tunnel arguments were weak. 

Resilience was certainly required in this case to eventually successfully argue a sensible settlement, crucially without having to put the claimant through the trauma of a five-day trial in court.

We had to go right back through the claimant’s education records and obtain statements from friends, family and ex-colleagues to demonstrate the claimant’s aptitude for hard work.

Through video evidence, we were able to show precisely what the Claimant could and couldn’t do for himself. This evidence proved valuable in showing the care the claimant would need at home. We were able to secure a large award for care and assistance.

The Claimant, like many of our clients, has become a huge advocate for the work we do and will say that a fifteen-minute phone call with us changed his life and he was able to transfer his case to us

He now owns multiple properties from which he derives a regular income which pays for the assistance he needs at home. He continues to seek help and support for his injuries but no longer has a mortgage and the normal stresses and strains of life have been lessened by the compensation award.

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