Chronic Pain Frequently Asked Questions

Chronic pain can be a life-changing condition that can be triggered or made worse following an accident.

Here are some frequently asked questions about making a claim.

Why use Ashtons Legal?

  • We offer free, impartial, no obligation, advice.
  • Our specialist personal injury lawyers only act for injury victims.
  • We are able to offer ‘no win, no fee’ funding arrangements.
  • Our specialist personal injury lawyers are members of various organisations dedicated to protecting, supporting and furthering the interests of injury victims; for example: APILMASS and AvMA.
  • A number of our specialist personal injury lawyers prominently feature in the Legal 500 & Chambers and Partners, both leading directories of law firms and lawyers.
  • Amongst others, Ashtons Legal carry the LawNet Mark of ExcellenceLexcel, both recognised marks of quality, which demonstrate our commitment to providing our clients with the highest standard of care and advice.

How much does it cost me to make a claim?

At the start of your case we’ll explore the funding options and discuss the best way forward for you.

Your legal costs might already be covered through an existing motor, household or other insurance policy (there is often an additional part to the policy referred to as ‘legal expenses insurance’). You might also have legal cost cover through you bank or credit card provider and if you are a member of a Trade Union, this might form part of your membership. It is important that you check to see if you have any cover.

Personal injury victims used to be able to apply for Legal Aid. Now, Legal Aid is only available in cases for children who suffer brain injury during pregnancy or following childbirth.

If you do not have any legal expenses insurance or it is unsuitable and in the absence of any other cover, you can still pursue your claim.

At Ashtons Legal, we often take on cases on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis.

This means that if you ‘lose’ your personal injury claim, you pay absolutely nothing*. It also means that you don’t have to pay any fees up front.

If you ‘win’ your case, we would expect your opponent to pay the majority of your legal costs, with only a proportion of your compensation going towards paying legal costs.

* Subject to entering into a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement in conjunction with a suitable insurance policy to cover any unrecovered disbursements and complying with your responsibilities under the terms of both.

How do I make a claim; what are the time limits and the process?

Ashtons Legal offer a free initial, no obligation, consultation. Please call us on 0800 587 0093 or contact us online.

Once we have talked to you about how the accident happened and how you came to be injured, we will then be able to advise whether we believe that your claim is likely to succeed and how we can help and support you.

It is important that you do not delay in contacting us. There are strict time limits in most personal injury claims which occur in the UK, a claim must be made within 3 years; however, if the accident has happened abroad, or on a boat or plane, different (shorter) time limits are likely to apply.

Having worked out who was to blame for your accident, we will gather the evidence to establish this and to support your claim for compensation.

As well as obtaining statements from those who know you, we will also ask you to attend appointments with various experts for the purpose of preparing reports in support of your claim. For example, experts in care, medicine and rehabilitation. We shall also consider instructing a specialist barrister, who will then form part of your legal team.

Once the evidence has been finalised and your claim for compensation has been calculated, it will be presented to the insurers for their consideration. Negotiations will normally then start. You will be kept fully updated, every step of the way.

If we can’t agree the right level of compensation with the insurers (or they are unwilling to accept they are to blame), Court proceedings will be issued in order to protect your position and ensure that you are properly compensated. We know that the thought of a case going to Court is likely to be stressful for you; however, it rare for cases to actually go before a Judge, with over 95% of cases settling. Again, we will ensure that you are kept fully updated.

With regards to timescales, every case is different and very much depends upon the type of injury suffered and whether the insurers accept they are to blame. Some cases can take years to settle due to their complexity; however, in most cases, we can obtain interim payments to help cover your ongoing costs (for example loss of earnings). We also have arrangements with various organisations who are able to provide treatment / support on deferred terms.

Ashtons Legal also employ ‘in-house’ specialists who are able to advise you with regards to claiming any benefits and support you may be entitled to.

How much is my claim worth?

The level of compensation varies from case to case and very much depends upon the individual circumstances. As a general rule, the more severe your injury is, the higher the compensation you are likely to get.

A personal injury claim will usually consist of two parts: Special Damages (your financial losses) and General Damages (compensation for pain, suffering and loss of amenity).

The value of both depends greatly upon the severity of your injury. Our lawyers are experts at valuing and maximising the amount of compensation you receive. They will be able to provide an early indication as to the potential value of your claim.

What if I was partly to blame?

If you are partly to blame for your accident, you may still be able to recover some personal injury compensation. Our specialist injury lawyers are experts in advising on these matters and will fight hard to minimise the effect any blame on your part, has upon your claim.

Can I claim on behalf of a family member or friend?

Yes.

Sometimes the injury is so serious (even fatal) that the victim is no longer able to act for themselves and needs the help and support of a family member or friend.

In cases involving children (which means someone under the age of 18), again, they usually need the help and support of a family member or friend.

In any event, our specialist lawyers are able to advise you as to the appropriate steps you need to take in order to protect and support yourself, the victim and their family.

Examples of chronic pain conditions

  • Chronic Pain Syndrome (‘CPS’)

This is the ‘umbrella’ term under which all pain conditions fall. It is used to loosely define any pain condition. Symptoms can vary significantly from person to person; for example, the pain may be described as burning, shooting, tingling or pulsing. Fatigue is a very common symptom of any chronic pain condition.

For further information please click on the following link:

  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (‘CRPS’)

CRPS is usually triggered by an injury. It is thought that it is the result of the body reacting in an abnormal way to injury. It is a poorly understood and often severely disabling condition.

The pain is usually confined to one limb but it can sometimes spread to other parts of the body. The pain is often much more severe and persistent than would be normally expected. Other symptoms include skin hyper-sensitivity, there may be changes in skin colour or temperature, the area (limb) can be swollen, or stiff.

For further information please click on the following link: CRPS

  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (‘CFS’) or ‘ME’

CFS (also known as ‘ME’ – Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) is a condition with a wide range of symptoms. The most common symptoms are extreme tiredness and feeling generally unwell. Other symptoms include muscle or joint pain. It is not known what causes CFS but it is believed that it may be triggered by (amongst others) factors such as stress and emotional trauma.

For further information please click on the following link: CFS / ME

  • Somatic Symptom Disorder (‘SSD’)

SSD is characterised by a focus on physical symptoms, such as pain or fatigue, with no obvious physical cause for the symptoms. It is often referred to as a ‘psychosomatic’ condition (ie, the symptoms are “all in the mind” or “medically unexplainable”); however, for the sufferer, they are very real.

For further information please click on the following link: SSD

  • Fibromyalgia or Fibromyalgia Syndrome (‘FMS’)

Usually the main symptom of FMS is widespread pain all over the body. It can be triggered by emotional as well as physical trauma. Other symptoms include tiredness, increased sensitivity, numbness, issues with memory and concentration and the suchlike.

For further information please click on the following link: Fibromyalgia