Being diagnosed with CRPS, formerly known as RSD, is devastating and overwhelming. If you have been diagnosed with this condition as the result of a traumatic injury or accident and believe that you may have a case, there are things that you should do from the outset, and things that should be avoided, in order to increase the likelihood of a successful outcome.
Things You Should Do:
• Begin treatment as soon as possible after you are diagnosed. It has been shown that the earlier you seek treatment for your RSD/CRPS, the greater likelihood you have of successfully reducing your pain and symptoms. It has also been shown that long-term treatment can lessen the effects of the disease. There have been some documented cases where the RSD has gone into remission, so get your treatment underway as early as possible.
• Seek out a qualified attorney as soon as possible after the precipitating event and your RSD/CRPS diagnosis. Every state has a statute of limitations in place which limits the time period during which you are allowed to file suit. You should contact an experienced CRPS attorney and begin pursuit of your claim as soon as possible.
• Be sure you hire an attorney with a proven track record in handling CRPS cases, both in a courtroom setting as well as in a settlement situation. You should feel confident and comfortable with your attorney. They should have a specialized knowledge of CRPS and should have experience successfully litigating CRPS cases. It is vital that they understand the origin and progression of your disease. An experienced CRPS attorney will also have specific experience and established relationships with RSD/CRPS experts, doctors, and nurses, which will be crucial to the success of your case. It’s important that whomever you select be able to give you the one-on-one attention that your case deserves.
• Don’t expect a quick outcome. Be aware that it is normal for an RSD/CRPS case to take several years to progress to the settlement or litigation phase rather than several months.
• Don’t be pressured into settling for too little or too quickly. If your attorney doesn’t understand the full scope of CRPS and lacks experience in such cases, he/she may pressure you to settle quickly, and for less money than you should. They may not realize the financial implications of dealing with CRPS, and the lifelong care and expense that is involved. Yet another reason why you should make sure you hire an attorney well-versed in CRPS cases.
• Keep all contact information for medical providers who have treated you in relation to your accident or injury, and obtain copies of all bills and medical records. Your attorney will request a listing of all of your medical providers, their address and phone number, and copies of all medical records, medical bills, and receipts. Even though they will later request official copies of your records, if you can provide all information to them up front in an organized fashion, it will allow the process to flow much more smoothly and will allow them to obtain your official records much more quickly. You should keep all receipts, no matter how small. Every receipt you keep serves as evidence of your condition.
• Take photos of the affected limb or area as your CRPS progresses, and provide these to your attorney on an ongoing basis. Doing so will show progression of the disease and will serve as further evidence to support your case.
Things to Avoid:
• Failure to obtain adequate legal representation. If you attempt to represent yourself in a matter as complex as a CRPS case, your chances of success and of adequate financial recovery are most likely minimal at best. An attorney will always get you more money than you will obtain on your own, even after they are paid. Remember that the insurance companies representing the defense have teams of lawyers who are specifically trained to handle such matters, and do so on a daily basis. In addition, your attorney will know if it’s best to accept a settlement offer or to take the case to trial, depending on the specifics of your case.
• Switching medical providers frequently. When you switch doctors on a continuous basis, even if you have a legitimate reason, the defense may adopt the strategy that you jumped from doctor to doctor until you found one willing to support your claim of CRPS. Another tactic they may employ is to try to portray you as being mentally unstable and therefore unable to sustain a workable relationship with one medical provider. Find a reputable CRPS doctor that you feel comfortable with, possibly referred from your attorney, and stick with them. An attorney who specializes in CRPS cases will know which doctors are the best in your area for treating CRPS patients, and which doctors to avoid. A doctor with a good reputation lends credibility to your claim. A doctor with a bad reputation can hurt your claim.
• Talking to the insurance company yourself. If you have hired an attorney, let them communicate with the insurance adjuster and anyone else involved in the case on your behalf. Never make the mistake of communicating with the insurance company on your own. They can take what you thought was a seemingly innocuous comment and use it against you. So make it a standing rule to let your attorney handle all communication.
• Not telling your doctor about any new symptoms or new limitations that you may be experiencing as they occur. If your doctor is not aware of the latest developments in your condition, then this information will not be present in your medical records and your testimony at trial will lack credibility. It’s important that you be thorough with details on every doctor’s visit. Keep a written log of your daily condition, improvements or regressions, activities that you can no longer participate in, tasks that you can no longer perform, due to your CRPS.
The Tyrone Law Firm is a firm that does understand the long-standing effects of RSD/CRPS. Nelson Tyrone has been successful in litigating many RSD/CRPS cases and winning many major verdicts. We work hand-in-hand with doctors and other experts who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of RSD/CRPS. We realize that you are dealing with one of the most difficult challenges of your life, and for this reason, we limit our practice to only a few clients at a time so that we are able to give your case the undivided attention it deserves.
If you think you may be suffering from RSD/CRPS as the result of an injury or accident, contact us at the Tyrone Law Firm and talk to us about your specific situation. Our number is 404-377-0017. We will sit down with you free of charge and discuss what we can do for you. If we can’t help you, we will do our best to put you into the hands of lawyers who can.