Reflex sympathetic dystrophy is also known as complex regional pain syndrome. It is a neurological medical condition that develops from traumas that seem minor, when effects seem hugely disproportionate to the initial injury. It is characterized by severe chronic pain, excessive sweating, swollen tissue, permanent numbness, altered gait, extreme sensitivity to touch, and pathological changes in skin and bones. If you suffer from reflex sympathetic dystrophy after an accident, the experienced California personal injury attorneys at The Law Office of Black & DePaoli, PC may be able to assist you from our Folsom office.
Pursuing Compensation for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
There are two types of reflex sympathetic dystrophy. In Type I, there is no specific nerve injury identified. In Type II, doctors can identify a major nerve injury that is causing the pain, swelling, and other symptoms. There is no one diagnostic test for reflex sympathetic dystrophy. Instead, the treating physician must rely on your medical history, self-reported symptoms, and a physical exam. The condition may confuse insurers and result in denied claims because it develops after a seemingly minor injury to the body. Early identification and treatment of reflex sympathetic dystrophy seems to limit the progression of the condition, making it crucial to work with a Folsom personal injury lawyer who takes your pain seriously and can work aggressively to ensure that insurers treat you appropriately.
The exact reason that reflex sympathetic dystrophy develops is not well understood, but generally it involves nerve trauma associated with a physical injury. It may arise after injuries sustained in a car, motorcycle, or truck accident, a pedestrian accident, surgical malpractice, or an incident involving a defective product. Most of these cases require expert testimony from a neurologist.
Many personal injury cases involving reflex sympathetic dystrophy are based on negligence. To establish negligence, you will need to show the defendant’s duty of care, a breach of duty, causation, and actual damages. In reflex sympathetic dystrophy cases, it may be challenging to show that a minor accident caused the serious pain that is triggered by this condition. However, California follows the eggshell plaintiff rule. This means that a defendant (and the defendant’s attorney and insurer) must take a plaintiff as they find him. Even if you suffer more pain from an injury than another person would, a defendant that is found to be liable must compensate you accordingly. In some cases, there may be a question as to whether an initial accident caused your injury or whether the medical care that you received did.
Damages that may be available if you establish a defendant’s negligence include medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, household services, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and lost enjoyment of activities. Often, these damages are sizable in a reflex sympathetic dystrophy case, but it is important to retain a Folsom personal injury attorney who understands how to explain this in negotiations with an insurer or before a jury. There is no cure for reflex sympathetic dystrophy, but there are treatments that may help, and a negligent person or entity that caused your injuries should be held responsible for paying for these treatments.