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400,000 Compensation Claim for Cut Finger Case Reveals Effect of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

09th April 2009
By Neil Worrall - Camps Solicitors in Legal
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Newspapers and websites have been heavily publicizing the case of a mechanic who received £400,000 after injuring his hand on a knife left in a police vehicle. The man, Alexander Darg, developed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome in the seven years after his accident, which left him unable to work. He required stitches for the cut and also had to undergo a HIV test, which fortunately proved negative.

When big compensation awards for seemingly minor injuries are reported there is a tendency in some parts of the media to play down the symptoms of the injured person and to make out that they are being over-compensated for their suffering. In this particular case, it was the injury to the mechanic's finger and the fact that the defendant in the claim was the Metropolitan Police Authority that hit the headlines and not the impact that Complex Regional Pain Syndrome had had on the man's life.

This syndrome, often triggered as a result of an accident or similar minor injury, can cause intense pain to the sufferer, limiting their ability to carry out everyday tasks. CRPS affects the limb where the injury first occurred, with symptoms including severe, burning pain as well as muscle spasms, joint stiffness, restricted mobility, hair and nail growth at an accelerated rates and changes to the colour of the skin and the temperature of the affected region. In more serious cases osteoporosis can be triggered, muscles in the affected limb will atrophy and permanent changes to the skin and bone will take place. All in all, a very serious condition, and one that can prevent sufferers from leading a normal life; holding down a job, visiting friends and relatives, even doing basic tasks around the home can be all but impossible.

In Mr Darg's case, the defendants attempted to attack the validity of his claims by covertly filming him whilst he went about his daily life, walking his children to school and shopping. The judge in the case said that such evidence was a matter of impression, adding that a number of the attacks made on Mr Darg's credibility were without substance. The judge also found that Mr Darg was stricken by a genuine disability, one that affects between 10,000 and 20,000 people in the UK.

The size of the settlement in Mr Darg's claim reflected the length of time he had been unable to work since his accident, and also that it was unlikely that he would return to work given his current symptoms. In all compensation claims, the judge and the solicitors on both sides attempt to come to an agreement that accurately affects the financial losses the injured person has suffered, such as lost earnings, rather than making the claimant any better off financially as a result of the accident.

After an accident that has left you suffering from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, or a related disorder such as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, then professional legal advice from Camps Solicitors could help you to make an accident claim against the person or organisation responsible for your injury. Your compensation could make a real difference to your life, providing for your treatment, and giving your family financial security whilst you are out of work.

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About the Author
Camps Solicitors provide expert legal advice for the victims of accidents and personal injuries, helping them to pursue compensation claims on a No Win No Fee basis. Our accident and personal injury solicitors fight for accident claim compensation for accident victims who have been injured through no fault of their own.
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