Chronic Pain Lawyer in Vancouver
Vancouver Chronic Pain Lawyers
Chronic pain is ongoing pain that may be the result of an injury that has not fully healed. In some cases, chronic pain may continue even after the actual damage has healed.
About 6 million people in Canada suffer from chronic pain, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reported. Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts longer than three months and does not improve with conventional treatment.
Almost 19% of adults experience chronic pain, and half of people with chronic pain reported suffering for more than 10 years, according to a study entitled “The prevalence of chronic pain in Canada” published in Pain Research & Management. The study also reported that approximately one-third of individuals with chronic pain rated the intensity of their chronic pain as very severe.
If you are suffering from any kind of chronic pain, you could be entitled to compensation for the many ways your pain is affecting your daily life. Make sure that you get the help of an experienced lawyer so you can understand all of your options.
Warnett Hallen LLP only represents injury victims, never ICBC or other insurance companies. We can answer all of your legal questions during a free initial consultation when you call us or contact us online to schedule a no-obligation consultation.
Common Causes of Chronic Pain
Chronic pain can be the result of many different situations or conditions. Some cases of chronic pain stem from an individual’s line of work and the tolls of physical labor. Other people are diagnosed with medical conditions that ultimately result in chronic pain. One of the most common causes of chronic pain is an injury that resulted from an accident.
Some of the most common types of accidents associated with chronic pain include:
- Car Accidents
- Bike Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Dental Malpractice
- Slip and Fall Accidents
- Occupiers Liability
- Animal Attacks
- Burns, Scarring and Physical Disfigurement
- International Airline Injuries
Acute pain is the normal reaction to an injury that usually does not last long, but chronic pain often begins as acute pain and then persists after three months. Chronic pain can be intermittent in some cases, which means that the person experiences pain off and on.
Types of Chronic Pain
Many types of chronic pain are not clearly understood, as the Canadian Psychological Association notes. Some of the most common kinds of chronic pain include:
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) — HealthLink BC describes CRPS as a term used to describe a group of painful conditions that were formerly referred to as causalgia, Sudeck’s atrophy, and reflex sympathetic dystrophy. CRPS commonly affects a single limb, such as an arm, hand, leg, or foot. The main symptom of CRPS is a pain. There is no one test to diagnose CRPS, so a doctor may refer a patient to a specialist such as a rheumatologist, neurologist, or pain specialist.
- Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) — RSD is the former name for what is now referred to as Type I CRPS (or CRPS-I). Type I CRPS involves people without a confirmed nerve injury, while Type II CRPS (or CRPS-II) is when there is a confirmed nerve injury. Pain is the primary symptom of RSD, but cases could also involve swelling and stiffness in affected joints, decreased the ability to move affected body parts, and increased sensitivity to touch.
- Fibromyalgia — Fibromyalgia involves widespread pain in the trunk, neck, lower back, hips, or shoulders even though there is no injury or inflammation. Specific “tender points” or “trigger points” – such as halfway between the base of the neck and the tip of the shoulder or the inside of each knee – can also hurt when pressed. Fibromyalgia causes chronic pain and has no cure.
- Sciatica — The sciatic nerve is the largest and longest nerve in the body, running from the lower back down the back of each leg. Sciatica is chronic pain usually in the back caused by problems with the sciatic nerve. HealthLink BC states that the most common cause of sciatica is a bulging or ruptured disc (herniated disc) in the spine pressing against nerve roots leading to the sciatic nerve, but sciatica may also be a symptom of other spinal conditions. A pinched nerve, spinal stenosis, and bone spurs are other common causes, but sciatica could also be the result of conditions not involving the spine, like tumors or pregnancy, in a rare number of cases.
- Chronic Neck Pain and Back Pain — The cause of chronic neck pain and back pain is not always identifiable. Some kind of physical trauma or other injuries can often be a cause, but it is also possible that a person is dealing with chronic neck and back pain issues because of some kind of overuse or strenuous activity (possibly work-related). Abnormal growth such as a tumor or bone spur could also be a cause, as could some kind of stress-causing degeneration of the vertebrae. Other cases may involve muscle strains or sprains, ligament or muscle tears, or protruding, herniated, or slipped discs.
- Chronic Pelvic Pain — HealthLink BC says that chronic pelvic pain is pain below a woman’s belly button that persists for at least six months. Common causes of chronic pelvic pain include problems with the reproductive system, such as endometriosis, adenomyosis, and uterine fibroids. Diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome and chronic bladder irritation can also be causes, as can other problems with ligaments, muscles, and joints in the pelvis, lower back, or hips.
- Arthritis — Arthritis is the most frequently named cause of chronic pain. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an auto-immune disease that causes joints to become swollen, stiff, and inflamed, making it difficult for people to walk and use their hands. Rheumatoid arthritis often begins between 40 years of age and 60 years of age and often affects the hands, wrists, elbows, feet, ankles, and knees on both sides of the body as well as the neck.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome — Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve, which runs the length of the arm, passes through the wrist, and ends in the hand. The median nerve controls some movement in the thumb and gives sensation to the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and half of the ring finger. The most common cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is a person making the same hand or wrist movements over and over, often as a function of some kind of employment. Carpal tunnel syndrome could also be the result of rheumatoid arthritis, pregnancy, diabetes, or hypothyroidism.
The list above is not all-inclusive. There may be many other types of chronic pain, and it is always in your best interest to quickly contact a lawyer so you can know what options you might have.
Mental Effects of Chronic Pain
When we think of chronic pain, we often focus on the physical symptoms associated with pain. In truth, people dealing with chronic pain also suffer from other serious related mental problems stemming from their chronic pain.
Two common examples are anxiety and depression. Anxiety involves overwhelming fear, uneasiness, or concern that can cause physical symptoms such as trembling, muscle aches, or insomnia. Many people may need to be prescribed anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medicines in addition to receiving counseling. Depression is an intense feeling of sadness or loneliness that often leads to withdrawal and may also require prescription medications.
A study entitled “Depression in patients with chronic pain attending a specialised pain treatment centre: prevalence and impact on health care costs” in Pain found that 60.8% of 1,204 patients attending a tertiary pain management service for people with chronic disabling pain met criteria for probable major depressive disorder (MDD). The study reported that 69 patients (5.7%) met the threshold for mild MDD, 256 (21.3%) met the threshold for moderate MDD, and 407 (33.8%) met the threshold for severe MDD, while 183 patients (15.2%) reported suicidal thoughts.
Chronic pain can also cause difficulty sleeping for many people, which further causes increasing problems with stamina during daily activities.
Treatment for Chronic Pain
Your method of treatment for your chronic pain issue will depend on the type of chronic pain you are dealing with. Treatment for CRPS is usually divided into pain management, physical rehabilitation, counseling or psychotherapy, and patient education and self-management.
Fibromyalgia treatment focuses on managing pain, fatigue, depression, and other symptoms through regular exercise, medicine, counseling, and self-care. Sciatica treatment often involves medicines and exercises, but people may relieve pain by using a heating pad or avoiding sitting or lying down.
Carpal tunnel syndrome will usually be treated with home care and stopping activities that caused numbness and pain. You may ice your wrist and take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or wear a wrist splint at night.
For chronic pelvic pain, common treatments include birth control pills or hormone treatment, surgery, or medicine. Treatment for rheumatoid arthritis is essentially lifelong and often includes medicine, exercise, and lifestyle changes.
How Our Lawyers Prove Damages from Chronic Pain
The great trick of chronic pain is that it is not visible to the average person the same way that an individual can demonstrate, say, a broken bone. As a result, chronic pain is often misunderstood or downplayed by other parties who are convinced that all of the issues a person is dealing with are entirely in their head.
This is a remarkably insensitive method of thinking that Warnett Hallen LLP personal injury lawyers will counter through an exhaustive investigation of your accident. We will work closely with medical professionals to fully describe all of the many ways that your chronic pain is impacting your ability to work or even carry out basic daily activities.
Proving chronic pain is difficult, but it is by no means impossible. Our firm can often use pre-accident profiles of your health to demonstrate the effects that an accident has had on your physical well-being and demonstrate to a judge or jury that you have suffered an injury that has caused you considerable ongoing pain.
Talk to a Vancouver Chronic Pain Lawyer Now
Are you or a loved one dealing with chronic pain in the greater Vancouver area? If the cause of your chronic pain was some kind of accident caused by another party’s negligence, then you could be entitled to compensation for all of your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
Warnett Hallen LLP handles these types of cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that you will not pay any legal fees unless you receive a financial award. Call us or contact us online to receive a free consultation.