Fibromyalgia is a chronic disabling condition that is characterised by aches and pains in various soft tissues in the body, particularly the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Fibromyalgia sufferers often describe it as an all-over ache but are unable to pinpoint the exact lotion of the pain. Some may feel like their muscles are being pulled, others feel a twitch in the muscles, and still others feel like their muscles are on fire. The inconsistency of the symptoms, and the fact that they are similar to several other conditions sometimes makes it difficult to diagnose this condition correctly.
However, if a delayed diagnosis or a medical misdiagnosis resulted in the worsening of your symptoms, you may have grounds to file a fibromyalgia claim for compensation. This is a specific type of medical negligence compensation claim that is relevant only to fibromyalgia.
Important Fibromyalgia Facts
Fibromyalgia can affect individuals of all ages and backgrounds. Despite ongoing studies, there is still no complete understanding of what causes the symptoms of fibromyalgia to develop. Some studies suggest that certain physical, psychological or mental trauma may trigger fibromyalgia symptoms in some individuals. These triggers could range from a severe viral infection or suffering a whiplash injury after a car accident to the mental trauma of being harassed in the workplace.
There are no specific tests for diagnosing fibromyalgia. Doctors typically diagnose this condition by the process of elimination using different diagnostic tests such as urine and blood tests as well as different scans. A fibromyalgia diagnosis is made only if the tests for all other conditions are clear and there is no other explanation for the symptoms.
The extent to which fibromyalgia sufferers are affected varies as much as the symptoms itself. Some individuals experience a mild continuous pain but are still able to get on with their everyday life with painkillers and anti-inflammatory medication. Others may experience more severe pain, which is debilitating and prevents them from living life to the fullest.
There is no one treatment that works for Fibromyalgia. The treatment can vary significantly from one patient to another, depending on the individual symptoms and the severity of the symptoms. Your doctor may suggest a combination of medication and lifestyle changes to help manage the symptoms. This may include any combination of the following – painkillers, anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, sleeping medication, dietary changes and mild activity.
When Can You File A Fibromyalgia Claim?
Two circumstances under which you may be eligible to file a fibromyalgia claim are for a misdiagnosis or a delayed diagnosis.
A fibromyalgia misdiagnosis happens when your doctor does not take the steps to rule out any other condition. This could result in your fibromyalgia going undiagnosed while you receive treatment for another condition altogether.
If your doctor initially dismisses the symptoms and does not conduct more exhaustive diagnostic tests, this could result in a delayed diagnosis of fibromyalgia and consequentially delayed treatment.
In both cases, delay in receiving the proper treatment could result in you suffering unnecessary pain and suffering. In most cases, the symptoms may also worsen to the point of being debilitating.
Whether it is due to misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, you may be legally entitled to be compensated for your pain and suffering.
Starting A Fibromyalgia Claim
Fibromyalgia claims are among the most challenging of all medical negligence claims because of the complex nature of the condition. For your fibromyalgia compensation claim to be successful, you must be able to prove that your symptoms took a turn for the worse because of your doctor’s negligence or mistake.
Medical negligence solicitors are experts in this area. With their extensive legal knowledge and experience in representing clients in medical negligence cases, you can take advantage of the first free consultation option that most solicitors offer. The solicitor will listen to your account of what has happened and why you think you should be compensated to help them determine if you have legitimate grounds for pursuing a fibromyalgia claim.
If you do have a claim, depending on what solicitor you talk with, it is likely you will also be offered a No Win No Fee agreement. This agreement essentially states that the solicitor agrees to represent you without asking for any upfront fees. If your fibromyalgia claim is unsuccessful you are not liable to pay anything. You only pay an agreed fee if your claim is successful and you are awarded compensation. The agreement will lay out details regarding the amount to be paid and how the payment is to be made. Usually, the amount you are liable to pay is a set percentage of the total amount awarded to you.
How Much Compensation For Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia payouts vary depending on several different factors. In general, if your claim is successful you can expect to be compensated for:
- Actual medical expenses including doctor’s fees, medication, diagnostic tests, and any long term medical treatment you may require.
- Cost of transportation to and from the hospital or clinic for your fibromyalgia treatment.
- General damages for your pain and suffering.
- Loss of income if your advanced symptoms forced you to take time off work or leave your job permanently.
- Home care expenses if you unable to carry out your everyday chores and need to get someone to help – you may be entitled to compensation even if the person caring for you is a relative or friend.
- Loss of amenities to compensate for being unable to engage in activities and hobbies that you once enjoyed
Some of the compensation will be based on actual expenses that you had to bear because of your fibromyalgia symptoms, while others are less tangible. There are legal guidelines for calculating compensation and this is where your solicitor can provide invaluable help by ensuring that you get the maximum payout that is due to you.
If you think you may have a fibromyalgia claim for compensation then please don’t hesitate to contact us today.