Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Chicago Lawyers for Workers' Compensation Claims

Complex regional pain syndrome is a rare kind of chronic pain that develops after sustaining an injury, stroke, surgery, or heart attack. In most cases, the pain is much more severe than the initial injury. The reason for complex regional pain syndrome is not always readily apparent, but generally treatment for this condition will be most effective if it is started right away. If you suffer complex regional pain syndrome after sustaining injuries in a workplace accident, you should consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Eagle, Johnson & Bareck, our Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys can provide skillful legal representation.

Benefits for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome can include sensitivity to temperature or touch, throbbing pain, burning pain, changes in the color and texture of the skin, joint stiffness, swelling, decreased ability to move an affected body part, muscle spasms, and hypersensitivity to temperature and touch. Over a long time, an affected arm or leg can become cold and go through muscle spasms and tightening. If this happens, it may not be possible to reverse the syndrome. Sometimes the pain will spread to other limbs.

There are people for whom symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome pass on their own. However, there are others for whom these symptoms persist for years. The syndrome usually occurs because of forceful trauma or injuries such as crushing or fractures, but it is not clear why. There are two types of this syndrome. Reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome happens after an injury that did not directly harm nerves in the afflicted limb. Also, less commonly, workers can develop causalgia as a result of a distinct nerve injury.

Since not everyone develops complex regional pain syndrome, this condition can be difficult for insurers to understand. It is often disputed because of the subjective symptoms and the fact that it is a relatively newer diagnosis. Our attorneys understand that this is a legitimate problem that can be disabling and very difficult for those of our clients who develop this problem. It can take a long time to recover.

This is why it is so important to let your employer know right away even about relatively minor work injuries for which you do not plan to pursue remedies through the workers' compensation system. If you later develop complex regional pain syndrome, it can help to have documentation about the initial injury to show the insurer that what you are experiencing is work-related.

Disability benefits that you may be able to obtain as a result of job-related complex regional pain syndrome include the medical care that is reasonably necessary to relieve you of the symptoms, temporary total disability benefits, temporary partial disability benefits, permanent partial disability benefits, and permanent total disability benefits. These benefits are not taxable.

Your employer is supposed to buy workers' compensation insurance for its employees. The insurers fund the payment of benefits for an employee's claim arising out of complex regional pain syndrome, such as reflex sympathetic dystrophy, or another work-related injury. If there is a dispute, the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission will enforce the workers' compensation law.

After you let your employer know that you have a work-related injury, it is supposed to provide you with a list of approved medical providers and let the insurer know so that the claims process can begin. If the complex regional pain syndrome causes you to not be able to work for more than three days within a 14-day period, your claim is supposed to be accepted and paid, or you should be provided with a written explanation for the denial or delay. It may ask you for further information about the complex regional pain syndrome, or why you attribute the cause to work.

Your employer is also supposed to file an accident report with the Workers' Compensation Commission within 30 days of your letting it know about the complex regional pain syndrome when it causes you to not be able to work for more than three days. If your employer does not respond properly to your notification, you will need to file a claim with the Commission.

Consult a Knowledgeable Workers' Compensation Lawyer in the Chicago Area

If you suffered complex regional pain syndrome due to a job-related injury in Chicago, you should consult a workers' compensation attorney. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Eagle, Johnson & Bareck, we also represent people in Aurora, Springfield, Champaign, Rockford, and Quincy, as well as other cities in Cook, Kane, Sangamon, Champaign, Winnebago, and Adams Counties. You can call us at 312-263-6330 or toll-free at 800-444-1525, or contact us online, for a free consultation.