I developed Fibromyalgia after an accident. My solicitor says it is impossible to prove the link between accidents and Fibromyalgia. She says I should settle on the basis of a two year whiplash injury. What do you think?
The law does not require 100% scientific proof of anything. A Claimant will be able to prove this issue if they can establish that more probably than not the accident was the trigger to the Fibromyalgia. Whilst there is not much in the medical literature on this topic, many Rheumatologists support the link. Here is a useful quote from a recent medical report that was actually prepared by a Consultant Rheumatologist for a Defendant:-
“It is well recognised that Fibromyalgia can come on after an injury and especially after a neck injury. There are conflicting reports in the medical literature about this and whilst the paper (Buskilla and others) widely quoted, found that Fibromyalgia was ten times more likely to develop after a neck injury than after a leg fracture, in their case-controlled study, other later papers have tended to throw doubt on this finding. However, I believe that it is still well recognised clinically that Fibromyalgia often, perhaps even usually, does follow some traumatic event, particularly in a neck whiplash injury rather than arising Ode Noveo (by itself).
Solicitors representing Defendants will frequently go to the specialists who are very sceptical about the link, but those specialists seem to be in the minority. You need to be seen by someone who is supportive. That, of course, is not the end of the matter. The Rheumatologist still has to be satisfied that you personally have Fibromyalgia and that on the facts of your case it developed as a result of the accident.
The above question originally appeared in Fibromyalgia Family Magazine
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