Solicitor, Alex Cohen of Brian Barr Solicitors and Counsel, Marcus Grant of Temple Garden Chambers secure large settlement for fibromyalgia sufferer.
Ms O. was involved in a road traffic accident in August 2012 when a vehicle collided with the rear of her vehicle at around 30mph.
Initially it appeared that she had suffered relatively minor injuries. However, she quickly developed widespread chronic pain which became progressively worse. Physiotherapy did not help. A diagnosis of fibromyalgia was made by her GP in early 2013.
Prior to the accident, Ms O. was working in a well-paying job and enjoyed an active lifestyle, including marathon running and dancing. As her fibromyalgia worsened, work became too difficult and she was made redundant.
Her symptoms progressed in the following years to the point where she had to use a mobility scooter to get around and required assistance with everyday activities such as getting dressed and showering.
Ms O. instructed Brian Barr Solicitors in October 2013. After obtaining the expert opinions of a consultant rheumatologist, consultant psychiatrist and a care expert, it became apparent that the accident had triggered Ms O.’s fibromyalgia and that her chances of returning to good health without needing constant care and assistance were slim.
The Defendant instructed eminent experts who argued that Ms O.’s fibromyalgia was unrelated to the injuries she had sustained in the accident. However, her legal team eventually secured £1,500,000 in compensation for Ms O.
In her own words Ms O. describes her experience: ‘Alex Cohen and his team were nothing but amazing. They fully explained everything I needed to know throughout my entire case (which was just over 5 years!) with a great deal of compassion and care. I would have no hesitation in recommending Brian Barr solicitors if a member of my family or friend ever needed it.’
Alex Cohen commented: ‘This was a hugely satisfying case both professionally and personally. Ms O’s life was turned upside down as a result of a car accident which was not her fault. The Defendant insurer, realising the potential value of the claim, invested a huge amount of time and resources into defending the claim but we were ultimately able to secure a settlement of £1.5 million, a very significant sum of money which will make a real difference to Ms O’s life as she continues to struggle with severe Fibromyalgia’
Marcus Grant commented: “This settlement illustrated the respect shown by certain insurers that there can be a link between trauma and fibromyalgia, and that link is the interruption of REM sleep cycles depriving the patient of the benefit of restorative sleep for days, weeks or months before the emergence of centrally sensitised chronic widespread joint pain, headaches, acute fatigue accentuated by exertion and cognitive slowing, a cluster of symptoms encapsulated by the diagnosis of ‘post traumatic fibromyalgia’. The scale of this settlement illustrates that fibromyalgia operates along a spectrum, at the most severe end of which it causes acute disability. Ms O made a sympathetic claimant because she was a Zumba instructor in the peak of health before the accident and rendered wheelchair bound by the post traumatic fibromyalgia that was triggered by her whiplash-induced sleep disturbance”.