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Jacksonville Chronic Pain Attorney

Why Hire a Lawyer Experienced in Chronic Pain, RSD and CRPS Cases?

It’s the pain that gets you the most. “Chronic” means, “Of long duration; continuing.” We all know what pain is. Chronic pain isn’t just physical, it is mental and emotional pain. Unrelenting pain messes with the brain, changes personalities and harms families. There are numerous and varied types of “chronic pain.” We are going to discuss CRPS.

What is CRPS – Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?

There are Two Types of CRPS – Type I and Type II. CRPS Type I (also referred to as RSD) includes cases in which the nerve injury cannot be immediately identified. CRPS Type II (also referred to as Causalgia) includes cases in which a distinct “major” nerve injury has occurred. CRPS is best described in terms of an injury to a nerve or soft tissue (e.g. broken bone) that does not follow the normal healing path. CRPS development does not appear to depend on the magnitude of the injury. The sympathetic nervous system seems to assume an abnormal function after an injury. Since there is no single laboratory test to diagnose CRPS, the physician must assess and document both subjective complaints (medical history) and, if present, objective findings (physical examination).

Most injury lawyers are too likely to treat an RSD client like they treat an auto whiplash client – as someone who simply has pain from an injury. There is very little objective injury. And even the client’s doctor’s do not understand their client’s injury or have misdiagnosed it. What many doctors and lawyers do not realize is that RSD is much worse than a broken arm or leg. The majority of our RSD clients end up on permanent and total disability. The lifetime medical bills alone can be enormous. Permanently implanted pain pumps, stimulators, paralysis, and early death are some of the future issues a RSD patient and his/her attorney have to consider. Most of our clients are financially devastated by diagnosis. Others find it hard to maintain a marriage, act as parents and to keep their friends while contending with severe chronic pain that many others have trouble understanding or do not believe.

As one of Jacksonville’s most reputable and most highly rated lawyers, John has established an outstanding record of success and specializes in personal injury and accident recovery- including chronic pain cases. Much of that success is due to the values that drive our firm: integrity, dedication and excellence. John and his staff has extensive trial experience as a personal injury lawyer.


Criminal Defense

Handled high profile acquittals and withholds of adjudication.

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Personal Injury

$2.6 Million Verdict against Volusia County, televised on Good Morning America.

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Family Law

Helped 100s of families, both before and after problems arise.

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What is the criteria for diagnosing CRPS as Type I or Type II?

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type I (RSD);

The presence of an initiating noxious event, or a cause of immobilization;

Continuing pain, allodynia, or hyperalgesia with which the pain is disproportionate to any inciting event;

Evidence at some time of edema, changes in skin blood flow (skin color changes, skin temperature changes more than 1.1°C difference from the homologous body part), or abnormal sudomotor activity in the region of the pain;

This diagnosis is excluded by the existence of conditions that would otherwise account for the degree of pain and dysfunction.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type II (Causalgia)

The presence of continuing pain, allodynia, or hyperalgesia after a nerve injury, not necessarily limited to the distribution of the injured nerve;

Evidence at some time of edema, changes in skin blood flow (skin color changes, skin temperature changes more than 1.1°C difference from the homologous body part), or abnormal sudomotor activity in the region of pain;

This diagnosis is excluded by the existence of conditions that would otherwise account for the degree of pain and dysfunction.

What Damages Can I Recover in My Chronic Pain Case?

If the negligence of another party can be proved, the injured party may be entitled to monetary compensation from the party at fault. And oftentimes, insurance covers the loss.

You may be able to recover:

Property Damages
Diminution of Value of Property
Past Medical Expenses
Future Medical Expenses
Money Spent on Care and Treatment
Money Lost because of Injury
Compensation for Pain
Compensation for Disability
Compensation for Loss of Capacity for Enjoyment of Life
Compensation for Physical Impairment and Loss of Use
Compensation for Scarring or Disfigurement
Loss of Earnings / Wage Loss
Loss of Capacity to Earn
Damages to Spouse
Damages to Children
And More.

Tips in Case You Have Been in an Accident:

Get to a doctor and document your injuries. Not only does being proactive help your health, but insurance carriers and their lawyers always look to use evidence against you- how long you took to get to a doctor, what you complained about or didn’t complain about and they will comb through your records in painful detail. Go to the doctor, be honest and detailed.

Fill out any available accident reports and police reports. Ask for a copy. Then, call your insurance carrier and make a claim. Be careful what you say. All too often, injury victims will say they are “fine” or “not that bad” or otherwise be polite and that will haunt then if their injuries take a turn for the worse. The ER will only really tell you if you have broken bones or major issues, but go and be honest. Hospital emergency rooms tend to leave the bulging discs, herniated discs, shoulder tears and the like to later treating doctors.

Many of our clients are hurting, struggling and hoping they get better, but aren’t. You get one shot at recovery. Lawyers must make sure the insurance companies are acting fairly. John worked for eight years defending these claims for these companies and big businesses and could write a book about ways they use your desire to be fair and reasonable against you. He now solely works for injury victims like you.

While all lawyers are allowed to advertise and anyone can basically handle a personal injury case, only Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyers are allowed to identify themselves as an “expert” or as “specialist” in this area. Certification is the highest level of recognition by The Florida Bar of the competency and experience of attorneys in the area by the Supreme Court of Florida. It also means the lawyer is known for trials- pushing beyond low offers by defendants, passed a peer review and passed a tough exam. Most cases do not get that far, but it is good to have a lawyer with all of the tools in their arsenal.

Insurance carriers try to negotiate every dollar they can, because every $100 means millions in the end to their Board of Directors. Attorneys matter. Defendants and their carriers change their game plan when an experienced lawyer is involved. For that reason – and the misinformation by TV lawyers and referral services- is why people should select lawyers carefully. Also, make sure it is the lawyer who shows up to meet with you and not a mere investigator. You are haring a lawyer and deserve their time. Also, ask for sample closing costs. Some lawyers charge for faxes, phone calls, scanning, postage, “in house courier” charges and even interest in these charges.

Because of the economy, more lawyers are jumping into personal injury and should stick to what they know. Personal injury law requires knowledge about medical science and biomechanics (the forces on a body in a wreck or a fall) far greater and more specific than you’d think. The other side has doctors and millions on their side to say nothing is wrong or fight the claim.


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