CRPS and RSD Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

February 1, 2023 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman

Chronic pain conditions like complex regional pain syndrome, formerly known as reflexive sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), often present as some of the most difficult personal injury claims. As personal injury lawyers, we have seen firsthand how a healthcare provider’s failure to meet the standard of care can lead to chronic pain that has an enormous financial impact on the patient and their family.

Perhaps your provider delayed diagnosing your complex regional pain syndrome or caused the injury that resulted in your CRPS diagnosis. As a result, you may be experiencing severe pain that interferes with your ability to work, costs you thousands in ongoing medical bills, and prevents you from enjoying your life before CRPS.

The medical malpractice attorneys of Dolman Law Group have the specialized knowledge and resources to take on tough CRPS medical malpractice lawsuits and return with a fair settlement. We recommend that you secure a free consultation with our team as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.

Why Do I Need a Florida Medical Malpractice Lawyer?

Pain is one of the most difficult damages to evaluate in personal injury law. A medical malpractice attorney is a professional negotiator, but beyond that, they will have the experience necessary to properly evaluate your past and future losses. If you attempt to represent yourself in a complex regional pain syndrome medical malpractice lawsuit, there is a much greater likelihood that you will inadvertently deprive yourself of the full value of your claim. 

You need a representative who is equipped to navigate not just the notoriously complex field of medical malpractice law, but also an advocate who is capable of articulating the damages a less-understood injury like CRPS can inflict. Hiring a reputable medical malpractice lawyer helps to ensure that your claim is well-supported with medical evidence and professionally negotiated. 

When a medical provider’s negligence has caused you physical, financial, and emotional harm, the last thing you need is to be saddled with the stress of navigating legal paperwork, looming deadlines, and constant inquiries from the negligent party’s insurance company. Pursuing fair compensation for complex regional pain syndrome while suffering from the condition is an unnecessary sacrifice to make when personal injury attorneys are available at no upfront cost to collect evidence, manage communication with other involved parties, and strategically secure a fair settlement. 

What is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?

Complex regional pain syndrome is a chronic pain condition that is most often associated with trauma to the affected body part. In the past, CRPS was known as Reflexive Sympathetic Dystrophy or RSD. CPRS goes beyond pain typically associated with an injury like a fractured wrist. It is both persistent and excessive.

One of the key signs of CRPS is that the pain is disproportionate to the injury suffered. CRPS typically impacts a specific limb and may spread from the original site. This can impact mobility, focus, sleep quality, and by extension, quality of life. According to Mayo Clinic, the following may be signs of CRPS.

Common Symptoms of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome:

  • Persistent burning or pulsing pain 
  • Sensitivity to touch or cold
  • Swelling of the affected area
  • Oscillating temperature changes in the affected limb 
  • Changes in skin color and texture
    • The skin may appear red, blotchy, white, or even blue
    • The skin may appear shiny, translucent, and be tender to the touch
  • Rapid or stagnant hair and nail growth
  • Joint issues, including swelling and stiffness
  • Muscle spasms, tremors, and weakness 
  • Mobility issues 

There are two recognized types of CRPS. The distinction is that Type I can be tied to a trauma to the body, while Type II is associated with confirmed nerve damage. Treatment for both types is generally more effective when CRPS is identified early.

If you have begun experiencing these symptoms after sustaining an injury or undergoing a medical procedure like surgery, you should contact your healthcare provider immediately for evaluation. It is important to maintain a paper trail of medical records when pursuing damages in a medical malpractice claim so that insurance companies can not attribute your damages to your failure to seek treatment.

What Causes Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)?

Currently, complex regional pain syndrome is understood as a malfunction of the body’s nervous system, essentially a disproportionate pain response to an injury. Many types of trauma can result in injuries that induce complex regional pain syndrome, such as car accidents, workplace accidents, and slip-and-fall accidents. However, because of doctors’ limited understanding of CRPS, medical malpractice often plays a significant role in the neglect of this particular condition. Medical malpractice refers to a healthcare provider’s violation of the standard of care.

Medical malpractice may be the initial cause of the injury, or it may come into play after CRPS has already set in. For example, if a surgical error causes nerve damage during a procedure on a patient’s left hand and the patient developed CRPS in their left arm, they would potentially have a medical malpractice claim. Another example of medical malpractice involving CRPS would be if a provider failed to diagnose clearly presented symptoms of CRPS, and treatment was delayed to the point where it was no longer effective. 

As of right now, there are still many unresolved questions surrounding CRPS. For example, it is still unclear why certain patients’ injuries result in CRPS and others do not. Medical malpractice claims pertaining to CRPS can be difficult to make as this condition is still not well-understood.

Recovering Damages in a CRPS Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

A multitude of costs, both economic and non-economic, often accompany a chronic pain diagnosis. Both of these types of compensatory damages can potentially be compensated in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Economic damages, which are financial in nature, often accompany CRPS cases as medical expenses mount and families have to hire out services that they would have otherwise been able to handle themselves. 

Additionally, many CRPS patients experience emotional losses, which can be categorized as non-economic damages. Patients with chronic pain often suffer from issues with their mental health, such as depression, as their disabling pain keeps them from enjoying the things they used to. For example, someone with CRPS in their arm may be unable to pick up their children, play their guitar, or even write.

Examples of Damages in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit:

  • Medical bills
    • Medication
    • Physical therapy
    • Mobility aids
    • Hospital stays
  • Job-related losses
    • Lost wages
    • Reduced earning capacity
    • Missed promotions
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Loss of consortium

How Much is My Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Worth?

Any quality personal injury lawyer will tell you that the value of your settlement will depend on numerous factors, including the quality of your representation and the effectiveness of your evidence. Additionally, you may be compensated differently from another person with the same injuries and the same level of pain, as damages are contextualized.

Calculating Damages in a CRPS Medical Malpractice Lawsuit 

Let’s say that you’re a construction worker who develops CRPS as a result of an unrelated accident where you broke your leg. Despite showing symptoms of CRPS, your doctor refuses to investigate your condition further or offer any course of treatment. Your pain is so severe that you are unable to drive your car, much less perform your job. 

By the time you get a second medical opinion, your CRPS has progressed and treatment isn’t as effective as an earlier intervention would have allowed. As a result, you are dependent on crutches or a wheelchair. You can no longer return to your career as a construction worker, play basketball with your kids after school, climb a ladder to bring down the holiday decorations, or complete a myriad of other tasks.

Compare this situation to someone who experienced the same medical malpractice situation, but works as a part-time receptionist and reads as a hobby. The latter would likely receive less in a medical malpractice settlement, as the impact of CRPS in their leg is less significant as compared to the first case. A medical malpractice attorney will be equipped to calculate the value of your damages and establish a convincing case for a fair settlement.

Why Should I Choose Dolman Law Group to Represent Me?

Settlements for medical malpractice cases can be substantial. In some cases, settlements reach into the millions, especially for injuries that won’t resolve, as the damages will continue to accumulate. When your future financial stability is on the life, you don’t want to leave your settlement up to inexperienced or incapable lawyers. Dolman Law Group specializes in medical malpractice claims and 

Due to our success, Dolman Law Group has built a national profile. We are unique in that our firm offers the personal attention of a small firm, but we have the financial backing and network of a large firm. As a result, fellow personal injury law firms trust us to take over their most complicated cases, and you can do the same.

Former Dolman Law Group clients will tell you that we are respectful, responsive, and make an effort to ensure that you understand every step of the process. In fact, many of our clients were referred to us by their friends, which we take as a great compliment. Our medical malpractice team is made up of formidable negotiators who will make every effort to ensure that your needs are met.

After more than a decade of protecting and guiding injured clients through the personal injury claims process, the medical malpractice lawyers of Dolman Law Group have earned a reputation for excellence. Our results-based approach has proven to be an effective strategy against profit-minded insurance companies.

We strive to recover maximum compensation by efficiently using the resources at our disposal. The medical malpractice attorneys of Dolman Law Group will go above and beyond to ensure that our clients are satisfied with not only the final outcome of their CRPS lawsuit but also the treatment they receive while using our legal services.

Our team has worked tirelessly to secure our clients the compensation they deserve. You can depend on us to accurately project the value of the care you will need in addition to the costs you have already incurred. We will also take the time to properly calculate the value of more subjective, non-economic losses because we know that they are just as important. 

Contact Dolman Law Group for Help With Your CRPS Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

Chronic pain impacts millions of Americans every day, preventing them from providing for their families and completing the simplest of tasks without excruciating pain getting in the way. The medical malpractice lawyers of Dolman Law Group want you to know that you don’t have to tolerate shouldering the financial burden of another party’s negligence. We are prepared to stand up to stubborn insurance companies that are uncooperative during the personal injury claims process.

Clients seeking compensation for medical malpractice related to CRPS injuries should be aware that it may be necessary to take their claim to trial in order to secure a fair settlement from the negligent party’s insurance carrier. The medical malpractice lawyers of Dolman Law Group have represented In fact, Matthew Dolman has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in the country by the National Trial Lawyers.

Our team is available to answer your pressing questions in a consultation with one of our highly qualified medical malpractice lawyers. This service is accessible to you free of charge. We encourage you to reach out as soon as possible to begin the process of recovering compensation in a complex regional pain syndrome lawsuit. Contact our office at 727-451-6900 or fill out our website’s contact form for a no-obligation consultation today. 


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

Learn More