Articles Posted in Injuries and treatment

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You can be seriously hurt after being in a car accident in Fort Worth or Dallas and not know it. A good example is blunt-force chest trauma. You may experience pain and have trouble breathing, but hope this goes away on its own. That can be a serious mistake. This post will answer your questions about how serious a chest injury after a car accident can be, what can you do to treat it, and whether you can be compensated.

This post is part of a series about injuries commonly sustained after a car or truck crash including to the

  1. Head
  2. Neck and back
  3. Spinal cord
  4. Shoulder
  5. Broken bones

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You may have seen that crazy show called “1,000 Ways to Die.” You can guess that its sequel, “1,000 Ways to Crash on Texas Roads,” is being filmed now. News stories often report the countless ways that over 250,000 of us — yes that’s one-fourth of a million people –  get injured each year in car accidents. They have one thing in common: someone didn’t use the basic level of caution required of anyone behind the wheel, especially in Texas lane-change crashes.

Most recently, a Garland teen was a passenger in a sports car north of Austin when she met a tragic ending due to an unsafe lane change. The 17-year-old driver of his car was going too fast and when she caught up to a slower moving vehicle, swerved to get around it. The car flew off the road and flipped multiple times and the young man sadly lost his life.

Too many Texas lane-change crashes result from “the 3 I’s”

I had an appointment with a physical therapist for my knee injury on Friday. Great, I ran 57 marathons with no problems mostly in my late 50’s, then pop, a meniscus tear after a short run.

As my therapist was evaluating my injury, I looked around the clinic pictured here and thought about the hundreds of PT reports I’ve reviewed and used as evidence in my clients’ cases.

These chart notes have been instrumental in proving the pain, mobility restrictions, lost wages, and disability caused by my client’s auto accident injuries.

What is physical therapy and why is it important?

Your doctor may prescribe physical therapy to rehabilitate you before or after a surgery to speed your recovery and reduce your need for medications.

Physical therapists must earn a masters or a clinical doctorate degree and often receive specialized training in particular modalities or areas of injury. These academic credentials also lend a high degree of credibility and reliability to their reports in a court of law. For this reason, physical therapy reports provide valuable evidence. Continue reading

Doctors call traumatic brain injuries the silent epidemic. Victims often don’t realize they’ve suffered one until many hours or days later — if they ever find out. In the meantime, they don’t receive the medical treatment they need, not to mention the financial compensation they deserve.

Concussion From Car Accident

It’s a terrible scenario and one that a personal injury lawyer sees often. But this could all change with a new blood test approved by the FDA.

Currently the only reliable way to detect brain injury is through an expensive computerized tomography scan. But because of radiation exposure and costs, doctors won’t order a scan unless they believe that a brain injury has definitely occurred. If a person doesn’t exhibit strong symptoms and have good insurance coverage, he or she might never know they have a TBI.

Now doctors will now be able to use the Banyan Brain Trauma Indicator blood test to evaluate a potential head injury. This is exciting news for patients’ medical treatment and at the same time might boost their personal injury financial recovery. Continue reading

A rare Congressional victory for injured plaintiffs.

Buried within the 600 pages of the federal Bipartisan Budget Act enacted on Friday is an obscure provision that allows some auto accident victims to keep more of their settlement or verdicts.This resolves an ongoing reimbursement battle that has been an ongoing issue in personal issue cases since a catastrophic 1996 Arkansas vehicle collision crash.

All states have statutes requiring tort claimants to repay them for medical expenses paid by their Medicaid programs. But calculating exactly how much of the plaintiff’s verdict or settlement should be reimbursed has caused vexing problems for attorneys.

For example, was it fair that the state be repaid in full while the injured person received little — if any — money? How much of the recovery had been allocated to those medical bills as opposed to other damages? And what happened in those all too frequent cases with difficult liability and damage issues and small insurance policy limits and assets that had affected case valuations in the first place?

With the new law, Medicaid enrollees will no longer be forced to reimburse state agencies from money they recovered for their non-medical expenses. As a result, they will be able to keep more of the funds for their own use.

Hurray!

The 1996 case: Arkansas Dept. of Health and Human Services v. Ahlborn

A young woman named Heidi Ahlborn was severely injured and her medical bills were astronomical. A portion ($215,000.00) was paid by her state’s Medicaid program. The Arkansas Department of Human Services (ADHS) obtained an assignment of rights from Ms. Ahlborn to repay the state from her settlement or verdict.

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What you need to know about recovering for serious cervical injuries

Being hit from behind is shocking. You might not have even seen it coming. Afterwards, you may feel just fine, relieved that the accident wasn’t worse, only to feel neck pain and stiffness hours later. Even then, your symptoms might initially be mild, but could lead to chronic pain and disability.

Because of its delayed onset, car crash victims often don’t seek medical care for whiplash right away. Even if you received emergency treatment for another auto accident injury, you may fail to mention the neck injury you didn’t know you had. Predictably, insurance companies seize onto your silence as proof that your neck injuries are unrelated to your car crash.

I often have to educate insurance agents about whiplash. During 37 years of helping accident victims, I have acquired substantial data about the most common rear-end collision injury. I have also built a network of experts who provide important medical analysis of how whiplash occurs, the manner in which symptoms manifest, and potential complications of the injury. Continue reading

Insurance companies are notorious for denying and minimizing payments to people injured in car accidents, especially to those with pre-existing injuries. That is not fair. This is another reason you need a good injury lawyer fighting for your rights if you have been crashed into.

After all, hardly any Americans are in perfect health. So how can an insurance company refuse to pay fair compensation to someone who

  • has been in a previous wreck or hurt his body after falling down, lifting a heavy object, or playing sports — often many years ago?
  • has a previous injury that had totally healed?
  • has had surgery to a different part of his body, say his neck, and has now only injured his back?
  • has a medical condition that results in much worse damage than the defendant could have expected?

The defendant in court must pay for these damages. This important legal concept is referred to as the eggshell skull rule.

What is the rule?

Tort law has always held that the defendant takes the plaintiff as he finds him, including all hidden symptoms, fragile conditions, and unforeseeable medical problems. You should not be punished for being injured or weak before the crash, unless the damages you are claiming were not caused by it.

Imagine that a fictional plaintiff has a skull that is as thin as an eggshell. What if the injured person is elderly or frail? A fender-bender that might cause a mere bruise to a normal person’s head could potentially crack open the plaintiff’s extremely fragile skull. The defendant can’t possibly know this of course. However the defendant is liable for killing the plaintiff even though he could not have foreseen that the minor accident would be deadly.

The eggshell skull rule illustrates the most extreme example. But in real life, this doctrine applies to such medical conditions as previous herniated disks, osteoporosis, torn rotator cuffs, concussions, or use of blood-thinning medications to treat blood clots. Continue reading

Hurray, it’s finally football season! Tomorrow TCU takes on Arkansas and Sunday the Cowboys – Giants rivalry resumes.

After last week’s tragic weather in Houston and soon in the Florida area, we could all use a diversion from bad news. But many football players face their own crisis every time they play.

Each tackle can cause a concussion which can accumulate over the course of a football career. The level of brain damage they suffer came to light when former professional players sued the NFL to recover for their permanent brain injuries and scientific research showed permanent brain damage to many players.

Those medical studies could now be helpful in shaping auto accident treatment and lawsuits. Continue reading

Mayhem on Dallas Fort Worth highways continues

On Friday night a man was driving while intoxicated as he sped down Interstate 30 in Grand Prairie at speeds of over 100 MPH. The drunk driver lost control of his Honda Civic and crashed into a light pole. The impact killed his 29-year-old girlfriend and his two children, who were only four and three years old. Adding to the horror, the driver had recently been convicted of DWI and been arrested on other charges and his children were not restrained in their required child seats.

Then on Saturday night a driver lost control of the vehicle on the I-20 ramp to Loop 820 in Southeast Fort Worth. During the roll-over accident another 4 year-old girl died after being ejected. It is not clear how fast the driver was going or how the child was thrown out of the car. But you can guess that alcohol was probably involved here too.

My condolences go out to the families of these young victims.

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A local high school student sustained a serious head injury when he was hit by a jet ski during his family’s annual holiday to Lake Palestine on Sunday. 18 year-old Tyler Haessley was climbing into an inner tube tied to a boat when his older brother, 26, tried to splash him with a wave runner. But he misjudged his distance and speed and hit Tyler in the head, causing serious injuries.

Tyler has undergone several surgeries, can’t speak, and remains hospitalized in the intensive care unit of a Tyler hospital. He faces a long period of rehabilitation ahead of him. Please consider making a small contribution to his gofundme account.

Now that it’s summer and the busy Fourth of July weekend is in a few days, we’ve got to keep this from happening again.

A boat is not a toy

People have to stop horsing around on a boat or a jet ski. While they are fun and feel less dangerous than cars, it’s easy to forget that they can cause serious injuries.

Some wave runners can reach speeds of 70 mph and have a 250-horsepower, four-cylinder engine, similar to a motorcycle. However even a smaller one that hits a swimmer can do severe damage, especially with its hidden propeller blade.

And it’s shocking how young you can be and legally drive one. Continue reading

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