Did You Develop Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) After a Car Accident?

Complex regional pain syndrome is a condition that may affect an individual after an accident, injury, surgery, or another event that causes damage to the nervous system. Car crashes are often a precursor to the onset of CRPS, although the original injury may have been considerably minor in comparison to the discomfort and pain being caused by CRPS.

If you were in a car accident, you may have been seriously hurt, or just sustained minor bumps, bruises, or maybe a sprain. Common issues after a car crash can include brain injuries, spinal injuries, broken bones, internal injuries, and more. Along with that comes the stress of property damage, emotional trauma, and the hassles of dealing with insurance companies. If you have been injured due to the negligence of another motorist, contact an experienced car accident attorney from a firm like Heintz & Becker as soon as possible. You may also want to consult with an experienced CRPS attorney if you have begun experiencing symptoms associated with the condition after your car wreck (or any other event).

Affecting around two hundred thousand people in the US, CRPS may come as an unpleasant surprise to those who have experienced a more minor issue such as a sprain, but suddenly find themselves with a much worse condition featuring painful symptoms such as burning and extreme sensitivity in one limb. Some cases of CRPS may be so severe that they cause permanent disability, while others may be milder and disappear after just a few months. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, if you have CRPS, you may also experience unusual transformations to the skin, to include a shininess or discoloration. Your skin may also feel unusually cold or sweaty. The joints may be very stiff, and movement may be constricted due to pain and swelling. In more extreme cases, muscles may become ‘fixed’ in one position (for example, a hand may remain curled up) or there may be involuntary jerking and shaking of the limbs.

While it is usually clear why CRPS began, due to injury in a car crash or another complication, in some cases its origins may be unknown. Diagnosis is not always quick and easy, and testing is usually done to rule out other conditions first. A range of scans may be effective in diagnosis, such as CTs, MRIs, or bone scans. Treatment varies too according to the area affected and the severity of the condition. Doctors may prescribe over-the-counter pain relievers, corticosteroids, anti-seizure drugs, topical creams, and more.

If you have been affected by an injury caused by the negligence of others and are seeking a skilled CRPS lawyer, contact Heintz & Becker today. Our attorneys have helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help, and if you cannot come to us, we will come to you.

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

Negligent Motorists to Blame for Too Many Motorcycle Accidents

Most individuals on the highways today riding motorcycles choose to do so for a variety of positive reasons. They enjoy the freedom of being on a bike, feeling the sun shining down upon them, and the wind at their back. There are many concrete benefits too, including greater affordability, better fuel efficiency, and less impact on the environment too. Unfortunately, motorcyclists must be continually vigilant while on the roads as they are presented with hazards from other, larger vehicles.

Distracted Drivers Cause Potential for Motorcycle Accidents

One of the biggest problems not only for motorcyclists, but for everyone on the road, is distracted drivers. This can take numerous forms. Drivers may be busy tending to their appearance on the way to work, grooming, putting on makeup, and more. While this may seem like outrageous behavior, and it is, many drivers consider it to be necessary multi-tasking while they are running late. They may also be engaged in conversation with other passengers, eating, drinking, and more. And while all these activities may seem completely normal to some, the problem is that they run the risk of causing a terrible accident, and injury to others—or even death.

Motorcyclists are also affected by other distracted drivers who are glued to their cell phones. And it is amazing how much trouble one tiny little electronic device can cause! While talking on a cell phone used to be the biggest concern, now we must worry about drivers who are reading text messages, responding to them, surfing the net while driving, and even interacting online while behind the wheel. Although many states such as Florida have outlawed texting while driving, that does not mean everyone adheres to the law, with many motorists having a difficult time avoiding the temptation of their smart phones.

Motorists Are Often Oblivious to the Presence of Motorcyclists

Despite an outpouring of attention to this matter, many motorists simply do not see motorcycles. They are used to watching out for other cars and trucks and may begin making a turn before they realize there is a motorcyclist (or bicyclist, or pedestrian) in their path. And while the eye may not be as trained to watch for smaller vehicles on the road, it is crucial for motorists to expect that there may be motorcyclists nearby, or in their blind spots as well. Intersections tend to be a major area of collision for motorists and motorcyclists, and especially when cars are racing to get through a left-turn zone.

Other hazards on the road lead to collision with motorists such as impaired or overly tired drivers. If everyone was at their best, and completely alert while driving, we would be able to eliminate many injuries and fatalities on the roads today; the reality though is that too many motorists are only giving a fraction of their attention to the task at hand—leading to constant danger for those traveling on motorcycles.

Contact Us for Help if You Have Been Injured

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another driver, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

Traffic Deaths Continue to Rise

If you are feeling safer out on the roads today due to the number of public safety campaigns, increased law enforcement efforts, and so many new safety features in your car and those of others, think again. It may seem impossible that progress is not being made due to the amount of information we have today to help us reduce car accidents and injuries, as well as deaths; for instance, it is well-known that texting and driving is a major cause of fender benders and major crashes. Drinking and driving penalties are stiff, and police are much better equipped to spot impaired drivers, test them, and get them off the road. Better electronics have been designed to monitor and stop speeding, from both the ground and even the air. Still, however, all these issues still reign as the main causes of danger on the roads.

A recent news article cites data stating that not only was there a six percent increase in traffic fatalities in 2016 (on top of the seven percent increase from 2015), the total numbers of fatalities have now surpassed those of 2007. The numbers, released by the National Safety Council, reflect a dismal lack of progress or improvement.

Around 4.6 million accidents resulted in the need for medical care in 2016, showing an increase in the numbers of seven percent from 2015. The overall costs from car accidents in 2016 totaled a staggering $432.5 billion (an increase of 12% from 2015). In arriving at those figures, the NSC includes not only damage to property, but also medical and administrative expenses, wage loss, and costs to employers.

Distracted driving is a main target in the focus on lowering these statistics.

“It’s not just talking on the phone that’s a problem today,” said Jonathan Adkins, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association. “You now have all these other apps that people can use on their phones.”

Motorists not wearing their seatbelts is at the top of the list with speeding and driving drunk in terms of leading causes of wrecks and injury to others.

“It’s still the same things that are killing drivers — belts, booze and speed,” Mr. Adkins said.

In many states, speed limits are rising, while law enforcement budgets are being cut.

 “Total crashes were up less than 5 percent, but fatalities were up 25 percent,” said David Brown, a research associate at the University of Alabama’s Center for Advanced Public Safety. “I think speeding is the number one problem. There are times of the day when we only have one or two troopers on duty in a county, so you can speed, and there’s no one there to deter it.”

As more experts weigh in on the subject and government officials look at better ways to improve safety on the roads, there could be further restrictions placed on smartphone usage while driving, along with added requirements such as mandatory seatbelt usage for passengers riding in the back seat.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of others, please call Heintz & Becker for a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys. We handle all types of Florida personal injury cases, and our law firm has established an impressive record of verdicts and settlements. If you have been seriously injured, call us now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Symptoms

While the numbers of drivers on the road increase—along with the number of traffic accidents—there is a nationwide emphasis on safety. Innumerable campaigns have been launched against distracted driving, trying to put an end to the temptations so many motorists give in to (mainly emanating from their cell phones) while behind the wheel. Efforts have been in place for decades to keep impaired drivers off the road, as well as drowsy drivers, inexperienced drivers, and so on. Clearly, there are many dangers on the highways today, and most of them are due to other drivers. It often seems though that much less information is available to the public regarding dealing with the aftereffects of car crashes, from how to help loved ones afterward, to understanding all the aftereffects that can linger either temporarily or even permanently.

After a car accident, you may have sustained injuries that affect your quality of life significantly, along with your ability to produce an income if you cannot work. Not only that, some car crash victims also experience complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), a serious condition that may present itself after what seems like only a mild injury. CRPS is diagnosed as either Type 1, which occurs after a more minor injury, like a sprain to the wrist—that caused no initial or obvious nerve damage—or Type 2, which results after a major injury or even a surgery, where nerve damage was already apparent.

As experts from the Mayo Clinic explain, often ‘the pain is out of proportion to the severity of the initial injury.’ CRPS usually presents itself in one limb, with varying symptoms—and the pain may also spread to other limbs after time. Typical symptoms include:

  1. Burning sensations, as well as throbbing pain in the extremities such as arms and legs and feet – at times, the patient may almost feel as if they are being shocked. One limb is usually affected, and it may become extremely painful and sensitive to touch.
  2. Changes in skin temperature, texture, and appearance. The skin may feel cold or clammy. Those affected may also be shocked to find that their skin becomes thinner and blotchy, tinged with blue or pink. Nails may also become brittle, and the rate of growth may change significantly, whether increasing or decreasing.
  3. Inflammation and swelling of the area, as well as joints.
  4. Muscle spasms – such discomfort may be severe, and in some cases hands or feet may be left in a fixed position.
  5. Restriction of movement – this may become worse over time for many CRPS who associate moving around with pain. Stiffness and tremors may make movement difficult, and the muscles may feel weakened to the point where they cannot move the arms or legs, with the possibility of atrophy.

CRPS may last months, years, or indefinitely, and is usually diagnosed through a variety of scans and different tests evaluating the nervous system.

If you have been affected by an injury caused by the negligence of others and are seeking a skilled CRPS lawyer, contact Heintz & Becker today. Our attorneys have helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help, and if you cannot come to us, we will come to you.

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

 

Car Crash Survivors May Exhibit Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

The average adult American today is quite comfortable sitting behind the wheel, and usually due to necessity. Most of us are usually involved in several short trips a day or one long commute, but others must travel constantly for work, or perhaps even drive a truck full-time. The exercise of operating a motor vehicle can become extremely routine, almost like washing the dishes or doing some other ordinary task. The difference is that when you make a mistake in your kitchen, it is rare that someone is injured or becomes a fatality.

Recent data shows that Americans are driving more than ever, sitting in traffic more than ever, and experiencing more auto accidents than ever. Information from the National Safety Council shows that fatalities from car crashes were up by six percent in 2016, although cars are becoming even safer to drive thanks to so many new innovations by car manufacturers. The usual killers are to blame though: excessive speed, drivers who are distracted by cell phones and other activities, and motorists who are impaired by alcohol. And even though this information is widely available, most of us are still used to going back and forth to our usual destinations, often lulled into a false sense of security. Because of this, being involved in a car accident can be even more traumatic emotionally—not to mention physically; in fact, some motorists may be reluctant to get behind the wheel again for some time after an accident.

If you have experienced just a mild fender bender you may have been very shaken up. Imagine this on a much worse level, and it is not a stretch to understand how motorists who are in major crashes (and may sustain serious injuries too) might develop post-traumatic stress disorder. Research outlined in ‘Assessment and treatment of PTSD after a motor vehicle collision: Empirical findings and clinical observations’ states that individuals who are in car crashes are susceptible to PTSD, with one of the most common symptoms being the inability to forget about the experience, constantly rehashing the event over and over in their minds. They may also experience other symptoms such as continued obsessive thoughts, ongoing nightmares, feelings of detachment, irritability and mood swings, and more—along with a reluctance to drive.

To make matters worse, many car crash survivors with PTSD may also be coping with chronic pain from injuries sustained during the accident. Anxiety and depression may be exacerbated due to having to make life adjustments after a serious injury—while mourning the loss of others who were in the car with them. A serious auto accident can also lead to loss of income either temporarily or permanently if the individual is unable to go back to work. If you have been injured in a car crash due to the negligence of others, consult with an experienced auto accident attorney from a firm like Heintz & Becker as soon as possible.

Have you or a loved one been injured in a car or motorcycle accident due to the negligence of others who are uninsured? Call our office for a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys. We handle all types of Florida personal injury cases, and our law firm has established an impressive record of verdicts and settlements. If you have been seriously injured, call us now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

Numerous Health Benefits Are Tied to Motorcycling

Motorcycles often get a bad rap when it comes to safety, although much of the danger on the roads emerges from larger vehicles such as cars and trucks. There might be some safety risks involved (as there are for anyone traveling on the roads), but if you speak to an experienced motorcycle enthusiast, chances are they will be overflowing with all the reasons why they enjoy riding. The thrill of being on the open road with the air in your face seems to be one of the most common reasons, leading to an addicting adrenaline and endorphin rush. It is often said too that the sense of freedom leads to an almost spiritual experience—and one that is shared in camaraderie with many other motorcyclists on the road.

And while getting your Zen on out in the open air is undoubtedly a huge benefit for both mind and soul, a recent news article outlined some substantial and very real health benefits that just happen to come with the territory of riding a motorcycle. You may not even be looking to get healthier while out there on the highway, but several positive aspects are just built-in perks.

Your Brain Gets a Constant Workout

As a motorist, you probably drive the same routes so much that you feel like you are almost on autopilot, traveling from home to work, taking children to school and activities, and running errands. When riding a motorcycle, however, you will probably find that a much more intense level of attentiveness is required, from making lane changes and doing double duty making sure that motorists are noticing you—to navigating through intersections safely. Riding a motorcycle requires constant focus and keeps the mind sharp. Along with that, you have the chance to soak up sunshine and good amounts of Vitamin D.

You are Exercising Even When You Don’t Realize It

The exercise factor is tremendous too and may come as a surprise if you are new to riding a motorcycle. The core gets a thorough workout every time you ride, along with the neck. Maintaining the proper posture is important and will give you a better workout too. This is especially true if there is wind to contend with. Along with the core, your thighs, knees, and legs overall get exercise each time you travel, gripping the bike, and especially when leaning in for turns.

The Commute is Much Better & Less Expensive

Less stress during your daily commute to work is one of the great benefits of riding a motorcycle too. Cutting down on road rage is always a plus for the health, with the motorcycle allowing you to get outside and work your way through traffic faster. Not only that, stress levels are reduced even further regarding finances as your gas expense—and maintenance expenses—are dramatically lower. Greater fuel efficiency while operating a smaller vehicle emitting less pollution means you are putting less stress on the environment itself too.

Always Watch Out for Other Drivers on the Road!

The goal is to balance all these great health benefits with safety on the road. All too often though, car drivers may put you in danger simply because they completely overlook your presence on the road or are distracted by other activities such as talking or texting on a cell phone.

Contact Us for Help If You Have Been in a Motorcycle Accident

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another driver, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.