Physical Therapy May Change Your Life if You Have CRPS

Complex regional pain syndrome is unknown to many around the world, with around 200,000 people suffering from this rare condition. It is a unique disease and one that it is often triggered by something else, like a car accident or other trauma-causing physical injury, although they may be relatively mild in many cases. You may be very surprised to find out that you are being diagnosed with CRPS as whatever injury you had seemed to have already healed; for instance, you may have been in a car wreck and broken an arm or a leg, or you may have only suffered a small sprain.

The injury may heal without any complication, and you may be back to normal temporarily, with the sudden surprise of a variety of different symptoms cropping up due to the emergence of CRPS—presenting itself in a variety of ways, but often beginning with skin abnormalities like discoloration, redness, swelling, and itching. There may be muscle and joint aches and pains, loss of mobility, and other strange and uncomfortable issues like dystonia, where fingers or toes may become curled in an unnatural position.

One of the distinguishing features of CRPS also, not surprising due to its name, is the advent of terrible and chronic pain. As a CRPS patient, you may be so uncomfortable that you are afraid to do anything that brings on agony, whether that is just the slightest movement, or taking a walk—or even having someone brush up against your skin. This is a problem because of the lack of mobility or motivation to move around may then result in muscle atrophy. While there are numerous treatments that may help CRPS, including steroids, over-the-counter treatments opioids, anticonvulsants, and more, physical therapy is often recommended, with a long list of other associated alternatives too.

Conventional physical therapy involves working with medical professionals familiar with CRPS to exercise the affected areas gently and begin helping you to increase circulation in the area and eventually regain mobility, especially in conjunction with any helpful medications. Other therapies may help too, like spinal cord stimulation, biofeedback, and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS).

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of another driver that brought on CRPS after your initial injuries healed, 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.


Older Travelers at Greater Risk: Whether Driving, Biking, Walking, or Motorcycling

Older travelers are at risk no matter what mode they are in, and no matter what method of transportation you may have chosen. As traffic incidents continue to rise in Florida and around the US, much to the consternation of the government and infrastructure experts everywhere, we must take time to think about those who are more vulnerable. And while older citizens or anyone whose vision or faculties have diminished may need to think about discontinuing driving at some point, we must still share the road with them as they may be crossing near their homes, exercising on bicycles, or be traveling in public with the assistance of someone else.

As a rule, motorists must be especially careful when approaching others who may be less protected in traffic—mainly at intersections and crosswalks. While the safety of other motorists is always a big concern because there are more of them, those traveling on foot are always at greater risk—and along with that fact, seniors and kids are more likely than any other age groups to be involved in fatalities or sustain serious injuries during an altercation with a vehicle.

Florida currently ranks at the top of the list for pedestrian deaths, with travelers on foot over 65 being more likely to be involved in an injury or killed. As experts continue to investigate why fatalities are increasing rather than decreasing, infrastructure issues are blamed for much of the problem, pointing out that if roads, highways, and congested areas near crosswalks were designed better, there would be less catastrophe overall.

No matter what your age is, though, practice these safety tips in traffic so that you are not at greater risk:

  • Be visible. Always wear brightly colored clothing, and at night, use reflectors. You can tape them to your bike or hat or coat, or even your shoes.
  • Make eye contact with motorists before walking straight ahead or turning in crosswalk areas.
  • Know and follow all traffic rules, and never take risks in traffic, no matter how much of a hurry you may be in at that time. This includes avoiding rushing across the street when cars are coming or ‘jaywalking,’ due to a sense of urgency to get to your destination.

If you or a loved one have been injured 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.


Smartphones: Turn the ‘Driving Mode’ Setting On

Many of us still remember the days when drunk drivers were the greatest threat on the roads, and MADD was continually campaigning, getting the word out about how so many terrible injuries and fatalities could be prevented. Even with drunk driving fatalities down by a third, such incidents are still far too big a hazard to other motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorcyclists; sadly though, they have been far superseded by distracted drivers. Indirectly, what this means is that the greatest hazard to safety on the road is the creation of the smartphone.

Most of us—technology buffs or not—can agree that the smartphone does offer a long list of benefits that can be life-changing. You can set reminders; you can check your calendar, you can set appointments, you can set timers, take photos to document different personal and professional events—and so much more. But of course there is also the endless stream of communication via texts and phone calls, not to mention emails, and the ability to surf the net whether you are concerned about researching a project for work, heading up the latest sushi bar and checking out their menu, looking at movie times for the weekend, or other business. We all love these conveniences but prefer that motorists are not enjoying them while driving.

In most instances, motorists are minding their own business, operating their vehicles responsibly, and enjoying heading down the road when that familiar ding comes in alerting them to a text. If this happens while you are driving, you may find it nearly impossible to ignore the notification sound or the message, worrying that there is an emergency, or some sort of news you must read about immediately. That’s one thing, but next comes the temptation to respond to the text. This could turn into an entire conversation, and before you know it you could find yourself in a terrible car accident.

Most smartphones today, however, will help you avoid this issue with ‘do not disturb’ software that also includes a feature for fending off phone calls and texts while you are driving. Just activate the auto-reply option in your settings, and magically—your phone deals with the issue without you even knowing, telling everyone trying to get in touch with you that you are busy being safe behind the wheel.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car 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.

 


Injured in a Car Accident? Why You Should Consult with an Attorney As Soon as Possible

Most of us spend an inordinate amount of time in the car, so much so, in fact, that you may feel like you do live there at times. You probably have a place for your coffee, your soda or water bottles, a place to stash personal items, CDs, and perhaps even a little stash of snacks and clean-up supplies (especially if you travel with kids frequently). Because you spend so much time in the car, behind the wheel with very little happening usually, you may often not even remember going from point A to point B. As traffic incidents continue to rise across the US, though, you must be more vigilant about defensive driving than ever.

If you ever are in a car accident, know what to do ahead of time. If you are injured, medical help should be called for immediately. On your arrival to the hospital or doctor’s office, getting treatment should be your priority despite adjusters for the other side already calling. After that, it is in your best interest to call a skilled car accident attorney. When you pick up the phone, and there is an insurance adjuster on the line getting ready to pelt you with questions, you may feel stress. That is normal, and the good thing is you don’t have to deal with that stress—in fact, you should not! Direct the other insurer to your car accident attorney immediately.

Although just the act of communicating about the accident and discussing the details may be stressful (and even awkward) if it does appear that you have a case it is undeniably in your best interest to let a legal professional handle everything. Insurance adjusters are skilled at tripping up other policyholders; for example, they may ask about your medical problems from the car accident. You may be eager to be extremely forthcoming about the injuries you are experiencing or whatever pain you are in, but the extent of your medical condition may not be fully known yet by doctors, and other bodily damage may emerge later as is so unfortunately common in car accidents. It is in the best interest of your case not to speak with adjusters—they may act like your friends, but their job is to spend as little time and money on your claim as possible!

We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after car 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.


Young Bicyclists: Does Your Child Understand Road Signs?

Chances are, if your child is learning how to ride a bicycle, you are their source for Biking 101. And this sporty outdoor education may begin at an early age; in fact, you may even be carting them around with you in a protective trailer as a baby or in a seat behind you when they are toddlers. Riding a bike is not only a great group activity, but it begins training your child who may commute back and forth to school independently one day.

In the beginning, bicycling together as a family is a great way to promote togetherness—what better way could there be to enjoy a Saturday morning? Riding a bicycle also brings on a host of health benefits to include building strong muscles and bones, promoting good cardio exercise, burning calories, and getting an overall good work out. Biking within the family is a great exercise, but it’s also a valuable way for kids to build friendships as they ride their bikes together, and they may often employ a buddy system for traveling back and forth to school later.

While your child may start riding a bike at a very young age, they will require supervision until they are old enough to understand the basics of traffic, including all the same rules you must follow, and road signs too. This education begins for small children as they learn to recognize the stop sign. They must also understand the yield sign, railroad crossing signs, road construction, crossing zones, construction zones, and more. Although you can point these signs out to your child while biking (along with quizzing them along the way too), you may want to go online or procure a driver’s education booklet for added learning.

Along with understanding the mechanics and safety rules for traffic, kids should also be completely equipped with protective gear for riding. The priority should be a helmet, so your child can avoid concussion or traumatic brain injury, and both elbow and kneepads are highly recommended (if you can get your child to agree to wear them). The bike should be well-maintained, with the tires checked regularly, a working bell or a horn, and lights if you are concerned that your child may be riding at dusk or later.

Always remember that visibility is a huge issue for bicyclists, and especially the younger riders. Reflectors are extremely helpful too and can be attached not only to the bike but also to the child’s shoes, helmet, and even clothing. Speak to your child frankly about what to do if they are involved in an accident, and always make sure they have your phone number memorized in case of an emergency.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a bicycle 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.


Boating Safety: Plan!

Getting away on the boat for a day or the weekend can be one of the most exciting—yet relaxing—ways to spend your time away from work and the hustle and bustle of traffic and everyday life. Florida offers some of the most beautiful inner waterways, bays, and open water, with a coast to enjoy on either side of the state. There are an overwhelming number of choices for diversion, but the water draws many of us to it, whether we live in the Sunshine State or are just visiting for a short time—and whether we are just strolling by the shore, swimming, kiteboarding, paddle boarding, sailing, motor boarding, water skiing, or more.

As is the case with most outdoor activities that yield enormous amounts of recreation however, there are unfortunate—and very serious—hazards. As the operator of a vessel, you have a huge responsibility to your passengers and others on the water to follow safety guidelines.  Boating accidents can be catastrophic, and because of the proximity to water and the continued potential for drowning, there is added threat against which you must always remain vigilant.

Before leaving on any trip, create a float plan (view a sample here), and leave it with a reliable party back on ‘land.’ If you change your plans, let them know, just in case you do not return on time. Along with your float plan, always be mindful of safety before leaving the dock. This includes:

  • Making sure the boat is in tiptop condition before heading out onto the water. Regular oil maintenance should be performed along with making sure you have plenty of gas. The motor and propeller should be in good working shape, and all lights should be functional. Make sure the radio works, along with keeping an air horn, flashlight, and flares on board for emergencies.
  • Check the weather. These days, most boaters can rely on their smartphones for a weather report while on the water, but make sure you have access through your radio also, and keep track of the weather throughout the day, just in case any unexpected squalls are on the way.
  • Keep life jackets and personal flotation devices on board for everyone. Children under the age of six should be wearing a USCG–approved Type I, II, or III PFD for the duration of the trip if your boat is under 26 feet long.
  • Know your passengers! Take a head count before you leave and be apprised of the swimming level of everyone on board. If there is anyone who does not know how to swim, they should wear a lifejacket—no matter their age.
  • Avoid alcohol while boating. Not only is it against the law to operate your boat while intoxicated, alcohol and boating—or any water activities—are a dangerous mix.

Have you or a loved one been injured in a boating accident? 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.


CRPS May Develop After a Heart Attack

Complex regional pain syndrome is an insidious disease, creeping up on patients after they consider themselves to have done the work in healing, and are hoping to move on with their lives after a trauma. Nerve damage is usually caused by an event such as a car accident or possibly even a medical procedure as simple as a needle stick. Other health conditions can trigger it later too, including stroke or heart attack.

There are two types of CRPS currently, although some organizations have discussed doing away with such separation and only having one category for complex regional pain syndrome overall. This chronic pain usually develops in what is labeled Type One, initially affecting the nerves without the patient knowing, as there may not be a direct impact. This is the type of CRPS that affects almost all patients suffering from the condition (around 90 percent of them). And Type Two, also known as causalgia, may have similar symptoms, but with very clear damage to the nerves. In Type One, the patient is usually very surprised to find themselves with symptoms that can be debilitating and can make their lives somewhat unbearable.

CRPS patients may experience very abnormal symptoms at first, to include burning and inflammation of the skin, including discoloration, or even blue and pink tinges topically. Their skin may be so sensitive that just a light breeze is agonizing, or the touch of someone brushing up against them accidentally. Other symptoms of CRPS are issues with mobility, stiffness in the joints, and swelling. Those suffering from CRPS may often feel alternately sweaty or cold and clammy, may experience overall weakness, muscle spasms, and they may be in such pain upon walking or moving that they become reluctant to do so at all.

Atrophy of the muscles is not uncommon, along with other uncomfortable conditions like dystonia, where the fingers or toes are fixed in a twisted or unnatural position. If CRPS is diagnosed (not always an easy feat!) and then treated early, the outcome is usually better. While over-the-counter medicines, opioids, anticonvulsants, anti-seizure medicines, or corticosteroids may be prescribed, numerous different types of physical and alternative therapy may have a positive effect too.

Did you experience a trauma due to the negligence of others that triggered CRPS? If so, please call Heintz & Becker today to consult with a skilled CRPS lawyer. 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.

 


Buying Car Insurance? Include Uninsured Motorist Coverage!

Like most consumers in the US, you probably work very hard for your money and enjoy having a little bit left over each month to enjoy; however, there are essential life expenses that you must be continually responsible for too, and sometimes they can take a big bite out of the budget. Insurance is undeniably one of those expenses, not to mention the cost of purchasing and maintaining a car. The bottom line is that having a vehicle to drive can be both complicated and expensive, navigating traffic—and navigating saving enough each month out of your paycheck to cover everything.

The key, however, is not to lose your shirt over that new or used car if it is damaged in an accident, or if you are injured, or passengers are hurt. Keep in mind that if you have a little fender bender, there may be little to worry about, but even a minor collision could result in the need for new parts or a new paint job and be quite costly. A major crash could result in the car being totaled—and typical accident injuries may include head or neck injuries, broken bones, soft tissue damage, or more.

While car insurance is easy enough to procure and might be completed with one phone call or even just an online chat these days, there are many details that you should understand about what you are—or are not—purchasing. You can just ask for the bare minimum in terms of a policy but understand what the risk is if you do not add extra coverage for something like UM protection.

While underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage is not required in Florida, there are many reasons to purchase it—and they are all centered around your financial protection. UM coverage is usually inexpensive to add to your policy and saves you in the event of an accident with someone else who does not have coverage. It isn’t hard to understand why you want to avoid that type of risk, and especially if it won’t break the bank when you purchase your policy. UM coverage also pays for injuries you may have sustained that would not be covered otherwise.

We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after car 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.

 


Motorcycling in Florida: Summer Wear Does Not Cut It on the Bike

Motorcyclists usually have the cool factor down when it comes to traveling the roads and highways; and while for some that may be intentional, for most it is just the benefit of wearing the proper gear. In Florida, however, most of us are all too used to being able to walk outside at nearly any time of day in shorts, tee shirt, and sandals—and take off. This is one of the great perks to living in the Sunshine State, but it can also be your fatal downfall if you do not take time to cover up when riding a motorcycle.

The summer look is attractive on many Floridians, but believe it or not, the leather and boots and thick gloves are more about your health than your attractiveness, as they protect you from road rash and a wide range of physical harm—not to mention the helmet, which protects your brain from concussion and traumatic brain injury, as well as facial fractures and other types of damage, such as to the eyes—which is why goggles are necessary too. This type of protection usually does not come cheap; however, be sure to factor it in when you are purchasing a motorcycle, because it could be vital to saving your life.

And although you may be a fan of black leather like so many motorcyclists are, be extremely certain that you are visible to other motorists. Brightly colored jackets, shirts, helmets, and even a brightly colored motorcycle are all smart measures to take for visibility. Consider additional lighting on your bike, along with reflectors everywhere possible, including your helmet and even your boots. Take special care at intersections, and do not ever assume that motorists see you. Chances are they may not, which is why if you are turning, it is in your best interest to make eye contact with anyone else behind the wheel or traveling on a motorcycle, bike, or on foot. Also make contact in traffic when changing lanes, if you can see the motorist in their rearview mirror.

Motorcyclists also have the obvious option of being heard loudly. The ability to rev that engine may annoy some, but in the end, it makes everyone on the road aware that you are there.

If you or a loved one 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.

 


Parents: Brush Up on Traffic Laws to Teach Your Children Bicycle Safety

Bicycling: what could be better than enjoying the fresh air together as a family? Heading out to get some exercise on two wheels is usually a highly recommended activity whether as a solitary venture, or whether you branch out into a group or travel with your partner and children. Although you probably often see families on the road—and even parents biking with babies being towed behind in little buggies—do not be fooled. There has usually been great thought and attention to safety ahead of time.

Florida has also been noted (unfortunately) for increased fatalities, to the point of being referred to as a ‘killing field’ for bicyclists in recent years. On the flip side, in the right environment, bicycling can be phenomenal for your health, helping to build muscle and bone, promoting better heart and lung health, and burning enormous amounts of calories. For the younger riders, though there is usually a period of time before the training wheels come off, and they must be duly educated regarding traffic rules; in fact, one of the interesting parts of learning to bicycle is that you must know as much about riding in traffic as an experienced adult driver. You may find your child asking questions about some signs and rules that you don’t think about much—and it may even be helpful to get a book or video about understanding what it means to become the operator of a ‘vehicle,’ which you technically are when you ride a bike.

If your child is going to be biking to school unsupervised, there are specific details that should be covered such as dealing with directions, and the possibility of taking that big ‘step’ in crossing the highway. In more recreational situations, while your children should understand how to follow all traffic rules, they must also understand and be prepared with basic safety measures.

Your child’s bicycle should be properly maintained so they have a good foundation to start. Tires should be full and holding air, the chain properly greased, and the brakes working like a charm. The bike should be equipped with a bell or horn, and if there is a possibility that your child will be riding at dusk, they should have functional lights. And while it is not recommended for a younger child to be riding in the dark, if your older child might be—or if that is the case for you—make sure you have as much lighting as possible, and reflectors. These can be applied to the bicycle, as well as your helmet and even clothing and shoes (another great tip for pedestrians to keep in mind too, minus the helmet). While explaining traffic laws to your child, you may want to brush up on the rules, signs, and signals here.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a bicycle 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.