CRPS is a Physical Disorder Often Accompanied by Severe Pain

Complex regional pain syndrome is a condition unknown to many. Said to be affecting under five percent of those with nerve damage in the US (although the numbers may be considerably higher due to underreporting), CRPS usually comes as a surprise to those afflicted with this rare disorder as it may affect an area that was thought to have already healed. Physical trauma from a car accident is a common reason for triggering CRPS, even if the original injury was fairly mild.

A wrist or ankle sprain or even a break may have occurred and healed easily, only to have CRPS develop afterward with a pain that is far more intense than the original health problem. The condition can even sometimes be triggered by a cast being put on to heal a broken limb or a procedure as minor as having a shot administered. CRPS usually becomes apparent with intense discomfort, and symptoms such as burning, throbbing, and extreme sensitivity are common; in fact, affected limbs can be so sensitive that just being outside in a minor breeze can be painful—as well as enduring just the slightest touch. The skin may also become discolored, glossy in texture, and temperature of the area in question may vary between hot, cold, and clammy.

Patients with CRPS sometimes become so fearful of the associated pain that they are reluctant to move—exacerbating an already weakened state and causing further atrophy to muscles. Along with that, the other limb may become affected. Swelling, stiffness of joints, and muscle spasms may also occur. Once medical professionals are able to make a diagnosis (generally by ruling out other illnesses), they may recommend one or more of the following medications or treatment:

  • Over-the-counter pain relievers like aspirin or ibuprofen
  • Prescription pain relievers such as opioids
  • Corticosteroids like prednisone to eliminate inflammation
  • Nerve blockers to stop pain
  • Anticonvulsants

Physical therapy is often necessary, along with other CRPS treatments like heat, topical anesthetics (like Lidocaine), nerve or spinal cord therapy—and sometimes even options like relaxation therapy or biofeedback. CRPS sufferers may become depressed too as pain causes restriction and numerous (not always pleasant, unfortunately) adjustments to their way of life. Antidepressants may be prescribed along with ongoing therapy via a licensed medical health professional.

Were you in an accident 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.


Motorcyclists, Bicyclists, Pedestrians: Tips for Being Seen on the Road

If you live in a larger city, chances are the roads are teeming with cars and trucks most of the day—and especially at those rush hour times (which today seem to become more and more unpredictable due to staggered work times for many). Car sales continue to increase, gas prices are down with greater affordability, and with less unemployment, more motorists are traveling back and forth to work. While those are all positive signs for the US economy, one major downside is that more cars on the roads means more accidents—and it also means there may be an even greater challenge for motorists to see motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

Motorists Must Be Aware of Surroundings at All Times

Visibility is always an issue in traffic—evidenced by one of the most common comments after accidents: “They came out of nowhere—I didn’t see them!” And while it is the motorist’s responsibility to make sure they are driving defensively and being cautious in areas where smaller vehicles and pedestrians are present, all too often they are distracted; in fact, the distraction of cell phones can be a problem with pedestrians too. Driving the same routes each day can lead to a lack of alertness as well—almost as if some drivers are on autopilot, sometimes causing them to wreak havoc on highways, as well as intersections and crosswalks. Far too many motorists may also be speeding, driving under the influence, or behaving recklessly and putting the lives of others in serious danger.

Make Your Presence Known!

Whether you are riding a motorcycle, bicycle, or walking, brightly colored clothing or neon is always one of the best ways to be seen—and especially at dusk or after dark. Although black leather and dark clothing often has a ‘cool factor,’ you may become invisible to motorists after the sun starts going down. Consider reflective stripes for clothing, shoes, and helmets. Extra lights or reflectors on your motorcycle or bicycle are recommended, and pedestrians can always travel with flashlights for added visibility and helpful illumination on the road.

When riding in traffic lanes, avoid motorists blind spots, obey all traffic rules and watch out for doors opening from parked cars! Cross walks are a common area for accidents, so along with making yourself more visible, be aware of oncoming traffic and turning cars. Before walking, make eye contact with motorists to verify they are stopping for you as required. Motorcyclists can also rev their engines for added effect in being noticed.

Call Us for Help If You Have Been Injured

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, bicycle accident, pedestrian accident or car wreck 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.

 


Broken Arm or Leg After Car Accident Could Be Precursor to CRPS

Complex regional pain syndrome affects nearly 200,000 in the US, and as the name would imply, many of those suffering from the condition are forced to live with severe discomfort. A wide range of symptoms is associated with CRPS, and it can be hard to diagnose as well as treat. Patients are usually surprised at the onset of CRPS as it generally follows another—and often milder—health issue. It may be triggered by a trauma such as a car accident, where a common injury like a broken arm or leg was sustained. Both the nervous and immune system are affected, causing pain, along with:

  • Burning and redness
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Changes in the skin to include discoloration and difference in texture
  • Lack of coordination
  • Muscle spasms and abnormal movement to include tremors, jerking
  • Dystonia, leaving hands or feet fixed in a stiff position

The patient is usually unaware of CRPS in the beginning, and medical professionals may have to rule out a number of other health problems before settling on the CRPS diagnosis as there is no specific test for it yet. CTs, MRIs, and bone scans are often helpful in diagnostics. Once CRPS has been diagnosed, the patient may be put on a regimen of corticosteroids, pain relievers, topical anesthetic creams, or other medications. Along with that, physical therapy may be required.

CRPS can change an individual’s life significantly. While before they may have been active and healthy, the condition can cause them to fear being mobile due to resulting pain. They may also be in too much pain overall to live like they used too. With their quality of life suddenly seriously diminished, those suffering from CRPS may become depressed. Doctors may prescribe antidepressants as well as suggesting the help of a mental health professional or therapist on a regular basis to help them deal with the adjustment.

Type 1 CRPS can also be caused by surgeries, medical procedures (some of which may be extremely mild), and injuries to soft tissue that may be caused by burns or other accidents. The rarer Type 2 usually affects the nerves directly, with the cause being known (rather than occurring as a surprise or a bit of a mystery later) after an obvious injury.

Were you in an accident 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.


Older Drivers Must Act as Role Models for Younger Generations

As manufacturers continually work to add new safety measures to modern vehicles—many of which are almost completely computerized in terms of sensors and maintenance—and as traffic safety education is emphasized to the public, you would think that the risks involved in driving (or bicycling or motorcycling or walking!) would be much less today. Unfortunately, the same old reasons (and often deadly ones) are often cited for crashes: speeding and reckless behavior, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and ignoring traffic rules—along with ignoring stoplights and stop signs. This is disappointing, especially considering how much information is available to educate travelers today—along with the known consequences for such negligent behavior.

Children are usually fascinated with driving, and eager to get behind the wheel as soon as possible—usually in play, whether they have a tricycle or one of the child-sized play cars or SUVs that are so popular today. Because of that, it is important to discuss traffic safety with your kids from an early age. And as with so much in parenting, being a good role model can sometimes be difficult—but it is critical to passing on good driving skills later.

Distracted driving is the number one cause of accidents in the US, and again, it can be difficult to avoid. With the plethora of smartphones and accompanying apps available—not to mention emails and calls dinging and ringing in—just one tiny electronic device that fits into your hand can be responsible for catastrophic damage on the road. You may preach ‘no texting and driving’ or extoll on the dangers of never taking your eyes off the road, but as children and teens get mixed messages on what is really happening in the car—they may very well choose the behavior that suits them best while driving—and that could mean practicing poor judgment, especially in heavy traffic.

Driving while drowsy, or much worse, while under the influence, is another very important area for leading by example. No-tolerance policies are best—and with that, it means skipping that tempting (but potentially dangerous) bottle of wine while out to dinner—and driving everyone home with a completely clear head. Road rage, speeding, and excessive multi-tasking should obviously be avoided, but as you become a parent you may see a few bad habits that have developed over the years being pointed out by the younger ones.

If you have been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of others, 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.


Motorcyclists Must Drive More Defensively Than Ever

Despite ongoing programs to educate the public on road safety, fatalities continue to rise at historical rates—and not only for car crashes. Wrecks involving pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists are at all-time highs too, and especially in Florida. No one wants to think that the state they live in or love to visit is known for having unsafe roads, and especially as we are busy driving our families around—as well as watching our older children studying for their drivers’ licenses and look forward to getting behind the wheel or buying a motorcycle.

Motorcyclists are able to make the most of their transportation, often enjoying better economics whether in the original purchase, maintenance, or better gas mileage. Most of us are aware that they tend to look a lot cooler than the average driver too, with the leather, boots, and sunglasses all on full display; it’s easy to understand the temptation to take off on two wheels and leave the ‘cage’ behind in lieu of fresh air and so much camaraderie with others enjoying the same mode of travel.

Safety has always been the major downside of motorcycling though. And while you may be in complete control while traveling on quiet roads, the main dangers are when other motorists get involved. Today, the biggest enemy to motorcyclists is distracted drivers. We all know exactly what this problem looks like too—the motorist who is driving erratically, head down as they check out texts—or even worse, have the phone front and center as they read and type away. Answering the phone, talking, and listening to voicemails are other major distractions, as well as all the other electronics in the car that can be tempting. Along with this are other issues such as brushing hair and applying makeup while driving, eating, drinking, and giving undue attention to passengers.

Factor in all the other reasons for motorcycle crashes: speeding, drinking and driving, aggressive driving or road rage, lack of visibility, lane splitting, and challenging weather or road conditions.  While certain precautions should be taken such as wearing bright clothing when possible, having a bike that is painted in a bright color, along with revving the engine when at a stop, the bottom line is that motorcyclists must practice non-stop diligence when riding—whether on the open highway (avoiding motorists’ blind spots) or at intersections (watching out for those left turns!).

Whether you are driving a car or riding on a motorcycle, injuries from a crash can be extremely serious, or even fatal. All motorcyclists should be well-educated on technique, as well as the details of their specific bikes. Protective gear and helmets should always be worn too, helping to prevent injuries as well as road rash.

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.


Experienced Motorcyclists Benefit from Educational Courses Too

Motorcyclists experience both the best and the worst while traversing the highways and byways of the United States. Enjoying many health perks, they get a low-impact body workout while riding, and depending on the area, they may also be benefitting from enticing fresh air and a glorious landscape. Motorcyclists are often part of an entire lifestyle, a community—and it’s not uncommon to see them chatting quickly at a red light, admiring each other’s bikes or discussing directions. They often have a faster and better way of commuting and manage to look effortlessly cool while wearing protective clothing. Women motorcyclists are being seen in greater numbers out on the roads today too as they enjoy the benefits of riding.

If you are a novice, undoubtedly you have a learning curve. This means learning how to ride safely as well as understanding your new bike. A list of gear is usually necessary (don’t forget the helmet) along with the required education and insurance specific to motorcycles. As years pass, you will probably be completely comfortable on the road, understanding that feeling of being ‘one with the bike,’ and enjoying the Zen attitude on a continual basis. Keep in mind however, that everyone can benefit from a refresher course—no longer how long they may have been enjoying a particular exercise. And as traffic fatalities continue to rise in the US, especially in Florida, being as knowledgeable and safe as possible is key to ‘arriving alive’ at your destination.

Along with educating novices—and teaching them how to avoid accidents—different classes are offered for the experienced motorcyclist, and in Florida they too are often provided or sponsored by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) as part of the Florida Rider Training Program (FRTP).

While everyone must learn the basics at first, continued training is highly recommended for the experienced driver over the years too. Not only does this allow for further discussion of traffic trends and laws that pertain to motorcyclists, but also continued learning of ‘street-riding strategies,’ additional safety tips, and the opportunity to reverse bad habits that can really stick over time. Such courses are credited with reducing the number of motorcycle accidents on highways today too, especially as one of the most valuable skills reviewed in class is how to brake more efficiently and come to a stop with short notice.

Most courses, whether for novices or experienced motorcyclists, are affordable and can be taken in a morning or afternoon session, using lasting four to five hours. Along with education, diligence in defensive driving is more important than ever for motorcyclists, as other drivers are usually the greatest threat on the roads.

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.


Bicyclists Have the Same Rights as Everyone Else on the Road

Riding bikes is an activity most of us take to as kids. Except for the checking and filling of tires, bikes require rare, low-level maintenance. This means transportation is virtually free, with your fuel supply reliant completely on your own physical effort. The health benefits associated with riding your bike are also far too good to ignore, for all ages. This includes an excellent way to get cardio exercise, burn calories and fat, strengthen bones, reduce stress, and so much more.

Motorists Are Often Irritated by Bicycle Enthusiasts

The sad truth though is that not everyone may be so happy to see you sharing the roadways with them. Riding on paths and in bike lanes can be challenging enough due to foot traffic, other bicyclists, and more. When you are actually sharing lanes with cars though, many may become exasperated due to a perceived lack of speed. Bicycles are considered to be vehicles, and they have just as much right to be riding on the roadways. Whether you are a bicyclist or a motorist, you must share the road, and everyone must follow the same traffic rules.

Fatalities Rise at Alarming Rates in the US and Florida

As traffic fatalities continue to rise though—and this includes bicyclists (as well as pedestrians) too, extra precautions obviously need to be taken to protect those who are even more vulnerable in traffic due to the lack of protection when struck by a car weighing around 4,000 pounds. Bicyclists must be properly educated on all necessary hand signals, as well as understand all traffic rules—and this is particularly important for younger cyclists. It is also critical for those riding their bikes in traffic to be well-practiced at doing so. If you haven’t ridden a bike much—build up your skills elsewhere before heading into traffic, a practice which even the most experienced cyclists can find stressful and intimidating.

Always Ride on the Defense

Safety measures such as added visibility should be taken, as well as making sure you make eye contact with other drivers who may be turning at an intersection. Ride defensively, especially in areas where motorists are turning into crosswalk areas. They often forget to look for bicyclists and may not have properly reduced speed either. Bicyclists in traffic, in line with following all the same rules, must also go with the flow of traffic. In protecting yourself and taking a defensive stance, you should always be watching the motorists and oncoming traffic: make sure you are not too close to the side of the road where you can easily be forced out—and avoid getting into the blind spots of those driving cars.

Contact Us for Help!

If you or your child has been injured in a bicycling accident due to the negligence of others, 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.


CRPS: Persistent Pain Requires Serious Medical Treatment

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is challenging for many reasons. The pain and suffering associated with this condition are the most difficult part for the approximately 200,000 individuals in the US who have CRPS. Along with that also comes significant difficulty in diagnosing the disease, as well as treating it. The timeline for CRPS tends to be unique in comparison to other illnesses, along with its causes.

Usually occurring as a result of trauma—and often these are car crashes or motorcycle accidents or surgeries—CRPS shows up after an initial injury that may have seemed fairly mild; for example, a sprained ankle may seem to heal, but afterward the individual may have begun to experience a variety of unusual symptoms, to include varying ranges of pain. Symptoms often affect the skin near the affected limb, and it may become so sensitive that even the slightest amount of contact may be painful. The skin may change colors, feel cold or sweaty, and may swell. Other limbs may become affected too.

Diagnosis usually occurs after other illnesses have been ruled out with testing. And although specific testing is not available for CRPS, medical professionals may use MRIs, CTs, and bone scans while diagnosing the condition. Milder medications may be prescribed such as over-the counter pain relievers, but depending on the individual, stronger pain relievers may be required as well as corticosteroids, intensive physical therapy, and more.

Mobility may be seriously hindered for some with CRPS, with muscle spasms, seizures, and dystonia—involving muscles that are left in an abnormal and fixed position. CRPS can cause an individual to feel like their life has been taken over by pain, also causing serious depression. Patients may feel afraid to go out or pursue activities due to the unpredictable nature of the condition, and muscles may begin to atrophy as a result. As they embark on a tough adjustment period, doctors may recommend that patients see a therapist or a support group as well as consider taking antidepressants to help them deal with the difficulty of chronic symptoms and pain. Learning relaxation techniques are often helpful to CRPS sufferers as well.

Were you in an accident 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.


Bicyclists: Riding Against the Flow of Traffic is Dangerous—and Illegal

Riding a bicycle is one of the best ways possible to enjoy exercise. And although the weather can change on a dime, bicycling allows you to get outside in that famous Florida sunshine and fresh air, traveling at your own pace and experiencing physical benefits as cardiovascular health is improved, muscles and bones are strengthened, and stress levels are reduced significantly.

All of the added health benefits from bicycling can end abruptly, however, if proper safety measures aren’t taken. Along with understanding proper road signals, wearing highly visible clothing, and making sure that your bike is in working order, how you ride your bike makes all the difference. And although many cyclists may have heard that riding against the flow of traffic is better as it allows you to see what you are dealing with on the road, such a practice is not only extremely unsafe, but it is against the law too.

On a busy road, when riding against the flow, the problem of visibility is decreased even further. Motorists (already challenged to see anything other than cars and trucks) are usually not prepared for bicyclists to be riding the opposite way and their reaction time is much more restricted if they need to swerve out of the way or stop quickly. This is also like riding down a one-way street as all the road signs are directed the other way. And while motorists are the main concern for being hit while you are riding a bike, if you are going the wrong direction you may find others to be confused by your behavior too—like pedestrians. Such riding habits are dangerous for everyone on the road and while riding the wrong direction could get you a ticket, it could also mean that you were the negligent party in the case of an accident.

Bicyclists in traffic are at an enormous disadvantage due to lack of protection in comparison to motorists. Helmets are able to prevent some major head injuries, but bicycle accidents may result in serious contusions, broken bones, neck and spinal injuries, paralysis, and even death. While everyone should focus on being safe while in traffic, Florida roads merit extra concern as they are known to be extra dangerous for motorists—as well as for bicyclists and pedestrians, with seniors traveling on foot at even greatest risk.

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


Increased Pedestrian Deaths Becoming a Sustained Trend

Car accidents send over a million individuals to emergency rooms around the US each year, with hundreds of thousands hospitalized too. Many others escape unscathed—sometimes just the victims of mild collisions or fender benders yielding no damage. When a car hits a pedestrian, however, there is a much greater chance for serious injury or death due to the vulnerability of an individual walking on foot in comparison to a moving vehicle that weighs 4,000 pounds.

As we have discussed in previous blogs regarding motorcycles too, lack of visibility is a common problem, leading to far too many catastrophic accidents. Being seen is also often a major challenge for pedestrians, as motorists may be used to making swift right turns in traffic near crosswalk areas without thinking ahead to the potential for pedestrians walking across the road—and they have every right to do so. Motorists who are engaged with cell phones, other electronics, and multiple distractions in the car are at fault for thousands of deaths each year—and pedestrian fatalities are now continuing to rise, and so predictably so that Jonathan Adkins of the Governors Highway Safety Association notes the issue as an unfortunate and ‘sustained trend.’

This trend marks a new high throughout the country, and government officials are not only concerned, but they are trying to make changes to any infrastructure possible that will help keep pedestrians from being injured or killed. Some areas just aren’t set up very well for pedestrian travel, whether there is a lack of proper crosswalks and signage, or necessary illumination at night.

“In addition to encouraging individuals to behave safely, those responsible for designing the vehicles and roadways need to work on making it easier for people to choose the safe behavior,” says Laura Sandt, the director of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center at UNC., “and to be sure that they are investing in infrastructure and creating policies that support safe walking.”

Classic problems are still to blame though, from drivers who aren’t paying attention to those who are speeding or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. While it is important that those who are responsible for accidents are held accountable, continual education and expanded public awareness is necessary.

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


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