CRPS: Nerve Damage Pain May Last a Lifetime

Imagine being in a car crash or motorcycle accident and experiencing not only the trauma of such an event, but physical injury too. In more severe cases, motorists or passengers may be killed or sustain brain or spinal damage. Cuts and contusions and breaks and sprains are more common though and may heal right on target, with complex regional pain syndrome emerging as a complete—and very unwelcome—surprise.

CRPS brings a wide range of unique symptoms with it and is thought to be an inflammatory condition related to the immune system, brought on by initial nerve damage. In Type 1, this may occur after a trauma like a fall or a car accident; in Type 2, the nerve damage is usually obvious, along with the reason for it, like a surgery or perhaps an infection. While the limb previously associated with a break or sprain or other trauma is usually the only one afflicted by symptoms, over time, the patient may find both limbs affected—especially with movement disorders like dystonia where arms, legs, fingers, or toes become fixed in a twisted or otherwise awkward position.

Differences in the skin are often noted with the onset of CRPS, to include burning or swelling, along with sensitivity to temperature. The arm or leg may be discolored, and even glossy or thinned out in texture. Joints may feel stiff, and muscles may move unpredictably. The most prevalent symptom though is usually pain. Individuals suffering from CRPS are usually stymied by the sudden discomfort, and medical professionals may not be able to pinpoint the condition at first, being forced to rule out other problems before making a diagnosis, often with bone scans, X-rays, blood tests, and more.

For some, CRPS could just be episodic, disappearing after a short amount of time. For others though, this rare condition appears out of the blue and can make life permanently debilitating. Once the challenge of diagnosing CRPS is out of the way, the challenge of treating it follows. In milder cases, over-the-counter pain relievers may suffice—but for others, opioids may be necessary. Medical professionals may also prescribe corticosteroids, anticonvulsants, or nerve-blockers. Physical therapy can be helpful too, along with antidepressants and psychotherapy which may be especially vital for patients with chronic CRPS who are adjusting to ongoing pain and the drastic changes it has caused in their lives.

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.


Angry Drivers Endanger the Lives of Everyone on the Road

Most of us would be hard pressed to say that we have never become irritated while driving. Traffic doesn’t even have to be heavy to hold you up in some cases; in fact, there could be one slow driver—whether they are older, younger, distracted, drunk, or lost—that makes you late for work and gets you in trouble before the day has barely started. A sense of urgency is usually what causes us to become anxious about someone else’s driving, but safety on the road must come before everything else.

Aggressive driving and road rage are the very antithesis of safety, and while such behavior may serve as an (unhealthy) outlet for other daily frustrations, it can also result in serious violence, car and motorcycle accidents, and even death. There are already far too many reasons for accidents to occur on the roads. With over 260 million cars registered in the US and millions of individuals driving back and forth in large cities each day with commutes and other transportation needs, there are more distracted motorists than ever traversing the highways.

While enraged drivers offer their own set of dangers to those traveling, distracted drivers top the list for causing accidents—and this unfortunate modern trend just continues to grow. Unable to look up from their smartphones long enough to perform the vital duty of driving, many drivers today are the cause of injuries and even fatalities. And even worse, all the other classic problems such as reckless driving, impaired driving, and speeding continue to cause harm too.

If you feel like you may have an anger problem, refrain from taking it out on other drivers, and seek professional help as soon as possible. If you encounter an aggressive driver or someone clearly in the throes of road rage, do not engage them by agitating them further or worse—by losing your temper too. If the situation is out of control, contact the authorities; otherwise, do your best to stay out of the way of such motorists without returning ‘fire’ such as swerving, blocking lanes, yelling, gesturing, or honking the horn.

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.


Facial Fractures Commonly Caused by Motorcycle Accidents

As a motorcyclist, you probably enjoy a lot more than just driving back and forth to work every day. Although a faster and more economical commute makes traveling on two wheels enticing, most of the country can be enjoyed by motorcycle—including over 100 scenic byways and other roads that allow for hours of fresh air and breathtaking landscapes. The health benefits abound too, from the amount of mental acuity required during each ride to strength built in the core and legs.

Motorcyclists report feeling a great sense of freedom, traveling unfettered by the protection of a car—as well as feeling camaraderie with other riders out on the roads. The flip side of all the goodness experienced in riding, however, is an ongoing concern for safety. All the features that offer such a sense of freedom in travel can also be a major downfall if safety procedures are not followed or if you are struck by a car or truck.

You may have read some of our previous blogs regarding typical injuries caused by motorcycle crashes, with broken bones—and especially broken legs—being common. Along with serious neck and spinal injuries, and issues like the dreaded road rash, facial fractures are often the unfortunate result of a crash also. The nose, being much more vulnerable, may be broken, with accompanying swelling, pain, and black eyes. The forehead may be fractured too, along with the eye sockets, cheekbone, and/or jaw.

Many facial fractures are mild, but others can be so serious they cause death or significant disfigurement. Damage to the face may also include problems with eyesight or total blindness, as well as impeding talking, breathing, and eating. If you have any question about injury after a traffic accident, seek medical help as soon as possible. Symptoms of a facial fracture may include bruising around the face and eyes, nosebleeds or the nose appearing crooked and out of alignment, numbness or tingling in various areas of the face, broken or chipped teeth or misalignment of the jaw, double vision, and problems with speech or swallowing.

Diagnosis usually includes CT scans or X-rays, and while treatment may involve pain relievers, steroids, or antibiotics, extensive reconstructive surgery could be required too. While it may be difficult to prevent such injuries in the case of a catastrophic crash, wearing a helmet can prevent facial injuries as well as traumatic brain injury.

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.


CRPS: Pain Symptoms May Affect the Entire Body

It is said that good health is true wealth—and that escapes all too many of us until there is a serious issue like complex regional pain syndrome. Adapting to an illness or injury can be extremely challenging, and especially if it is a rare condition that can be both difficult to diagnose and treat. On top of that, when a condition like complex regional pain syndrome appears almost out of nowhere you may be dealing with pain and frustration. Although the causes of Type 1 CRPS are sometimes unknown (while Type 2 usually occurs after noted harm to the nerves), the trauma of a car accident and subsequent injury is a good example of an event that can trigger CRPS later.

The surprise factor in CRPS is not a good one. You may have had a broken arm or leg, or perhaps even just a moderate sprain that was treated and healed with ease—only to develop strange symptoms later that progressed into pain worse than the original injury! The signs of CRPS can be like other autoimmune diseases or inflammatory conditions, and they must be ruled out first. Diagnosis can be time-consuming, which is why medical help should be sought as soon as possible. Early treatment—often consisting of pain relievers (including topical medications), physical therapy, and more—usually means a better outcome for CRPS which can in some cases become progressive and chronic.

Often affecting an arm or leg at first (the one that may have been wounded in a car wreck or motorcycle crash, for instance), CRPS may transform the skin in unusual ways, leaving it tinged with blue or pink discoloration, along with causing extreme sensitivity to the slightest touch or change in temperature. There may be swelling, and the area may become thin and glossy in texture and feel clammy. If you are suffering from long-term CRPS there could be other issues as it spreads throughout the body to include one of the other limbs (or even all of them), the muscles and joints, bones, and immune system. Some patients may also see this condition go into a welcome remission—only to present itself again months later.

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.


Burn Injuries May Be Complex and Require Long-Term Care

Complex and sometimes life-threatening burn injuries may be caused by a wide range of different accidents. While some burns may be catastrophic, many are complex in nature too—as are the healing and treatment processes. Depending on how much of the body is affected by a burn, the victim may be forced to adapt to a much different way of life either temporarily or permanently as their health is suddenly more fragile and there is a constant risk of infection. Suddenly, it may be difficult to move or complete daily tasks.

Burn types are distinguished by degrees, with first-degree burns impacting the skin; in fact, this could even be something as mild as a sunburn. A second-degree burn affects not only the outside layer of the skin but also a portion of the dermis. It is usually accompanied by pain, swelling, and blistering. The third-degree burn is the most severe, and may affect the outer skin, layers of the dermis, bones, muscles, and tendons. The patient may lose all feeling in the burn area, which in comparison to the redness of a first- or second-degree burn may be white in appearance.

Typical causes for burns are as follows:

  • Extreme heat or fire, scalding liquids, steam
  • Radiation
  • Electrical
  • Chemicals

Over 500,000 individuals in the US are treated each year for burns, with tens of thousands requiring hospitalization for further treatment. Children are most commonly seen for burns, and these occurrences are unfortunately—and usually—due to scalding.

Mild burns can usually be treated at home, healing easily. In more serious cases though, patients may require a variety of different medications and dressings for the injuries (plus tetanus shots). Physical therapy may also be required. Third-degree burns may require skin-grafting procedures, as well as plastic surgery.

Sometimes months and even years are required for burns to heal, and beyond that, patients may suffer from severe emotional trauma—made even worse for those who suffer from disfigurement due to their injuries. Antidepressants or antianxiety medication may be required, along with psychotherapy and/or support groups for others suffering from similar conditions. After working with burn specialists, some patients may need to be transferred for care in burn centers or longer term, in nursing homes.

If you have sustained a burn injury 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.


Kids on Bicycles: Be Aware of Distracted Motorists

It’s a sad state of things when kids must overcompensate for negligent drivers who may not see them because they are too busy texting and driving, but as traffic deaths and car accidents continue to increase in the US, that is the reality. The dangers of bicycle riding are starkly juxtaposed with a long list of health benefits as getting out on two wheels in the fresh air offers more than just cardio exercise but also contributes to good bone and muscle growth, and helps prevent obesity, risk of diabetes, and so much more. And while we don’t want our younger children or other family members to miss out on bike riding, safety issues abound and must be addressed.

Distracted drivers wreak havoc on the roads nationwide each day. Disturbing trends have traveled beyond impaired drivers and those talking on the phone while driving to an intense focus on eliminating texting and driving. Even with all the knowledge and statistics centered around distracted driving though, the temptation seems to outweigh good sense in far too many cases. We all understand how important communication is—and if your child has a phone so they can stay in touch when away from home, you have probably stressed to them that you would like them to return messages as soon as possible so that you know everything is okay. If you are parenting teenagers, communication can be challenging, and they may not return your texts or calls; however, it is vital that they all realize the need to put the phone away when traveling.

Along with educating kids on distracted drivers and how to be defensive on the roads, make sure they are practicing the following safety measures also:

  • Protective gear – according to Florida law, helmets are a must (“A bicycle rider or passenger who is under 16 years of age must wear a bicycle helmet that is properly fitted and is fastened securely upon the passenger’s head by a strap and that meets the federal safety standard for bicycle helmets.”), and other safeguards such as elbow and kneepads are highly recommended.
  • Visibility – while everyone traveling on two wheels or by foot should make themselves as visible as possible, children are the most vulnerable of all due to their size and inexperience. Make sure your child is wearing bright clothing, as well as a brightly colored helmet. Neon strips are helpful and can be attached to the shoes and bike also.
  • Comprehension of road signs and rules – keeping in mind that younger bicyclists are not yet driving and may not understand how traffic works, educating them on traffic rules is vital to their safety, as well as that of others.
  • Bicycle maintenance – make sure tires are in good shape and that everything on the bike is in good working order from the chain to the lights, horn or bell, and more.

If you or a loved one have 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.


Careless Driving Continues to Be a Health Hazard

With record numbers of drivers licensed in the US today, most of us are hard pressed to find quiet roads to travel on; in fact, if you live in a bigger city, there could be millions commuting back and forth daily—with you joining them. Driving is a part of life for most adults, unless you are lucky enough to move to a tiny (and enviable!) community where you can walk and bike everywhere—or perhaps you have mastered the public transportation system, or prefer to Uber it most places. No matter what though, chances are you are in moving traffic each day.

Due to such repetition, driving can indeed become a rote activity. The temptation is there for many to become distracted as they worry about multi-tasking. What’s happened with that big work project? Where are the kids and what are they doing right now? Should we go out for dinner tonight or call in for pizza? Our time in traffic often allows for pensiveness—and that can lead many drivers to become engaged in intense communication not appropriate for the driving process.

Distracted drivers not only cause a multitude of car accidents daily but take thousands of lives each year. Even with countless campaigns against such activity like texting and driving (and the fact that it is illegal in Florida and most other states), not to mention cell phone use, the problem continues to grow—accompanied by a host of the same old issues too: speeding, driving under the influence, and other reckless behaviors. Recent news explains that even after adjusting statistics regarding accidents for increased numbers of vehicles on the road, crashes are continuing to increase.

Careless driving behavior has increased by staggering numbers:

  • Improper lane usage – increased by 50 percent.
  • Improper passing – increased by 47 percent.
  • Colliding with other cars traveling in same direction – increased by 40 percent.
  • Disregarding traffic signs and signals – increased by 34 percent.

“It’s an epidemic, frankly,” said Keyna Cory, coordinator for the Florida Don’t Text and Drive Coalition. Cory has no doubt that the sharp rise in accidents is the result of texting and cellphone use.

“As you drive down the road in South Florida, they’re driving in somebody else’s lane,” she said. “We all know young people do it, but I’m now seeing older people doing it as well.”

Just one wrong move by a negligent driver can cause fatalities, or catastrophic harm to include traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries, broken bones, and much more—not to mention psychological trauma.

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.


Dystonia May Develop in Connection with CRPS

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a condition fraught with uncertainty for many—especially at the beginning. Rare in that it only affects around 200,000 individuals in the US (who have reported it—there could be many others unknown) and is difficult to diagnose and sometimes to treat, CRPS can present itself with a wide range of symptoms from mild to severe. And whether a patient has Type 1 (caused by another injury that may have already healed) or Type 2 (marked by a known nerve injury), as you can probably construe from the name, pain is one of the most common issues, ranging from moderate to overwhelming pain that is treated with everything from over-the-counter pain relievers to opioids, and more, including a variety of different physical therapies.

Early Treatment of CRPS Can Lead to Better Outcome

Early diagnosis can be critical in treating CRPS which often shows initial symptoms related to skin which may be increasingly sensitive or even feel as if it is burning. The skin temperature may be cold or clammy, and there may be a blue or pinkish tinge along with a glossy texture on the affected limb. If the condition continues to evolve, serious muscular problems may arise, and the patient may be tempted to stop using an arm or hand or even be fearful of walking if one or both legs or feet are affected. While that is understandable, limiting the use of arms or legs could lead to atrophy and further complications for those suffering from CRPS.

Dystonia is a Common Symptom of CRPS

As muscles in the affected limb atrophy, other conditions may occur too, such as dystonia—marked by spasms and involuntary twisting, usually in a single area like the hand or foot, or fingers or toes of the affected limb; according to the Mayo Clinic. Dystonia can also affect many other areas of the body too such as the neck, causing it to be pulled in an awkward position. While in CRPS usually only the extremities are impacted, the condition has also been known to affect the jaw and tongue, and in some cases even the eyelids.

Dystonia May Affect Multiple Limbs

Research has shown that dystonia affects the majority of CRPS patients suffering from movement disorders—and that it also tends to present itself in patients who develop CRPS at a younger age. Such patients may also be vulnerable to experiencing dystonia in other limbs. Trauma such as a car accident injury is often to blame for CRPS, leading to sprains or fractures (or even more extreme issues like amputations) that may heal without major concern—only to see this rare condition occur later, prompting a surprising and even debilitating amount of pain. CRPS can be chronic and long-term, and medical treatment should be sought as soon as you begin to experience possible symptoms.

Contact Us for Help

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.


Beauty Salons May Cause Health Hazards

After a busy week, you may be looking very forward to a special day at a local salon. For many of us, this is a rare occasion, and it means spending some extra hard-earned cash (and time off) to get pampered. While you may be getting a facial, massage, or a mani-pedi, much of the salon’s offerings are probably centered around hair—whether styling it, cutting it, or removing it.

Most of us have experienced a few bad haircuts so far (in fact, some may even have prompted tears), as well as some eyebrow waxing that has gone askew, but many consumers are completely naïve about the dangers that can lurk in any salon. You may be tempted to walk in to an unknown business to have your nails painted for an important occasion or get ‘the works’ done, but in the process, you could unknowingly be risking your health. Always get references before visiting a new salon and check their credentials as far as licensing and any required sanitation grades.

Here are hazards you should watch out for:

  • Waxing – because heat and yes, wax, are involved, there are far too many chances for something to go wrong besides just a lopsided eyebrow. Injury can be caused if wax enters the eyes, or if chemicals used to anesthetize the area drip into the eyes. Burns are one of the most frequent causes of injury though.
  • Infection – unfortunately, there is a wide risk for infection whether you are having your nails done, different parts of your body waxed, hair trimmed, or other services. Tools should always be properly sterilized, and you should be extremely careful about having services performed if you have any open sores or cuts.
  • Injury – while slipping and falling is a concern after a pedicure, especially, other injuries such as neck or back injuries while leaning to have the hair cleansed or conditioned are common.
  • Chemical burns – injury may occur while you are having your hair colored, bleached, straightened, or ‘relaxed.’
  • Laser burns – such treatments used to remove hair are another common culprit for burns.

Seek medical help as soon as possible if you have been injured or you suspect a bacterial infection—especially at the site of a toenail or fingernail.

If you have been harmed due to negligence in a beauty salon, please call Heintz & Becker today to consult with skilled injury 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.

 


What Is Bad Faith Insurance?

As a policyholder, you pay insurance premiums expecting that your insurance company will come through when you need them.

But sometimes, that doesn’t happen. Sometimes insurance companies do this intentionally. They create a contract without a way to fulfill it or the intent to do so.

That’s called bad-faith insurance or insurance in bad faith.

How to identify bad faith insurance

Often times with bad faith insurance, an insurer will delay the investigation of a policyholder’s claim without fully revealing the reasoning of their motives.

As a result, by not honoring the conditions of an insurance policy, the insurer is acting in bad faith.

Some of the indications that an insurer is acting in bad faith may be when there is a:

  • Refusal to pay a claim without fully investigating it
  • Failure to settle a claim when it is clear who is liable for it
  • Failure to respond to a demand within a specified time limit
  • Failure to either deny or pay a claim within a reasonable time period
  • Failure to convey important information to the claimant
  • Unjustifiably denying a person coverage

Types of Bad Faith Insurance

In Florida, there are two types of bad faith insurance: First-party and Third-party.

First-party and third-party bad faith insurance both cover damages and losses for a person who is insured. However, there are important differences between the two.

The major distinctions are:

  • First-party insurance bad faith claims involve an insurer’s refusal to pay a claim without proper investigation.
  • Third-party insurance bad faith claims involve liability insurance.

The second point of distinction between the two bad faith insurances is the insurance policies themselves. This can be another important detail in determining how your insurance policy may have been mishandled or misinterpreted by an insurance company.

First-party insurance claims cover:

  • Bonds and sureties
  • Causalities resulting from property damage after fires or natural disasters
  • Disability, health, and life insurance
  • Title insurance

On the other hand, third-party bad faith insurance coverage covers:

  • Directors and officer’s liability
  • Employment practices liability
  • General liability
  • Professional liability
  • Workers compensation

What to do if your policy is affected

If your insurance company is acting in bad faith, it’s important to know what your options are. Legal action against the insurance company that denied your claim is one option.

There are laws and Florida statutes protecting you from wrongful termination of your insurance claim. As a policyholder, there are also several methods to consider if your insurance policy may have been done in bad faith.

It is advised that you look for evidence in support of your argument – that the insurance company denied your claim – without a prompt reason or proper explanation. Insurance companies are obligated to inform you why they did not cover your entire claim.

 Who to contact if your claim is in bad faith

Before taking any action with your bad faith insurance claim, it is important to have attorneys who can represent you during every step of the process.

If you suspect that your insurance policy may be acting in bad faith, it is important to contact attorneys who can help you get the compensation that you deserve.

The bad faith attorneys at Heintz and Becker can help you if you believe that your insurance was in bad faith.

If you believe your insurance is acting in bad faith, contact us online or call us at (941) 748-2916 to schedule a free consultation.