Elk Grove's Speed Control Program

Elk Grove’s Speed Control Program

Nothing can be as unnerving as careless drivers speeding through my neighborhood in total disregard of the posted 25 MPH speed limit.   What makes this even more scary is the fact that our kids are often traveling by bicycle to the park and walking to and from school on this same street.  Why motorists fail to slow down when children are present is beyond me.  They must not have any kids of their own!

Thankfully, the City of Elk Grove’s Speed Control Program is addressing these types of neighborhood concerns.

To be considered for Elk Grove’s Speed Control Program you start by completing a petition form.   It helps if your neighbors share the same concern because there is strength in numbers here.  Get as many of your neighbors to sign the petition as possible.  Completing and turning in the form is the first step to receiving speed reduction devices on your local neighborhood streets. If you can prove that your street qualifies for such speed reduction measures you may become the lucky recipient of vertical devices that well help to reduce speed on your street. Some of these speed reduction improvements are referred to as “vertical devices”:

  • Speed Hump – 3.5″ high and 12 feet in length with a crossing speed of 15 to 20 mph
  • Speed Lump – Much like a speed hump but also includes two wheel sections that allow fire personnel to pass through without totally slowing down.
  • Speed Table – also know as flat top speed humps, speed platforms, raised crosswalks, or raised crossings. These are about 22 feet in length and provide a more gentle ride for buses than regular speed humps. Fire personnel experience less slowing of their trucks with speed tables.

The examples above are commonly referred to as Traffic Calming Solutions.

In order for your street to qualify for Humps, Lumps or Tables your street should meet the following criteria:

  • A local and residential two-lane street
  • A minimum of 750 feet in between each traffic control device
  • A 25 mph sign must be posted on the street
  • Must be located in or near an area with >75 percent residential, parks, or school frontage
  • 500-2000 cars must pass over this area on average per day
  • Excessive speed of over 35 mph will have to be shown in order to receive vertical devices.

The Fire Department may also have some say in this matter when the installation of vertical devices are on a thoroughfare that they normally use. We do not want to slow our emergency responders down!

If your street qualifies, the next step is to rank the requests. The City of Elk Grove will collect traffic information, speed limit infraction data and also look at the adjacent land use.  Once this study is performed they use it to see which streets have the highest need:

• Average Daily Traffic – 1 point for every car passing over the street being tested
• Traffic Speed – 1 point for each mile over the posted 25 mph speed limit
• Land use: 1 point for each residence or apartment unit near the street being tested
1 point for each 25 feet of apartment fronts
1 point for each 25 feet of school fronts
1 point for every 25 feet of park or playgrounds near the street being tested

If your street does qualify you will be placed in a rank of importance. Some streets are more dangerous than others. If your street does not qualify, you may re-apply in 2 years.

The number of streets that qualify will also be based on available construction funding.

For more information and/or to download a Petition form follow our link to the City of Elk Grove’s Speed Control Program Guidelines.

I’m Ed Smith, an Elk Grove Auto Accident attorney with the most informative and comprehensive accident website, AutoAccident.com.

If you or someone you know has been injured in an automobile accident, please call me at 916-694-0002 for free, friendly advice. If you are outside the Elk Grove/Sacramento area, you can call us at (800) 404-5400.

Before you call, please take the time to check out my reviews on Yelp! and Avvo and Google Plus.

Our firm is a member of Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

 

Elk Grove's Distracted Drivers

Before the Impact comes to Elk Grove

The Elk Grove Police Department joined forces with the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office to bring Before the Impact prevention program to Elk Grove and citizens throughout Sacramento County.

The program focuses on the impact of making unsafe driving decisions, including driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and distracted driving.  The program also focuses on the risk of riding in cars with unsafe drivers.  Many times, a passenger’s injuries are greater than that of the distracted or impaired driver.

During a 90-minute presentation, middle and high school students in Elk Grove get a close-up look at what happens before and after a collision. These presentations include dramatic photos, victim’s clothing, and even the actual vehicle of a crash is brought in to show the devastation.  This is proving to be a powerful teaching tool.

Before the Impact is also being presented to clubs and organizations throughout Elk Grove and Sacramento county.

Before the Impact is made possible by grant funding from the California Office of Traffic Safety via the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office. This funding included an allocation for one full-time Elk Grove Community Services Officer (salary and benefits). This officer is responsible for delivering the program.  Her contact information is listed below.

Deadly auto accidents are responsible for taking more lives than any other cause for those 34 years of age and under.  Teens are at the highest risk for losing their lives in distracted driving or impaired driving accidents.  Distracted driving is anything that takes the driver’s attention away from the road.  We’ve all seen it many times and some of us have even engaged in it ourselves. Distracted driving includes talking on your cell phone, texting, watching a video or taking photos while operating your motor vehicle.  Other driving distractions include talking or fussing with your children, grabbing for items in the car, eating, playing with the radio, ad infinitum.

We hear in the news on a regular basis how auto accidents are being caused by distracted or impaired drivers.  These inconsiderate individuals are taking the lives of our innocent an unsuspecting loved ones and friends.  Why do people get behind the wheel of a car that weighs nearly 4,000 lbs and decide it’s perfectly acceptable to text while driving or do any of the other negligent actions mentioned above?  Are we in that much of a hurried lifestyle that we cannot focus on the task at hand — driving from Point A to Point B safely?

For more information about Before the Impact comes to Elk Grove contact:  Misty Dailey, Community Services Officer at MDailey@elkgrovepd.org.  Telephone:  (916) 862-0597.  You may also contact Officer Christopher Trim, Elk Grove Police Department Public Information Officer at (916) 627-3709.

I’m Ed Smith, an Elk Grove Auto Accident Lawyer.  If you or someone you love has been injured or killed by the negligent act of another, please call me at (916) 694-0002 for free, friendly advice.  If you are outside the Elk Grove/Sacramento area, you can call us at (800) 404-5400.

Check out our Texting While Driving page!

Be sure to see what our valued customers have to say about working with our office.  Follow these links to read our reviews: Yelp, Avvo, Google Plus and Facebook.

I am a member of the Million Dollar Forum.  An association of National personal injury lawyers who have multiple Million Dollar Verdicts and settlements.

Eye Trauma
While the eyes are relatively protected by the bones of the face and the placement of the nose, eye injuries can still happen following a motor vehicle accident, altercation, sports injury or industrial injury.

Injury can happen to the bones around the eye itself, to the orbit (the actual eye), or both. Damage to the eye can result in double vision or loss of vision even if the correct treatment is given. In some cases, eye injuries can be prevented (such as in industrial conditions), while other times, such as in motor vehicle accidents or falls, injury to the eye is unavoidable and must be treated.

A Sacramento eye accident lawyer can be helpful in these cases.
The most common injury to the eye is an irritation to the outer surface of the eye from a foreign body or scratch. If a foreign body comes in contact with the eye, it can simply scratch the eye or it can become embedded into the eye itself. Metal foreign bodies are particularly dangerous when they scratch the cornea because parts of the metal can leach onto the corneal tissue, causing corneal ulcers and loss of vision. Foreign bodies can go deep into the eye, resulting in an injury that damages the globe of the eye. The eye will become sunken and deflated by the hole created by the foreign body.
The eye can be injured by excessive heat or chemicals that burn the eye. This causes you to close the eye, trapping whatever is irritating the eye and causing further damage. If you are ever exposed to a chemical in the eye, the eye should be immediately flushed with cool water so as to remove as much of the chemical in the eye as possible.
Recognizing an Eye Injury
Eye injuries can be incredibly subtle so that the eye looks normal but a serious injury has occurred. If there is any evidence of an eye injury, an eye doctor or ophthalmologist should be contacted in order to examine the eye with a microscope or other device. You should suspect an eye injury if you find the following signs or symptoms:
• Pain in the eye
• Difficulties with vision
• A laceration of the eyelid
• A lack of movement of the eye
• One eye protrudes more than the other
• The pupil size and shape are not normal
• There is blood in the iris of the eye that obstructs vision
• There is blood in the white part of the eye
• There is a foreign body sensation in the eye
First Aid for Eye Injuries
If an object is stuck in the eye, do not remove it and seek emergency medical attention. Don’t put any drops or ointment into the injured eye unless prescribed by a doctor. An ophthalmologist is the person to see in case of an eye injury although the first person you will likely see is an emergency room physician.

 

If you have access to a shield, put it over the eye or tape a paper cup over the eye to shield it until medical attention has been received. Never rub or put pressure on an injured eye and don’t take any blood-thinning drugs for the pain, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen as this can worsen bleeding within the eye.
If you think a small foreign body is under the lid, gently lift the lid and irrigate the eye with cool water until the foreign body sensation is gone. Scratches of the cornea of the eye can feel exactly like a foreign body in the eye so don’t be surprised when flushing out the “foreign body” does not cure the symptoms. Any chemicals in the eye should be flushed out with large amounts of cool, clean water.
If you have received a blow to the eye in a motor vehicle accident or other injury, you can gently put a cold compress over the eye while seeking medical attention. This can cut down on pain and swelling of the affected eye. Even mild blows to the eye can be serious and can ultimately affect the vision so seek medical attention, even for mild blows to the eye.
Symptoms of an Eye Injury
The type of symptoms you have with regard to an eye injury depends on what kind of injury you receive. Signs and symptoms of an eye injury that needs medical attention include the following:
• Any kind of bleeding in or around the eye
• Blurry vision
• Dark spots in your vision
• Double vision
• Flashes of light in your vision
• Eye pain—of the globe of the eye or just to the surface of the eye
• Floaters in the field of vision
• Excessive tearing of the eye
• Any type of loss of vision
• Foreign body sensation in the eye
• Obvious deflation of the globe of the eye
Diagnosis of an Eye Injury
The ophthalmologist or emergency medicine doctor will need to examine the eye after taking a careful injury as to what happened to the eye. The outer part of the eye will be examined. The doctor will look for step-offs of the bony orbital area, indicating a fracture of the orbital ridge. Double vision while looking up can mean that the inferior orbital ridge has been fractured and entrapment of the muscle that raises the eye has occurred. This needs to be treated with surgery.
The surface of the eye can be seen under a special microscope using fluorescein to light up areas where scratches or foreign bodies are located. Sometimes these scratches or foreign bodies can be seen with the naked eye using a special black light that illuminates the areas that take up the fluorescein dye.
The eye is then dilated so the doctor can look with an ophthalmoscope to see if there is damage to the inside structures of the eye. The doctor will look for damage to the retina or bleeding within the eye itself. Hyphemas, which involve bleeding behind the cornea, can obstruct vision and are seen under the microscope. These can permanently affect vision and must be treated by resting the eye to stop bleeding, allowing the inflammatory cells of the body to get rid of the blood cells that have collected inside the eye.
Treatment of an Eye Injury
Most eye injuries will heal on their own, especially if they involve scratches or lacerations of the surface of the eye. Antibiotic eye drops are used to prevent infection while the eye is repairing itself. Foreign bodies that have metal in them need to be lifted out of the cornea of the eye and all metal leached onto the cornea must be removed.
Foreign bodies that have penetrated the globe need to be removed in sterile conditions in the operating room. In many cases, the eye will heal itself if allowed to seal over and build back any of the fluid inside the eye. In such cases, rest and protection of the eye are all that is necessary.
Lacerations of the eyelids need surgical correction, especially if the delicate cartilage of the eye has been disrupted. If the laceration extends to the eye itself, the lid must be carefully repaired so as to prevent any further disfigurement of the eyelid.
Bruising of the delicate tissue around the eye is common with an eye injury. This can be treated using cold packs, rest, and the avoidance of any type of blood thinning medication.
If the orbital ridge has been fractured and the muscle, nerve, or blood vessel has become entrapped in the fracture pieces, surgery must be done to repair the fracture and get the entrapped parts of the orbit back into proper position.
Complications of an Eye Injury
Most eye injuries are uncomplicated and normal vision returns in a few days. If there is damage to the lens of the eye or to the retina, permanent vision loss may be expected. Fractures of the orbital ridge, also called a blowout fracture, will heal as long as there is nothing entrapped inside the fracture. Rest and cold compresses to the eye will help heal many eye injuries.

 

 

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury lawyer who has handled many eye trauma cases. Our office is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Call  me anytime for free, friendly advice at 916-921-6400.

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Loss of smell from a TBI (Traumatic burn injury) is estimated to occur in 25 % of all brain injuries but is often overlooked.

People may first notice that foods taste differently as food taste is directly related to the sense of smell. Loss of smell is

called anosmia. It may be total or partial.

If the sense of smell is lost after trauma and is not regained after six months, most of the time the loss is permanent.

There is no really  effective treatment for loss of smell although some options are discussed in the above video.

 

 

 

Another good video discussing anosmia from brain injury is the one here.

Loss of smell can result from a head injury (the frontotemporal region), from craniofacial trauma or damage to the nasal

passageways. It can also result from a shearing injury to the olfactory passageway.

There are smell centers which try cutting edge methods to restore smell, but the results from these centers are mixed.

Some people wonder if there is such a thing as “blind smell”, that is, do smells still have effects, for example, does lavender still calm, even though the percipient cannot consciously smell it. To date, there is no clear answer to such questions.

Stay Tuned.

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Brain Injury Lawyer. My Website, www.AutoAccident.com has one of the most comprehensive

discussions of brain injury on the web here.

If you or a family member need help on a Traumatic brain injury call me anytime at 916-921-6400 in Sacramento or 800-404-5400 Elsewhere. Our firm is a member of Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Brain Injury Association of California..

See our reviews on Yelp, Google Plus and Avvo.

 

Damage to the jaw and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) frequently occurs  in motorcycle accidents, whether or not a helmet is worn.

As a Sacramento motorcycle accident attorney, I see many Jaw injuries from motorcycle accidents.

TMJ stands for “temporomandibular joint” and is the joint that allows you to chew, talk, and open and close your mouth. It is a ball and socket joint, where the ball is at either end of the mandible and the socket is an indentation in the temporal bone. The TMJ is located just in front of each ear.

The symptoms of jaw and TMJ injury are about the same, regardless of the actual cause of the problem. Ultimately the symptoms are due to an imbalance in the action of the left anAmazon MotorNEWd right TMJ.

Typical symptoms of jaw injury include:
• Spasm of the jaw so the jaw has a difficult time opening and closing the jaw.

• Headaches are very common and occur in 80 percent of patients with TMJ disease. A total of 40 percent of people share facial pain. The headache is worse when the patient opens and closes the jaw. Facial pain and headache tend to get worse when the patient is exposed to a cold breeze or air conditioning.

• Ear pain occurs in about fifty percent of patients with TMJ disorder and they often mistake it as an ear infection. The ear pain is usually described as being in front of and slightly beneath the ear. Because it is so common to have ear pain with TMJ disorder, it is not uncommon to have an ear doctor make the correct diagnosis of a joint disorder instead of an ear problem.

• People can hear sounds when moving the joint. There can be crunching, grinding, popping, or clicking sounds otherwise known as crepitus. The sounds can be associated with an increase in pain or can be painless.

• Dizziness is also a common problem. It occurs in about 40 percent of people with TMJ disorder. It’s usually a vague sense of being out of balance and usually doesn’t represent vertigo. No one knows exactly why this type of dizziness occurs.

• Fullness of the ear is seen in 33 percent of cases. Patients describe the symptom as feeling like the ear is full, clogged or muffled. It is more noticeable when flying a commercial airliner that is ascending or descending. It is caused by dysfunction or hyperactivity of the Eustachian tube which is located near the TMJ.

• Ringing in the ear is seen in about 33 percent of cases. No one knows exactly why this occurs. Of the people who have ringing in the ear or tinnitus, half will have their problem resolved when the TMJ is treated.

Jaw injuries often happen when the disk erodes from direct or indirect trauma to the joint.

Diagnosis of a Jaw Injury
The diagnosis of a TMJ or jaw injury (assuming no fracture) can be difficult. Patients have symptoms that at first appear to be related to the head, the ear or the mouth. Symptoms can be vague.

There are a couple different types of x-rays that can be done to assess the function and appearance of the temporomandibular joint. Full face x-rays show the teeth and the TMJ along with the rest of the facial bones. A Panorex or panoramic view x-ray can be taken if the hospital or dentist’s office has the equipment to take one. This gives a single shot of all the teeth, the mandible and the temporomandibular joints. In other cases, an MRI or CT scan can show the detail of the TMJs. The MRI scan gets the best view of the soft tissue around the joint, while the CT scan gives the best view of the bony aspects of the joints.

Depending on the results of the exam and testing, you may be referred to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon for further evaluation and management of your disease. These are specialists in the face, jaw and mouth area.

Treatment

There are several home remedies for relatively minor jaw and TMJ injuries. These include:

• Taking anti-inflammatory medications such as Aleve (naproxen) or Advil/Motrin (ibuprofen). You can also take Tylenol or acetaminophen for pain, although this is not an anti-inflammatory medication.
• Consuming a diet consisting of soft foods.
• Placing warm compresses on the TMJ joint.
• Doing exercises that include opening and closing the jaw from side to side following the application of warm compresses. This should be tried 4-5 times per day for two to four weeks.
• You can gently massage the TMJ and surrounding area.

If under a doctor’s care, you may be asked to rest the jaw and do many of the above home remedies to see if this will relieve the pain and inflammation of the TMJ. Avoid chewing gum, eating chewy foods, or eating hard candy or nuts. Don’t widely open your mouth. You will be taught how to do gentle exercises that stretch and relax the muscles, and you may be taught stress-relieving techniques.

The doctor may place a mouth splint or bite plate in your mouth. You put it over your lower jaw and it prevents grinding and clenching of the teeth if worn during the nighttime hours. This automatically eases muscle tension in the jaw area. If the splint worsens the pain, see your doctor about stopping its use.

There are many conservative measures you can use for TMJ disorder and most of them are successful. If they are not successful, more invasive techniques are possible. For example, there is a procedure that can be done in the doctor’s office using local anesthesia. It involves washing out the TMJ with two needles. One needle contains a syringe with cleaning solution and the other allows the fluid to exit. This cleans out the TMJ and gives many patients at least some temporary relief. Sometimes, pain medication is introduced into the joint space to provide temporary total relief.

Cortisone can be injected into the joint space, resulting in a prolonged period where inflammation is suppressed.

Surgery for TMJ disorder should be reserved for only the most severe cases as the results of the surgery are often irreversible. If a patient has had a fracture to the condyle, surgery can be done to make sure the condyle is in its proper position.

Arthroscopy is another invasive procedure that is done. Tiny cameras are introduced into the joint and the joint is cleaned out and shaved smooth so that no irregularities can be found inside the joint surfaces.

Arthroplasty is an open procedure in which the joint is exposed, the disc repositioned and the cartilage is cleaned. Finally, a total joint replacement can be done in which the natural condyle is replaced with an artificial one. An artificial socket can also be put in.

It is important to recognize that open and invasive joint surgeries to the jaw and TMJ do not have a great success rate so that they should be used only in those situations where the joint damage is severe and there is a better than average chance that the surgery will improve the pain. While it is natural to want to do everything you can to ease the pain, it is important to recognize that surgery may not be the answer to what you’re looking for. Stay informed about the pros and cons of having invasive surgery so that you know you’re getting into something that will ease your discomfort.

Complications
If you fracture your TMJ bones, these can heal poorly and can lead to chronic pain in the face and head, along with the other symptoms associated with TMJ disorder. Other complications can be osteoarthritis of the TMJ or chronic pain when opening and closing the jaw.

It should be noted that there are a fair number of complications of surgery itself, besides the usual nerve damage, bleeding and infection. The pain can be considerably worse after surgery and there can be an increase in the popping sounds heard before the surgery.

One complication of chronic TMJ disorder is the tendency to spontaneously dislocate the jaw. The jaw often needs to be treated in the emergency room by a doctor trained in relocating dislocated jaws.

I’m Ed Smith. I’ve has been practicing personal injury law and specializing in motorcycle accident cases for thirty years. Call me anytime at 916-921-6400.

I am a member of Million Dollar Forum, an association of National personal injury lawyers who have multiple Million Dollar Verdicts and settlements.

I invite you to see what others say about their experience with our office on YelpAvvo and Google Plus.

 

Injuries to the genitals are an unfortunate, and all too common occurrence in motorcycle accidents.

As a Sacramento Motorcycle accident attorney, I see these injuries frequently.

Genitourinary System Trauma
About 3-10 percent of all trauma patients have injuries involving the genitourinary tract. If the main trauma is the abdomen, 10-15 percent of the time there is trauma to the GU area. Urethral injuries make up 10 percent of GU injuries while the bladder makes up 40 percent.
Generally, genitourinary trauma is not fatal but it is associated with other fatal injuries, such as pelvic fractures. Urethral trauma usually occurs in men and is seen in the 15-25 year age group.

What is Genitourinary System Trauma?

The lower genitourinary tract includes the urinary bladder, urethra and the external genitalia. The upper urinary tract is made up of the kidney and ureters. Trlanesplitauma can happen to any one of these areas.

Trauma to these areas includes laceration or crush injury to the kidneys, penetrating injury to the kidneys, laceration of the ureter, bladder rupture, urethral tear and damage to the external genitalia. Both blunt and penetrating trauma can be involved.

It is vitally important to identify blunt and penetrating injuries of the genitourinary tract as early as possible so as not to avoid secondary complications of urinary incontinence and dysfunction of sexual activity. Prompt identification of injury depends on a careful physical examination, noting bruising, blood in the urine, and swelling or deformity of the genitals.

If the injury is a shattering of the kidney or a laceration of the renal vasculature, the injury could be life-threatening. If not, these injuries are rarely fatal unless associated with other abdominal or pelvic injuries.

Eighty percent of injuries to the genitourinary tract occur secondary to blunt trauma. Most are secondary to motor vehicle accidents, falls from a great height and direct hits to the external genitalia or abdomen. Direct injuries to the female genitalia are most often related to fractures of the pelvis.

Other mechanisms of injury for genitourinary tract injuries include rape, penetrating injuries to the female genitalia or even consensual sex. If an isolated blunt trauma injury occurs just to the vulvar area, there should be screening for interpersonal violence. In men, testicular injuries result from blunt force injury about 85 percent of the time. Injuries from this include rupture of the testicle, hematoma, torsion and displacement of the testes. Penis fractures are uncommon but result from an acute rupture of the tunica albuginea and a secondary urethral injury about 20 percent of the time.

Urethral injuries happen in only about 5 percent of women get a urethral injury along with their pelvic fracture, while men get urethral injuries 25 percent of the time with pelvic injury. Blunt trauma is the most common cause of bladder injury in both males and females.

Bladder trauma is almost always blunt trauma. Eighty-five percent are associated with a fracture of the pelvis. The rest are due to penetrating injuries and those blunt traumas not associated with a pelvic injury such as a full bladder blowout.

There can be posterior urethral injuries that are most commonly due to pelvic fractures and injuries to the anterior urethra, which are secondary to straddle injuries like injuries on bicycles and injuries on skateboards.

Injuries to the external genitalia of the male as an isolated event can be due to sexual-pleasure enhancing devices, continence-enhancing devices, blunt trauma or penetrating trauma.

Signs and Symptoms of Genitourinary Trauma

Depending on the site and nature of the injury, there can be many different signs and symptoms of genitourinary trauma:
• Flank pain in kidney trauma
• Blood in the urine
• Inability to void in bladder rupture
• Deformity of the penis
• Deformity of the scrotum
• Swelling or bruising of the scrotum
• Vaginal bleeding
• Vulvar bruising or swelling
• Pelvic pain

Causes of Genitourinary Trauma
Genitourinary trauma is divided into blunt trauma and penetrating trauma. The causes of these injuries include:
• Motor vehicle injuries
• Fall from a great height
• Motorcycle accident
• ATV accident
• Knife wound
• Sex-enhancing devices
• Bicycle injury to the vulva or scrotum
• Head-on collision with a full bladder

Diagnosis of Urinary Tract Trauma

If there is any possibility of a urethral rupture, consult with a urologist before inserting a urinary catheter. Check for blood in the urine by whatever means possible, which can mean trauma anywhere from the urethra on up to the kidneys. Palpate the flank area for evidence of pain and inspect for swelling and bruising. Evaluate the external genitalia for evidence of deformity, swelling, bleeding or bruising.

A plain film x-ray may be able to show a deformity of the kidney, although a CT or MRI scan of the abdomen would be better tests to outline the structure of the kidneys and to detect areas where urine is pooling outside of the genitourinary tract.

Treatment of Genitourinary Tract Injuries

Genitourinary tract injuries can be complicated and the treatment can be difficult. There is short term treatment followed by definitive treatment.

Short term management includes:
• Placing a urethral catheter carefully.
• Using a suprapubic catheter inserted directly into the bladder to drain urine if the urethra is not patent.
• Nephrostomy tube placement involves putting a tube directly into the kidney to drain the kidneys directly.
• Ureteral stent placement to connect the bladder to the kidney if the ureter is crushed or lacerated.

In kidney injuries, the treatment depends on the presence of other injuries and the severity of the kidney injury. Eighty five percent of injuries to the kidneys are minor blunt trauma injuries that can be treated with watchful waiting. Rest and good hydration will minimize the bleeding and eventually the injury will heal.
Penetrating injuries to the kidney often require surgery due to severe bleeding. The bowel and liver may be involved as well. Surgery can be used as an exploratory surgery, fixing different aspects of the injury. If the injury is too severe, the kidney may need to be removed.
Ureteral injuries are uncommon and are often due to a gunshot wound or to an iatrogenic injury. If the urethra is completely disrupted, surgery is required to sew the ends of the ureter together.

In partial injuries, a ureteral stent can be placed to keep urine flowing to the bladder from the kidneys. Some ureteral stents are meant to be permanent in order to bypass a blockage.
Bladder injuries can be blunt trauma or penetrating trauma. In a contusion injury, the bladder is just bruised and does not rupture. These can be managed with simple ureteral catheterization. When the urine is cleared, the catheter can be taken out. In cases of extraperitoneal rupture, a catheter alone will be all that is necessary, with the expectation that the patient heals within about ten days. In an intraperitoneal rupture, surgery is needed to prevent the urine from leaking into the abdomen. The tear is simply closed shut in surgery. In penetrating injuries, holes in the bladder are sewn together and surrounding organs are repaired at the same time. A catheter is placed in the bladder until there is no blood in the bladder.
Urethral injuries can be hard to heal and usually come up in the case of men. Sometimes surgery is done on an emergent basis after a catheter is placed in the bladder to allow for proper bladder drainage.

The penis can be endangered through penetrating trauma or through things like penile fractures. Penile fractures can happen in sexual intercourse. These injuries are surgically repaired. Some men are into using penile rings at the base of the penis with the possibility of a constricting injury of the penis and urethra. It can cause gangrene of the penis which needs repair by using skin grafting.

Testicular injuries are usually blunt force traumatic injuries. A testicular ultrasound can detect

I’m Ed Smith. I’ve has been practicing personal injury law and specializing in motorcycle accidents cases for thirty years. Call me anytime at 916-921-6400.

I am a member of Million Dollar Forum, an association of national personal injury lawyers who have multiple Million Dollar Verdicts and settlements.

See what others say about their experience with our office on YelpAvvo and Google Plus.

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Severe injury to the neck may require a surgical intervention called cervical spinal fusion.  This surgery joins damaged vertebrae in the cervical spine.  How this surgery is accomplished depends on your particular injury and the surgeon.  The cervical spinal fusion may entail one or a more of the following scenarios:

  • Removal of a an entire cervical vertebrae and then fusing the spine
  • Removal of a singular disc with fusion to the adjoining vertebrae
  • Insertion of metal plates that screw into the bones and joins together two neighboring vertebraes
  • Insertion of metal implants to hold two adjacent vertebrae until new bone growth occurs connecting them
  • Bone graft – bone can be removed from your body, bone graft may be obtained from a bone bank, or a bone graft substitute may be used.  The surgeon uses the bone graft to make a bridge between the damaged cervical vertebraes.  The bone graft stimulates your body to make its own bone growth in the neck which in time would fuse the vertebrae together.

Whatever, scenario you and your surgeon elect to proceed forward with, a cervical spine fusion will require that an incision be made to the front or back of the neck.

Since this surgery occurs at the neck, many patients, particularly females, report dysphagia post cervical spinal fusion. Dysphagia after the surgery can be due to changes to the muscles we use in our neck for swallowing.  After the surgery, a person may need to build up or train the strength and coordination of the muscles used for eating and swallowing.

What is dysphagia?  Put simply, it is difficulty swallowing.  Dysphagia can cause different reactions in different people but can include:

  • Inability to swallow
  • Regurgitation of food
  • Pain while swallowing
  • Heartburn
  • Gagging or coughing while swallowing
  • Persistent bouts of coughing and gagging
  • Persistent desire to clear throat while eating
  • Difficulty chewing
  • GERD – stomach acid flowing into the throat
  • The sensation that food stuck is stuck your chest, at the back of your throat or behind the sternum

If you experience these symptoms post cervical spinal fusion, seek the advice of your  surgeon and/or medical provider.  You will likely be provided with some educational materials to help your body adjust to the changes your nerves and muscles are experiencing when swallowing.  Until your dysphagia is controlled or resolved, you may  be provided with educational materials or be provided with instruction regarding diet modification, swallowing techniques. Exercises to retrain the muscles and nerves that are used to swallow will be provided.  You may be referred to a therapist who can help a person learn swallowing and breathing techniques as well as learn neck posture techniques that aid those with dysphagia.

It is also likely you will be asked to submit to diagnostic testing that may include an x-ray with barium contrast.  The barium solution will help the doctor assess your muscle activity and the health of your esophagus.  This will likely be done to rule out the dysphagia resulting from something other than the recent cervical fusion surgery.    A swallowing study may be done where you swallow foods coated in barium.  Images are taken as the food travels through the mouth and into the throat.  The images obtained helps the physician understand if the issue lies in the mouth muscles or the throat muscles.  An endoscope may also be used – essentially a thin lighted instrument – allowing the physician to see inside your esophagus.  If you have GERD or heartburn associated with the dysphagia, medications may be provided to reduce the build-up of stomach acid.

While dysphagia is unpleasant and can be temporarily downright scary, the benefits of the cervical spine fusion often outweigh the complication of dysphagia.  Someone who is having a spinal fusion at the neck was likely in such severe pain their day to day life was severely impaired.

If you sustained neck injuries that are so severe your obtained a cervical fusion, remember that the medical bills for any additional therapy, medication, education and diagnostic testing needed to recuperate from a complication such as dysphagia should be included as part of your claim against the responsible party.

I’m Ed Smith, of AutoAccident.com, a California personal injury lawyer.  Every year I meet people who undergo surgical interventions to recuperate from their injuries and am familiar with the complications these surgeries can cause my clients.  I’d like to help you recover from the traumatic injuries you sustained following a severe accident.  If your injuries were severe, likely, we will be handling your claim for some time as you recuperate.  You should feel comfortable with the personal injury lawyer and staff employed there.  One way to get an idea of the reputation of lawyer and staff is to do some research.  I encourage people to learn more about my personal injury practice and my staff on Google, Avvo (an attorney rating website), Yelp and from my website directly.

If you have sustained an injury due to the negligence of someone else, please feel free to call this office to discus your potential claim.  I can be reached at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400.

Injured Worker's

A West Sacramento Construction Worker Injured

The injury occurred at a Yolo County water intake facility on July 21, 2015.  The construction site is located at: 18157 County Road 117 in West Sacramento, California.

The man was working 40 or so feet below ground in an enclosed area when a metal object from up above came falling down on him.  The size and weight of the metal object was not available.  The object hit the worker him severe pain.  He had injuries to his back and ribs.

 

Story Originally Reported as a Fall

Construction accidents can be catastrophic as we all know.  This accident was first reported in error as a man falling 40 feet into a hole by a local news agency.  We are so happy to learn that this information was in error.  The man did not fall 40 feet into a hole.  He was already in the hole working 40 feet below ground.  Some details were not readily available.  Like what fell on him and what the object weighed.

The good news is that the West Sacramento construction worker injured was helped quickly.   A crane already in use at the construction site helped speed up the rescue process.  Workers were able to quickly get him out from his location below ground.  This saved a lot of valuable time!

The West Sacramento construction worker injured was transported to UC Davis Medical Center.  The Law Offices of Edward A. Smith wish him a full and speedy recovery.

I’m Ed Smith, a West Sacramento Workers Comp Lawyer and Personal Injury Attorney.  For a free and friendly discussion about your Workers Compensation case please call me at (916) 921-6400 in Sacramento and (800) 404-5400 in surrounding areas.

It is always a good idea to check customer reviews.  Please learn more about us on Avvo, an attorney rating site.  Check my reviews right here:  Google Plus and Yelp.

Workplace Slip-and-Fall Injuries

Have you ever had a slip-and-fall?  I don’t know about you,  but the first thing “I do” when I tumble is try to do it gracefully.  Next order of business is to thrust my hands out in front of me (or in back of me) and try to protect my face or backside.  Basically, I am trying to break my fall rather than break my nose or tailbone.  Once I make contact with solid ground (ouch), I take a look around hoping no one saw what just went down.  Even if my fall was not seen — it probably was felt and heard.   Thump, bump-bump….expletive!

 

Workplace skip-and-fall injuries result in over one million claims being filed for worker’s compensation benefits each year.  This according to the National Safety Council (NSC).

 

Types of Workplace Slip-and-Fall Injuries

Some workplace slip-and-fall injuries are minor while others end up being quite serious.  I’ve personally handled traumatic brain injuries, herniated disks, blown out knees, severe burns, broken bones resulting from slip and fall accidents.

In addition to employer liability, sometimes a third party is also responsible. Occasionally, there will be a defect in the flooring that enables moving forward against a manufacturer, and sometimes a staircase is defectively designed. Third parties can be designers, manufacturer’s, installers and others.

 

Potential Dangers in the Workplace

♦  Slick Floors

♦  Spilled Liquids

♦  Loose cables and cords on the floor

♦  Deteriorating or uneven Floors and Carpet

♦  Staircases or steps broken or with improper lighting

♦  Inadequate lighting

♦  Inadequate signs in place warning of wet floors

OSHA Regulations

Employers are required to follow Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.

For more information about the 4 Stage Process of a Workers’ Compensation Injury click here.

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Workers Comp attorney and would be glad to help with your WC claim. Call me anytime for free, friendly advice at 916-921-6400 or 800-404-5400 outside of Sacramento.

We specialize in on the job injuries and cases where a third party is also a cause of injury or death.

See our reviews on Yelp, Avvo and Google Plus.

I am a member of Million Dollar Forum, an association of National personal injury lawyers who have multiple Million Dollar Verdicts and settlements.

Common  Fractures after a Motor Vehicle Accident

 

Common Fractures occur in Motor vehicle accidents with high-velocity impacts. There can be  fractures to many different bones throughout the body.  Often, fractures can be found from head to toe, depending on where the impact was and where the individual was located in the vehicle.  Those passengers or the driver with an airbag tend to suffer less from head, neck,  and chest fractures but they are still possible, especially if the individual isn’t seat-belted properly.

 

Skull Fractures

 Skull fractures can happen if the automobile is crushed from the top, crushing those within the vehicle. They are also possible if the individual is ejected from the vehicle and lands on their head some distance away from the car.

Skull fractures can involve just about any part of the skull and can be depressed, with bony fragments pushing on the brain tissue.  When there is a documented skull fracture, there is a  likelihood of brain injury .   Rarely do the fractures themselves require surgical intervention unless there is a depressed skull fracture.

Management of the brain injury takes priority over the skull fracture in the vast majority of cases.

 

Spinal Fractures

 Spinal fractures can be present from the base of the skull to the sacral area of the spine.  The biggest danger with spinal fractures is that they can swell and/or dislocate, leading to disruption of the spinal cord, which is normally protected by the various vertebrae of the spine.  When the fracture is in the cervical area and results in damage or transection of the spinal cord, the patient sufferers from quadriplegia, which is paralysis and lack of feeling of every part of their body below the neck and/or shoulders.  Fractures and cord problems at C1 and C2 of the spine can mean the individual has no control over their breathing so they need continual ventilator support. Spinal cord injury is catastrophic.

Fractures of the thoracic spine with transection or other damage to the spinal cord will yield a patient who is paraplegic with paralysis and lack of sensation below the level of the injury.  Bowel and bladder function are disturbed as well.

Fractures of the lumbar spine can yield lesser degrees of paralysis of the legs with bowel and bladder dysfunction in most cases.

 

Facial Fractures

 

Motor vehicle occupants can have fractures of their nose, orbit, cheekbones, midface or mandible.  Midface fractures are particular worrisome not because the fractures themselves are so bad but because midface fractures are harbingers of severe injuries elsewhere in the body.  Most facial fractures require the assistance of a maxillofacial surgeon who can surgically repair the fracture.  Even with good surgical repair, there can be persistent deformities of the face that are life-long.

 

Rib Fractures

Rib fractures are common after a significant motor vehicle accident, even in persons who are seat-belted properly.  Rib fractures that are not displaced are simply painful and do not pose a threat to the victim; however, displaced rib fractures can puncture the lung, leading to a pneumothorax.  If there is a penetrating wound or simply certain kinds of injuries to the lungs, the pneumothorax can be a tension pneumothorax in which the air leaves the lungs into the parietal space but does not exit.  This causes compression of the lungs in the chest cavity that increases with each breath.

 

This can be life threatening if not treated by allowing the air to escape from the parietal space, relieving the compression on the collapsed lung.  Rib fractures do not need any special treatment if there is no collapsed lung.  Pain medications are given in order to allow the person to take deeper breaths and the patient can be taught how to splint the affected area with pillows during coughing.  The greatest risk of a rib fracture besides a pneumothorax is pneumonia from under-breathing and failing to cough well enough to get rid of lung secretions.

 

Upper Extremity Fractures

 People who anticipate a crash and put out their hand or hands to brace themselves can face a variety of upper extremity fractures, depending on where the force of the impact is most felt at.  For example, the force on the outstretched arm can be transmitted to the humerus, leading to a proximal humeral fracture or dislocated shoulder.  These may need surgical intervention or, in older individuals, the arm is simply reduced and kept in a sling until it heals.  The fracture can also happen anywhere along the humerus including the distal humerus in the elbow.  These may need pinning or other surgical intervention.

 

Fractures of the wrist are common when an individual braces themselves for a motor vehicle crash.  These can be treated with closed reduction and casting if they are closed fractures.  Open fractures require IV antibiotics and possible surgery to bring the fracture fragments into proper positioning for healing.  Fractures of any of the fingers or part of the hand are also possible.  These are generally treated using closed reduction and casting or splinting, depending on the location of the fracture.

 

 

Pelvic Fractures

Fractures of the pelvis can happen in a motor vehicle accident, especially if the victim is ejected from the car.  Fractures of the pelvis can be stable and require nothing more than pain control because the fracture fragments are in proper alignment and need only time to heal.  If the fracture is unstable, surgical intervention may be necessary in order to secure the stability of the pelvis to allow for proper healing over a six week period of time.

 

Lower Extremity Fractures

 

An individual in a motor vehicle accident, particularly the driver, may brace themselves with their foot at the time of impact.  This can lead to a variety of lower extremity fractures, depending on the degree of force involved in the collision and the exact positioning of the leg at the time of impact.  Hip fractures are possible if the forces travel from the foot to the pelvic area and the part of the body that gives out and breaks is the proximal femur, or the hip.

 

This can be greatly displaced, depending on the amount of force placed on the fractured area.  Midshaft femur fractures can happen from side crashes and fractures about the knee can happen if the force of the impact lands on the area of the knee.  Knee fractures can involve the distal femur or the proximal tibia and fibula.  These are usually treated by orthopedists in the operating room, particularly if there is a great deal of displacement of the bony fracture.

 

Ankle and foot fractures are also common in motor vehicle accidents.  The ankle can be forcibly crushed, everted or inverted, yielding open or closed lateral malleolar, bimalleolar or trimalleolar fractures.  Simple distal fibular fractures can be treated with casting and limited ambulation.  If the fracture is complex, leaving the ankle unstable, it is treated in the operating room with open repair.  Foot fractures are usually quite stable and can be treated with casting, splinting or the wearing of a firm supportive shoe and crutches with minimal weight bearing until the fracture or fractures heal.

Ed Smith is a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer with the award-winning legal web site, www.Autoaccident.com. Call Ed anytime for free, friendly advice at

916-921-6400 or 800-404-5400. See Our Firm’s Reviews on Yelp, Avvo and Google Plus.

Member of Million Dollar Advocates Forum.