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Articles Posted in Limb Injuries or Loss

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You may be diagnosed with a Baker’s Cyst after a car accident if you experienced trauma to the knee.  This injury can also occur in other types of traumatic falls or collisions.

A Baker’s Cyst  may also be diagnosed as popliteal cyst.

Due to trauma, excess knee joint fluid (also called synovial fluid) can be pushed into the sacs of tissue that exist behind the knee joint.  The joint fluid that builds-up and accumulates in the tissue sac may eventually bulge out.

Catastrophic injuries can cause a huge financial impact on victims and their families. The Law Offices of Edward A. Smith understands that when you have been in an accident resulting in catastrophic injury such as traumatic brain injury, multiple bone fracture, spinal cord injury, limb amputation, burns of a severe nature, or other neurological injuries, that your life gets put on hold including your ability to function in your day-to-day activities, work and take care of your family. Your catastrophic injuries may evolve into permanent disability. This not only puts a heavy financial burden on you but also a tremendous emotional burden on you and your loved ones.

While the skilled Attorneys at our office are working hard on your claim to get you the compensation you deserve, we recognize and understand the immediate need to provide our clients and their families with additional types of help and assistance during your case to help alleviate the financial strain you are suddenly facing. Under certain circumstances when a case has adequate insurance coverage, we are able to provide financial assistance that would not otherwise be available to you.

WHAT TYPE OF FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE CAN OUR OFFICE HELP WITH?

forklift
Forklift accidents are a major cause of workforce injuries, especially in industrial warehouses.  We will examine some of the major causes of forklift-related accidents and injuries and discuss how to prevent them.

Preventing Tip-Overs

A forklift, especially when loaded, can be top-heavy.  An inexperienced or inattentive driver can make a move that results in the heavy vehicle to begin to tip.  When that occurs, many drivers respond with an instinctual reaction to jump from the truck.  This scenario is one of the leading causes of significant forklift-related injuries.  The forklift, which can weigh several tons, or some part of the forklift can land on the driver who has jumped from the truck.  This often results in severe injuries or death.

Support groups have flourished over the years including for limb loss injury victims. Support groups provide many benefits for individuals and have become an integral part of rehabilitation for many people coping with an injury including amputees. Support groups provide vital information about how to cope with a particular illness or injury and provides invaluable emotional support.

Limb loss presents a myriad of physical and emotional challenges for the amputee as well as his or her family and friends.  A support group provides a compassionate setting for members to share what he or she is going through with others in a similar situation. Finding a support group in the area you live is the first step in getting the support you need.  According to the Amputee Coalition of America (ACA) there are approximately 260 support groups for amputees across the United States. Information and a member directory can be found here.

Most members of support groups for amputees are women and medical professionals such as physicians, physical therapists and prosthetists also attend.

Proving Liability

An important factor in any personal injury claim is proving “liability” — showing who caused an injury and how that happened. In some types of claims, proving liability is fairly straightforward. For example, if a motorist is stopped at a red light and is injured when hit from behind by another driver, it’s relatively obvious who caused the injury and how they did it. In other situations, however, this can be much more challenging. Slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall injury claims are often much more difficult situations in which to prove liability and show how a “defective condition” of some sort caused the incident. One difficulty is in understanding how and why the injured person ended up in a situation where the defect caused him or her to slip or trip. This is where the element of human factors in personal injury claims becomes very important.Short_Leg_Walking_Cast

The “Human” Factors in Personal Injury Claims

mudUnless you have been hiding under a rock, you have probably heard of  “mud runs” and obstacle course-style running events – but did you know about the required waiver?

Maybe as a reaction to the digital and sedentary lifestyles of many, a record number of Americans are signing up and participating in events that allow you to climb rope ladders, swim or wade through frigid waters, crawl through mud pits and even run through fire.  Sound exciting?  Sound dangerous?  It can be quite dangerous.  As well organized as these races are, there have been a large number of injuries at these events.

Of course when someone is injured as a result of such an activity, often the injured party looks to pursue financial compensation from the entity responsible for that activity.  In fact, they may think it’s a “no-brainer” that because the injuries occurred during such a dangerous event – one that includes an obstacle course that  may have been poorly planned, supervised or maintained – the organizers would be responsible for the injuries.  However, it isn’t such an open and shut case.  In all recreational events of these types, mud runs or even in a simple 5 kilometer road race without obstacles, participation requires signature of a waiver of liability.

castManaging pain after orthopedic surgery is vitally important to successful rehabilitation and recovery.   Proper pain management after surgery allows the patient to begin movement that will result in the most favorable possible outcome.

In some hospital settings, a multifaceted pain management approach is employed.  Factors such as the patient’s medical history and age are considered by the rehabilitation specialist and that information is used to develop a course of individualized pain management care following orthopedic surgery.

Some of the analgesic options following orthopedic surgery include long- and short-acting narcotic pain medicine, anti-inflammatories and topical analgesics.  Adequate pain relief ensures that the post-op patient can rest comfortably and get the sleep necessary to aid in recovery, as well as participate in meaningful rehabilitative therapy.  The method of measuring pain that is used by nearly every health care facility is the 1-10 pain scale – 1 being minor discomfort to 10 being the worst pain a patient can imagine.  The goal is to get the patient to a low number and again, allow for comfortable rest and therapy to an extent that will be useful in returning to normal activities as quickly as possible.

Dune buggy accidents are not an everyday occurrence primarily because few people ride them. However, among those that do, accidents are fairly common.

The dune buggy usually travels at a great speed over rough terrain. Therefore, rollovers or loss of control of the vehicle are common events that lead to serious injuries, including amputations.Research indicates that the dune buggy can cause severe injuries requiring the amputation of upper extremities, hands, lower extremities or feet.

Below are recent headlines from U.S. newspapers that highlight the severe injuries that can occur with the use of this type of vehicle.

In 2012, a young couple was killed while at a Cozumel vacation spot touring the area. There were five people on the large dune buggy when it slammed into a metal guardrail, killing the couple. The other riders and the driver, who lost control of the vehicle, were only slightly injured.

Allowing minors to operate a dune buggy has often resulted in tragedy. Another dune buggy injury happened to a girl that was only 11 years old at the time of the accident. After losing control of the vehicle, the young lady fell off. She sustained two broken knees and a broken thumb. Additionally, she had deep gashes in her forehead and body due to the glass breaking on the vehicle. She was airlifted to Yuma, Arizona, where she underwent surgery to both knees and had a thigh high cast for 6 weeks. She was told that she would never walk again. Because she was a soccer player, she was obviously devastated. She underwent physical therapy and rehab for two months. Fortunately, the young lady was able to recover a great deal of her mobility in her lower extremities.

Unfortunately, the girl’s story is not uncommon. Worse, many victims die or are seriously maimed by this type of accident. In this case, the cost of the medical attention and rehabilitation she received was high. The cost of such bills presents a problem to many victims as not every person has the insurance coverage to pay for such treatment.

Not all dune buggy accidents are single vehicle accidents and this is one example. A young driver of a dune buggy was killed in Nevada. The dune buggy driver, only 19 years of age, was driving on a dirt road when he lost control of his vehicle and slid into the path of an oncoming truck. Reports indicate that the dune buggy was moving at a high speed rate. The impact was severe. Sadly, the young man was pronounced dead at the scene. His passenger was seriously injured and was taken to a Reno Hospital for further evaluation and management. The people in the truck were relatively uninjured.

Some dune buggy injuries are relatively unusual and typical only of dune buggy accidents. An example of an injury specific to this type of recreational vehicle typically occurs to the hand. In most cases it is of the passenger who will instinctively grab the roll bar during a rollover. This results in a crush injury with amputation or avulsion at the level of the metacarpals. The thumb is usually spared but the rest of the fingers are either lost or partially lost. Because of the locale of these rollover accidents, the wounds are often seriously contaminated and there is often a delay of appropriate treatment.

One article indicated that there should be a redesign of the roll bar and better protection of the passenger so that the passenger can’t reach up, grab the roll bar and crush his or her fingers. The U.S. Product Safety Commission has published reminders to help keep the above mentioned type of injuries from occurring.

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Among children, 60 percent of amputations are congenital in nature and 40 percent are acquired due to an injury. Most of these patients require some kind of prosthetic device more so than children who’ve sustained congenital amputations. These acquired amputee children attend specialized child amputee clinics. Acquired amputees are due to trauma most of the time but in a few cases, the limb loss was secondary to disease. The worst offenders are power tools and heavy machinery, followed by automobile accidents, explosions, gunshot wounds and railroad accidents. In the 1-4 age groups, the most common causes of amputation are lawnmowers and household accidents.

Of diseases causing amputation, the most common cause is malignancies, vascular malformations and neurogenic disorders. More than 90 percent of the time, acquired amputations involve just one extremity. In over 60 percent of the cases, the lower limb is the limb affected. Males have more amputations than females at a ratio of 3:2. This is because males tend to engage in activities that are more hazardous than females.

Amputations in kids are similar to amputations in adults. The idea is to save as much limb length as possible, knowing that trauma is the number one cause of these types of surgeries. The limb could be taken off as part of the actual injury or it can be surgically removed because it is salvageable. Some procedures include skin grafting, even over the entire stump and general wound closure so that the stump can accept a prosthesis.

The ear can be amputated in a blunt trauma situation or may need to be amputated due to cancer of the ear, hematomas of the ear or infections of the ear. When ear reconstruction is necessary due to trauma, the construction depends on two factors. The first is the circulation to the amputated part of the ear. You need enough arterial inflow to the amputated part in order for it to survive. Venous congestion after amputation can result in loss of cartilage. The second factor is the availability of skin and soft tissue coverage over the cartilage. If there isn’t enough skin, flap coverage may have to happen. This is more complex and has a higher failure risk.

When a reconstruction needs to happen after cancer of the ear, the trick for the surgeon is to match the size and shape of the ear to the other ear. Because the ears are not seen together, the size is not as important as making the ears have the same shape and the same landmarks. There are basic plastic surgery techniques the surgeon needs to understand in order to try and reconnect an amputated auricle.

About 800,000 people in the US develop skin cancer. Ninety percent are on the head and neck. Twelve percent involve the ear. Of ear cancers, 50-60 percent are squamous cell carcinomas, 30-40 percent are basal cell cancer and 2-6 percent are malignant melanoma. A third of all cancers of the ear extend into and corrupt the cartilage of the external ears. They require through and through amputation of the ear.

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