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What Is Silicosis?

silicosisSilicosis is a disease that results from inhaling microscopic pieces of silica. Even if you can’t see or feel them, they can still cause serious damage once they get inside you’re body, especially in the lungs. Having those tiny, sharp foreign objects floating around in your body can cause scarring in the lungs, as well as inflammation and fluid buildup. This makes it more difficult to breathe and is usually accompanied by coughing, fatigue, and weight loss.

Silica is a mineral that is found in rocks and mineral ores (like quarts) and sand. People who work in mining, foundry work, and glass manufacturing are the most likely to suffer from silicosis. Symptoms of silicosis can start appearing anywhere from a few weeks after exposure to decades after exposure. There is no cure for silicosis, but it can be prevented.

There are three types of silicosis: acute, chronic, and accelerated. Symptoms of acute silicosis include cough, fatigue, and weight loss. The lungs are very inflamed and may fill with fluid, resulting in shortness of breath and low levels of oxygen in the blood (which, in turn, leads to fatigue). Those with acute silicosis start experiencing symptoms anywhere from weeks to a few years after they’ve been exposed to loose silica.

Chronic silicosis doesn’t appear until 10 years after exposure and might not even become apparent until as late as 30 years after exposure. Chronic silicosis usually affects the upper lungs and tends to include extensive scarring, as well as swelling in the chest lymph nodes and lungs, making breathing difficult.

Accelerated silicosis results from high levels of exposure to silica and begins showing symptoms within 10 years of exposure. It is also characterized by swelling in the lungs, but it happens much more quickly than chronic silicosis.

As the disease progresses, lung capacity decreases, along with the person’s ability to breathe on their own. Some may need an oxygen tank or other support to help them breathe once their breathing has been so impaired by the silicosis that they become incapable of drawing in enough air to live on.

Silicosis does extensive and permanent damage to the lungs, resulting in more than 100 deaths every year in the United States alone. There is currently no cure for silicosis but, with a few precautions, it can be easily prevented. Today, approximately 2 million workers in the United States are being exposed to silica as part of their daily work responsibilities. Even if they don’t yet notice any negative effects from working with sand, quartz or glass, in a few years they may find it hard to complete everyday tasks as a result of shortness of breath and/or fatigue.

All it takes is a few minutes for workers to put on protective gear before entering an area where they may be exposed to silica fragments. Making sure facial and respiratory masks meet the federal requirements is critical. The masks must be able to block microscopic fragments that are small enough to be inhaled.

If you or someone your love has suffered serious side effects, or even death, due to silicosis, you need an experienced personal injury attorney on your side.  

CONTACT the Lieser Law Firm today for your FREE case evaluation. 

IARC Lists RoundUp As Probable Carcinogen

RoundUpWhen we think of herbicides and weed killers, most of us think of RoundUp. It’s become such a household name that the term RoundUp is often used as a general term for herbicide.

But the same herbicide that farmers and agricultural workers have been using since the 1970s to keep weeds off their crops may also be hurting us. According to multiple class action lawsuits that have recently been filed against Monsanto, the manufacturer of RoundUp, the herbicide may cause cancer. The lawsuit alleges that the main ingredient in RoundUp, glyphosate, may be to blame for the rise in incidents of non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and other cancers in agricultural workers with heavy exposure to the herbicide.

Although Monsanto managed to engineer crops that were resistant to glyphosate, the weeds that get sprayed have developed their own immunity to the herbicide, requiring agricultural workers, landscapers, and turf managers to use more and more RoundUp, thereby increasing their own exposure to what the World Health Organization (WHO) has called a probable carcinogen.

But it’s not just the land workers who are getting exposed to these chemicals. Recent studies have found traces of RoundUp in U.S. breakfast cereals, snacks and even honey.

In early 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) a division of the WHO, published their findings on glyphosate in The Lancet Oncology. They studied the effects of RoundUp on mice and compared their findings to the results of previous studies on glyphosate. They found a correlation between RoundUp exposure and a variety of cancers, including non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, skin cancer, pancreatic cancer, renal cell carcinoma, as well as damage to DNA and chromosomes. It did not look at a relationship between RoundUp and Parkinson’s, although other studies have found a link there as well.

Monsanto has denied these findings and most U.S. and European regulators have stated they don’t believe RoundUp to be a human carcinogen.

But numerous plaintiffs suing Monsanto say otherwise. They are alleging that Monsanto failed to thoroughly research glyphosate before putting it on the market. Once it was out there, they failed to properly warn users, the medical community, or the agricultural community about the potential hazards of using RoundUp. The plaintiffs claim that, if they had been aware of the risks involved in using RoundUp, they would have used a different herbicide, and many cases of cancer may have been avoided.

In California, consumer advocates are working to get new laws put in place that would require Monsanto to include cancer warnings on the labels for all their glyphosate-based products. The labels would be based on the IARC’s findings, and a California judge recently allowed this initiative to move to the next step in the process.

The IARC’s findings still need confirmation, but if they succeed in attaining that confirmation, the number of cancer cases that could potentially be traced back to RoundUp exposure might be too many to count. Not only has it been found in the air after an area has been sprayed, but it has also made its way into food and water. The amount of exposure needed to create a cancer risk has yet to be determined.

If you or someone your love has suffered serious side effects, or even death, due to the use of RoundUp, you need an experienced personal injury attorney on your side.  

CONTACT the Lieser Law Firm today for your FREE case evaluation. 

How Car Crashes Can Become Flammable

How Car Crashes Can Become FlammableWe’ve seen it in action movies so many times we’ve come to expect it: a car crashes into another car or goes off the road, landing upside down in a ditch and giving the inhabitants a narrow window to get out before the car explodes.

But how many of us have seen such a sight in real life? Occasionally a burning car will make the news, but they’re only newsworthy because they don’t happen that often. And burning is not the same as exploding.

Hollywood storytellers usually mention the gas tank exploding when warning characters to get out/away from a vehicle that’s been in a crash – as if the mere presence of a gas tank in a car crash necessarily means it will explode, even though they were riding along in the vehicle just moments before without any concern for the gas tank bursting into flames.

In fact, it takes a specific set of circumstances for a vehicle to explode. Car engines run by transforming liquid gasoline into its gas form, then using a small flame to ignite the gas and oxygen to feed the flame, which powers the vehicle. In order for a car to explode after a crash, you need all three of these things to combine in the right place and in the right order outside the engine: gasoline in gas form, a flame, and oxygen to feed the flame.

Because gas is confined to the gas tank, it’s not likely to get enough oxygen to cause an explosion, unless something punches a hole or rips a tear in the gas tank – which is possible in a crash. Collisions can throw things (rocks, road debris, chunks of metal, etc.) into or against gas tanks and exhaust tubes, potentially causing tears and/or leaks.

After that, any number of things can create enough heat to ignite the gas. As our vehicles have become more and more electronic in recent years, the increase in electrical wires means a tear in the wrong place can create an electrical spark, which can be disastrous if it reaches the gas fumes.

We also have to keep in mind that a car burning intensely is not the same as a car that has exploded. When we see a car engulfed in flames, it might be tempting to assume the gas tank has exploded, when the reality is that it’s more likely that another component of the vehicle caught fire and the flame quickly got out of control.

Recent vehicle standards require the passenger cabins of cars to have flame-retardant materials, but “flame-retardant materials” are not necessarily materials that won’t catch fire – it just means it’s more difficult to get them to catch fire. But once they do ignite, they can burn intensely, and there are other materials in the car (including foam and plastic) that will burn easily once a flame catches, turning the car into a giant ball of very hot flame that might make it look as though the car exploded.

Accidents can happen anywhere at any time.  If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident due to the negligence of others, you need to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

CONTACT the Lieser Law Firm today for a FREE case evaluation.

What Are The Chances I’ll Actually Get Into A Motorcycle Crash?

motorcycle crashWe’ve all heard the horror stories and seen the gruesome images of what happens to motorcycle riders who get involved in an accident. Some parents use threats of lost limbs and smashed skulls to try to keep their kids off motorcycles, but what is the likelihood of a tragic accident actually happening to you each time you get on your motorcycle?

THE STATS
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), almost 5 million motorcycles were registered in the US in 2001, 74,000 of which were involved in an accident in that same year (i.e. just over 1.5% of motorcycle owners). By comparison, 129 million passenger cars were registered in the US in the same year, 6,705,000 (5%) of which were involved in an accident.

So you’re actually much more likely to be involved in an accident in a car, rather than a motorcycle. The problem is, if you’re on a motorcycle that gets involved in an accident, you don’t have seatbelts, airbags, or a metal body surrounding you, which is where the gruesome images and instinctive fear of motorcycles comes from.
On the other hand, motorcycles are more agile than cars and can both stop and accelerate more quickly than most passenger cars. All this should mean they’re better equipped to avoid an accident, but human error is always a factor. In order to maneuver your way out of an accident, you need to be prepared, so if you do own a motorcycle (or plan to), here’s what you can do to lower your probability of getting into an accident.

KNOW YOUR BIKE
You didn’t hit the highway as soon as you got your driver’s permit and you should not do so with your motorcycle either. You’re better off taking it easy and practicing things like slow maneuvers and braking in a parking lot first. Get to know your bike before taking it out on the open road, and once you do, make sure you take it out regularly in order to maintain that familiarity.

KEEP YOUR FRONT BRAKE COVERED
It may be tempting to let go of that front brake, especially on long rides, but doing so is never a good idea. Your life is on the line every second you spend on the road, and the ability to stop more quickly than a car is largely dependent on your access to your brakes. If you have to take extra time in an emergency to cover your brake before applying pressure, that tiny amount of time could be the difference between avoiding an accident and a trip to the hospital – or the morgue.

DRESS APPROPRIATELY
The images of women in bikinis and men in tank tops and shorts on their bikes may look appealing, but they’re extremely dangerous. Not only do you want to make sure you’re wearing a helmet at all times when riding a motorcycle, but proper gear also includes leather pants and jacket. They’ll keep you safe while looking good at the same time. They may not be the most comfortable warm weather wear, but they’re better than a smashed skull or a bare leg scraped across asphalt.
These are all in addition to the obvious tips to never drink and drive, always obey all traffic and safety laws, and keep your wits about you and pay attention at all times. Your life depends on it.

If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident, or your loved one was killed in a motorcycle accident, you need a personal injury attorney on your side.

CONTACT the Lieser Law Firm today for a FREE consultation.

SUMMER MOTORCYCLE SAFETY

“Start Seeing Motorcycles”

motorcycle safetyThe warmer weather of spring is here, and summer is just around the corner. In addition to barbecues and baseball, this means that motorcycles are back on the road. In recent years, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has come up with a new campaign to reduce the rate of motorcycle accidents in Illinois.  According to IDOT, 118 people died due to motorcycle accidents last year.  Even though motorcycles only make up 3% of registered vehicles in the state of Illinois, they account for 15% of deaths.  Considering the fact that motorcycles are out on the road only about 2/3 of the year, that number is even more staggering.

Signs and banners with the campaign slogan, “Start Seeing Motorcycles” will be put on display all over the state of Illinois.  They are being used to help spread awareness about motorcycle riders and encourage other vehicles on the road to consciously share the road with these riders.  This is especially true in urban areas where most of the motorcycle accidents occur.

Be a Safe Rider This Summer

One death is one too many.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle deaths are 5 times greater than deaths from other kinds of vehicles.  This is why the State of Illinois has restarted its “Start Seeing Motorcycles” campaign.  Along with advocating motorcycle awareness on the road, it also urges motorcycle riders to wear high visibility clothing and safety equipment that makes them stand out.  Over the last 4 years, nearly 12,000 yard signs have been distributed across the state.

Cycle Rider Safety Program

IDOT offers free motorcycle classes through the Cycle Rider Safety Program.  This program has served over 400,000 riders since 1976.  Motorcycle safety is taught through work in the classroom and riding courses.

Motorcycles are vulnerable, so safety strategies need to be taught to prevent riders from putting themselves or others in a fatal situation. Illinois’ Cycle Rider Safety Program has nearly 500 instructors who were trained by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.  IDOT offers the program through Harper College in Schaumberg, NIU in DeKalb, the University of Illinois at Champaign, and SIU in Carbondale.

Protective Gear and Safety Habits for Motorcycles

Motorcyclists and their passengers can help to improve their safety by wearing clothing that is protective and highly visible, such as:

  •  Reflector vests
  •  Long-sleeved shirts
  •  Pants and jackets made from heavy material
  •  Gloves
  •  Helmets
  •  Eye goggles

A small 31% of motorcyclists reported wearing safety equipment, according data from IDOT.  The data also showed that about 75% of the motorcycle riders that were killed were not wearing helmets.

Motorcycle riders can also make themselves more visible to traffic by flashing their break lights 2 or 3 times before they slow down or stop.  Stay out of a car’s blind spot when passing or nearing an intersection.

The motorcycle program also advises that riders give themselves plenty of space between vehicles.  You should increase the space during bad weather to give you more time to stop.  Other motorists can help reduce motorcycle deaths by keeping their attention fixed on the road and

carefully checking mirrors and blind spots before attempting to change lanes or merge into a traffic lane.

If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident, or your loved one was killed in a motorcycle accident, you need a personal injury attorney on your side.

CONTACT the Lieser Law Firm today for a FREE consultation.

ST. LOUIS CAR ACCIDENT REPORTS

4-Vehicle Accident at I-55 on Lindbergh

St. Louis car accidentOn June 2 at 1:37pm, 4 vehicles were involved in an auto accident on I-55 onto Lindbergh Boulevard.  Vehicle #1, a 2009 Chrysler Town & Country, was driven by Ahmed Malik.  Vehicle #2, a 2011 Toyota Camry, was driven by 46-year-old, Ahsan Malik.  Vehicle #3, a 2008 Ford Explorer, was driven by 87-year-old, Raymond Davis.  Vehicle #4, a 2010 Honda Odyssey, was driven by 39-year-old, Kriste Nguyen.  Vehicles 1, 2, and 3 were stopped for a red light in lane 1.  Vehicle #4 was traveling in lane 2 and switched over to lane 1, striking the rear end of vehicle #3.  The impact caused #3 to hit #2 and #2 to hit #1.  The drivers of vehicles #1 and #2 suffered minor injuries and were taken to St. Anthony’s Medical Center.

Passenger Injured When Driver Swerved to Avoid Collision

On June 2 at 11:55pm, a 2005 Chevy Impala driven by 35-year-old, Michael Lott, was traveling southbound on I-270.  Mr. Lott swerved to the right to avoid hitting another car.  He ran off the right side of the road and hit an embankment.  His passenger, 33-year-old Tabitha Presson, suffered minor injuries and was transported to St. Anthony’s hospital.  Mr. Lott was not injured.

Trucks Collide on I-44

On June 5 at 6:30am, a 2014 Freightliner tractor-trailer driven by 61-year-old Ricky Martin, and a 2005 Volvo tractor-trailer driven by 61-year-old Shaun Taylor, were traveling westbound on I-44.  Martin was traveling in lane 4 and Taylor was traveling in lane 2.  Taylor failed to maintain control of his vehicle.  The vehicle began to slide and crossed over from lane 2 to lane 4.  Martin Struck Taylor.  Both vehicles then traveled off the right side of the road causing Martin’s vehicle to overturn.  Both vehicles were towed away.  Mr. Martin was transported to Mercy Hospital St. Louis with serious injuries.

Failure to Stop Injures Two Drivers on I-270

On June 5 at 9:21pm, a 2004 Chevy Monte Carlo, driven by 25-year-old Robert Conner, was disabled in the left lane of I-270 eastbound.  A 2004 Ford Explorer, driven by 49-year-old Cloyd Rutherford, failed to stop causing his vehicle to hit the rear of Mr. Conner’s car.  Both vehicles were towed away and Mr. Conner was transported to DePaul Hospital for minor injuries.

Vehicle Crashes Into MODOT Road Sign

On June 7, at 2:00pm, a 2006 Pontiac G6 driven by 20-year-old Patrick Brennan, traveled off the road and hit a MODOT sign.  The second car, a 2015 Ford Transit 250, hit the debris from the road sign.  Mr. Brennan was taken to Mercy Hospital in Creve Coeur for minor injuries.  The car that hit the debris in the road was able to drive away.

Collision at US-67 Traffic Light

On June 8 at 6:34am, a 1995 Pontiac Bonneville was traveling northbound on US 67 and failed to stop for a red light and hit the right side of a 2005 Chevy Cavalier.  The driver of the Bonneville left the scene before police arrived.  The driver of the Cavalier, 28-year-old William Bovaconti, suffered moderate injuries and was transported to Christian Northeast Hospital.

Two Injured in Median Crash

On Wednesday, June 10, a 1995 Ford Mustang was traveling westbound in I-70 at 11:40pm.  The driver of the vehicle lost control and traveled off the left side of the road and struck a concrete median.  The vehicle overturned.  The driver, 16-year-old Matt Adams, suffered moderate injuries.  The passenger, 21-year-old Maria Taormina, suffered serious injuries and was transported to DePaul Hospital.

Accidents can happen anywhere at any time.  If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident due to the negligence of others, you need to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

CONTACT the Lieser Law Firm today for a FREE case evaluation.

 

** Crash data obtained from Missouri State Highway Patrol website **  http://www.mshp.dps.missouri.gov/HP68/search.jsp **

REGGIE BUSH SUING ST. LOUIS OVER INJURY AT EDWARD JONES DOME

XtDsXedAccording to CBS Sports, San Francisco 49ers’ running back, Reggie Bush, is claiming he lost his footing on a concreate sideline area on November 1 behind the players’ benches at the Edwards Jones Dome. As a result, he suffered a season-ending injury.  Bush slipped on the uncovered concrete area after planting his feet while trying to slow down after a punt return.  Bush fell, slid into a wall, and was taken away with a torn MCL to his left knee.  He later had surgery and was put on the injured reserve list.

According to CBS Sports, Bush plans to pursue a negligence case involving the Edward Jones Dome.  The dome is owned and operated by the city of St. Louis. Bush is said to be seeking compensation for lost wages (despite the fact that he will be paid in full for the 2015 season), possible lost wages for the 2016 season if he can’t play because of his injury, compensation for pain and suffering due to his injury, surgery, and rehabilitation. Additionally, Bush is seeking punitive damages aimed at punishing the Edwards Jones Dome for not fixing the hazard and to deter other establishments from doing the same thing.  It is unclear at this time how much money Bush is seeking, but his current contract with the 49ers is reported to be worth $2.5 million.

St. Louis Rams Knew of the Danger at the Edward Jones Dome

A week before Bush’s accident, Cleveland Browns QB Josh McCown suffered an injury to his shoulder after slipping on the same concrete area.  McCown did return to the game.

The NFL Players’ Association contacted the NFL about player safety at the stadium following the accidents of Bush and McCown.  The Rams told the city and the league that they were going to cover that concreate area before their next game with the Chicago Bears on November 15.  It is not yet clear how much it will cost to cover the concreate sideline area at the Edward Jones Dome.  What is becoming more clear is that the city should have spent the money to take care of it before the season even started.

After the two accidents, Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said there had never been an issue in the “hundreds of games” previously played at the dome.  He added that the team had some discussions “with the NFL league office to see if there’s something we can do”.  Fisher said player safety was “of the utmost importance”, and said, “We’re going to do whatever we need to do to make sure that we don’t have another issue with it”.

This lawsuit might not be about the money as much as it is about standing up for what’s right.  The concrete sideline at the Edwards Jones Dome creates an unnecessary danger.

St. Louis Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been hurt in an accident where you slipped and fell on someone else’s property, you need to seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. 

CONTACT the Lieser Law Firm today for you FREE case evaluation.

CAR ACCIDENT AND CAR SEAT REPLACEMENT

car seat replacementEvery year, thousands of young children and infants are killed or injured in car accidents. Parents need to familiarize themselves with car seat safety and proper installation as it can help keep your children safe. However, with so many different car seats out on the market today, some parents find that choosing the right one can be a little overwhelming.

The right seat for your child depends on several different factors, including the age of your child, how much they weigh, how tall they are, and what kind of vehicle you have. The following paragraphs contain information from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) on how to choose the right car seat for your child.

Different Types of Car Seats

Rear Facing:  Infants and toddlers should be in a rear-facing car seat until they are at least 2 years old, or they reach the weight and height requirements allowed by the car seat manufacturer.

Front Facing:  Toddlers and pre-school age children who have outgrown the rear-facing seat or passed the weight and height limit should switch to a forward-facing seat with a harness. They should stay in this seat until height and weight goals are surpassed.

Booster Seats:  If the child is above the height and weight limit for a forward facing seat, it is time for a belt-positioning booster seat. Once the vehicle’s seat belt fits the child properly, usually when they reach 4 feet 9 inches tall and are 8-12 years of age, they can eliminate the seat and sit in the car as the adults do.

Seat Belts:  When the child is old enough and big enough to transition to the vehicle seat, they should always use lap and/or shoulder seat bets for the best protection. Children younger than 13 years old should always be in the back seat.

Installation Information

Car seats can be installed one of two ways:  the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) system or the vehicle’s seat belt.

LATCH is a car seat attachment system. Lower anchors are used instead of the seat belt to install the seat, and some parents have found this system easier to use in some vehicles. The top tether provides improved safety for the seat and is very important in the use of forward-facing seats. All lower anchor systems are rated for the maximum weight of 65 pounds (total weight of the seat and the child). Parents should always check the manufacturer’s recommendation for the maximum weight limit. Newer car seats have the maximum weight limit printed on the label on the seat.

LATCH systems on vehicles have lower anchors located in the back seat. The tether anchors are located behind the seat, either on the panel behind the seat (sedans), the back of the seat, the ceiling, or the floor (as in most hatchbacks and SUV’s). Every car seat will have attachments that fasten to the anchors. Most all passenger vehicles and all car seats made after September 1, 2002, are equipped to use LATCH.

If you use the vehicle’s seat belts to install the car seat, you need to refer to the owner’s manual to see if a locking clip is required to keep the belts locked into position. Locking clips are not necessary in newer vehicles, but you will probably have to fully extend the seat belts and then allow it to retract in order to keep the seat belt tight around the car seat.  Several car seats have built-in lock-offs to lock the seat belt.

Important Caution

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that you do not use a car seat that has been in a car crash. NHTSA and car seat manufacturers recommend that car seats be replaced after a crash, even if was only a minor accident. For more information you can go to the NHTSA website.

St. Louis Personal Injury Attorney

If you or your child has been injured in a car accident, you need to seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

CONTACT the Lieser Law Firm today for your FREE case evaluation.

KNEE INJURIES CAN HAPPEN IN A CAR CRASH

knee injuriesCar crashes can cause serious injures to your knee. Knee injures are more likely to occur in a side-impact collision, rollover, or head-on collision. The following will help you to understand the different types of knee injuries that can happen in a car accident.

Kneecap Injuries

In a car crash, the door, window, and even the roof can cave in and crush your knee. If this happens, your kneecap can fracture. Your kneecap (patella) protects the ligaments and tendons in your knee. These ligaments and tendons surround the quadricep muscle running up the front of your thigh.

Surgery may be required to repair a fractured kneecap. During the surgery the doctor will reconstruct the kneecap with wire, pins, and screws, removing the pieces of the kneecap that are too small to repair. If the damage is too severe, the doctor will have to do a full or partial patellectomy, partially or completely removing the broken kneecap.

ACL Injury

A car crash can damage ligaments in the knee. This is especially true in a side-impact crash. The tendons can twist or pull far beyond their radius depending on how severe the impact of the crash was. More than 70% of knee injuries from car crashes are to the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament). It is one of the four ligaments that have the job of giving the knee flexibility. It contains the soft tissues that connect the lower and upper joints of the knee. The ACL is like a group of rubber bands. As the knee moves, the ACL turns and moves with the knee. But just like a rubber band, if the ACL is twisted too forcefully or too far it can become sprained or torn.  A sprain causes mild to moderate pain. If the ACL is torn, the pain is excruciating and debilitating.

A sprained or torn ACL can be diagnosed with an x-ray or MRI. Depending on the severity of your injury, your ACL may heal itself with rest and therapy. This can take six months or longer. If your ACL is torn, arthroscopic surgery will be your only option.

MCL, LCL, and PCL Injury

Other injuries to the knee that can be caused by a car crash is an injury to the MCL (medial collateral ligament), the LCL (lateral collateral ligament), or the PCL (posterior collateral ligament). Even though injuries to these ligaments are less common, they do happen.

Meniscus Injury

The meniscus is a disc-like mass of soft tissue and cartilage located behind the knee. You have two in each knee. In a car crash, the force of impact can tear or rupture a meniscus. A slight tear comes with moderate pain and discomfort. A ruptured meniscus is very painful and debilitating. You may have swelling and hear a “popping” sound at the time of injury. You may also feel your knee lock up.  Your doctor will order an MRI to diagnose the extent of your injury.

Anti-inflammatory medication and muscle relaxers, followed by physical therapy, are the usual treatments for a slight meniscus tear. If your meniscus is ruptured, arthroscopic surgery will be necessary. The doctor will sew the torn areas of the meniscus back together. If the surgeon finds that parts of the meniscus moved into the surrounding tissue they will need to be removed. In more severe cases, if the meniscus is beyond repair, the surgeon will remove it and replace it with a prosthetic. This is what is called a total meniscectomy.

St. Louis Car Crash Attorney

If you have been injured in a car crash it is best not to deal with the insurance company alone. You need an experienced personal injury attorney on your side.

CONTACT the Lieser Law Firm today for your FREE consultation. 

WHAT IS WHIPLASH?

whiplashWhiplash is an injury to the neck resulting from a sudden forward and backward motion of the head and neck. It is a common injury in a rear-end car collision that damages the intervertebral joints, nerve roots, discs, cervical muscles and/or ligaments. The mechanism of injury is similar to the cracking of a whip.

Symptoms of Whiplash

The symptoms of whiplash can develop immediately or within the first several days. The symptoms include the following:

·      Neck pain

·      Neck stiffness

·      Irritability

·      Sleep disturbance

·      Fatigue

·      Headaches

·      Problems concentrating or remembering things

·      Shoulder pain or pain between the shoulder blades

·      Dizziness

·      Low back pain

·      Pain or numbness in the arm and/or hand

While many people will recover within a few months after appropriate treatment, other people will experience chronic neck pain or other continuous complications.

How Do You Diagnose Whiplash?

You need to make an appointment with a medical professional (orthopedic doctor, chiropractor, etc.) It is important that you explain the movement of your body during the incident causing your injury and your current symptoms. Your doctor will perform a physical examination to determine the severity of your injury. This will help your doctor decide if you need further testing to help diagnose your injury determine the necessary treatment. Commonly, if the issues do not resolve after 3 months, a more detailed exam will need to be done.

The following diagnostic procedures are common:

X-rays will be done right away if your doctor suspects there is a fracture or your spine is not stable.  X-rays will show the height of your discs, if you have any bone spurs, or even arthritis. However, X-rays will not show a bulging or herniated disc, among other injuries.

An MRI may be necessary if your doctor suspects you have a herniated disc, annular tear, or a nerve root or spinal cord compression.

CT Scan with contrast (dye) may be used to determine a whiplash injury leading to possible bone damage.

Other less common tests include:

Discography involves an injection to the disc to determine whether the disc is the cause of your pain. This test is only used in patients with severe pain that is not improved with initial treatment.

An EMG (electromyography; nerve conduction) may be used if your doctor suspects there is nerve damage.

How is Whiplash Treated?

In the first few weeks following your injury, therapy may be necessary to loosen the ligaments and/or to develop muscle strength. Initial treatment may also include the use of a neck brace for stability.

If symptoms do not lessen or subside after 12 weeks, a referral to a spine specialist is often necessary.

In many cases, medication are helpful to control the symptoms.  The type of medicine you should use depends on the duration and severity of your pain as well as your general medical condition.  The kinds of medications that are prescribed for a whiplash injury include anti-inflammatory medicine, muscle relaxers, and even narcotics.

For more severe chronic injuries, spinal injections may be necessary to control pain. An orthopedic doctor, or spinal specialist, will help determine if pain injections will provide relief.

The final step involves surgery for chronic pain, which cannot be treated conservatively.

St. Louis Car Crash Attorney

If you have suffered a whiplash injury in a rear-end car crash, you need to seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

CONTACT the Lieser Law Firm today for your FREE case evaluation.