Posted by & filed under Auto Collisions.

The development of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) following an auto collision is common.  Although common, many people who develop PTSD don’t realize they have the condition.  It is important to recognize the symptoms of PTSD and get treatment as soon as possible.  There are three categories of symptoms.  The first, and the hallmark of this disorder, is re-experiencing the trauma.  Sometimes these are described as ‘flashbacks.’  Ocassionally, the re-experiencing of the collision is in the form of a nightmare.  The victim usually becomes preoccupied by the trauma and thoughts of or flashbacks intrude into all aspects of their daily life.

The second category of symptoms is the avoidance of reminders of the event.  Included in this category are: abstaining from any activity that might cause thoughts of the trauma (e.g. – driving a car); reduced involvement in the outside world; and lack of responsiveness or numbness to other people.

The third category of symptoms includes: impairment of memory, attention, and concentration; sleep disturbance; guilty; depression; anxiety; hyper-alertness; panic attacks; exaggerated startle response; uncontrollable outbursts of anger; deterioration of performance; personality changes; and intensification of symptoms when exposed to events that resemble or symbolize the original trauma.

It you or a loved one have suffered PTSD as a result of an auto collision and would like more information on this disorder and the personal injury claims process, you can request a copy of Mike’s book, Kansas & Missouri Auto Accident Victim’s Guidebook, by clicking here or you can call Mike at 913-789-7477 to request a free consultation.

Posted by & filed under Auto Collisions.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is one of the most common conditions that personal injury lawyers see with their clients and one of the least recognized.  It is estimated that each year almost 550,000 people experience acute PTSD as a result of a motor vehicle accident.  Those who suffer from PTSD as a result of an auto collision rarely have any knowledge of the disorder and often have trouble relating their problems to the collision.  To make matters worse, the majority of individuals  with PTSD have great difficulty in seeing themselves as ill and do not seek treatment.  Occasionally, PTSD is not recognized because the symptoms do not appear until months to years after the trauma.

PTSD occurs because a client is unable to cope, psychologically, with the trauma they experience in the auto accident.  The trauma overwhelms the person’s defensive or adaptive mechanisms.  As a result, the symptoms of PTSD pervade every aspect of the person’s life.  Their confidence is destroyed.  They can’t sleep or rest and become chronically fatigued.  They feel powerless and view the outside world as a threat.   There are three categories of symptoms with PTSD.  Those are: 1) re-experiencing the trauma; 2) avoidance of reminders of the event; and 3) impairment of daily function.  Part two on this topic will further address these symptoms.  PTSD is a recognized psychological diagnosis, listed in DSM-IV-TR.

If you or a loved one have suffered post traumatic stress disorder as a result of an auto collision and would like more information about this condition and the personal injury claims process, you can obtain a copy of Mike’s book, Kansas & Missouri Auto Accident Victim’s Guidebook, by clicking here or you can call Mike at 913-789-7477 for a free consultation.

Posted by & filed under Medical Malpractice.

Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability in the U.S. and one of the leading causes of death.  When timely recognized and treated it is possible to reduce or eliminate permanent damage from stroke.  When a stroke is not quickly diagnosed or treated, the patient can be left with avoidable brain damage.

Eight percent of strokes are caused by blood clots that block the flow of blood to one or more portions of the brain.  There are medications that can dissolve a blood clot and restore blood flow to the brain.  However, these medications must be administered within a short period of time.  That is why diagnosis of a stroke is so important.

There are a number of reasons why a physician can fail to diagnose a stroke.  Those include: failure to take a proper medical history, including risk factors; failing to order the proper tests that will reveal an evolving stroke; and errors in the interpretation of those tests.

If you or a loved one have suffered preventable brain damage as a result of a failure to diagnose or treat a stroke, you can call Mike at 913-789-7477 to request a free consultation.

Posted by & filed under Medical Malpractice.

The cervix is designed to remain closed until labor starts and the forces of labor cause the cervix to shorten and dilate.  During pregnancy, the increasing weight of the baby presses on the cervix.  With a weakened or incompetent cervix, this pressure can cause the cervix to open before the baby is ready to be born.  An incompetent cervix occurs in about one out of every one hundred pregnancies.

A weakened cervix can be caused by previous trauma to the cervix, as from a D & C, damage from a difficulty delivery, previous surgery on the cervix, or congenital defects in the cervix.  During pregnancy, doctors do not routinely check for an incompetent cervix.  On occasion, a routine ultrasound will show changes in the length or opening of the cervix.  Most diagnoses of an incompetent cervix are based on a previous preterm miscarriage.  In those patients the physician should regularly evaluate the cervix.  When an incompetent cervix is diagnosed, the treatment is a surgical procedure called a cerclage.  The surgery sews the cervix closed so that the increasing weight of the baby does not result in premature opening of the cervix which would cause a premature delivery.  This surgery is usually performed at 14 to 16 weeks of pregnancy.  At the end of the pregnancy the sutures are removed.

The failure to diagnose and treat an incompetent surgery can result in severe injuries to the baby.  All of the conditions caused by premature delivery (cerebral palsy, respiratory problems, etc.) can result from the lack of treatment.

If you or a loved one have suffered injury as a result of an incompetent cervix, you can call Mike at 913-789-7477 to request a free consultation.

Posted by & filed under Auto Collisions.

Dysphagia is the inability to swallow or difficulty with swallowing.  Trauma to the esophagus (direct blow or severe whiplash) can cause spasm of the lower segment of the esophagus resulting in difficulty in the passage of foods into the stomach.  The initial symptom of dysphagia is the sensation of a lump in the throat.  Other early symptoms of dysphagia include the feeling of food sticking in the throat, the need for repeated attempts to swallow food, and a feeling of fullness below the sternum after eating bulky or cold foods.

On occasion, the spastic muscles may relax permitting food to be swallowed.  However, if the esophageal muscles do not relax the process of swallowing foods slowly becomes more and more difficult.  Eating becomes painful and acutely embarrassing.  The condition can progress to an inability to eat any solid foods and malnutrition can result.

Treatment usually consists of dietary regulation, efforts to relax the spastic muscles, or surgical dilation of the esophagus.

If you or a loved one have suffered an injury from an auto collision and would like more information about the claims process, you can request a copy of Mike’s book, Kansas & Missouri Auto Accident Victim’s Guidebook, by clicking here or you can call Mike at 913-789-7477 to request a free consultation.

Posted by & filed under Auto Collisions.

The injuries you suffered in an auto collision may prevent you from working and performing your job.  Your return to work should be controlled solely by your physician and yourself.  If there are questions about whether you can safely return to work you should discuss your physical condition and your work duties with your physician.  It is important to follow the physician’s instruction about returning to work.  Many injured people believe that they are physically able to return to work only to find  that working makes their physical condition worse.  Insurance adjusters, defense attorneys and jurors do not look favorably on someone who fails to follow a physician’s instructions.

Do not expect that the negligent driver’s insurance company will pay you during the period that you are off work.  Only after you have reached maximum medical recovery will you be in a position to submit a settlement demand, which will include the amount of your lost wages, to the other driver’s insurance company.

In Kansas, no-fault insurance provides Personal Injury Protection benefits which may pay up to $900 per month in lost wages.  You need to contact your insurance agent and request both PIP medical and wage loss forms.  There are options in Missouri to purchase benefits for lost wages but this option is not a standard part of your automobile liability insurance.

If you or a loved one have been injured in an auto collision and would like more information about personal injury claims, you can request a copy of Mike’s book, Kansas & Missouri Auto Accident Victim’s Guidebook, by clicking here or you can call Mike at 913-789-7477 to request a free consultation.

Posted by & filed under Pharmaceutical/Medical Devices.

Implantable medical devices are manmade products that are surgically implanted in a patient for medical reasons.  While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires extensive testing before allowing a new drug on the market, the FDA standard for new medical implants is much less stringent.  As a result a number of medical devices have been implanted in patients with disastrous results.  Examples of these dangerous medical devices include: the DePuy Hip Implant (toxic metal particles are released into the body; Lap Bands used in weight loss surgery (nausea, vomiting, and damage to stomach lining; and Transvaginal Mesh (pain, nerve damage, infections, and damage to tissue).

A purpose of the civil justice system, in addition to providing compensation to injured consumers, is to prevent harm to consumers.  Only by holding negligent medical device manufacturers accountable for their sale of defective products can we insure that all medical consumers remain safe.

If you or a loved one have suffered injury as a result of a medical device, you can call Mike at 913-789-7477 for a free consultation.

Posted by & filed under Pharmaceutical/Medical Devices.

Zofran is an anti-nausea drug made by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).  The drug was approved in 1991 to treat cancer patients who developed nausea during chemotherapy treatments.  Later, GSK began to market the drug of off-label (unapproved) uses, including pregnant women who had morning sickness.  However, the company never did any clinical research or studies to determine whether the drug was safe for pregnant women or their fetus.

The U.S. government has fined GSK $1 billion for its off-label marketing practices.

Studies have proven that Zofran causes birth defects, including misshapen skulls, heart defects, club foot, and cleft palate. Any woman who took Zofran during her pregnancy and gave birth to a child with congenital  birth defects should contact an experienced drug attorney.  For a free consultation regarding a possible claim against Zofran, please call Mike at 913-789-7477.

Posted by & filed under Auto Collisions.

I have previously written about how important specialization in personal injury cases, experience with the claims process, and litigation experience is to the attorney you select to represent you in a personal injury claim.  There are two additional factors that I believe are important when selecting an attorney.  The first is whether the lawyer has been active in trial lawyer associations.  These associations promote continuing legal education in the personal injury field, work to promote laws and policies that benefit consumers, and offer the opportunity for personal injury attorneys to share their knowledge and experience in representing personal injury victims.

A second important factor is whether the attorney has been recognized for honors and awards by their peers.  Fellow personal injury lawyers know the other lawyers within their field that provide outstanding representation for their clients.  Recognition by other personal injury lawyers is a sure sign that the lawyer has a good record in representing personal injury victims.

If you or a loved one have been injured in an auto collision and would like more information about the personal injury claims process, you can request a copy of Mike’s book, Kansas & Missouri Auto Accident Victim’s Guidebook, by clicking here or you can call Mike at 913-789-7477 to request a free consultation.

Posted by & filed under Auto Collisions.

In Part 1 I addressed the need for a personal injury attorney to specialize in this area of the law and to have experience in the handling of auto accident personal injury claims.  This is particularly true because most auto accident cases are settled before trial and knowledge of the claims process is essential to a good outcome.  Equally important is the lawyer’s litigation experience.  Only a lawyer who has tried many jury trials will know how to prepare a case for trial and will feel comfortable in front of a judge and jury when presenting the case at trial.

Many lawyers do not go to court.  They handle hundreds of cases at a time.  They, or more accurately, their paralegal work up the cases solely to get them settled.  These lawyers run a “mill” and constantly crank out settlement.  This type of practice fails to consider the needs and interests of the client.  You want a lawyer who will personally dedicate the time, effort, and resources to maximize your settlement or verdict.  Insurance companies know which lawyers will go to trial and which ones have successful results.  They factor the lawyers litigation experience into their settlement offer.

If you or a loved one have been injured in an auto collision and would like more information about pursuing a personal injury claim, you can request a copy of Mike’s book, Kansas & Missouri Auto Accident Victim’s Guidebook, by clicking here or you can call Mike at 913-789-7477 to request a free consultation.