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Personal Injury Articles for the Injured of NJ

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Accidents Cause Injuries: Torn Ligaments of the Knee

  
  
  
Anterior Cruciate ACL Rupture

By Francis M. Smith

In many people's minds, the idea of suffering a sprain conjures up images of ice packs, compression bandages, and over-the-counter pain relievers – in other words, a relatively minor injury that is more inconvenience than crisis. That's certainly how an insurance company will try to portray your injury if you sustain torn ligaments in a car crash, slip and fall injury, or other preventable accident caused by someone else's reckless or negligent behavior. Unfortunately, the reality isn't quite as gentle as the insurance company's lawyers would have a jury believe. Torn ligaments in the knee can result in serious mobility issues that may permanently impact your ability to engage in activities and tasks that had been part of your normal lifestyle before your accident.

The knee joint has four major ligaments that are often injured in accidents: two that brace either side of the knee, and two that cross from front to back. The ligament that most frequently suffers the brunt of knee injuries is the anterior cruciate ligament, commonly referred to as the ACL. It connects the femur (thighbone) and tibia (shinbone), running between the two, and controls rotation and extension of the knee. The ACL can be injured if the knee is twisted suddenly or is forced to hyper extend. About 95,000 ACL injuries happen in the U.S. every year. Other major knee ligaments that are likely to suffer injury in an accident are the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), which runs in the opposite direction as the ACL and controls backward bending of the knee, and the medial and lateral collateral ligaments (MCL and LCL), which stabilize the knee joint from the inner-leg side and the outer-leg side, respectively. Different types of movement are likely to stretch or tear each of these ligaments.



Suing the Federal Government - the Federal Tort Claims Act and Why You Need an Attorney

  
  
  
Francis M. Smith, Esq., NJ Personal Injury Attorney Settles NJ Wrongful Death Case for $2 Million

By Francis M. Smith

Many of the same kinds of accidents causing injury or property damage that might result in a lawsuit against a private citizen can also be pursued when a federal government or agency is the responsible party. However, there are limitations to the kinds of circumstances under which suing the federal government is possible. There is a legal doctrine called "sovereign immunity," dating back to the time when we had a literal sovereign – a king. You couldn't sue the king, and the American law is descended for the most part from English "Common Law". So a federal statute had to be passed which changed that old common law standard. Now a lawsuit can be brought against the federal government, in many cases, just like suing a private corporation. The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) outlines how to do this, and must be followed carefully in order to sue the federal government successfully.

The parameters outlined by the FTCA are complex and detailed, and can be difficult to navigate. As such, it is best to seek the advice of an experienced legal professional if you believe you have an eligible case to pursue against a federal body. In broad terms, the FTCA allows you to seek monetary compensation for injuries, property damage, or wrongful death caused by negligence on the part of a federal employee while that employee was acting within the scope of their official duties. There are numerous exceptions and caveats in the law, but the major points include these limitations:



Accidents Cause Injuries: Replacement disc surgery Injuries

  
  
  
spinal disc injuries

By Francis M. Smith

Injuries to the back and neck are among the more serious possible consequences of car crashes or other accidents. Some of the most vulnerable parts of the spine are the discs of cartilage that separate the vertebral bones, allowing your back to bend and twist. When these joints suffer an impact, the cartilage discs can rupture, causing the tissue inside to squeeze out, and press against a nerve exiting the spine. The severe pain that usually results from this type of injury may require surgical intervention to eliminate.

Traditionally, the preferred disc surgery treatment has been spinal fusion, in which the two vertebral bones on either side of the injured disc are fused together through the insertion of bone material between them, and the implantation of hardware screwed into the vertebrae. This surgery is intended to induce the bones to grow together into a single unit. This treatment is often highly successful in reducing the patient's pain, but since it effectively eliminates the joint entirely, the patient's range of motion in their back becomes more limited. Adjacent vertebral bones are also subject to increased stresses as a result of the inability of the treated joint to move. In the event that the bones fail to fuse together, additional surgical intervention is required. Adjacent discs are subjected to increased forces, which can cause them in turn to fail and lead to more fusion surgery.



Accidents Cause Injuries: Spinal Fusion Surgery

  
  
  
spinal fusion

By Francis M. Smith

A slip and fall injury, car or motorcycle crash, or other accident can cause serious injuries that have lasting repercussions for your health and well-being. Most people tend to think of accident injuries in two general categories: the kind that will heal completely with proper treatment, and the kind that causes a permanent disability. But injuries resulting from preventable accidents can also cause chronic problems, especially when the back and neck are affected. Impact or trauma to the spine can result in a number of conditions that cause pain during normal movement of the body.

Almost every kind of typical, everyday movement affects or involves the spine – walking, lifting, reaching, and even turning your head to respond to someone speaking. When you have chronic back or neck pain caused or aggravated by an injury, there are few if any activities that won't cause you pain. This can render you unable to work, interfere with the activities you enjoy, and may cause you to need help with basic tasks.



Accidents Cause Injuries: Shoulder Replacement Surgery

  
  
  
Get Your Free Car Insurance Buyer's Guide

By Francis M. Smith

The shoulder joint plays a central role in allowing you to move your arm, and when that joint is damaged, basic tasks become painful, difficult, or altogether impossible. Even staying perfectly still is painful. Sleep is disrupted. In the most severe cases of damage to the bones, cartilage, and other tissues that make up your shoulder joint, doctors may recommend shoulder replacement surgery. This type of surgical procedure is most commonly used when loss of cartilage or other damage has caused serious pain on movement or use of the shoulder joint. But traumatic injuries in which the bones and tissues of the shoulder are broken and damaged extensively can also require drastic surgical intervention in order for the accident victim to regain something close to normal use of the arm.



Dislocated Shoulder Injuries from Traumatic Car Accidents

  
  
  
dislocated shoulder

By Francis M. Smith

Dislocated shoulder injuries sometimes appear in fictional media like television and movies, and the injured action-hero usually resolves the injury by popping the bones back into place themselves. This serves to underscore how tough the character is – but in a real-life situation in which you have sustained a dislocated shoulder injury as a result of a car crash or other accident, you should seek immediate medical treatment, as dislocations can result in damage to the nerves and blood vessels surrounding the joint. Some types of soft tissue injuries associated with shoulder dislocation may require surgery to resolve, and improper or incomplete treatment of the injury may result in a condition known as adhesive capsulitis, or "frozen shoulder."

The shoulder works by means of a ball-and-socket joint, which allows the arm to move forward and backward, up and down, and around in the full range of motion that most people usually experience. When a dislocation injury occurs, the rounded end of the humerus, or upper arm bone, is forced out of the socket, resulting in pain, swelling, and impaired mobility of the arm. Other dislocation injuries that affect the shoulder may involve the clavicle, or collar bone, becoming dislocated at either end. Damage to the bones or soft tissues surrounding the joint may also be involved, especially if the injury is the result of the sort of physical trauma that occurs in a serious car accident.



Traumatic Car Accident Injuries That Result in Elbow Dislocation

  
  
  
dislocated elbow

By Francis M. Smith

When most people think about traumatic car accident injuries, what most often comes to mind are back and neck injuries, head trauma, and broken bones. Dislocation injuries don't typically top the list of ways a person can be hurt in a car crash, but a particular kind of joint dislocation is a very real possibility in automotive accidents, and it can have serious consequences for the accident victim. People use their arms and hands as one of the primary ways they interact with the world, and an injury to those parts of the body severely limits the victim's ability to affect their environment and perform basic tasks. Unfortunately, that's exactly what can happen when an elbow dislocation injury occurs as a result of a car accident.

For anyone who has not experienced this kind of injury, it might not be obvious how a person's elbow can become dislocated during a car accident. Indeed, most elbow dislocations occur as a result of slip-and-fall injuries, when the victim extends an arm in front of them to break their fall and the force of the impact pushes the bones out of alignment. However, severe elbow dislocation injuries can also result from a specific car accident scenario: a sideswipe.



Slip and Falls That Result in Dislocated Shoulder Injuries

  
  
  
dislocated shoulder from slip and fall accident

By Francis M. Smith

Slip and fall or trip and fall injuries are distressingly common at any time of year. In winter, these accidents are frequently the result of an inadequately shoveled or salted walkway; as the weather gets warmer, the cause of slip or trip injuries is more likely to be sidewalks that have heaved and become uneven, negligently placed landscaping or construction tools, children's toys, or other obstructions to normal pedestrian traffic. Of course, indoor slip and fall accidents can happen at any time of the year, when spills in a grocery store or uneven carpeting at the entrance of a business creates an unanticipated hazard. Accidents like these can cause serious injuries that have lasting repercussions for the victim's health.

Dislocation injuries are a frequent result of slip and fall accidents, because the natural response to falling is to reach out with your arms to break your fall. Most people have this reaction almost automatically, without consciously thinking about it, and this instinct often helps prevent more serious injuries to the head and face. Of course, this means that the force of the impact is transferred to your arms instead. Depending on the angle and position of your arm when you fall, you may experience a dislocated shoulder or elbow. In either case, dislocations are painful injuries, and may cause serious problems both in the short term and further into the future.



Slip and Falls That Result in Elbow Dislocation

  
  
  
Tripping Hazards

By Francis M. Smith

In slip and fall accidents, one of the most natural reactions to realizing that you're falling is to reach out with your hands to break your fall. It happens reflexively, and often spares the accident victim serious injuries to the face and head – but at a price. When the force of the fall is concentrated on the hand, the impact can travel up the arm and cause the victim's elbow to dislocate.

Dislocation injuries occur when the bones in a joint are forced out of alignment. Due to the number of ways in which it moves, the elbow actually involves two joints: a hinge joint involving the humerus (the bone of the upper arm) and the ulna (the outer forearm bone), and a ball and socket joint involving the humerus and the radius (the forearm bone on the same side of the arm as the thumb). The latter joint allows the arm to rotate palm-up to palm-down. In an elbow dislocation injury, either or both of these joints may become misaligned.



Accidents Cause Injuries: ORIF Treatment for Fractures

  
  
  
racture ankle with metal plate and screws

By Francis M. Smith

One of the more common and immediately apparent injuries a person might suffer when they become the victim of an accident is a broken bone. Some fracture injuries can be treated relatively simply – the doctor aligns the broken surfaces of the bone properly and uses a splint or a cast to immobilize the injured area until it heals. However, many accidents can inflict serious physical trauma to a victim's bones, resulting in more difficult injuries.

Orthopedic experts classify fractures based on a number of factors, including the direction of the force that caused the fracture and the shape of the break point. A simple fracture in which the bone breaks into only two pieces that fit back together well is relatively easy to treat. In cases where part of the bone shattered into several pieces (a comminuted fracture), or the pieces will not readily realign, treatment is more complex, because the usual method of setting and splinting may not be enough to restore the fractured bone pieces to their proper positions and hold them in place while the bone heals.



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