Useful Information

Injuries and Treatment:

Neck and Back Injuries

Neck and back injuries are some of the most common types of injuries we handle. Severity ranges from sprains to the muscles and ligaments to herniated discs, broken vertebrae requiring surgery and paralysis. However, unless the injury involves a broken bone, surgery or paralysis, insurance companies usually don't think these neck and back injuries are important or require much in the way of medical care, time off work, or personal injury settlement awards. For many people though, even simple sprains never completely heal and often cause daily pain for the rest of their lives. Despite the significant discomfort and physical limitations these types of injuries cause, insurance companies still consider them trivial and are frequently unwilling to fairly compensate the injured person without our help.

Radiofrequency Neurotomy

Radio frequency neurotomy is a treatment used by some pain specialists to relieve neck or back pain. It involves sending heat waves generated by radio waves to affected nerves via tiny needles injected into the skin. These heat waves damage the nerves, interfering with the transmission of pain signals to the brain. Treatment is more effective in some patients than others, but is typically effective for six months to a year. The drawback is that the procedure is expensive, and many insurance companies have been reluctant to pay for it. We have, however, had multiple successes is obtaining substantial settlements for our clients to pay for this treatment.

Traumatic Brain Injury

Concussions are quite common in auto accidents, slip and fall accidents, and a variety of other personal injury cases. Even though there may not be immediate signs of serious brain injury, we have had clients who have suffered long-term confusion, depression or other psychological disorders, experienced an inability to concentrate and/or process information after a head injury.

TMJ

These are the jaw joints that can be injured from a direct blow to the jaw or even from whiplash from a rear-end collision. Injuries to these joints can cause pain to the joint, clicking, locking, headaches, and other symptoms.

Hip, Leg, and Ankle Injuries

We have represented numerous individuals who have suffered broken or shattered bones. Generally broken bones heal relatively quickly, but in some cases, such as is common in high-speed crashes, there can be more complex cases involving multiple fractures in one bone. These can be difficult to heal and result in ongoing symptoms. For example, in one case involving a high-speed head-on collision on a freeway, a client's ankle was broken in so many places, the bone never correctly healed. When the healing was complete, our client's leg was significantly shorter and required surgery to lengthen the bone. This was extremely debilitating and painful for our client for an extended period.

Injuries to Extremities

We have also handled many injuries involving torn rotator cuffs, shoulders, arms, hands, wrists, hips, knees, and feet. Many times injuries to the neck can also cause symptoms in the arms and legs. Proper medical diagnosis is required to identify the cause of the patient's symptoms.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q? How much does it cost to have you represent me?

A. For most injury cases, it doesn't cost anything to have us review your case to see if it has merit. If we accept your case, you don't pay anything until the case is settled and you receive money. Our fee is usually a percentage of the settlement. There are some non-injury cases that require a consultation fee.

Q? How long do I have to decide what to do?

A. Minnesota has what is called Statutes of Limitation. These statutes are intended to make people take legal action within a reasonable time, or lose their right to do so. In the majority of cases in Minnesota, a person injured in a car crash has six years to sue the negligent driver. There are many exceptions to this rule, so it is important that you contact a lawyer right away to make sure you don't lose your chance for a fair settlement.

Q? What is my case worth?

A. The monetary value of a case is made up of many things. For example, it is necessary to consider who caused your injury and what the out-of-pocket loss has been for medical bills, wages and other things. It is also necessary to know whether there will be any further medical bills or wage loss, as well as how much pain and suffering the injured person has endured and how much more pain and suffering the injured person will have in the future.

Q? How long does it take?

A. To know the full extent of one's injuries can take a year or more. Disputes over liability and the amount of coverage available can also influence how long it takes to settle.

Q? Am I 10% at fault just for being there?

A. NO. NO. NO. This is a myth created by insurance companies to trick people into taking less in payment for their loss. If you did nothing careless or negligent to contribute to the collision or other injury-causing event, the at-fault person should pay 100% of your damages or loss, not 90%.

Q? What if the at-fault party is a family member?

A. When dealing with car insurance, it does not matter. A negligent driver is responsible for anyone he or she injures. It may be different though if a claim is being brought under a homeowner's policy, such as for a slip and fall. In those cases sometimes a family member is not allowed to bring a claim against another family member. We encourage you to call us right after an injury so we can help determine what insurance coverage may be available to compensate you for your loss.

Q? Can You Sue Yourself?

A. No. If you negligently caused your own injury, you cannot get a settlement from your own insurance company for your injury. You are, however, entitled to Minnesota No-Fault benefits.

Q? What is Comparative Fault?

A. This is a process by which insurance companies, lawyers, injured people and juries decide how much responsibility each person has in causing the crash or other injury-causing event. For example, if all of the negligence responsible for the crash equals 100%, the question is how to divide that between the involved people. Often, one person is completely responsible and the injured person is blameless. Other times, the injured person fairly has to take some share of the blame. A situation where this might apply is a case where one driver had the right-of-way, yet failed to avoid the crash because he was not paying attention. In a case like that, the fault is usually divided between the drivers. This is important because in Minnesota, an injured person is not entitled to a settlement if his or her fault was more than the other person's fault. Even if the other person is mostly at fault, for example 80%, the law will only allow you to receive 80% of your monetary loss. In other words, you cannot collect any money for the percentage of the crash that was your own fault. There is no guideline to tell us how to divide the fault, so the division usually comes down to good investigation and negotiation skills on the part of your lawyer.