Auto collision Injury Symptoms
Words Of Wisdom

Warning signs you were REALLY injured in that car accident

Numbness and tingling after a car accident can be a sign of something very serious! Don’t miss the warning signs!

After getting whiplash, individuals often complain of discomfort in the neck followed by stiffness, tenderness, and pain while moving the neck. In most cases, the pain is stronger a few days after the accident. Individuals who suffered more serious injuries, besides the above mentioned symptoms, complain about pain radiating towards the head and shoulders,  down the arms, and sometimes even to the fingers. Pain radiation is often combined with tingling and numbness in the same areas, loss of strength in the arms and hands, etc. 1 It indicates that there has been an injury of a nerve root, a nerve itself, or that the surrounding tissues (vertebra, ligaments, spinal disc, etc.) are in direct contact with nerve root or nerve and are irritating it. Spinal nerves originate from the spine and their roots are located near the spine, so any spine injury can cause nerve root injury. The most common causes of radiculopathy symptoms after an accident are disc bulges, disc protrusion, overstretching of the nerve root or nerve, contusion of the spinal cord, etc.

Another commonly injured area in car accidents is the lower back. The mechanism of injury is the same as in a whiplash injury (a combination of sudden flexion and extension), but there are also many individuals who suffer a direct blow to the lower back. In those cases, the most commonly injured structures are the lower back muscles, ligaments, nerves, small spine joints, etc. Car accident victims usually complain about lower back pain, stiffness, and tenderness. In the case of more severe injuries, the person will have pain radiation to the buttocks or down the legs, usually in combination with tingling, numbness, loss of strength, etc.

After the accident, an ambulance usually arrives on the scene within a few minutes, and paramedics provide first aid to the individuals involved in a car accident. If the patient complains about pain radiation down the arms or legs, then the spine should be immobilized. Usually a combination of a cervical collar and a long backboard (LBB) are used for spine immobilization, with the main goal being to reduce spine and neck movements in order to lessen the chance of further damage during the transport to the hospital.

After being transported to the nearest emergency room, the patient is fully evaluated. Many people decline to be transfered to the emergency room because they believe they have sustained only minor injuries, and as a result, are fine. However, they usually return to the hospital after a few days after their pain and symptoms worsen.

In most cases, the examiner will examine the patient in the emergency room to try to find red flags which indicate a possible major nerve injury. A good examiner will look at the patient as a whole and not only focus on the injured areas. One of the best protocols for a suspected spinal cord injury is provided by the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA), which covers whole body examination guidelines and contains a number of tests to use to determine whether there is a spinal cord injury. The examiner should test sensory function, motor strength, and the level and the extent of injury. 2 The examination usually reveals tenderness at the injured site, painful spasm of the paraspinal muscles, and restricted range of motion. The examiner will conduct a number of tests which can detect a possible major injury. The examination is then usually followed by X-rays, which must be ordered by an ER doctor. X-rays are the most common imaging technique used after car accidents, and they are analyzed by radiologist, who tries to find possible signs of injury (broken bones, misalignment of vertebral bodies, changes of normal spinal curves, dislocation of bone, etc.). In most cases, if the X-ray doesn’t show any injury, the patient is released and allowed to go home.

X-rays are a great diagnostic tool for detecting bone injuries like fractures or dislocations. However, they can’t detect soft tissue injuries. MRIs are a lot more sensitive in detecting soft tissue injuries like sprains, strains, ligament tears, contusions, disc bulges, spinal cord injuries, nerve or nerve root injuries, etc. Any patient presenting with the symptoms of a nerve injury (such as tingling, numbness, pain radiation, loss of strength, etc.) should undergo an MRI to detect possible injury, even if their X-rays are normal. 3 

Every hospital should have a protocol in place for trauma patients. Most protocols require pathological findings on an X-ray or CT in order to necessitate a further MRI. But many protocols also require an MRI in case of neurological symptoms. 4

 If the person complains of tingling, numbness, pain radiation to the extremities, or loss of strength in the extremities, he/she should be taken seriously as these symptoms occur in radiculopathy, also known as a pinched nerve. Pinched nerves occur in cases where the nerve or nerve roots are compressed following an injury. 5 Any tissue located near the nerve (such as bone, cartilage, muscles, tendons, ligaments, spinal disc, etc.) can cause compression. One of the most common causes of a pinched nerve after an accident is a herniated disc.

Symptoms similar to a pinched nerve can be caused by spinal stenosis, which is a narrowing of the spinal canal located inside the spine. This narrowing is usually caused by bone overgrowth. However, it can also be caused by a disc bulge after an accident. Bulged discs will compress the spinal cord or nerve roots and cause symptoms like tingling, numbness, loss of strength, pain radiation down the extremities, and in severe cases, even paralysis. 6

Stretching during the car accident exerts enough force to cause the nerve roots located in the neck or lower back to stretch, resulting in radiculopathy.

It is very important to determine the extent of injury and to locate the site of injury, as treatment methods depend mostly on the type of injury. If the person has the symptoms of a pinched nerve, he/she should visit their physician and ask for a referral to a physical therapy specialist, orthopedic surgeon, or neurologist.

If the specialist suspects that there is even that slightest chance that the patient has a nerve injury, they will most likely ask for an MRI of the injured area. MRIs are great diagnostic tools for detecting  soft tissue injuries, including nerve injuries. They can detect nerve root injuries, spinal disc herniation, ligament or muscle injuries, etc. 7

In the event that you experience numbness, tingling, pain radiation or loss of strength, it can indicate a possible nerve root injury, and you can insist on an MRI.

The MRI findings will have a significant impact on future treatment methods. In the case of no visible nerve injury or minor injury, the patient will undergo an intensive physical therapy treatment. Also, many patients undergo acupuncture or chiropractic treatment after their accidents. These treatments can last for weeks or even months, depending on the severity of injury.

Neurologists often recommend an electromyoneurography (EMNG) study, which can detect even the smallest changes in nerves after the accident. EMNG is also known as a nerve conduction velocity test, and it is used to examine nerve activity. In the event of any nerve problems, there will be changes in the conduction of impulses down the nerve, which are detectable by EMNG.

The timing of treatment plays a very important role in the management of nerve root injuries. Patients who start treatment early have a significantly higher chance of healing than patients who delay in obtaining treatment or who don’t seek or receive any treatment at all. 8

If you don’t treat your nerve injury in time, you will probably have problems related to it (periodic or constant numbness, tingling, etc.) for the rest of your life .

In conclusion, many people suffer major nerve injuries but don’t seek medical attention because they think their symptoms are not that serious. Some of the most common symptoms they may experience are tingling and numbness in their extremities, which occur often after a car accident and can indicate a serious injury. So, if you were involved in a car accident and suffer from numbness or tingling, it is best to visit your doctor for a thorough examination. 

References:

1.            Ioppolo, F. and Rizzo, R. (2014). Epidemiology of Whiplash-Associated Disorders. Whiplash Injuries, pp.13-16.

2.            “Spinal Cord Injuries Clinical Presentation: History And Physical Examination.” Emedicine.medscape.com. N. p., 2018. Web. 6 June 2018.

3.            Radiologic Evaluation of Chronic Neck Pain, Richard H. Daffner,  Am Fam Physician. 2010 Oct 15;82(8):959-964.)

4.            “MRI In Acute Spinal Trauma.” Appliedradiology.com. N. p., 2018. Web. 6 June 2018.  So, if you have loss of strength, tingling or numbness you should insist on MRI.

5.            Cervical Radiculopathy (Pinched Nerve), Ian Rodway,  June 2015, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons).  

6.            “Spinal Cord Injuries Clinical Presentation: History And Physical Examination.” Emedicine.medscape.com. N. p., 2018. Web. 6 June 2018.

7.            Imaging after trauma to the neck, Bernard Wee, John H Reynolds, and Anthony Bleetman, BMJ. 2008 Jan 19; 336(7636): 154–157.doi: 10.1136/bmj.39433.663715.BE

8.            Caridi, John M., Matthias Pumberger, and Alexander P. Hughes. “Cervical Radiculopathy: A Review.” HSS Journal 7.3 (2011): 265-272. Web. 6 June 2018.

Traumatic injury from car accident
Words Of Wisdom

WHOA: Here’s what a simple car accident can do to your brain…

Types of head or brain injuries caused by auto accidents, including TBI

Car accidents are one of the most common causes of injuries and death, especially among younger people. Worldwide, over 50 million people are injured in car accidents every year. 1 Despite their frequency, many of these collisions are the result of driver negligence and as such could have been completely avoided. Instead, for millions, a split second can cause lasting emotional and physical harm, disability, and impairment. If you or someone you know has been injured in an automobile collision, you should waste no time in seeking legal advice after immediate medical care, particularly if you require the services of a head injury attorney. Particularly in the case of a head trauma, an experienced brain injury attorney can be vital in helping you negotiate the complicated legal, medical, and insurance issues following your car accident.

Head trauma is one of the most common types of injury sustained in every car accident. 2 3
Because of the head’s wide range of motion, sudden deceleration and acceleration will often cause the head to hit the steering wheel, windshield, or other hard parts of the car.
In case of a brain injury, the most common mechanism is the impact of brain on the interior walls of the skull. Under normal circumstances, the brain is protected from minor impacts by a small amount of fluid inside the skull. This fluid prevents the contact of the brain and interior walls of the skull during a minor blow or accidents (for example, minor falls, hit with a ball, etc.). However, auto accidents involve high velocity and energy, producing impacts that render the fluid unhelpful to prevent contact of the brain to the skull.

During a car accident, the human body will suddenly accelerate or decelerate, and the brain cannot follow those motions with the same speed. When a car is hit from behind, the human body will be moved forward, while the brain remains in the same position for a part of a second. Even this small amount of time is enough for the brain to hit the back part of the skull. In the case of sudden deceleration (when the car hits an obstacle), the body will be decelerated or fully stopped within a few seconds. The brain will retain inertia and will continue moving forward until it hits the front part of the skull.

During high energy impacts, the human brain will move inside the skull, hitting the walls and causing brain injuries on both sides of the brain (site of impact and the opposite side). These types of injuries are also known as a coup and contrecoup injuries. 4

There are several types of brain injuries which can occur in car accidents, depending on the severity of injury and injured tissues.

Lacerations caused to the head

The most common car accident head injuries are lacerations, which occur in over 40% people involved in accidents. 5

Some deeper lacerations require stitches. But generally speaking, they are the least dangerous injuries, and in most cases, they heal within a couple of weeks.

 Concussion

Another common injury in car accidents is a concussion. It is caused by a direct blow to the head. In the case of a concussion, the person will be confused, he/she won’t be able to remember the accident or the period after the accident, and there will always be a period of lost consciousness right after the accident. In most cases, the person will have a “hole” in their memory, but as time goes on, he/she will start remembering the accident. Concussions usually don’t lead to any major issues, but in the case of multiple concussions, they can have severe consequences. 4

On the other hand, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can cause severe brain damage which can result in devastating consequences or even death. 6

Anoxic brain injury

Lack of oxygen, which lasts for a longer period of time and is caused by any reason, causes brain cells to die. The severity of the brain injury will depend on the time the person goes without oxygen. In the case of car accidents, anoxic brain injuries are usually caused by drowning or by heart or lung injury.

Diffuse axonal lesion

A diffuse axonal lesion is usually caused by a sudden strong rotation of the head, which is common in car accidents. During these movements, the brain tissue will stretch beyond its limits and tear. Most of the affected tissues are actually fibers (axons), which connect different brain cells. As a consequence, the brain will lose control over the affected part. Diffuse axonal lesion can cause temporary issues, which can withdraw after the brain establish control once again over the affected part. In some cases, if the extent of injury is large, the damage will be permanent. 7

Cerebral contusion

Cerebral contusion is also known as a bruise of the brain, and it is caused by an impact of the brain to the inner sides of the skull. A contusion develops directly on the site of impact, usually on frontal or occipital lobes. 7 Smaller contusions resolve themselves on their own. However, larger brain contusions cause the death of affected brain tissue, and they require surgical intervention in order to remove dead tissue.

Hematoma

A hematoma is a collection of blood, and it can occur in the brain after a closed head injury. In case of head injury, blood vessels inside the skull can tear, causing the blood to collect inside the skull. Depending on the site of blood collection, different types of hematoma can occur (subdural hematoma, epidural hematoma, intracerebral hematoma, SAH). 4

How is traumatic brain injury (TBI) qualified?

The Glasgow Comma Scale is widely used to provide qualifications for the severity of the traumatic brain injury. The examiner will check for verbal, eye, and motor responses and rate them based on the given reactions. The maximum number of points is 15.

Individuals who have a GCS score 13-15 have a mild or minor brain injury. Individuals with a GCS between 8 or 9 and 12 have a moderate brain injury, and individuals with a GCS under 8 or 9 have a severe brain injury. 8

Don’t Wait. Act Now.

Car accidents resulting in brain injuries can cause devasting and enduring harm to accident victims. If you or your loved ones have been injured in a car accident resulting from the actions of another driver, you can seek representation from a brain injuries lawyer. You may be entitled to compensation for your bodily injuries, physical pain and mental anguish, disfigurement and deformity, inconvenience, medical expenses, earnings lost, and property damage.

If you are looking for a brain injury lawyer in Virginia, please feel free to reach out to us to schedule a free consultation. The professionals at Correll Law Firm, PLC are available for a free case evaluation to help you explore pursuing your personal injury case and receiving the compensation you deserve.  The best way to contact us is reaching out at the number at the top of our screen or filling out this short contact form.

References:
1.    “Road Traffic Injuries.” World Health Organization. N. p., 2018. Web. 27 May 2018.
2.    “Types Of Car Accident Injuries – Findlaw.” Findlaw. N. p., 2018. Web. 27 May 2018.
3.    Farghaly, Afaf & El-Khayat, Roshdy & Awad, Wafaa & George, Safaa. (2018). Head Injuries in Road Traffic Accidents.
4.    Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) – Injuries; Poisoning – MSD Manual Professional Edition. (2018). MSD Manual Professional Edition. Retrieved 27 May 2018, from https://www.msdmanuals.com/professional/injuries-poisoning/traumatic-brain-injury- tbi/traumatic-brain-injury-tbi
5.    Brookes, M et al. “Head Injuries In Accident And Emergency Departments. How Different Are Children From Adults?.” Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health 44.2 (1990): 147-151. Web. 27 May 2018.
6.    “TBI: Get The Facts | Concussion | Traumatic Brain Injury | CDC Injury Center .” Cdc.gov. N. p., 2018. Web. 27 May 2018.
7.    Mendelow, A. D., and G. M. Teasdale. “Pathophysiology Of Head Injuries.” British Journal of Surgery 70.11 (1983): 641-650. Web. 27 May 2018.
8.    “Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) – Definition, Epidemiology, Pathophysiology: Overview, Epidemiology, Primary Injury.” Emedicine.medscape.com. N. p., 2018. Web. 27 May 2018.

medical malpractice in Virginia
Words Of Wisdom

Did you know THIS about surgical malpractice?

Surgery malpractice

Surgery is one of the most common treatment options, and in some cases, it can be a patient’s only option. In the past, surgery was linked to poor outcomes and high complication rates. But in the last century, with the help of advancements in antibiotic therapy and asepsis, surgery has become a very safe treatment procedure.

However, it is not 100% safe, and every surgery carries the risk of potential complications. Aside from the risks inherent within each procedure, hospital errors and medical malpractice during surgery can have lasting, negative effects on a patient. That is why surgical associations and organizations research and publish guidelines, with the goal of reducing the occurrence of surgical complications and medical malpractice. One of the most detailed guidelines is published by the World Health Organization (WHO Guidelines for Safe Surgery). According to the WHO, it is important to ensure that the following recommendations are followed: prevention of infection of surgical site, anesthesia safety, and surgical team safety. 1

In order to prevent the infection of the surgical wound, the basic principles of asespsis and antisepsis should be followed. The surgeon and all members of surgical team should wash their hands, instruments should be sterilized before the surgery, antibiotics should be administered according to the recommendations before the surgery, the skin around the incision site should be prepared and draped in a sterile manner, the wound should be treated with caution, and surgeons should try to avoid unnecessary trauma to the tissue. Failure to follow any of these recommendations can lead to a wound infection. 1

Anesthesiologist malpractice

Anesthesia is one of the most important parts of every surgery. The anesthetist should be well trained in order to provide a safe anesthesia. The machine should be checked prior to surgery, and the patient’s vitals (blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen saturation, body temperature) should be monitored throughout the entire surgical procedure. 1

And last but not least, a safe surgical team should be well organized and have excellent communication in order to be best prepared for the surgery. The surgical team can reduce hospital error by confirming that they have the correct patient as well as all the correct information for the site and procedure. The patient should sign an informed consent form prior to surgery and confirm any possible allergies. The nurse working at the surgery table should note any missing surgical sponges, gauzes, or instruments in order to prevent retained foreign objects in the body and later complications. 1

If there is a breach of the standard of care, it can lead to severe and sometimes life-threatening consequences. Some of the most devastating instances of medical malpractice occur when a surgical instrument or sponge is inadvertently retained in the wound. It is hard to imagine that a well-trained surgeon could really forget to remove an instrument from the patient’s body, but this kind of surgical error does occur, and when it does, seeking the representation of a medical malpractice attorney may be the only way to ensure you receive the compensation you’re entitled to. Some reports claim that it happens once in every 1000-7000 surgeries. 2 3 4 In the USA alone, over 1500 cases are reported each year. 5

Retained foreign objects

The human body is not used to having a foreign body or material inside it (with the exception of endoprothetic materials, which are compatible). In the presence of a foreign material, the body will react and try to defend itself by initiating an inflammatory reaction. 4 In the event that the foreign material remains inside the body for a longer period of time, it can cause serious complications and even death.

Surgical instruments or sponges are most frequently forgotten during intraabdominal and intrathoracic surgeries. 6

Surgical sponges are retained the most often, followed by needles and instruments. 7

Important factors which contribute to a higher risk of retention of foreign objects are emergency surgeries, unplanned changes made during the surgical procedure, and a high BMI of the patient. 8

The main goal of surgery is to solve the problem patient has. If the surgeon leaves an instrument or sponge inside the body, that object can trigger further symptoms and create even more problems for the patient than they had before they checked into the hospital.

A patient can show symptoms immediately following surgery, or they may only notice something is wrong months or even years later. Often, they may not even connect their new symptoms to the surgery itself.

One study claims that every patient with a retained foreign body had symptoms after the surgery. Of those, the most common were sepsis caused by intestinal obstruction or fistula (tunnel) between the intestines and skin, abdominal pain, and a palpable mass. Even when the foreign object is removed, there is a high chance (18%) that a new surgery will be required in order to solve the remaining problems. 10% of the patients that required a second surgery died. 9

Another study claims that 69% of patients required a revision surgery after the retained instrument or sponge was diagnosed. These patients also have a much higher chance of having an emergency surgery (33% vs 7%). 8

Patients with a foreign body can have symptoms similar to an infection or abscess (puss formation) shortly after surgery or within a few months. 4

Lincourt et al. claim that, patients with retained foreign objects have a higher chance of multiple major surgical procedures. 6 Surgical instruments are usually well visualized using X-rays, while sponges need to be identified using more specific imaging techniques, like a CT or MRI scan. 4 In an operating theatre, the scrub nurse is responsible for counting the sponges and instruments, but he or she does so under the direction of the surgeon. 4

Every nursing organization has recommendations and standards for counting the surgical instruments and sponges in order to prevent inadvertent retention. 10 11 Most of them recommend that the scrub nurse counts sponges and that the circulating nurse performs a recount. Each time, the number of sponges should be documented.

Lately, new systems have been designed to automatically count surgical sponges and prevent possible human error. This system is based on the use of bar-coded sponges instead of regular surgical sponges. It has showed an improvement in detection of surgical sponges. 12

This can lead to significant decrease in the incidence of retained surgical instruments and sponges, though these systems and procedures have not been implemented in most hospitals in the United States. Until they are, this kind of hospital error will continue to cause devasting and unnecessary harm to many patients. If you or your loved ones have suffered from complications, infection, pain, disability, or impairment resulting from surgical errors, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering, lost wages, reduction in future earning capacity, hospitalization and re-hospitalization expenses, and other types of injuries.

Beau Correll is a medical malpractice attorney who focuses on personal injury, including wrongful death, cases. If you are looking for medical malpractice lawyers in Virginia available for a free consultation to help you determine how to pursue your medical malpractice case and receive the compensation you deserve, reach out to us.  Call us at the number listed at the top of our site for free case evaluation or fill out this quick form (it takes about 30 seconds).

References:

1.    WHO, WHO Guidelines for Safe Surgery 2009, available at http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/44185/9789241598552_eng.pdf
2.    Bani-Hani, Kamal E., Kamal A. Gharaibeh, and Rami J. Yagha. “Retained Surgical Sponges (Gossypiboma).” Asian Journal of Surgery 28.2 (2005): 109-115. Web. 20 May 2018.
3.    Egorova NN, et al. “Managing The Prevention Of Retained Surgical Instruments: What Is The Value Of Counting? – Pubmed – NCBI .” Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. N. p., 2018. Web. 20 May 2018.
4.    Zejnullahu, Valon A. et al. “Retained Surgical Foreign Bodies After Surgery.” Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences 5 (2017): n. pag. Web. 20 May 2018.
5.    P, Brisson. “Prevention Of Retained Foreign Objects. – Pubmed – NCBI .” Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. N. p., 2018. Web. 20 May 2018.
6.    Lincourt, Amy E. et al. “Retained Foreign Bodies After Surgery.” Journal of Surgical Research 138.2 (2007): 170-174. Web. 20 May 2018.
7.    “Retained Surgical Sponges, Needles And Instruments | The Annals Of The Royal College Of Surgeons Of England.” The Annals of The Royal College of Surgeons of England (2018):. Web. 20 May 2018.
8.    Gawande AA, et al. “Risk Factors For Retained Instruments And Sponges After Surgery. – Pubmed – NCBI .” Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. N. p., 2018. Web. 20 May 2018.
9.    Gonzalez-Ojeda A, et al. “Retained Foreign Bodies Following Intra-Abdominal Surgery. – Pubmed – NCBI .” Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. N. p., 2018. Web. 20 May 2018.
10.    Nurses, Association. “Guidelines For Perioperative Practice – Clinical Resources – Association Of Perioperative Registered Nurses.” Aorn.org. N. p., 2018. Web. 20 May 2018.
11.    “Australian College Of Perioperative Nurses :: Standards.” Acorn.org.au. N. p., 2018. Web. 20 May 2018.
12.    Greenberg CC, et al. “Bar-Coding Surgical Sponges To Improve Safety: A Randomized Controlled Trial. – Pubmed – NCBI .” Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. N. p., 2018. Web. 20 May 2018.

Words Of Wisdom

Do You Need Car Insurance MedPay?

What is Car Insurance MedPay?

Medical payment coverage, commonly called “medpay”, is a “no fault” coverage typically provided by your car insurance company to cover medical services rendered by healthcare providers due to a car accident.  As a “no fault” insurance, it will kick-in regardless of who is to blame for an auto accident.  It also can be applied to assist you even if you have high health insurance deductibles or no health insurance at all.

Virginia requires all car insurance companies to offer medpay with your policy.  However, whether you choose to add this optional coverage is up to you.  Under Va. Code § 38.2-2201, medpay covers, within three (3) years from the date of the accident, all “reasonable and necessary expenses for medical, chiropractic, hospital, dental, surgical, prosthetic and rehabilitation services” and ambulance transportation. 

Why Do You Need MedPay?

  1. You can “double-dip” or even “triple-dip” in Virginia.  We at Correll Law Firm, PLC love medpay coverage because it helps our clients maximize recovery.  Say, for example, you get in a car accident that caused you $10,000.00 in medical bills, your health insurance covered $8,000 of the full bill, and you had a $10,000 in medpay coverage.  Virginia is a collateral source state in which you are not penalized for paying for health insurance (great law, by the way) and liabilty carriers generally can’t reduce their liability due to payments by your health insurance company.  Therefore, if we obtain $10,000 for your bills from the liability carrier (bad guy’s insurance company), plus obtaining $10,000 in medpay, and then you realize $8,000 in value from your health insurance carrier, you would have obtained $28,000.  That is almost twice your actual bills!  If applicable, as your car accident attorney, we will also try to obtain lost wages and pain-and-suffering as well as other classes of damages you may be entitled to following a car accident.
  2. They all add up and can be “stacked.”  If you are in a household with multiple vehicles, with each vehicle having their own medpay coverage, you can add up the individual coverages for your one accident.  Of course, you’ll have to look at your specific contract to make sure that “stacking” is allowed for your household.
  3. It’s super cheap.  The coverage is typically only a few dollars more than your usual car insurance payment.  For that small inconvenience, you get a massive convenience: due to the car accident, regardless if you’re ultimately to blame, you get medical expenses paid.
  4. Personal injury lawyers generally don’t take a fee for medpay claims.  As a general rule, does not charge a fee on medpay payments because they are generally “ministerial” acts requiring just simple accounting and submission of claims.  On the other hand, in the event a medpay claim requires the use of legal skills, knowledge, experience and advocacy to assist in a settlement, a fee may need to be discussed.  Some medpay providers are notorious for cherry-picking claims and scrutinizing every bill to meet the “reasonable and necessary” conditions.  This behavior can lead to delays in the final settlement.
  5. Your Passengers Can Get Covered.  Medpay can apply to passengers in your car that were hurt or injured.
  6. No (or limited) hoops to jump though.  Depending on your car insurance company, claims are paid quickly.  There are exceptions to this rule. 

Engaging a qualified injury attorney with established processes for evaluating and submitting medpay claims on your behalf is critical to making sure you are made “whole again” after an auto accident.  We, at Correll Law Firm, PLC, have both experience and know-how in evaluating your claim.

CALL US TODAY AT 540.535.2005 TO SCHEDULE A CASE EVALUATION

Correll Law Firm, PLC, serving Northern Virginia, has a solid familiarity of both the automobile injury claims process, the factors to maximize recovery, and the law related to personal injury claims.  

CLF in News

Today’s Jury Seminar in Fairfax

FAIRFAX, VA – Correll Law Firm, PLC attorney Beau Correll attended a seminar focused on jury selection and the art of persuasion, today in Fairfax.  

The art of voir dire is one of the most critical skills of a trial attorney as it may determine the path of a case even before it begins.

“One of the all-time greatest lawyer quotes is from Clarence Darrow who said, ‘The only real lawyers are trial lawyers, and trial lawyers try cases to juries.’  As someone who has tried cases to juries, I can tell you it is a skill that has to be constantly refined to practice law in the truest sense of the term,” Correll said. 

The course was billed to cover:

  • A Judge’s Perspective on Jury Selection
  • The Law of Jury Selection
  • How Jurors Think: What Every Litigator Needs to Know
  • Preparing for Voir Dire
  • Voir Dire and the Art of Asking the Right Questions
  • Jury Selection Strategy
  • Social Media Use and Other Complex Jury Issues
  • Ethical Considerations in Jury Selection

Correll Law Firm, PLC, (correllfirm.com) located in Winchester and serving Northern Virginia, is dedicated to advancing the representation of criminal defendants and personal injury clients.

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Words Of Wisdom

Presenting The Best Case

No one (sane) wants to be in a car accident.  From a mere inconvenience, to a life-shattering years of treatment and recovery, the negligence of another driver can leave a lasting blemish on an innocent person.  

We at Correll Law Firm, PLC want to make sure that you know how to “jump start” your personal injury case to get the financial compensation that you may be entitled to through either settlement or trial.

Car accidents can be very traumatic experiences. The injuries you may sustain in the accident for the rest of your life.

In addition to the physical harm, you may be at-risk for untold financial harm as well.  One heavily-cited Harvard Medical Study found that 62 percent of bankruptcies are due to medical bills.  In the majority of those cases the individuals even had health insurance!

That’s why knowing the ins and outs of a personal injury client’s insurance is crucial as there may be coverages that a person may not be aware of.

There are many ways to make sure that you are covered in the event someone hits you in a car accident in Northern Virginia.  However, in order to maximize recovery, it’s crucial that you “document, document, document” the circumstances of your injury.

We’ll give you some tips on thoroughly documenting your injuries and making sure you support an award for adequate compensation from a car insurance company. 

Many times we ask client’s to help “jump-start” our representation by providing several key items of evidence.  That said, it is the practice of our firm to seek most of the below items for you.

  • A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words.  You won’t believe how important this is to both our understanding and that of the insurance company.   We’ll want pictures of your car’s damage, both from afar and close-up, and road conditions.  As to your damage – your personal injury – we’ll need both before and after photos that are a true and accurate depiction of the harm that was caused by the other driver.  If you are now limited in activities that you could have done before, we want to see that as well.
  • Day To Day Limitations.  We frequently ask clients to document their daily trials and tribulations, which are frequently forgotten months after the accident.  Being accurate is critical. We ask because forgetting bad things that happen is not only part of the coping process; it’s human nature.  
  • Accident Location.  We frequently use mapping tools to visually-depict what happened on the day of the collision.
  • Lost Wages.  Aside from medical expenses, this is one of the most critical items to keep track of following a car accident.  We have had cases be great or not so great based on the ability to document lost wages.
  • Medical Records.  We’ll need releases so we can get into the science and mechanism of your injury.  It’s not enough to say you were injured.  We need to make the case of how it happened even if it may seem obvious to you.  You have to assume the insurance company of the other driver will try to poke holes in your case if medical documentation is not as complete as practical.
  • Medical Billing.  If you are not able to obtain these records when you come to us for a consultation, don’t worry about it.  We’ll take care of it for you.  In addition to treatment records, we’ll want to document your pharmacy records, travel expenses for medical appointments, physical therapy equipment, and insurance treatment deductibles or co-payments.

Call us at 540.535.2005 to schedule a free case evaluation

Correll Law Firm, PLC, serving Northern Virginia, has a solid familiarity of both the auto claims process, the factors to maximize success, and the law related to personal injury claims.  It is important to us that our clients be happy with our representation.  Whether you have the documentation when you come to see us, or we obtain it to advance your case (which is most scenarios), we look forward to meeting you.

Contact Correll Law Firm
Words Of Wisdom

2018 Car Accident Victim Quick-Guide

Step One:
Call 911

Get help, if necessary.

Being in a car accident, caused by negligence of another driver, can be terrifying.

There’s frequently an initial moment of shock.

No matter where you are on the road, you need to take a solid look to see if you, your passengers, or others were injured in the accident.  This is the crucial first step before hiring a personal injury / car accident lawyer.

Yes, this is true even if there is no readily apparent property damage.  An academic study that we frequently cite to insurance adjusters from the State of Florida concluded that many times people are injured even if low-impact collisions.  

So, take a moment and assess yourself. 

  • Ask “Is anyone hurt?” to others in the car.
  • Examine them for trauma, if competent to do so.
  • Ask them to look you over.
  • Ask yourself: can you and your passengers move?  Do you potentially have a whiplash injury?  If you have any question whatsoever, get medical help immediately.  Don’t hesitate.

If someone is in immediate need of medical assistance, call 911.  

Calling 911  for injured parties is also very important in later getting compensated for your injuries.  That’s because car accident legal cases are all about documentation.  

If police also arrive, they may generate documentation and attempt to assess who caused the accident.  Usually, the person that caused the accident – if their conduct was reckless or otherwise violated the law – may be charged with either a traffic infraction or crime.

Remember:  a criminal case is about seeking justice.  On the other hand, a personal injury case is about “being made whole again.”

Before law enforcement makes a general “first look” of liability, they will gather evidence – including statements from other drivers and witnesses, as well as their contact information.  This information is crucial for a personal injury or car accident lawyer to help prepare a case.

Remember: Even if an officer believe someone violated an ordinance the other person’s insurance company may come to a different conclusion.

Interesting note: We’ve had several insurance claims representatives try to say that not calling an ambulance immediately affects the value of a claim.  We think that’s not always the case – sometimes injuries form later.

Lastly, if you or someone is injured – call for help! It may also be legally required to do so, in some circumstances.

Step Two:
Gather Information

Document, Document, Document!

Document. Document. Document!

Before law enforcement arrives you are your own detective, in a way.

If it is safe and prudent to do so, you’re going to want to get the name, address, and telephone number from the other driver.  Do the same of any witnesses.  In a world where everyone has cell phones – request to take a picture of their driver’s license.  You’re also going to want to ask for their insurance card.

We recommend that you consider not making any statements to the other driver.

If it’s safe to do so and you’re able to “get around”, consider taking pictures of your injuries, as well as physical damage to the vehicles involved.  After the accident, this includes pictures of bruising that may develop.

Take as many pictures as possible.  Most people don’t know what’s relevant and what is not.  However, a personal injury attorney will know what is relevant.

By documenting, the insurance company can’t turn a blind eye to what happened.  Documenting by taking pictures also has a second purpose and that’s to show the location of the impact on the vehicle, the road conditions, and the force of the impact.  

At Correll Law Firm, we’ll use the evidence available to help develop your case.

Document and seek medical treatment immediately if your condition after the accident worsens or new medical conditions emerge.  Go to every appointment with a health provider and follow all treatment recommendations. 

The insurance company for the other driver will draw a bullseye in any gaps in treatment to try to diminish your claim. Don’t let them!

Step Three:
Call Us at 540.535.2005

Act Quick.

As soon as the other driver’s insurance company gets wind of what happened, they’re going to want to lock you down in a recorded statement.  Let’s just say they aren’t always trying to find “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”  

Frequently they typically develop questions to either place blame on you or to minimize the conduct of the driver that harmed you. 

In Virginia (with some exceptions), if a party is 1% to blame they can’t recover.  That’s called contributory negligence.  This is the kind of information that the other driver’s claims representative is trying to extract from you.

We, at Correll Law Firm, highly recommend that – before you talk to them – that you reach out for legal advice.  Even if it’s not us!  

Having a personal injury lawyer will protect you.  What’s more, attorneys protect you from incomplete or inaccurate statements that can be played to look like you did something wrong.

A car accident / personal injury lawyer like Beau Correll will also be able to collect and preserve important evidence that will help you do well in negotiations.  If the insurance company isn’t fair in settlement negotiations, preserved evidence is also critical in any potential lawsuit.  

As your attorney and working for you, we will endeavor to protect your rights and securing the compensation you deserve.  

Your happiness, as a client, is important to us! 

You will always be able to reach the Correll Law Firm.  We try our best to return missed phone calls within 24 hours and will fight to  help you recover maximum compensation for the damages you have sustained as the result of a car crash.

Call us at 540-535-2005 to speak with us and schedule a free case evaluation.  We’ll explain the Statute of Limitations and shed light on a process that isn’t always the clearest.

Be well!

 

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The guide is for informational purposes only. You cannot rely on it exclusively, it does not contain legal advice, no attorney-client relationship exists or is implied to exist between the reader and Correll Law Firm, PLC, nor shall it impose an obligation on the part of the attorney to respond to inquiry. You are advised to secure independent legal counsel. In other words: these are just general statements of the law and every case and situation is different.

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CLF in News

Personal Injury Damages Seminar

NORFOLK, VA – Correll Law Firm, PLC personal injury attorney Beau Correll attended a day-long seminar focused on maximizing damages in personal injury / car accident cases today in Norfolk.

The educational program focused on empirically quantifying any and all damages an injured client may be entitled to, including both present and future general and special damages.

“I am always interested in advanced-level theories and practice pointers to get the best compensation a client may be entitled to,” Correll said. 

The seminar, optional for personal injury attorneys, included:

  • Identifying the key elements that shape the value of personal injury cases
  • Distinguishing current injury from pre-existing and recurring conditions
  • Finding out where to look for the most reliable medical information to support an injury determination.
  • Effectively using vocational expert reports and labor statistics to assess loss of earning capacity
  • Uncovering added special remedies that exist for wrongful death cases
  • Defining reasonable and necessary medical treatment to limit medical expense recovery to services directly related to the injury, in cases where an attorney represents the Defendant 
  • Practical tips for direct negotiations with claims representatives

Correll Law Firm, PLC, (correllfirm.com) located in Winchester and serving Northern Virginia, is dedicated to advancing the representation of personal injury and car accident victims.

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CLF in News

$1.35 Million Dollar Lawsuit

This was the article was recently printed in the Winchester Star. We wanted to comment that the article, quoting heavily from the Complaint, leaves out the statements of two neutral eyewitness that the ambulance neither had it’s lights and sirens activated and caused the accident. Also, we believe sovereign immunity will not apply for a host of reasons, stay tuned.

Fire company named in $1.35 million dollar federal multi-count personal injury suit

WINCHESTER — A West Virginia man has filed a $1.35 million lawsuit against the Gore Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company and one of its volunteers for negligence and malicious prosecution stemming from a crash with an ambulance two years ago.

Robert Dale Davis’ 24-page lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Harrisonburg, cites volunteer Joshua David Bryson. It also targets three John Does and the Frederick County Fire and Rescue Association.

His lawsuit claims that on June 16, 2015, he was driving his pickup truck west on Northwestern Pike (U.S. 50) in the right lane. As he neared the fire company, which is located on the right side of the road, a Ford ambulance driven by Bryson and occupied by the two John Does pulled out of the fire company garage toward the highway.

“As the ambulance neared the fog line of Route 50, [it] did not have its warning lights, or siren, exhaust whistle or air horn activated,” the suit claims.

The lawsuit claims Bryson accelerated directly into Davis’ lane of travel, which resulted in Davis colliding into the left side of the ambulance, despite his attempts to avoid the collision by slamming on the brakes.

As a result of the crash, Davis suffered “serious, painful and permanent injuries, medical expenses, lost income and a decrease in his ability to perform activities of daily living,” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit also accuses Bryson of “maliciously” lying about the ambulance’s lights being activated to the Virginia State Police and later committing perjury in court. The suit claims Bryson was told by a fire company captain or lieutenant (one of the John Does) to turn the lights on after the crash occurred.

According to the lawsuit, the state police faulted Davis for the crash and chastised him for not observing the ambulance with its lights and siren activated. He was criminally charged and prosecuted in Frederick County for reckless driving — a charge that could have led to him spending a year in jail.

He was acquitted of reckless driving, the suit states, but was found guilty of improper driving, which is punishable as a traffic infraction by a fine of not more than $500. Davis appealed his conviction to the Frederick County Circuit Court and was found not guilty due to what the lawsuit describes as inconsistent testimony from Bryson about when he turned on the ambulance’s flashing lights.

Bryson’s “false statements” and “malicious prosecution” forced Davis to defend himself and resulted in expenses, lost wages, insult, mental suffering, anxiety distress and harm to his reputation in the community, the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit includes three counts of negligence, two counts of gross negligence and two counts of malicious prosecution.

Davis is being represented by attorneys Carroll “Beau” Correll Jr., of Winchester, and Peter C. Grenier, of Washington, D.C.

Attorney Julia Judkins from the law firm Bancroft, McGavin, Horvath, & Judkins, P.C. Law in Fairfax is representing the fire company. She told The Star on Thursday that the lawsuit’s claims did not have merit. She said the ambulance’s lights were on and that Davis was negligent in his driving.

“It’s our position that neither the fire company nor the driver [Bryson] was negligent,” she said. “[Bryson is] entitled to what we call sovereign immunity. He was on his way to a lawfully dispatched event, so the law recognizes that he can only be sued for gross negligence and he didn’t lie to anybody.”

Judkins cited the police report, which said Bryson was trying to cross the traffic lane with the ambulance’s emergency lights activated and that Davis was looking to the left and did not see Bryson crossing the traffic lane. The report says that Davis swerved to the right to miss another vehicle that was stopped in the left travel lane and struck the ambulance in the driver side rear.

Judkins claims Davis was negligent, since the other vehicle stopped to let the ambulance leave the fire company parking lot because it “observed the lights” and “obviously observed the siren.”

The fire company has 21 days to respond to Davis’ lawsuit after being served a summons.

 

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The statement is for informational purposes only. You cannot rely on any posting, they do not contain legal advice, no attorney-client relationship exists or is implied to exist, nor shall it impose an obligation on the part of the attorney to respond to further inquiry. You are advised to secure independent legal counsel. In other words: these are just general statements of the law and every case and situation is different.