Common Injuries and Common Problems
Some accidents cause horrific injuries that are visible immediately and require immediate emergency care, including surgery. These include brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, damaged organs, third-degree burns from electrocution or chemical exposure, and commonly broken bones. Tragically, some of these injuries can cause death and wrongful death actions. These are all injuries that Maniscalco Law has recovered millions in damages for our personal injury and workers' compensation clients.
Misdiagnosed Injuries May Lead to Insufficient Medical Treatment and Undervalued Claims
Other injuries also severe may not appear significant at first. For example, neck or back pain from an accident often has an initial diagnosis of a sprain or strain injury. However, after careful medical care, including an MRI, this initial diagnosis is changed to a herniated or bulging disc caused by the impact of the accident.
A herniated disc injury causing pain requires more extensive medical treatment than a sprain. Treatment costs are much higher than a strain or sprain injury, as is the value of the claim. Without the proper diagnosis, an accident injury claimant will not receive the proper medical care. Settling a personal injury or workers' compensation claim too early without appropriate treatment will lead to inadequate financial compensation for pain and suffering and future medical needs.
The medical-legal system can leave accident injury claimants without the medical care they need to obtain a cure or relief from their injuries. Reasons for this include doctor medical carelessness or (particularly in workers' compensation claims where the insurance company selects a doctor from a panel of physicians) conflicted interests for the insurance company and not for the patient. Without the involvement of a skilled accident injury attorney analyzing the medical treatment, the medical treatment you receive may be subpar. It is not uncommon for an accident claimant to still suffer from an injury despite a doctor claiming there is no reason for continued symptoms. You are not crazy; the insurance company-physician relationship may have just victimized you. We know the injuries and the doctors in Georgia and will provide you powerful legal representation so you will not become a victim of the system.
Example: Your shoulder pain may be from a neck injury and not a shoulder injury
For example, a cervical disc injury to your neck may refer pain to your shoulder and have a misdiagnosis as a shoulder injury. Cervical radiculopathy occurs when a nerve in the neck is compressed or pinched where the nerve branches away from the spinal cord. This nerve irritation may cause radiating pain into the shoulder, muscle weakness, and numbness that travels down the arm and into the hand. It is not uncommon for a physician to take an MRI of the shoulder due to a patient's complaints of shoulder pain that does not reveal a shoulder injury. An inattentive or biased physician may go no further and declare he or she has no more medical care to offer, yet you are still in pain.
Medical treatment should not end there, but often it does. Ensuring that the neck is also treated and evaluated in injury accident claims is essential to your physical and financial well-being and what you deserve.
Without the involvement of a skilled accident injury attorney analyzing the medical care a client receives from a medical provider, your medical treatment and financial compensation could be inadequate.
Example: Your low back pain may not be because you injured your low back but your SI joint
Those suffering lumbar disc injuries will often suffer "radicular" pain to their lower extremities. A lumbar disc injury may cause radicular pain to your thigh or to as low as your foot. However, low back pain may not be from an injury to the low back. For example, it is not uncommon for a person who falls and lands on their backside or hip to have an injury to their sacroiliac joint ("SI joint"). An SI joint injury may cause pain in the lower back and pain to the lower extremity. This injury mimics a low back injury but may not involve an injury to your low back. The pain down the leg may be from the sciatic nerve being "pinched" or "trapped" by the piriformis muscle. After obtaining a lumbar MRI that shows no lumbar injury, the medical provider may release a patient still suffering from low back pain. Insufficient medical treatment results in prolonged pain and suffering and inadequate financial compensation for the injury. Hiring an accident injury attorney having in-depth knowledge of anatomy, medical conditions, and Georgia doctors is essential to receive adequate medical care and money damages. Maniscalco Law's injury lawyer has over 30 years of experience obtaining the medical treatment and financial compensation for Georgia workers' compensation and personal injury clients. We have recovered damages for clients injured by truck accidents and car accidents, slip and fall accidents, industrial accidents, deck collapses, and other acts of negligence.
Preexisting Medical Conditions
An insurance company's goal is to reduce the value of an accident injury claim. An injury from the accident may involve a body area where degenerative changes or congenital conditions pre-dating the injury exist. For example, you injured your low back, and your doctor orders an MRI of the spine. The MRI shows spinal conditions of spondylosis, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, and facet arthropathy. Your doctor informs you that these conditions are "degenerative changes" that manifest over time, showing wear and tear to that body part. Before the accident, you either had no low back pain, or had little pain, or had not had pain for a year that has suddenly reappeared and worsened after the accident. The insurance company adjuster tells you that your claim is worth little because your injuries preexisted your accident.
Is the adjuster correct? The first piece of advice is too never believe an insurance adjuster. Under Georgia law, if the injury aggravated a condition already pending, then a claimant can recover damages for the aggravation of the preexisting condition. This law is known as the "thin skull" rule or "eggshell plaintiff" rule. So, even if you have a preexisting injury to the area injured from the accident, you may still recover for the aggravation of that injury under Georgia personal injury law and Georgia workers' comp law. However, an insurance adjuster will never tell you this and will never value your claim fairly where there is a preexisting injury. Many times your preexisting medical condition may be unrelated to your injuries caused by the accident. However, sometimes it may be your preexisting condition was causing the identical symptoms immediately before the accident as you experience after the accident. Analyzing the medical evidence may reveal additional symptoms or a hastening of the injury that adds value to your claim. An insurance company's business model requires that you get paid as little as possible for your damages. To assure that you are not shortchanged by an insurance company, hire an experienced accident lawyer.
At Maniscalco Law, our accident lawyer has been fighting to obtain the medical treatment and money damages Georgia personal injury and workers' compensation accident victims for over 30 years. We know injuries and understand how an injury can be a life-changing experience. Expect more with Maniscalco Law.