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The Link Between TBI and Intestinal Complications

The Link Between TBI and Intestinal ComplicationsTracing TBI to the Gut

 

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can affect many parts of the body, including the gastrointestinal system. The link between TBI and intestinal complications stems from the close connection between the brain and the gut. The brain is in charge of controlling and regulating your gastrointestinal (GI) system, which means the GI tract can fail in a number of ways after brain injury.

 

Disrupting the System

 

The brain operates the autonomic nervous system, which controls digestive tract functions like contractions and motility. You can experience abdominal pain if your autonomic nervous system is affected by TBI and intestinal complications arise when your GI tract doesn’t function automatically.

 

TBI can also hinder communication between your gut and your brain. When messages between your brain and your GI tract don’t transmit properly, the lack of communication can contribute to conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

 

Brain Injury and GI Tract Damage

 

TBI can also damage parts of your GI tract. For example, the mucus lining in your GI tract can degenerate and die after a trauma such as a car accident. The blood-brain barrier (BBB) can suffer physical damage as well. When that barrier is compromised, harmful chemicals can pass from your bloodstream into brain tissue, leading to numerous intestinal complications. A brain injury can also cause leaky gut syndrome, which is when the cells lining the GI tract become more permeable, allowing larger molecules and pathogens to pass through into your blood stream.

 

Strengthening the Connection

 

The link between TBI and intestinal complications means your gut—like many other parts of your body—can be affected by a brain injury. Fortunately, some of these issues, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, can be alleviated with treatment. But because of the irreparable harm TBI can potentially do to your GI tract, it’s important to treat brain injuries as soon as possible. You should seek prompt medical attention after suffering an injury or getting in an accident to help prevent further damage.

 

Speak with a personal injury attorney if you’ve been in an accident and suffered a brain injury. Before you settle your claim, it’s essential you know the full extent of your injuries. Because TBI can affect many parts of your body in significant ways, you need a thorough medical examination to determine your damages. An experienced Arlington Heights personal injury attorney can ensure you submit the proper evidence to the insurance company to get compensation for your present and future losses.

 

If you want to settle your insurance claim, Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Ronald F. Wittmeyer can help. With more than 30 years experience practicing plaintiffs’ personal injury law, we can fight aggressively on your behalf. Serving the Northwest suburbs including Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Palatine, and surrounding areas, the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. helps level the playing field against major insurance companies and corporations. If you’ve been injured or involved in an accident, call our office at (847) 357-0403 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly qualified Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys. The sooner we can learn about your case and your needs, the more effective we can be at recovering fair and adequate compensation for your losses.

 

 

 

How Is Traumatic Brain Injury Diagnosed?

How Is Traumatic Brain Injury Diagnosed?An Elusive Injury

 

Traumatic brain injury is a serious condition requiring immediate medical attention. But diagnosing traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be challenging, as numerous symptoms can appear. This makes TBI an especially dangerous injury because it can worsen over time without proper treatment.

 

Testing for TBI

 

A neurological examination testing for motor and sensory skills is the first step to diagnosing TBI. Emergency medical providers will often ask the patient questions about what they can feel and ask them to complete simple tasks like making a fist or gripping an object. If these tests indicate possible brain injury, medical providers use brain scans to confirm a diagnosis and assess the scope and severity of the damage.

 

CT scans take cross-sectional x-ray images of the skull to identify fractures, bleeding, brain tissue swelling, and bruising. MRI scans are also used to identify more subtle signs of TBI including scaring or minor bleeding or tissue damage, which a CT scan could miss.

 

In addition to these scanning methods, healthcare providers will evaluate the patient’s symptoms to diagnose TBI. But again, TBI patients can suffer a wide range of symptoms including:

 

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Cognitive deficiencies
  • Slurred speech
  • Loss of sensation
  • Loss of vision
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Seizures
  • Lack of emotion regulation
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Memory problems, and
  • Mood swings

 

Some symptoms appear immediately, while others can take weeks or even months to surface. Unfortunately, many people aren’t correctly diagnosed with TBI after an accident, which is made worse without treatment. For this reason, it’s crucial to seek emergency medical treatment after an accident so you can be thoroughly examined. You may not recognize signs of TBI. But TBI—if left untreated—can manifest itself in serious and long-term symptoms.

 

Why a Proper Diagnosis Is Important

 

If you’ve been in an accident, don’t rule out TBI. Concussions are a common injury after car accidents and also a form of TBI. Also, never ignore symptoms of any kind after an accident. Even seemingly unrelated conditions, such as depression, can indicate TBI. Don’t rush into settling your claim before you know the full scope of your injuries. TBI often isn’t diagnosed right away, so follow your medical provider’s recommendations and never settle before you’ve fully recovered and spoken with an Illinois auto accident attorney.

 

Preventing TBI is just as important. Always wear a seat belt in a car, which can reduce the chance of head injury, and wear a DOT-approved helmet if you are a biker or motorcyclist. And seek medical treatment immediately after an accident to catch and treat TBI before it worsens.

 

If you’ve been seriously injured, Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Ronald F. Wittmeyer can help. With more than 30 years experience practicing plaintiffs’ personal injury law, we can fight aggressively on your behalf. Serving the Northwest suburbs including Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Palatine, and surrounding areas, the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. helps level the playing field against major insurance companies and corporations. If you’ve been injured or involved in an accident, call our office at (847) 357-0403 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly qualified Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys. The sooner we can learn about your case and your needs, the more effective we can be at recovering fair and adequate compensation for your losses.

 

Help With Healing: When Severe Fractures Need Surgery

Help With Healing: When Severe Fractures Need SurgeryHelping Fractures Heal

 

Many fractures can heal on their own with immobilization and time. Severe fractures are less likely to heal completely with these conventional treatment methods. Fortunately, modern technology has made it possible to repair severe fractures using sterile surgical techniques. For those suffering from unhealed fractures, surgical treatment can be the key to returning to a healthy, active life.

 

The Surgical Procedure

 

Surgical treatment for fractures involves first reducing the fracture (i.e., positioning the bone back in alignment). This is necessary for the bone to heal without any deformity. Then, the bone or bone fragments are held in place with hardware like plates, screws, wires, and pins. The hardware might need adjustments and eventual removal down the road.

 

The Drawbacks

 

Surgical treatment can reduce the chance of improper healing and help patients regain their functioning sooner. Despite these benefits, surgery is expensive and can be painful. It can also introduce new problems such as infection or ongoing adjustments to the support hardware.

 

Nevertheless, you need to treat your injury fully before you settle your claim. If your fracture heals improperly, you could suffer from discomfort and lack of mobility for the rest of your life. For this reason, it’s important to make sure you’ve healed to the extent that you can before you settle your claim. This is called reaching maximum medical improvement. Otherwise, you’d face potential ongoing medical costs for which you cannot seek compensation.

 

Working With Insurance Companies

 

When treating severe injuries after an accident, it’s a good idea to consult with a personal injury attorney about your options. Insurance companies will typically reimburse you for reasonable and necessary expenses, so you should work with an attorney and your healthcare provider to make sure your treatment is reimbursable. Also, you might need help getting your immediate medical bills paid before you settle, as surgery can extend your treatment timeline while the costs mount up.

 

You shouldn’t have to fight with insurance companies to get your medical bills paid. A personal injury attorney can help you get the treatment you need when you need it. An attorney can coordinate your insurance benefits, work with providers on medical liens, or find other methods of paying your bills while you heal. Also, consult with an attorney before you settle to make sure your compensation reflects your present and future medical bills and pain and suffering.

 

Filing a personal injury claim can be overwhelming, and Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Ronald F. Wittmeyer understands how you feel. With more than 30 years experience practicing plaintiffs’ personal injury law, we can fight aggressively on your behalf. Serving the Northwest suburbs including Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Palatine, and surrounding areas, the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. helps level the playing field against major insurance companies and corporations. If you’ve been injured or involved in an accident, call our office at (847) 357-0403 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly qualified Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys. The sooner we can learn about your case and your needs, the more effective we can be at recovering fair and adequate compensation for your losses.

 

 

Accessing the Damages: Seeking Compensation for Pain and Suffering

Accessing the Damages: Seeking Compensation for Pain and SufferingIf someone is injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, that person is entitled to compensation for his or her damages. Damages can include medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

 

What Is Pain and Suffering?

 

Generally speaking, pain and suffering is the physical and emotional distress caused by an injury. But pain and suffering differs from financial damages such as bills and lost wages and is not calculated using bills and other economic costs. Nevertheless, it can be an important component of a fair settlement that restores the claimant to his or her original condition.

 

Injuries can be very painful. Additionally, they can be emotionally distressing, especially if they prevent a person from living a fulfilling life. Even something as simple as a broken bone can cause significant emotional distress if it keeps that person from doing the things he or she enjoys or living an independent life.

 

Compensation for Pain and Suffering

 

You deserve compensation if you cannot live your life to the fullest. But claiming pain and suffering can be difficult. Insurance companies sometimes dispute the calculation of this specific type of damage. Filing a successful claim takes providing ample documentation of your pain and suffering as it applies to your life and specific injury.

 

Calculating Compensation

 

Every person’s pain and suffering differs. Again, pain and suffering do not have a direct financial impact like bills do. With that in mind, you should speak with a personal injury attorney if you are seeking compensation for pain and suffering. Calculating a fair amount for your pain and suffering takes experience and an understanding of personal injury law in Illinois. An attorney will consider your medical bills and other direct financial losses when calculating your pain and suffering. Your financial losses are a good place to start when determining the financial value of your total experience.

 

You deserve fair compensation for all your losses. However, when dealing with insurance companies, you may face some resistance if you try to claim pain and suffering. Work closely with a personal injury attorney when claiming pain and suffering. An attorney can make sure you receive a full and fair settlement.

 

If you’ve recently been injured and need help with your insurance claim, Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Ronald F. Wittmeyer can help. With more than 30 years experience practicing plaintiffs’ personal injury law, we can fight aggressively on your behalf. Serving the Northwest suburbs including Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Palatine, and surrounding areas, the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. helps level the playing field against major insurance companies and corporations. If you’ve been injured or involved in an accident, call our office at (847) 357-0403 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly qualified Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys. The sooner we can learn about your case and your needs, the more effective we can be at recovering fair and adequate compensation for your losses.

 

 

Your Rights: Protecting Your Healthcare Information

Your Rights: Protecting Your Healthcare InformationIf you’ve been in an accident and are filing a claim, you need to protect your healthcare information to get a fair settlement. Insurance companies will try to get their hands on your medical records to find a reason to deny your claim. It isn’t personal; it’s just how they do business and make a profit. For you, however, this means you need to be cautious and know how to protect your rights.

 

Limiting the Scope

 

The insurance company does indeed need to verify your injuries by reviewing your medical records. Without doing this, they have no proof your medical bills were reasonable and necessary. Even though you need to provide some of your medical records to settle your claim, you do not have to provide them full access. This is the first, most important, right you should understand.

 

Signing a Release

 

Second, you have to sign a medical release before the insurance company can access your medical records. This is called a HIPPA release. The Healthcare Information Portability and Accountability Act requires HIPPA releases be signed before a third-party can access an individual’s healthcare records.

 

Protecting Your Rights

 

To protect your healthcare information, never sign a release provided by an insurance company without first speaking with an attorney. In most cases, you will be required to sign a release to settle your claim. But what insurance companies don’t tell you is you can limit the scope of the records they can access.

 

HIPPA releases must contain standard verbiage, but you can—and should—specify what records you are releasing. You should also specify what providers the insurance company can contact. Similarly, you should limit the time range from which the insurance company can pull the records.

 

What Records and From When?

 

In most cases, the insurance company will need medical records to corroborate the medical bills you submitted for compensation. For example, you would need to release records from the orthopedic surgeon who treated your broken bone. Conversely, you do not need to release records from treating a skin condition from years ago unless they are relevant. The fewer records you release, the harder it will be for the insurance company to find a reason to deny your claim.

 

Extra Precautions

 

On the other hand, you may need to release select records from a preexisting injury if the accident made it worse. In that case, the insurance company needs to determine your compensation for the injury the negligent person proximately caused.

 

Dealing with medical bills after an accident can be overwhelming, but Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Ronald F. Wittmeyer can help. With more than 30 years experience practicing plaintiffs’ personal injury law, we can fight aggressively on your behalf. Serving the Northwest suburbs including Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Palatine, and surrounding areas, the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. helps level the playing field against major insurance companies and corporations. If you’ve been injured or involved in an accident, call our office at (847) 357-0403 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly qualified Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys. The sooner we can learn about your case and your needs, the more effective we can be at recovering fair and adequate compensation for your losses.

 

Filing an Insurance Claim for a Home Health Aide

Filing an Insurance Claim for a Home Health AideFollowing an accident or injury, many people need extra help caring for themselves. Some have family members who’re available to provide that support. But many need the assistance of a home health aide.

 

When You Need Extra Help

 

Health insurance sometimes covers the cost of home health aides, but you may have high co-pays or only be reimbursed for a portion of the expense. If you have a personal injury claim, you may be able to have insurance pay for the home health aide. If you need extra help while you recover, here’s what you should know about filing a claim for a home health aide.

 

Compensation for Your Losses

 

Personal injury claims can cover a variety of damages such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Medical bills can include anything from emergency room visits to therapy to the cost of orthotic devices. Generally speaking, if your doctor says you need a particular treatment or therapy to recover from your injuries, you can ask for compensation for those costs.

 

A home health aide is someone who comes to your home if you are unable to leave and helps you with things like therapy exercises, administering medications, and self-care.

 

Whether or not the insurance company will compensate you for the costs of a home health aide will depend on the extent of your injuries, the treatment regimen your doctor prescribed, and whether you need an aide to help you.

 

Insurance Claims

 

In some cases, insurance companies will pay for home health aides if it means they do not have to pay for you to be in an inpatient setting. The costs of a hospital room or inpatient rehabilitation clinic are far more than the cost of a home health aide. In others, the insurance company might fight such a claim to compensation if it believes you do not need an aide to follow your specific treatment regime.

 

If your auto insurance policy doesn’t cover a home health aide, speak with an experienced Illinois personal injury attorney. An attorney can explain your right to compensation and help you work with the insurance company to get you the help you need to recover.

 

If you’ve been in an accident, Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Ronald F. Wittmeyer can help. With more than 30 years experience practicing plaintiffs’ personal injury law, we can fight aggressively on your behalf. Serving the Northwest suburbs including Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Palatine, and surrounding areas, the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. helps level the playing field against major insurance companies and corporations. If you’ve been injured or involved in an accident, call our office at (847) 357-0403 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly qualified Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys. The sooner we can learn about your case and your needs, the more effective we can be at recovering fair and adequate compensation for your losses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facing Spinal Cord Injuries: Finding Your New Normal

Facing Spinal Cord Injuries: Finding Your New NormalSpinal cord injuries most commonly occur in motor vehicle accidents, sports accidents, swimming accidents, and falls. Unfortunately, spinal cord injuries can be life-changing and limit your ability to do the things you love. Following a spinal cord injury, you may have to find a new normal. This can be made easier by following these tips.

Life After Injury

When facing a spinal cord injury, it helps to work closely with your healthcare team. They will be able to best provide you with the information you need to recover and adjust. Make sure you understand your prognosis and have a clear picture of what to expect. Your doctors can help explain the process of recovery and beyond.

Also, work with therapists who can help you adjust to your new life. Spinal cord injuries can vary in severity and positioning. Injuries sustained in upper cervical nerves can cause complete loss of mobility while those occurring in lower nerves may not. It’s important to understand how your injury can affect you and work with therapists to address the specific issues you could face.

Know that you can find ways to enrich your life. The field of mobility adaptations is burgeoning due to technologies such as 3D printing, mechanical engineering, and gene therapy. Now more than ever, the fields of science and engineering are applying innovation to help people with life-altering injuries live fuller lives. Subscribe to trade magazines, and stay on top of research from your local university. Therapeutic advances are made every day.

Don’t forget to allow yourself time to grieve. If your life is forever changed because of loss of mobility or sensation, it’s normal to be sad. Give yourself space to become used to your new life—it may take some time—and work through the injury emotionally. You may need psychological therapy as well as physical therapy to cope.

Know How to Seek Compensation

It’s also important to know what you are up against when filing an insurance claim. Because spinal cord injuries can affect many areas of your life and cause permanent damage, you should work with an experienced Illinois spinal cord injury lawyer in your area. A lawyer will make sure your settlement accurately reflects your losses now and in the future. An attorney can also aggressively pursue your case in court if your claim is unable to settle to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve. Facing the aftermath of a spinal cord injury is hard enough; an attorney can help handle your claim so you can focus on recovery and find your new normal.

If you’ve been in an accident and want to understand your rights, Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Ronald F. Wittmeyer can help. With more than 30 years experience practicing plaintiffs’ personal injury law, we can fight aggressively on your behalf. Serving the Northwest suburbs including Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Palatine, and surrounding areas, the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. helps level the playing field against major insurance companies and corporations. If you’ve been injured or involved in an accident, call our office at (847) 357-0403 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly qualified Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys. The sooner we can learn about your case and your needs, the more effective we can be at recovering fair and adequate compensation for your losses.

How New Technologies Can Help Heal Severe Fractures

How New Technologies Can Help Heal Severe Fractures Bone fractures can be painful, take months to heal, and require ongoing physical therapy. Some severe fractures—like nonunion fractures— never fully heal properly and cause a lifetime of problems for the patient. Non-union fractures are common after severe auto accidents.

Bone Healing Goes Tech

Patients can suffer from their fractures even after surgeries and long periods of rehabilitation. And non-union fractures can cause problems with mobility, function, and quality of life. New technologies, however, offer more effective ways to heal severe bone fractures, giving patients a better chance of making a full recovery.

Instead of just providing support for bones to reconnect and grow back together, like a cast does, certain new technologies using gene and stem-cell therapy help generate bone growth. This speeds the healing process and results in a more seamless union.

A Better Way to Heal

Fractures can’t heal fully when the body doesn’t produce enough bone material on its own. Stem-cell therapies utilize stem cells. Stem cells can differentiate into many different types of cells to boost osteocyte (i.e., bone-forming cell) production. But stem cells can be difficult to harvest.

New methods of extraction are allowing doctors to collect more stem cells and bone material from the patient in a less invasive way. This new method makes use of fluid naturally produced during orthopedic procedures. The fluid contains stem cells from marrow and bone materials. When filtered and concentrated, this material helps heal severe fractures sooner.

Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) can also trigger bone growth. Researchers have developed a new way of injecting BMP genes into bone-producing cells using a micro-delivery system and an ultrasound wand. This method is more effective than the older method of injecting BMP genes directly into the affected area.

The Prognosis

Gene therapy and stem-cell therapy are reinventing the way we treat severe fractures. But experiencing a severe fracture is still painful and takes time to heal. Being injured in an accident can be a traumatic ordeal. At a time when you should be focused on healing, you could find yourself battling with insurance companies to get your medical bills paid.

Whenever you suffer serious injuries in an accident, you should be working closely with an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure your rights are protected. Serious injuries—like nonunion fractures—can cause lifelong pain and complications. And your insurance settlement should reflect your future losses. An experienced Arlington Heights personal injury attorney can handle the tedious legwork of your claim while you focus on healing, ensuring you receive maximum compensation for your injuries.

 

Getting the compensation you deserve shouldn’t be a battle, and Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Ronald F. Wittmeyer understands how you feel. With more than 30 years experience practicing plaintiffs’ personal injury law, we can fight aggressively on your behalf. Serving the Northwest suburbs including Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Palatine, and surrounding areas, the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. helps level the playing field against major insurance companies and corporations. If you’ve been injured or involved in an accident, call our office at (847) 357-0403 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly qualified Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys. The sooner we can learn about your case and your needs, the more effective we can be at recovering fair and adequate compensation for your losses.

 

About the Firm


Ronald F. Wittmeyer, Jr. practices plaintiffs' personal injury law at his office in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

About Ron

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