Brad Pistotnik Law
Abogado El Toro

Back Injury, Lumbar Spine and Thoracic Spine Injury Lawyer

Back injuries, lumbar spine injuries and thoracic spine injuries. Car accidents cause very severe back injuries with lifelong problems to innocent drivers. A rear end collision with a careless driver who was looking down at the phone or texting can result in a high speed impact as high as a 50 or 60 mph rear end collision. The lordotic curve of the spine is extremely damaged in these types of high-speed crashes. The spine is normally very strong and stable. After a severe auto crash, the force transfers the energy through the vehicle and your body is left to take the brunt of the force and energy which then causes damage to the structural bones, tissues and discs of the spine. This can affect the entire spine from the cervical, thoracic and lumbar region. More importantly, the high-speed crash will cause disc protrusions and ruptures in the thoracic and lumbar spine which leave lifelong pain. If your disc is damaged it can cause the disc to put pressure on the spinal cord and the adjacent nerve roots. Oftentimes, this will lead to your need for treatment by an orthopedic surgeon or neurosurgeon who may perform a laminectomy, discectomy, foraminotomy or a complete fusion with spinal bone grafts and instrumentation. If your back has been injured to this level from a car accident, truck accident or motorcycle accident then you need to find a highly qualified surgeon. You also need a highly experienced personal injury attorney and accident lawyer. Accident attorneys and lawyers are usually well-connected to doctors with high levels of orthopedic and neurological specialties because the accident victims require specialized type of medical care.

Unfortunately, many car accident victims that are involved in high-speed car crashes, truck wrecks and motorcycle accidents end up going to a family doctor or chiropractor and never get the help that they need. One of the most important parts of a car accident case involving a back injury with a lumbar spine or the thoracic spine is to ensure that the patient has adequate diagnostic testing including MRIs, CT scans, discogram’s, nerve conduction studies and other diagnostic testing to determine whether or not it is simply a back strain or sprain or something much worse.

How do you find a good back surgeon in Wichita, Kansas? Many of the high-speed crashes that cause severe back injuries occur in highway settings. Many of these cases occur in rural areas from Western, Northern as well as Southwestern Kansas. These areas usually lead to severe crashes due to highway speeds as high as 75 mph where there is very little time to slow down and avoid an accident. These high-speed accidents lead to immediate ambulance rides to a local hospital like Western Plains Regional Medical Center, St. Catherine’s Medical Center, Southwest Medical Center, Hays Medical Center and other hospitals in Western Kansas where the patient has a high level trauma and the rural hospital is unable to treat the patient with the appropriate level of necessary medical care. Oftentimes, the patient will then be life watched to a large hospital in Wichita, Kansas like Via Christi St. Francis or Wesley Medical Center. Once you are in Wichita, Kansas, the attending physician or your family physician from Western Kansas may help you locate a qualified orthopedist or neurosurgeon. Wichita only has a handful of spine surgeons to choose from. The spine surgeons go through years of training in order to learn how to appropriately repair disc injuries to the spine. There are numerous procedures that a person may go through. You may have to have a discectomy, laminectomy, foraminotomy, microdiscectomy or a full fusion with instrumentation. When you are hurt this severely it is extremely important that you find the right surgeon with a bedside manner filled with compassion and hands that are filled with talent. If one of these surgeries is performed in a trauma setting you may end up having subsequent surgeries.

Many patients are now opting for microdiscectomys in order to avoid the time frame for healing in a full fusion. As a lawyer, I see many clients who undergo the microdiscectomy as the first surgical procedure and they end up having to undergo a full discectomy, laminectomy and fusion. Many insurance companies will not authorize the full fusion at the start of the medical treatment. The doctors are left with an option of doing the more minor surgery out of cost reasons because health insurance companies like Blue Cross and Coventry dictate how much treatment you actually can receive. I have a client who recently underwent one surgery and needs a second surgery. Blue Cross is refusing to allow her to undergo the more complete surgery unless she undergoes 3 epidurals and a period of 6 months of physical therapy to see if that fixes the problem first. She has an extremely ruptured disc that is causing nerve root pressure along with sciatica and radiculopathy down the leg. She can’t yet get the appropriate surgery because her insurance company is dictating what treatment she gets. These types of insurance company problems are a routine interruption causing the patient to be unable to get adequate treatment that will really cure the medical issue. In many cases, lawyers have to intervene with the insurance companies to get the patient adequate medical care. The problem of insurance company refusals to provide appropriate approvals for surgery has increased drastically in the past several years to the point of causing many patients to be unable to get the surgery that they really need. This is an unfair part of the legal and medical system related to motor vehicle accident victims. This is just one more reason why you really need to hire a lawyer to help you after an accident.

What are the symptoms of a back injury, lumbar spine injury or thoracic spine injury? Lumbar radiculopathy is a symptom of pain in the lower extremities which shows a specific dermatomal pattern. A dermatome in a specific area in the lower extremity which can relate specifically to a nerve innervation from an area in the lumbar spine like at L4-L5 or L5-S1 and other levels of the lumbar spine. This radiculopathy can send a pulsing sensation from a patient’s spine and back down through the buttock and then into the lower leg as well as into the foot causing paresthesias, tingling, numbness, burning sensations and prickling sensations as well as throbbing. Many people describe the radicular pain as a sharp burning pain that shoots down the leg. Doctors will order radiological studies of the intervertebral disc and look at the nucleus pulposus as well as the anulus fibrosus portions of the lumbar disc. In essence, the car crash or truck accident can cause nerve root compression also known as impingement on the spinal cord and the adjacent nerve roots which causes extreme disability and pain into the motor vehicle accident victim. Lesser symptoms for back injuries can be a spasm in the thoracic or lumbar back where it does not shoot into the buttocks or thighs.

How can a back injury, lumbar spine injury or thoracic spine injury be treated? These types of sprains and strains are usually treated with physical therapy, trigger point injections and other modalities of treatment which are noninvasive. The severe car crashes almost always result in treatment that becomes invasive and requires epidural injections, facet injections, SI injections, discograms and surgical intervention. Many car accident victims will try the normal route of going through a family doctor with a round of muscle relaxers, anti-inflammatory medications and pain medicine. When this does not work the family doctors send the patient on to the next level of diagnostic care including CT scans, MRIs and myelograms as well as nerve conduction studies.

If you are a car accident or truck accident victim and you have a doctor who has not given you rapid diagnostic treatment, then the doctor may cause extreme problems with your case because the insurance companies have a system known as SIU which is from their special investigative unit. These insurance companies following protocols that were developed from the 1994 Insurance Research Council study which caused the insurance carrier to begin looking for gaps in treatment where patients are not getting consistent treatment. When you go to a family doctor you may have as much as 4 to 6 weeks in between visits. These seemingly harmless gaps in treatment can lead to an insurance company claiming that your back injury is not related to the accident. This is untrue and not well founded. However, any gap in treatment gives the insurance company an arrow to shoot at your case. This is why it is so important to go to a highly specialized doctor that understands pain management, orthopedics, neurosurgery and neurology in order to make sure that you have adequate care rapidly following the accident.

The term “active care” is a term of art in the medical industry and describes when a patient gets actual active medical treatment. The Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) has administrative regulations under the Code of Federal Regulations which describe when a patient is beginning active care. Insurance companies look at your active care in order to determine whether or not they will pay a bill. The insurance companies look at active care to see if you are getting active care or have gaps in treatment where you were not receiving active care. These gaps show up from software programs and algorithms that are used by major insurance companies like State Farm, Allstate, Progressive, Geico, Shelter, Liberty Mutual, Chubb Insurance Company, American Family insurance Company and many other companies that write car insurance policies. You, as a patient, need to understand this so that you do not allow gaps in your medical care. Once you have gaps in care the insurance companies will try to stop you from getting your necessary treatment.

Accident attorneys and personal injury attorneys and lawyers like Brad Pistotnik Law are experienced and skilled at watching and observing their clients medical treatment to make sure that problems with gaps in treatment do not develop. Many clients will come to us several months after an accident when it is too late to fix all of the problems where they were not getting adequate active treatment due to some family doctor blowing them off. This is why it is important that you have a highly skilled and experienced accident attorney or lawyer who can monitor your medical progress from the start of your accident through the end period in which you get your final recovery.

How do you find an experienced accident attorney that knows how to handle car, cycle and truck accidents where a personal injury victim has a low back injury, a lumbar spine injury or a thoracic spine injury? When looking for a qualified and experienced accident attorney with true trial experience and an understanding of medical literature you must search for a lawyer that understands both the profession of law and the medical aspects of a medical-legal practice. If you find a lawyer that understands law and medicine as they relate to one another, then you can feel comfortable that you have a lawyer that understands both the legal and medical aspects of your case. Ask the lawyer about their knowledge base about spine surgeries, discectomies, epidural treatment, magnetic resonance imaging studies and other medical procedures so you can determine if the lawyer really understands the medical-legal aspect of your case. Many really good trial attorneys who handle personal injury law and car accident and truck accident cases will spend years reading medical textbooks in order to be able to properly understand what the doctors are supposed to do. If you have a lawyer that does not understand the medical aspects of the case then it is impossible for the lawyer to question the doctor utilizing medical terminology that the doctor was trained on. Some of the best trial attorneys are able to speak in medical terminology equal to the doctor that they are questioning. It is important that your lawyer have a knowledge base of medicine. If they don’t have that type of the knowledge base, they cannot ask appropriate questions of your doctor or of your independent medical examination doctor that the insurance company sends you to. Always ask the lawyer to explain the medical aspects of your personal injury case to you and see if they really understand it.

It will be very important for you to tell your lawyer each symptom that you have for your back injury and explain to the lawyer what the pain feels like, whether it burns, tingles or has some other sensation that you use in your own words. Your lawyer and your doctor need to be told how bad your symptoms are. If these symptoms keep you up at night or cause interference in performing daily activities of living, your lawyer, doctor, physical therapist and nursing staff all should be told the same information. This will help your case be properly developed. Every professional, whether medical, legal, or nursing must have all of your information about every symptom and problem that you have as a result of your accident.

Car insurance companies hate personal injury victims with whiplash symptoms in the lumbar and thoracic spine or in the lower back which is called the lumbar spine. The insurance companies go out of their way to fight these types of cases. This is because they rely on a study performed by the top insurance companies back in the nineties which was called Auto Injuries: Claiming Behavior and Its Impact on Insurance Costs. The study was published in 1994 by the Insurance Research Council. This particular study was a group effort by many insurance companies in the United States insurance industry to identify ways to prevent insurance companies from having to pay for car accident victims’ damages. The insurance companies were focused more on back injury cases than many other areas of the body. The simple conclusion of the study was that insurance companies needed to find a way to keep auto accident victims, personal injury victims and motorcycle or truck accident victims from getting medical treatment to prove their injuries. The insurance carriers designed systems and computer programs that are aimed at destroying whiplash and back injury cases. One of the programs designed by Allstate was called MIST or “minor impact soft tissue" cases. This illogical and senseless system basically says that if you have a car accident with approximately one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) of damages or less in property damage and have a back injury, the adjusters are told to fight these types of cases more than an injury with a broken bone. The fundamental problem with their thought process is that many times a simple broken bone will heal leaving no further pain or movement problems for the injured person while a back injury can cause lifelong problems that never go away.

When can Brad Pistotnik Law help you with your low back, lumbar spine injury or thoracic spine injury? Brad Pistotnik Law and our team of attorneys and knowledgeable paralegals can help you and your family immediately following an accident so that you get the absolute best medical care. We can help to make sure that injured clients that have limited insurance still get adequate quality medical care. We can help to make sure you that your family are fairly compensated as a result of your back injury. Any delay in treatment can cause further low back and lumbar spine problems and ultimately will harm your case. You can get help from Brad quickly by calling 800-241-BRAD. You can also reach Brad Pistotnik on his cell phone at 316-706-5020 at any time. You can also call 316-684-4400. You should call Brad as soon after an accident as you can to talk about what your symptoms are so that appropriate medical care can be given to you. You need to understand that a lot of medical doctors and hospitals do not want to be involved in auto accident cases. This is because it takes away from their normal billing process where they get routine quick payments from health insurance companies. They don’t want to deal with lawyers. They do not want to deal with depositions. Many doctors are scared of lawyers and simply avoid helping patients that have a back injury as a result of a car accident. We can help you find an appropriate experienced quality doctor with experience in treating low back injuries and that has expertise in orthopedics, neurology, neurosurgery, anesthesia, pain management, and other medical specialties to help treat you.

Where can you find Brad Pistotnik Law? You can find Brad Pistotnik Law at our office location at 10111 E. 21st St. N., Suite 204, Wichita, KS 67206 or we can come straight to your home or hospital. Our phone number is 316-684-4400. Our toll free number is 800-241-BRAD. Brad’s cell phone number is 316-706-5020. Brad Pistotnik will help auto, truck and motorcycle personal injury victims in Wichita, Kansas, Nebraska and elsewhere. We are conveniently located in the new and growing northeast section of Wichita, Kansas which is easily accessible through Highway 96 to Webb road and then east on 21st Street or simply go to East 21st Street North and Webb road and proceed approximately three blocks east of Webb Road and look for the large Brad Pistotnik Law sign on the end of our building. Remember that we are not on East Central and have not been there for a long time. When you want to hire the original real Brad Pistotnik Law with more than 34 years of experience he can only be found on East 21st Street.

Why should you hire Brad Pistotnik Law? There are many reasons why you should hire Brad Pistotnik Law. The top 10 reasons are listed on our website at BRADPISTOTNIKLAW.COM Your First Consultation Is Always Free! Brad knows how to win your case. Brad is someone you can trust. Brad truly cares about his clients. There are many more reasons to hire the real Pistotnik Law. We work on low back injuries arising from slip and fall accidents, motor vehicle accidents, truck accidents, car accidents, tractor-trailer accidents, semi-accidents, big rig accidents, commercial motor vehicle accidents, motorcycle accidents and any other accident that causes a spine or back injury. We take cases all over the State of Kansas as well as in Nebraska. It doesn’t matter whether you live in Wichita, Kansas; Benton, Kansas; Bird City, Kansas; Blue Mound, Kansas; Bluff City, Kansas; Brewster, Kansas; Bronson, Kansas; Buffalo, Kansas; Buehler, Kansas; Bunker Hill, Kansas; Burlingame, Kansas; or Nebraska and other states. We can help get you treatment for your lumbar spine injury, for your low back injury or for your thoracic spine injury. We will work to help you find doctors wherever you live that care about their patients, just like we care about our clients. You can reach Brad Pistotnik 24 hours a day by calling him at 316-684-4400 or on his cell phone at 316-706-5020. Call Brad on weekends, holidays and at night. You don’t have to suffer from your low back injury when you can get medical treatment and “active care” to help get rid of your back pain, sciatica and radiculopathy from really good doctors who care about their patients who are not scared to deal with lawsuits and lawyers.

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