Cliff Carlson Law Blog

What is an esophageal spasm?

The technical term for Esophageal spasm is spastic pseudodiverticulosis. This can cause abnormal muscle contractions in the esophagus and lower sphincter. This may appear as chest pains with a difficulty swallowing both liquids and solids. This may be accompanies by pain, but pain may exist alone. It is similar to esophageal achalasia and may become achalasia over time.

This can be examined by taking x-rays while the patient drinks barium. Manometry may also be used to measure contractions. The treatment is similar to esophageal achalasia. Medicine such as calcium channel blockers or nitrates may be used. More invasive techniques like dilation may be used as well.

Share on: Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter
Read More

What are esophageal pouches or diverticulas?

Esophageal pouches are abnormal protrusions in the esophagus. While these protrusions usually do not require treatment, they can be removed surgically. Midesophageal pouches are usually caused by lesions located in the chest outside the esophagus. Epiphrenic pouches occur above the diaphragm. The pharyngeal, or Zenker’s, pouch can fill with food which can them be regurgitated when the person lies down, possibly causing food to be ingested into the lungs.

The usual diagnosis involves a barium swallow. These pouches are also more of a symptom of an underlying problem that may need to be resolved.

Share on: Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter
Read More

What is the Esophagus?

The Esophagus is a tube that runs from the throat to the stomach. It is used to transport food to the stomach, and it accomplishes this by contracting muscles and not gravity as many suspect. There is a band of muscles at both the top and bottom of this tube that close to prevent food and stomach acid from going the wrong direction. If those muscles become weak, they will be unable to stop the flow of food and stomach acid in the opposite direction. This is more pronounced when the person is horizontal. Many individuals, including myself, cannot eat right before we go to bed for this reason. It is very uncomfortable. Problems with the esophagus might appear as chest or back pain, as well as a difficulty swallowing.

When a person swallows food, that food moves to the pharynx, or throat. The upper esophageal sphincter opens and the food enters the esophagus. There, peristalsis moves the food down to the lower esophageal sphincter. Peristalsis describes rhythmic waves of muscle contractions that occurs in the esophagus. Once the food passes the lower sphincter, it enters the stomach.

Share on: Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter
Read More

What is Esophageal Achalasia?

Esophageal Achalasia is a disease that affects the muscle of the lower esophageal body and the lower esophageal sphincter. The lower sphincter is unable to relax and allow food to enter the stomach. The muscles of the esophagus may also have trouble getting food to that lower sphincter. Both make swallowing food very difficult. The effect of this may be more profound when eating dryer food and when consumer less liquid during a meal.

The main symptoms of achalasia are difficulty in swallowing, regurgitation of undigested food, chest pain, cough, intense pain or discomfort after eating, and unintentional weight loss. The difficult in swallowing tends to become progressively worse over time and to involve both fluids and solids. Some people may also experience coughing when lying in a horizontal position. The chest pain can often be mistaken for a heart attack and can be extremely painful in some sufferers. Food and liquid, including saliva, may be retained in the esophagus and may be inhaled into the lungs

To diagnose achalasia, doctors may take x-rays while the patient is taking barium. This x-ray can show irregularities in the rhythmic waves in the esophagus, or a widening of the lower sphincter. They may also use esophageal manometry. This involves having a tube placed in your esophagus while you swallow. The tube records the muscle activity and makes certain everything is working correctly. An X-ray, or similar exam, of your esophagus may also be used to diagnose this condition. Other doctors prefer to perform an endoscopy. In this procedure, a small camera, at the end of a flexible tube, is put into the esophagus to look for problems. During this procedure the doctor may remove some tissue for further examination. This biopsy will help check for cancer.

Most esophageal achalasia treatments are aimed at the lower esophageal sphincter. Several types of treatment can be used to either temporarily reduce your symptoms or permanently alter the function of the valve. The first line of treatment is often oral medications such as Nitrates, or even Botox, that can help to relax the lower sphincter so food can pass through it more easily.

For a more permanent solution, doctors may try to dilate the sphincter or alter it. Dilation, which widens the sphincter mechanically, is usually done by inserting a balloon into the esophagus and inflating it. This stretches out the sphincter and helps the esophagus function properly. Repeated dilation procedures are not uncommon, and sometimes dilation tears the sphincter. This can result in death if not treated appropriately.

Esophagomyotomy is another option. Doctors use a large or small incision to access the sphincter and carefully alter it to allow better flow into the stomach.

 

Share on: Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter
Read More

How to Receive Compensation for Slip and Fall Accidents

Accidental slip and falls can turn out to be dangerous and painful if the person that falls down sustains permanent injuries. Many instances of slip and fall are caused by callous carelessness of the person owning the property, but many also happen due to lack of foresight of the victim. Though the sight of a person falling may elicit laughs from everyone around, it is certainly not a laughing matter for property owner if he is handed over a notice by the victim’s lawyer seeking compensation.

 

If the injury has occurred in a commercial area like a shopping mall, construction site or a work area, or a residential area, then the owner of the location or their insurance may have to pay for your hospitalization expenses and reduction in income due to loss of work days during recuperation from injuries, as well as other damages.

 

But to claim compensation for a slip and fall accident, you will need to first prove that the person or organization is responsible for the accident either deliberately or negligently.

 

Here are the few situations under which your lawyer may be able to file a personal injury claim

 

  1. The property owner did not attempt to correct the problem despite knowing that it was a dangerous area and he/she had received complaints to rectify the problem.

 

  1. If a person falls and injures himself in a commercial area like a shopping mall due to faulty elevator or wet floor that did not have a sign board, then he may be eligible for compensation if the accident was caused in part to this carelessness.

 

  1. The property owner has not taken any precautions to prevent injuries that can be incurred on his property like old building or under construction building.

 

  1. The fall happens at work.

 

If you have a similar situation to those listed above, then a personal injury lawyer may be able to help you get compensation from representatives of the company or person. When selecting a personal injury lawyer to fight your case, look for a person that has experience in handling your kind of problem. Slip and fall cases are not the easiest, due in part to public opinion, but they can be successful and help return a victim to a pre-accident financial state.

Share on: Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter
Read More

What Would an Attorney Do After a Motorcycle Accident?

Being involved in a road accident, regardless of how minor or major it is, can be a scary experience. The loss of property, physical injuries and monetary loss due to repairs can take a heavy toll on you. This can be exacerbated if there is a fatality. In spite of always being careful and conscientious on the road, there is always a chance of being involved in a road accident that is caused by someone else.

The motorcycle is considered to be a riskier form of transportation as compared to cars. It is lacks the physical barrier of metal that comes between you and the environment. It is also lighter and tends to have a higher power to weight ratio than cars. This means that it has the ability to move faster than cars but lacks the basic physical protection that every car provides. With the following tips, you can reduce the losses, and hopefully some stress, you incur from an accident.

1.First things first

 Make sure that you and everyone around you are okay. Call for an ambulance, if necessary. Try and alert other drivers on the road so that they do not add to the accident.

2.Take photographs

When everyone involved in the accident is safe and stable, it is always a good idea to take a few photographs of the scene. Take photographs of the positions of the vehicles involved in the accident, the marks on the road and the conditions of the sky. Try to take photographs from multiple locations and angles. These can come in handy as evidence later.

3. Take the names and contact numbers of witnesses

The account of an eyewitness is invaluable in court and in pre-trial negotiations. This is important even if the accident was minor. Many times law enforcement will not actively engage witnesses if the accident is minor. This means they won’t be on the incident report.

4. Note the details

Write an account of everything that happened just before and after the accident. Write down details like the speed at which you were traveling, the direction of your travel, what you saw and heard etc. Try to do this as early as you can when the memory is still fresh in your mind. Photograph your injuries, when they are visible and keep a track of other discomforts like lack of sleep and pain.

5. Arrange your documents

Keep copies of your vehicle documents, driver’s license, and maintenance receipts of your vehicle. You may need to prove that your vehicle was functioning normally and that you are a responsible rider.

6. Hire a lawyer

Depending upon the nature of the accident, you may be able to file a case for personal injury, product liability, negligence or other such case.

To make the most out of these tips, carefully follow road rules and take all possible measures to ensure that the least number of people are affected by the accident. And always wear your helmet.

Share on: Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter
Read More

How do Insurance Companies Settle Car Accident Cases?

There is no one fixed formula for calculating any kind of insurance settlement, since each case is different. The three main factors that an insurance company will look at when you go and file your claims settlement are, the amount of damage to the car, whether you or anybody else in the car was injured or not, and policy limits.

 

Damages to the Car: If your car is damaged in an accident, then insurance claims will look at compensating you for those damages. In the case where damages are low and only parts need to be replaced, insurance companies will financially compensate you for replacing those parts. If the total damages in claims exceed the value of the car, then the insurance company may decide that your car is not worth paying compensation for, and will pay you the market price for your car instead. It is important to keep in mind that the value of your car that the insurance company will estimate is the depreciated value that comes after use. You will not be able to get back the full amount you invested in your car, but you can use the money from your insurance claim as a down payment for a new car.

 

Personal Injuries: If you want to file an accident claim relating to any personal injuries you suffered in the car accident, then it is important to know the final amount you owe, or might owe, in medical bills when filing a claim. In the event you file a personal injury claim and do not include the full amount of the medical bills, the insurance company will likely not provide you with more money from a second personal injury claim. The complete settlement for your hospital bill must be claimed at one time. The main factors companies look at when assessing your personal injuries claim is your medical records and cost of procedures. Other factors such as whether medical professionals really think you need a particular procedure or not may be accounted for.

If the injuries you sustained left a permanent scar or caused disfigurement, your settlement could be higher. Similarly, injuries which continue to cause problems even after the doctor declares you are fit to leave the hospital can provide higher settlements. Generally speaking, the higher the degree of personal injury, the more you can expect your insurance company to provide for you.

 

Policy Limits: A policy limit is the ceiling cap on funds beyond which your insurance company will not oblige to pay you, even if your claim shows that the car accident caused sufficient damage. When you sign into a policy, you are presented with a policy cap – the highest amount that you can be paid in settlements. This policy cap might have two parts that provide limits on the claim of a single person and the claim of a single accident. In case you need to file an insurance claim with the company of the person you were involved in the accident with, their insurance company will not pay outside the policy cap either.

 

There is an underlying factor as well, and that is profit. Insurance companies are in the business of making money. If they are not worried about a jury taking money from them for a given accident, they will be less likely to pay for expenses that are subjective, such as future medical care and loss of value in a vehicle. This is less common for specific medical bills, though it is not unusual for an insurance company to deny a claim for damages when they feel there is a possibility a jury would not find them liable. Some bottom tier insurance companies just deny as a matter of practice

Share on: Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter
Read More

Motorcycle Recall Information

Safety Recalls for Motorcycles

 

Safety recalls is one of the most common motorcycle defect issues that people face. Usually, it is set off by vehicle manufacturers or National Highway Traffic Safety Administration after they discover defects in components of a vehicle. The procedure involved in safety recalls for motorcycles is a hard one to grasp, but the following points are useful.

 

Duties of a manufacturer and NHTSA

 

Safety recalls are either ordered by NHTSA or conducted by the manufacturer. In the latter’s case, a public report must be filed with the following description.

 

  1. Noncompliance of federal motor vehicle safety standard because of a defect that affects safety.
  2. The total number of vehicles or components existing in the market and on the road.
  3. Brief summaries of the events that led to the recall procedure.
  4. Details about the remedy for each defect.
  5. Recall schedule or timeline.

 

Furthermore, it is the duty of the manufacture to ensure that notice is issued to the owners of all the recalled vehicle models. They will use records of vehicle purchase to compare with the acquired registration details. In any cases of non-existence of registration records, manufacturers must still take up full responsibility to pass the information down their distribution networks and customers in each division.

 

No extra cost

 

Federal law obligates the manufacturers to provide remedies for safety recall at no extra cost. Therefore, the motorcycle model which has to be recalled will be subjected to a ‘free remedy’ under the authority of the manufacturer. Each safety recall that the manufacturer provides is closely monitored by the NHTSA in order to ensure effectiveness of the procedure. NHTSA will also provide public information about the list of safety recalls on a monthly basis along with relevant information such as the make and model of recalled vehicles or their components. It will also provide brief summary about the issue.

 

Public must be alerted

 

The main role of NHTSA in safety recall is to ensure that the public is alerted about the procedure. Owners should then wait for an official notification from the manufacturer before contacting their respective dealers. It needs to be done in order to filter out the non-defective vehicles of a particular make and model from the ones that needs to be recalled.

 

Safety recall campaigns provide up-to-date information on toll free number 1-888-327-4236 and the official NHTSA website.

Share on: Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter
Read More

Do Helmet Laws have an Impact?

Helmets are one of the most essential accessories that motorcyclists need. Motorcyclists are prone to more injuries, many a time fatal, as compared to car and truck drivers. Helmets provide the minimum protection that can be given to motorcyclists to save them from a severe head injury which can cause paralysis or even death. A motorcyclist without a helmet is three times more susceptible to suffering a brain injury as opposed to one wearing a helmet. In order to avoid this danger, many states have passed laws and statutes that require motorcyclists and their passengers to wear helmets.

Are helmet laws mandatory?

Although helmet laws are not much supported by most motorcyclists, yet many of the states have passed statutes which require motorcyclists to use protective head gear while using their motorcycle. Some laws also require the motorcyclists and their passengers to use protective eye gear and face shield as well.

Even if the law is unpopular among the motorcyclist community, it has indeed proven an effective and efficient way of decreasing head injuries and increasing the use of helmets all across the country. However, the helmet law has been challenged on the basis of its legality and on the way it has been worded in the statutes. Whatever be the scenario about the acceptance of the helmet laws the, the need to wear a helmet for a motorcyclist and their passenger continue to be mandatory.

How helmet laws apply to personal injury cases?

Upon knowing about the mandatory status of helmet law you might find asking yourself the question, “What happens when one is involved in an accident where the motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet?”

The answer to this question depends upon the nature of the injury suffered that is, if the motorcyclists suffered head injuries or other injuries; and if there was any negligence on the part of the motorcyclist that led to the accident. In the states where helmet laws do apply, the statutes state two options; they either:

  • Provide for the criminal penalties only, or
  • They do not specify the effect that a violation has on the determining the motorcyclist’s negligence.

In states that do have helmet laws and those that don’t, the impact of the motorcyclist’s not using the helmet, on the determination of their negligence is so far unresolved.

Helmet Tips:

  1. Don’t rest your helmet on the back of the bike seat. It is too easy to get knocked off. And if it falls….
  2. If the helmet is dropped, you need to get a new one. They are only designed to absorb one impact. The material inside is similar to Styrofoam. There is no recoil. Just absorption. So keep that helmet on the ground when it isn’t on your head.
Share on: Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter
Read More

Checklist for an accident

Accident Checklist

1. First Aid  – If there are injuries call an ambulance. If you are injured ask a bystander to cary out the rest of this checklist.

2. Police – Call the police. Make sure they make a report that includes the other driver’s information.

3. Witnesses – try to get as much information regarding witnesses as you can. The focus should be on those who actually witnessed the accident as opposed to some who show up after. Contact information is the most important, but if you can get details on what they saw, that can be very helpful.

4. Photos – Try to get photos of the accident before vehicles are moved. Try to include items such as gear if it is a substantial distance from the impact site.

5.  Recover gear – Try to find and retain any item or gear that belongs to you.  Also, try to avoid discussing details of the accident with anyone other than medical personnel, the police, and your attorney. With those other than your attorney, stick to what they need to know.

Finally, go see an attorney.

Share on: Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter
Read More

How to Choose a PI Lawyer Who Cares About You?

Yes, please subscribe me now.

How to Choose a PI Lawyer Who Cares About You?

Personal Injury cases are extremely sensitive and need to be handled with empathy and understanding. The claimant likely suffers from physical injuries and mental scars and also has to grapple with the duty documenting damages to his self and his person

Under such circumstances, a PI attorney should ease suffering, inspire confidence and take over the responsibility of the paperwork.

Are you looking for a Personal Injury lawyer in Middle Georgia who fits the bill? This actionable PDF gives you the top things to consider before hiring one. Download right away!

Recent Blog Posts

What is an esophageal spasm?

Posted By: Clifford Carlson | Posted On: August 17, 2015

The technical term for Esophageal spasm is spastic pseudodiverticulosis. This can cause abnormal muscle contractions in the esophagus and lower sphincter. This may appear as chest pains with a difficulty swallowing both liquids and solids. This may be accompanies by pain, but pain may exist alone. It is similar to esophageal achalasia and may become achalasia over time.T...

What are esophageal pouches or diverticulas?

Posted By: Clifford Carlson | Posted On: August 14, 2015

Esophageal pouches are abnormal protrusions in the esophagus. While these protrusions usually do not require treatment, they can be removed surgically. Midesophageal pouches are usually caused by lesions located in the chest outside the esophagus. Epiphrenic pouches occur above the diaphragm. The pharyngeal, or Zenker’s, pouch can fill with food which can them be regurgitate...

What is the Esophagus?

Posted By: Clifford Carlson | Posted On: August 12, 2015

The Esophagus is a tube that runs from the throat to the stomach. It is used to transport food to the stomach, and it accomplishes this by contracting muscles and not gravity as many suspect. There is a band of muscles at both the top and bottom of this tube that close to prevent food and stomach acid from going the wrong direction. If those muscles become weak, they will be...

What is Esophageal Achalasia?

Posted By: Clifford Carlson | Posted On: August 10, 2015

Esophageal Achalasia is a disease that affects the muscle of the lower esophageal body and the lower esophageal sphincter. The lower sphincter is unable to relax and allow food to enter the stomach. The muscles of the esophagus may also have trouble getting food to that lower sphincter. Both make swallowing food very difficult. The effect of this may be more profound when ea...

How to Receive Compensation for Slip and Fall Accidents

Posted By: Clifford Carlson | Posted On: August 7, 2015

Accidental slip and falls can turn out to be dangerous and painful if the person that falls down sustains permanent injuries. Many instances of slip and fall are caused by callous carelessness of the person owning the property, but many also happen due to lack of foresight of the victim. Though the sight of a person falling may elicit laughs from everyone around, it is certa...