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Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) involves compression, injury or irritation to the neurovascular structures at the root of the neck or upper thoracic region. TOS can result from injury, disease, or a congenital abnormality. For example, whiplash injury has been associated with TOS.
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome can cause significant discomfort and limitations for injured victims. Because TOS can be costly to treat and result in significant damages, it is important to determine whether any third party should be held responsible for causing or contributing to the injury.
If someone else caused your TOS as a result of negligence or intentional wrongdoing, the Birmingham thoracic outlet syndrome lawyers at Belt & Bruner, P.C., can help. We have represented clients throughout Alabama in neck and back injury cases. We vigorously fight for our clients’ rights. We have secured numerous million-dollar and multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements on their behalf.
To schedule a free consultation, contact us today by using our online form or calling us .
Common Causes of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
It is possible to hold another party responsible for your TOS and resulting damages only if that person or entity directly caused your development of the syndrome. There are many common causes of TOS, some of which can lead to a lawsuit for damages, and others that are simply natural causes. For example, thoracic outlet syndrome may be caused by:
- Auto accidents – Collisions between cars and other cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians can lead to TOS. For example, whiplash and nerve disorders are among the most common injuries resulting from an auto accident.
- Repetitive stress – Work-related tasks or sports activity can lead to the development of thoracic outlet syndrome. If your injury occurred as a result of performance of work duties or tasks, this can lead to a workers’ compensation claim against your employer to collect disability benefits and payment for medical bills as well as any damages permitted by statute. Speak with a workers compensation attorney.
If your TOS develops immediately after an accident, proving its connection to the accident can be achieved by a skilled and experienced Birmingham thoracic outlet syndrome lawyer. However, when the condition develops over time, it may be more difficult to link it to the work-related tasks that you were required to perform. Your attorney can help you to understand what you need to prove and can assist you in getting medical expert testimony and other evidence necessary to prove it.
Signs and Symptoms of TOS
Obtaining compensation for TOS is important because you may incur significant medical costs and experience extensive pain and suffering due to your condition. To better understand the losses and damages associated with TOS, it is helpful to understand some of the symptoms that may occur as a result of the condition.
TOS gets its name from the space (the thoracic outlet) between your collarbone (clavicle) and your first rib. This narrow passageway is crowded with blood vessels, muscles and nerves. If the shoulder muscles in your chest are not strong enough to hold the collarbone in place, it can slip down and forward, putting pressure on the nerves and blood vessels that lie under it. This can cause vascular symptoms including:
- Swelling or puffiness in the arm or hand
- Bluish discoloration in the arm or hand
- Feeling of heaviness in the arm or hand
- Pulsating lump above the clavicle (collarbone)
- Deep, boring toothache-like pain in the neck and shoulder region that seems to increase at night
- Fatigue in the arms and hands
- Superficial vein distention in the hand.
Because your nervous system is affected by the TOS, you may also experience neurological symptoms including:
- Parasthesia along the inside forearm and the palm (C8, T1 dermatome)
- Muscle weakness and atrophy of the gripping muscles and small muscles of the hand
- Difficulty with performing fine motor tasks using the hand
- Cramps of the muscles on the inner forearm
- Pain in the arm and hand
- Tingling and numbness in the neck, shoulder region, arm and hand.
Often, psychological changes are also seen in patients with thoracic outlet syndrome. It is not clear whether these precede the onset of the syndrome or are the result of dealing with the pain and frustration of diagnosing and treating this condition.
It is also important to note that a variety of other signs and symptoms may be confused with TOS. These include carpal tunnel syndrome, cervical spine disease with nerve root compression, tumors of the spinal cord or brachial plexus, as well as a variety of other neuromuscular disorders. Having a correct diagnosis is essential to taking legal action to recover payment of medical bills and other losses.
Accident victims suffering from thoracic-outlet syndrome may undergo conservative treatment initially. This could include taking medications and undergoing physical therapy. If conservative treatment does not relieve the symptoms, however, surgical interventions may be required.
Our Birmingham Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Lawyers Can Help You
If you are suffering from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome as the result of an injury, a Birmingham thoracic outlet syndrome lawyer from Belt & Bruner, P.C., can help you.
Our attorneys can assist you in determining if there is anyone to hold legally responsible for your injury and, if so, in building a case against the defendant(s) who caused your condition. We can also assist you in proving the extent of your damages so you can recover full compensation. Finally, we can put our expert legal experience to work in negotiating a settlement whenever possible. Alternatively, we can help in taking your case to court to recover the damages you deserve.
Our founding member, Keith T. Belt, Jr., has been selected as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the American Trial Lawyers Association and is also an Alabama Super Lawyer. Combined, our lawyers have more than 65 years of trial experience in state and federal courts.
We know how to deal with insurance companies, and we are aggressive in the courtroom. Our record of results includes numerous multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements that have allowed Alabama TOS victims and their families to carry on with their lives.
For a free initial consultation, call us today or use our online contact form.