Firefighters and heart disease — why you need an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer

Firefighter or first responder injured in the line of duty? You put yourself in harm’s way for us. Are you being fairly compensated?

Your job is tough — rough on the back, muscles, ligaments, nerves, joints, lungs, and even your heart!

It’s more than fair that your workers’ compensation should cover all of the damages you suffer due to your job.  However, some of your body’s wear and tear might be hard to see and possibly harder to prove.

Take your heart, for instance. While it’s busy pumping about 90 gallons of blood a minute, you may be giving it the shock of its life, inhaling burning chemicals from a burning vehicle or a building on fire.  These toxins take their toll.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration,  in 2015 there were 94 firefighter fatalities in the line of duty.  Sixty of those deaths were stress-induced — fifty-four of those fatalities due to a heart attack.

In simple terms, heart attacks were responsible for at least half of the “line-of-duty” fatalities among firefighters in 2015! 

So, if you’re a firefighter,   you need your good doctor to be keeping a close eye on your heart health.   The unique combination of stress and toxins you  may be exposed to certainly make you a canidate for heart disease!

How can you make sure your workers’ compensation will cover you for any heart-related issues? 

Good question!  Heart disease is often not considered a workers’ compensation issue.  Unfortunately, it’s a leading cause of death among firefighters!

While there are no guarantees in life,  there are certain steps you can take to improve your chances of getting compensated for job-related heart issues or occupational disease.

  • Ask your doctor to run baseline tests for heart disease.  If you have evidence of a healthy heart to begin with, then changes in heart functions may be easier to trace to work-related hazards.
  • Don’t ignore the many different possible signs of heart disease.  Take time to go the doctor!  WebMD lists more than a dozen symptoms,  chest pains, squeezing, and tightness being only a couple of the many possible signs.
  • Get an accountability partner for diet and exercise!  If you have a certain amount of “proof” that you’ve been good,  you have a better chance of being  on the “nice” list, not the naughty.  However, if you’re known to de-stress by always partying hard during your time off, this may not sit well those reviewing your workers’ compensation case!

If you know you’ve been exposed to carcinogens or experienced smoke inhalation in the line of duty,  you need the help of a legal expert with your workers’ compensation case!

Heart disease or a heart attack could change the rest of your life. To survive, you will absolutely need time off of work to heal!  Worrying about the future of your job only adds to the stress.

The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC will fight for you, firefighter or first responder !  They are licensed  to handle workers’ compensation cases in both Missouri and  Illinois.   You will get a free and fair evaluation of your case when you call 636-244-3737.

Do you want the best possible outcome for your future and your family? Don’t let heart disease defeat you.  Call 636-244-3737 today!


This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.



What to do about whiplash, the “invisible” car crash injury

neck pain, personal injury lawyer

It was all my fault — my first car accident. No police reports were filed. No ticket was given.

I swerved and overcompensated my steering on a narrow, shoulderless road, and ended up hitting the embankment on the opposite side of the road.

The officer looked my brother over carefully,  my only passenger and fellow accident victim, and said, “What’s that white stuff dripping off your face? First time I’ve seen that.” ( The white stuff was his yogurt-to-go.)

We both looked fine.  We escaped injury better than my sadly damaged car.  Or so I thought…

A few hours later, my brother was lying in bed alternating ice and heat on his  very sore neck and shoulders.  His whiplash was apparently much worse than mine.  I felt terrible!

Whiplash is one of the most common car accident injuries, even for a low-impact car accident.

It is an unwelcome guest that often shows up after the initial car accident.  Very commonly, rear-end collisions are to blame.  However, side-impact and head-on collisions are definitely also culprits.

Sports accidents, getting hit in the head, slip-and-fall accidents — all of these  can result in a rapid whipping motion of our super flexible cervical spine!

Neck and shoulder pain after a car accident are sometimes the first signs of a whiplash injury.  However the list of possible symptoms is quite long.

Potentially serious whiplash symptoms according to WebMD include:

  • Severe, ongoing pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Problems breathing

Since whiplash injuries are so common, many insurance companies will investigate any claims for fraud.  You need to have your ducks in a row when making a car accident whiplash claim!

 Seek medical attention promptly when you feel the onset of symptoms.  Don’t wait to see if you symptoms will just vanish.

Make a list of your symptoms before your doctor’s visits.
Sticky note, journal, list on the phone — use whatever works for you! The thing is, you don’t want to forget a symptom while discussing your needs with your doctor. Not only will this improve your medical treatment,  you will also need this documentation for your whiplash insurance claim.

Document your doctor’s visits. Ask for copies of the records of each visit.  More doctors’ offices are going completely digital, but they will still print out a report of your visit per your request.

If your neck is being a pain, and you can’t think clearly on the muscle relaxers you were prescribed, you’ll be glad you have a paper copy of the visit to help you with the next step you need to take.

Your next step is to call your car accident lawyer.  Again, don’t wait and hope your insurance company will resolve everything

You may think calling your insurance claims office is enough. However, if your whiplash turns out to be a  sign of a greater spinal injury, you need a lawyer who will be on your side.

You need unbiased legal help. After all,  any insurance company is naturally trying to minimize their own cost for your car crash.

Your car accident lawyer will speak directly with your insurance company, but your personal records will also be an important part of the process.

Stand up for yourself!  Get medical help and a caring, experienced personal injury lawyer.

Taking these positive steps will not only help you heal from your car accident whiplash injury, but also make sure you have the financial coverage you need to fully recover.  Your best possible recovery is the goal of The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC.

Call 636-244-3737 for a free initial consultation today.

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.





What the “911 Good Samaritan Law” means for you…

Illegal drug use can change a family or friendship forever!

None of us make it through life without some scars.  Some wounds will never quite heal. Losing a friend or family member to the lifestyle of drug abuse has to be one of life’s most difficult wounds to heal — especially if the death was preventable.

Which is one reason why the 2014 death of Cynthia Byersmith’s son Craig is so tragic.

Surrounded by people at a party in Missouri,  no one was willing to call 911 when Craig aspirated his own vomit due to a heroin overdose in 2014.   Why? The partygoers knew they would be busted because drugs and drug paraphenalia were present at the party.

According to the Springfield News-Leader reporter Jackie Rehwald,  Beyersmith believes her son Craig may have died needlessly.  If someone had called 911 promptly or given Craig the opiod overdose antidote Narcan, quite possibly his life could have been saved.

Sadly, they chose to let their “friend” die rather than suffer jail time (although they may still be in jail at this time). Why?  Even a simple heroin possession charge in Missouri is a Class C felony.

What does a Class C felony mean to you?

It includes a potentional penalty of seven long years in jail and heavy fines.  If you get the minimum sentence of probation, you will need to complete a  drug treatment program, according to

In real life, finding a good job is a slim chance with a Class C felony on your records.

In real life, you may have to move back in with Mom and Dad,  a kind friend, or face being homeless and jobless.

Real life can be very difficult to face!   Still, what could be worse than facing the haunting memory that you let someone die because you were afraid to call 911?

In August of 2017, the 911 Good Samaritan Law went into effect in Missouri. This law does not encourge drug use. Instead, it provides a way to cry for help if you or friends you are with have made poor choices involving drug possession.

How does this law intended to help in a situation like Craig’s? According to the News-Leader article here are some ways this new law helps.

  • For someone who calls 911 to report drug overdose emergencies, they will not be charged with drug possession or paraphenalia charges.
  • If someone administers Narcane to an overdose victim, then immediately calls 911 for help for the victim, they will not be charged with a crime.

The 911 Good Samaritan Law also applies not just to opiods but to any controlled substance, including alcohol.

Parents, do I hear a sigh of relief? Be aware! Be informed. Know your rights.

This allows for something we all need at one time or another:  a second chance at life.

If you or someone you love is facing drug charges in Missouri, you need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney!  You need a second chance, too — the best possible outcome!

Facing drug charges? Get a free initial legal consultaton. Find out how you or a loved one can get affordable, quality legal defense.  Get your second chance by calling The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC. 636-244-3737

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.




Job injury? Don’t become a statistic!

Back injuries can change your life forever!

Is a slip-and-fall accident at work making your life miserable?

Maybe you can relate to Jimmy, the  bus boy (names  and details changed to protect the innocent).  He worked in a ten bucks-an-entree upscale burger joint.  Jimmy was a big guy —  friendly and eager to please. Maybe that’s what got him into trouble in the first place.

So when someone called in sick, Jimmy waited and bussed tables and unloaded heavy boxes of supplies off the truck. All in a day’s hard work, right?

Jimmy didn’t see the greasy spot on the floor due to the supplies he was carrying that day.   He slipped. He ended up flat on his back groaning in pain!

However, the manager was desperate to keep the  doors open. So Jimmy continued to work the rest of the day. The back pain was so unbearable he called in sick the next day and the next.  In a few weeks he lost his job.

Insurance didn’t want to cover his medical bills.

He ended up needing disability pay to cover months out of work.  Getting disability pay was a nightmare.  Insurance tried to wiggle out paying saying that his size was to blame for the extent of his back pain. Really? What about doing everyone else’s job all by yourself? `

The chronic back pain continued, and his life felt like it was over even though Jimmy was only in his early twenties.

According to studies cited by WebMd, chronic back pain is responsible for over a third of all disability cases in North America.

It doesn’t matter where you’re at in life. Chronic back pain levels the playing field.  Losing your ability to function normally is bad enough.

When your job and income is at stake, you worry about living under a bridge somewhere.

Truth be told, people do live under bridges due to chronic pain ruining their lives. The homeless population in North America is full of disabled people.

For families and individuals struggling to pay the rent, a serious illness or disability can start a downward spiral into homelessness, beginning with a lost job, depletion of savings to pay for care, and eventual eviction. – National Coalition for the Homeless (

If you’ve been injured on the job, there is hope. 

There are important steps you can take to keep yourself from joining the homeless population.

First:  ASK for help. It’s okay to ask. No one gets through this life successfully without a helping hand.

Where do you find strength and energy to fight a court battle when you’re in continual pain and completely broke? You need help!

Did you know that an experienced personal injury lawyer or workers’ compensation lawyer will fight for your rights without compensation unless they WIN your case?

Next:  LIsten to your lawyer’s advice. He or she will guide you through each step you need to take.

An experienced personal injury/workers’ compensation lawyer will research all the details of your case and leave no stone unturned to help you!

Don’t give up.  Prepare for a marathon, not a sprint.

Document everything. Get a dollar three-ring binder and fill it up with every medical report.  Ask for print-outs from your doctor’s office.  With the push to have all medical records accessible online, you have to ask if you want a printed copy.

If you live in the greater St. Louis area, The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC will give you a free evaluation of your potential  personal injury.Their office is also licensed to try workers’ compensation cases in the neigboring state of Illinois.

Don’t wait to fight back against pain and financial strain! Call Attorney Steimel at 636-244-3737  today. 

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.


YOU can help prevent accidental teen drug overdose

Beware! Prescription drugs are a leading cause of accidental drug overdose!

A visit from family isn’t supposed to be your worst nightmare come true!  But what if they arrive with “extra baggage”, a.k.a, prescription medications?

Years ago, my husband’s elderly grandmother came for a lengthy visit. We felt the visit went well after we safely delivered her to her home.

Then we discovered our preschool- aged daughter in our guest room with a pill in her hand.  Our hearts nearly stopped when we realized she could have swallowed that pill — prescription heart meds.  One pill accidentally dropped on the floor could have ended in tragedy! After a total cleaning and vacuuming of the room, our hands stopped shaking.

Today she’s sporting a new set of braces and wincing in pain.  Yes, she needs pain meds, though not the prescription type.

She’s almost a teen. Still, we’re not keen on giving her unlimited access to the Tylenol bottle.  Like any responsible parent, we’re painfully aware of the epidemic of drug experimentation and usage among teens.  We dole out her pain meds personally.

Did you know that more deaths each year occur due to accidental drug overdoses  than car accidents? 

The Centers for Disease Control states that 91 Americans die every day from drug overdoses.

It’s a problem that’s not going away. In fact, the CDC says that drug overdose deaths have quadrupled in the past fifteen years. That’s astounding!

Sometimes accidental overdose happens with the chronically ill or the elderly who mix up the times, amounts, or combinations of prescription meds.

However, for the young and restless, accidental drug overdose is more often a case of foolish experimentation or pressure from friends.

According to a 2013 survey reported on WebMD,  more than 5 million teens admitted to abusing prescription drugs.

What’s a parent to do?

  • Keep a close eye on and find a safe place for prescription pain meds in the house. A locked cupboard is a great idea!  As cancer and other chronic illnesses are on the rise,  pain meds are necessary and more accessible.  Even common injuries can spawn leftover pain meds.  It may be time to double check and empty out your stash.  Many police departments have a “no questions asked” drop off box for extra prescription meds.
  • Talk to your teen. (Use bribery like pizza and ice cream, but just do it!) Let them know that pain meds and alchohol don’t mix — it’s enough to slow or even stop your body from breathing.  Talk about toxic drug mixes.  Talk about drinking, drugs, and driving. Ignorance is not bliss!  If you have grave concerns, find an EMT or police officer who sees the havoc and heartbreak of drug overdoses on a first- hand basis. Ask if they will deliver straight talk to your teen.
  • Get to know your teen’s friends. This takes time and careful planning. We’re not just talking cyber-spying. (All’s fair in love and war, though).  Be fun and friendly!
  • Set the example.  Treat prescription drugs like a loaded gun, not a party favor.  Only use as necessary.
  • Tell your teen about Missouri’s  new “Good Samaritan Law” which passed in May of 2017. If you or someone you love calls 911 to report a drug overdose, they will not be charged with drug possession! This is a potential life-saver!

No one wants their child to be the next drug overdose statistic!

What if you or someone you love has already “blown it”? Facing drug charges in Missouri? You need the help of an experienced, local criminal defense attorney.

 You wlil find Attorney Steimel has extensive legal knowledge and will aggressively fight for your rights in court.

Call The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC today for a free initial consultation.  (636)244-3737

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.