Injury, Workers Comp, & Wrongful Death Lawyers




The human spine is made up of 24 bones (vertebrae) stacked in a column.

Between each vertebra is an intervertebral disc that acts as a shock absorber between the bones–and allows for bending (flexion/extension) and twisting (rotation).

Each vertebra has a set of two boney knobs that meet between each vertebra. The point where they meet is called the facet joint (also called the zygoaphophyseal joint).

The facet joints also allow for forward flexing and backward extension–as well as twisting from side to side.

A capsule of soft tissue protects these joints.  This capsule, when healthy, is filled with synovial fluid which lubricates the joint and allows for fluid motion.  The capsular ligament is the main source of stability of the facet capsule.  Like other ligaments throughout the spine, the capsular ligament is “elastic” (like a rubber band capable of stretching to allow for the normal movement and then returning to its normal configuration).  However, it has its limits.  When stretched beyond that limit, it can tear.  Even when it doesn’t actually tear, abnormal stretching (called “subfailure” stretching) can render the capsular ligament to be totally non-functional and unable to provide its intended stability to the facet joint.  The result is pain–often incapacitating pain.

“Ligaments of the upper cervical spine have a unique functional and structural anatomy, predisposing them to partial or complete rupture at low strains.” Facet Joint Injury and Whiplash, North Alabama Spine and Rehab.


The facet joint has a synovial capsule which is filled with fluid that lubricates the joint.  The synovial capsule is contained by the synovial membrane.  Synovial folds are formed when the membrane projects into the joint cavity.  These synovial folds can be trapped between the articular surfaces causing pain and hypomobility with muscle spasm.  This condition is called “synovial entrapment syndrome.”

Each facet joint also has cartilage that also allows for smooth movement within the joint.  Damage to the capsular cartilage can also produce significant pain.

Biomechanical studies have proven that facet joint injuries often occur at lower impact levels.  Facet joint components may be at risk for injury due to facet joint compression during rear-impact accelerations of 3.5 g and above.  The capsular ligaments are at risk for injury at higher accelerations.  Pearson, Facet Joint Kinematic and Injury Mechanisms During Simulated Whiplash, Spine (2004) 29(4):390-7.

Nerves (called ‘medial branch nerves’) that branch off the spinal cord pass through the facet joints.  They control the activities and movement and send pain impulses back to the brain through the spinal cord.  These pain signals are an indication that the joint is irritated, injured, and damaged.



The personal injury lawyers at the Schmidt Salita Law Team salute Home Health Care providers for the wonderful services that they provide.


The car accident lawyers at the Schmidt Salita Law Team are FIVE STAR RATED by happy clients.

The firm is rated AV Rated (A for the highest quality legal services, V for the very best professional and ethical standards).

The firm is rated A+ Rated for Professionalism and A+ Rated for Reputation by

Collectively, the firm has over 70 years of experience successfully representing the victims of personal injury in over 10,000 cases.


The Schmidt Salita Law Team Workers’ Compensation Lawyers include awarded professionals recognized for their outstanding services by the American Bar Association, the Minnesota Trial Lawyers Association, and the Minnesota Association for Justice.


Minneapolis MN personal injury lawyers


A contingent fee agreement means you don’t have to pay for the lawyer’s service “up front.” Your lawyer agrees to work on your case without any payment until the lawyer produces a settlement. The lawyer will only get paid when the client receives compensation from a settlement or court judgment – and then as a percentage of the recovery.

Contingent fee agreements for lawyers are very similar to those of real estate agents who do their work without pay until the house gets sold; only then do the agents collect their fees as a percentage of the property’s total sales price.

This type of agreement has two big advantages. First, it allows the client to get the services of a personal injury attorney when they otherwise wouldn’t be financially able to pay for one. Second, a contingent fee agreement has a built-in incentive for the lawyer to do a good job because the larger the settlement the more the attorney is paid.

The Schmidt Salita Law Team offers high quality legal services to the victims of car accidents, trucking accidents, motorcycle crashes, bicycle collisions, distracted driving, and pedestrian collisions. The firm serves clients in the entire Twin Cities Metropolitan area, including Minneapolis, St. Paul, Anoka, Apple Valley, Blaine, Bloomington, Brooklyn Center, Buffalo, Burnsville, Carver, Chanhassen, Chaska, Cottage Grove, Delano, Eagan, Eden Prairie, Edina, Elk River, Golden Valley, Lakeville, Mankato, Maple Grove, Maplewood, Medina, Minnetonka, Monticello, Mound, New Ulm, Oakdale, Orono, Ostego, Plymouth, Prior Lake, Richfield, Rockford, Roseville, Sartell, Savage, Sauk Rapids, Shakopee, Shorewood, South St. Paul, St. Cloud, St. Louis Park, St. Michael, St. Peter, Stillwater, Waconia, Waite Park, Wayzata, Woodbury and surrounding areas.


A Schmidt Salita Work Comp Lawyer will come to your home, or the hospital, for your initial visit.  The Schmidt Salita Law Team strives to provide personal injury legal services with a personal touch to help the victims of personal injury through a very difficult time in their lives.