Nerve damage is a fairly common car accident injury. In total, there are more than seven trillion nerves in your body. Depending on which nerves are damaged and the extent to which they are harmed, you could suffer a wide range of side effects. Since this damage can be permanent and have a lasting impact on your health, you may be entitled to substantial compensation.
If you’ve been hurt in a car crash, it’s time to talk to an attorney and find out if you should be fighting for compensation. Call Burns, Cunningham & Mackey at 251-432-0612.
Understanding Nerve Damage Injuries
Nerves are responsible for every single thing your body does, which is why it’s so hard to put “nerve damage injuries” into their own separate category. An injury affecting the nerves that control your right leg will be significantly different from an injury impacting the nerves that control your bladder, for example. Some nerves control very basic bodily functions like maintaining your temperature, breathing and activating muscles.
The body has three types of nerves, all of which may be affected in a car crash:
- Autonomic nerves that handle involuntary tasks like breathing and pumping blood
- Motor nerves that manage your physical movement; they send messages from your brain to your muscles to control how they move
- Sensory nerves, whose job it is to convey pain, pressure, and other sensations to your muscles and skin
The type of damage that occurs depends largely on which of these nerves are affected and which specific task the damaged nerves performed.
Different Degrees of Nerve Injuries
Nerve damage injuries from a car accident generally involve the nerves being pinched, crushed, or severed. While the human body is resilient and does everything it can to repair injuries, it sometimes isn’t possible. The different levels of nerve damage include:
- Neurapraxia. Although this is the mildest type of nerve damage, it can still cause inconvenient and uncomfortable side effects. While the nerve may suffer some damage, the nerve itself remains functionally intact and can recover quickly.
- Axonotmesis. This type of injury is more severe, occurring when the body of the nerve has suffered structural damage. As a result, the nerve’s ability to perform its assigned task is partially or completely compromised. Recovery may occur with significant medical intervention and physical therapy but is not guaranteed.
- Neurotmesis. Neurotmesis is the most severe type of nerve injury, occurring when the nerve is completely severed. This renders the nerve completely unable to function and requires surgical repair. Even with surgical repair, it’s likely that a full recovery will not be possible.
Symptoms of Nerve Damage
Since nerves control every single task your body performs, symptoms vary widely. You may experience:
- Painful spasms
- Tingling or numbness
- Excess sensitivity in the affected area
- Weakness or inability to use the affected body part
- Pain and discomfort
- Excess sweat or complete inability to sweat
- Difficulty using the restroom or controlling your bowel and bladder
- Inability to use the muscles at will
Factors Affecting Your Compensation
With nerve injuries varying so much in severity, outcome, and side effects, it is really difficult to say how much nerve injuries are generally worth. It’s really all dependent on the details of your injury. In general, you may be able to receive compensation for:
- Medical expenses, including those related to follow-up care
- Lost wages and future income
- Pain and suffering
- Disability and disfigurement
- Mental anguish and trauma
Some of the factors that may affect your compensation include:
- How severe the injury is, including how much it affects your ability to work, engage with your family, and perform daily obligations
- How long the injury is likely to last and whether or not any sort of recovery is expected
- The part of the body affected
- Anticipated medical expenses
- Pain level on a day-to-day basis
- Treatment options and how likely they are to succeed
Start Your Claim with Burns, Cunningham & Mackey
If nerve damage has derailed your career and left you with ongoing pain, don’t wait to talk to a personal injury lawyer about your next steps. Let’s discuss your accident in greater detail and come up with a plan. Call us at 251-432-0612 or get in touch with us online.