Nerve damage is an incredibly common result of a car accident. Unfortunately, this type of injury isn’t as apparent right after the collision and left undiagnosed or untreated, which can lead to chronic pain and difficulty performing daily life tasks or even holding down a job. If you’ve been in a car wreck, it’s important to understand the signs and symptoms of nerve damage after a car accident.
What is Nerve Damage?
Nerve damage impairs your brain’s ability to communicate with the rest of your body. It can include the inability to command your fingers or legs to move, or it can also affect the subconscious functions of directing the organs in your body, such as breathing or digestion.
The nerves surrounding your spinal cord are among the most important for directing the functions in your body. They’re also vulnerable, especially in cases of a car accident, where neck and spine injuries are very common. Prompt, proper diagnosis of nerve damage, especially the peripheral nerves around the spinal cord, can make a big difference in the success of treatment.
What are the types of nerve damage?
There are a few different kinds of nerve damage, and a specialist will examine you to determine which affects you. These are:
- Automatic nerve damage
- Motor nerve damage
- Sensory nerve damage
Each of these refers to the type of nerves that are damaged. If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, you may have more than one type of nerve damage.
How Does a Car Accident Cause Nerve Damage?
Nerve damage after a car accident is more common than most people think. The impact of a car wreck causes the body to move rapidly back and forth, often stretching and tearing the soft tissue (muscles, ligaments, and tendons) and the nerves that are within the tissue. Plus, blunt force trauma from a collision can also damage the nerves, bruising, or even severing them.
Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment of Nerve Damage
The signs and symptoms of nerve damage include:
- Inability to sense chest pain
- Excessive sweating or too little sweating
- Weakness and lightheadedness
- Twitching, tingling, or prickling sensations
- Muscle atrophy due to inability to use certain muscles
- Pain or over sensitivity
- Difficulty using the bathroom, or with bladder control
Each person is different, and you may not exhibit all of these symptoms. This is why it’s very important to have medical attention immediately after a car accident and see a doctor right away if any of the symptoms of nerve damage develop.
How Can I Prove My Nerve Damage Was Caused By a Car Accident?
Because nerve damage can be caused by many things, being able to prove that your car accident caused it requires certain kinds of documentation. This includes your medical records, as well as the records of your medical exam right after an accident. If the treating physician determines that you received nerve damage, these records are needed to show the other party that the wreck caused the damage.
Treating nerve damage can involve ongoing physical therapy and other aftercare. If your treatment determines that you need follow-up care to alleviate the nerve damage, then the bills for this treatment may be included as part of the settlement from the other party. Your lawyer can help you gather the right paperwork for your claim.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me?
Choosing the right lawyer isn’t as simple as just picking a name from a phone book. A personal injury lawyer specializes in handling accidents, including car wrecks, and one with experience working with insurance companies and other parties to negotiate a successful settlement for their clients.
Hiring a lawyer to pursue your claims of nerve damages protects you, and gives you an advocate, working alongside you to get the right documentation about the accident and your diagnosis, plus working with your treatment team to file the kinds of paperwork you need to prove that nerve damage was a result of your car crash. Don’t try to negotiate with insurance companies by yourself – consult with a lawyer who understands car wreck settlements.