Nerve damage occurs when the area becomes fractured, crushing the nerve. As a result, the victim is left with a pinched or severed nerve following a traumatic accident.
When it comes to nerve damage following an accident with a car or bicycle, the symptoms and pain may not show up until the next day. This can cause problems for the victim of a car accident who was injured when a negligent driver struck their bicycle or motor vehicle. The California nerve damage lawyers at Krasney Law can help you in this type of situation, where your injuries did not appear on the day of the accident.
Your body is made up of the central nervous system which communicates through the use of nerves. Nerves are what is responsible for your bodily movements, sensations, and thoughts. Damage or nerve trauma occurs when the surrounding area becomes fractured, crushing and damaging the nerve. This results in either a pinched or severed nerve which can produce symptoms of pain, numbness, or a complete loss of feeling and movement.
What causes nerve damage after an auto accident?
Anything that results in trauma to the nerves can cause nerve pain and damage. Injury from a vehicle collision can crush, stretch, or cut nerves, and areas commonly affected are the spine, arms, hands, legs, and feet. Nerve damage from a car accident usually occurs from:
A laceration is a deep cut in the skin, which can sometimes injury a nerve. The symptoms of nerve damage from laceration are numbness and weakness near the injury site, and an inability to perform certain movements. Most nerve injuries get better without help. Severe cases will require surgery or physical therapy.
2. Blunt force trauma
Direct contact with an object or a hard surface can cause non-penetrating trauma to various parts of your body. It can lead to a compression of the nerves of the affected areas, including your head, arms, torso, and legs. In severe cases, blunt force trauma can permanently damage a nerve.
Whiplash is common in rear-end vehicle accidents. It can occur even when your head doesn’t hit the seat headrest. A severe jerk to the head can injury the nerves near the head and neck, causing them to become inflamed. You will feel tingling, weakness, and/or numbness radiating down your shoulder, arm, hand and finger.
How can you tell you have nerve damage?
It’s worth knowing the symptoms of nerve damage so that you can get medical attention as soon as possible. Symptoms can show up hours, days, or weeks after the accident. You can suspect nerve damage if you experience the following:
- A shooting or radiating pain in or around the spine or other area
- Numbness, tingling or prickling down your arm or leg
- Muscle weakness
- Uncontrollable muscle twitching
- Trouble releasing or holding urine and stool
- Dizziness and lightheadedness
- A new sensitivity to touch or cold
To cite a hypothetical situation, say a bicycle accident has left you with a laceration to your hand and injured a nerve. It is normal for this type of injury to cause numbness, tingling and weakness in the hand. Normal function and feel returns in 10 days or so. However, if the symptoms persist, the nerve has likely been severed. Your doctor will determine whether surgery is necessary.
Should you get checked for nerve damage soon after the accident?
There is no way of knowing whether your nerve damage is mild, moderate, or severe until you’ve undergone the associated medical tests. Medical experts recommend early diagnosis and treatment for peripheral nerve injury to help prevent complications and permanent damage. Keeping this in mind, you’re better off consulting your doctor in the first few days following a traumatic car accident.
When you do, your doctor will perform a neurologic examination, which involves checking your reflexes, sensations, strength, and coordination. You may have to undergo an MRI/CT scan that will show injuries to nerves, muscles, tissue, and other internal injuries. Trauma to the spine from a car accident can result in bulging and herniated discs – an Electromyogram (EMG) can help confirm it. The test measures the electrical activity of your muscles to determine whether nerve damage is present or not.
How long after an auto accident can you bring a lawsuit?
In California, the statute of limitations to sue for injuries sustained in a car accident is two years. It’s also important to mention here that California is an at-fault state for auto accidents, which means each driver can receive compensation based on their degree of fault. If you believe that your nerve damage is the fault of the other party, you can bring a case against them. An experienced California nerve damage lawyer will guide you through the complicated legal process and help you get the compensation that allows you to heal and get on with your life.
How much can you get?
California law empowers you to recover financial and personal damages resulting from a car accident injury, including:
- Past and future medical costs related to your nerve damage
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Lost career/business opportunities (no matter the type of job you hold)
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment (how the accident has affected your ability to enjoy life)
- Emotional distress
While you can claim maximum compensation after a car accident, what you ultimately get depends on the type of nerve damage and its impact on your life. The California nerve damage lawyers at Krasney Law will examine your case, explain the options available to you, and recommend the best course of action.
What can you do to support your case?
Accident injuries like nerve damage are not visible. Moreover, symptoms like numbness, pain, and tingling can be caused by diabetes and autoimmune conditions. If you experience the symptoms of nerve damage following a car crash, see your doctor right away. Getting evaluated for injury quickly may help reduce the time taken to recover. Your diagnosis and treatment plan, which includes your accident injury reports and the associated medical care, will serve as evidence to argue your case. If your nerve damage is severe, necessitating future medical treatment, you may benefit from bringing an expert witness. This individual can be a doctor or specialist who can explain your future medical needs to the court. Say you have pre-existing back pain and the car accident injured the nerves of your lower back. A neurosurgeon can determine, within a reasonable degree of medical certainty, whether the pain is from the crash and surgery is, was or will be necessary. The specialist will give your case the edge it needs for an outcome in your favor.
Different Types Of Nerve Damage
The damage and recovery you go through will depend on how severe your traumatic accident was. Nerve damage from a car accident will generally occur in one of three ways:
A laceration is a deep cut that can damage or sever the nerve connections near the area of impact. In most cases, treatment for nerve lacerations is bed rest and pain management. In rare, severe cases surgery or physical therapy is needed in order to restore function. Your doctor will help you choose the best possible course of recovery for your injury.
Whiplash is an isolated type of nerve damaged that occurs at the base of the victim’s neck. When the vehicle is hit from the rear, the force will cause the victims head to shift forward then whip back at high or even low speeds. Not only does this damage the nerves in the neck, but it will also cause swelling of the surrounding muscle and tendons possibly leading to further/future complications.
Blunt Force Trauma
This is when any part of your body hits a hard surface in a car accident. this includes your head, legs, arms, torso, feet, knees, etc. It is common for this to occur when the victim hits the steering wheel, or car doors shortly following the initial impact of an accident.
Contact Your Local California Nerve Damage Lawyer For Help Today!
Regardless of the type of nerve damage and treatment you receive, the negligent driver should be held responsible for the payment of your medical treatments, and in certain cases compensation for pain and suffering.
The California car accident attorneys at Krasney Law can assist you by proving that the injury was a direct result of the car accident. Call our offices today at (909) 380-7200 and set up an appointment to discuss the details of your case. We offer free consultations so call today!