Serious car accidents often involve physical forces far beyond what the human body is able to withstand, causing serious and long-lasting health issues for accident survivors. Most people think that the injuries begin and end with cuts, bruises, broken bones, and head injuries—but the extent of injuries from an accident can be much worse.
One of the least commonly discussed types of injury that can occur in a crash is nerve damage. This type of injury can cause some of the most excruciating pain you can imagine, causing life-long disability and suffering.
Here’s what you should know about nerve damage in a car accident, including symptoms, treatments available, and how to get an attorney to help you start the recovery process today.
How Nerve Injuries Happen
Any kind of injury or blow in a car accident can lead to damaging one or more nerves. Lacerating injuries that cause deep cuts can sever nerves, and amputation injuries by nature result in cut nerve endings. But many other types of trauma can result in nerve damage, too, such as:
- Head and neck injuries. Head injuries can result in bruised or severed nerves in the facial region, causing permanent droop and disfigurement, and neck or spinal cord injuries can cause partial or total paralysis.
- Broken bones. A broken bone can shift and damage or cut nearby nerves, resulting in a permanent loss of mobility or sensation.
- Internal injuries. Blunt force trauma is enough to bruise or permanently damage nerves in the affected area, even if there is no visible injury immediately after the crash.
- Crushing injuries. Even being briefly crushed or trapped can result in an injured, partially severed, or totally damaged nerve.
Some nerve damage may be temporary and recover over time, but there is a very real chance of permanent damage, even without a visible external wound or cut.
The signs of nerve damage can depend on where the injury occurred. Talk with your doctor, but in the days and weeks after your injury, be on the lookout for symptoms like these:
- Loss of sensation. Numbness is a major sign of nerve damage, but it’s rarely the whole story. Numbness may be accompanied by tingling or burning along with reduced overall sensation.
- Muscle weakness. Weakness may or may not be accompanied by pain, but you may notice a reduction in your ability to move or lift with a certain muscle or part of your body.
- Pain in just one leg. A shooting, stabbing, or burning pain that runs from your lower back down through one leg could indicate damage to your sciatic nerve, which can be extremely painful.
- Lack of coordination. If you notice yourself stumbling and falling more often or dropping things a lot, you may be suffering from a brain injury, or damage to your spine that’s affecting your hands or feet.
Another sign of nerve damage is a frequent urge to go to the bathroom. The nerves that control the bladder may have been damaged in the accident, causing continence issues.
Treatment for Nerve Damage After a Car Accident
Usually, treatment for nerve damage is aimed at treating the pain. This can involve taking medications, including certain antidepressants, or medications designed to prevent seizures. This often includes Neurontin (gabapentin), which has been shown to reduce nerve pain. Certain types of pain-killing medications, both over the counter and prescription, are common, as is the use of electro-stimulation therapy. It may take some time to find the right combination of treatments to help you, and no treatment may be 100 percent effective for your nerve pain.
Get Legal Help Today
Suffering nerve damage in a car accident can change your life permanently, causing pain, loss of sensation, mobility issues, and more. If this has happened to you, you may be able to receive compensation from the person who caused your accident. A personal injury lawsuit can help you recover the costs of your medical bills, including emergency hospitalization and follow-up care, your pain medications, physical therapy and rehabilitation, mobility assistance devices, and more. Talk to an attorney to find out how you can begin the legal process today.
At Wayne Wright LLP, we see how serious car accidents caused by negligence, recklessness, and wrongdoing can change the lives of victims and their families, and we are here to help you start the recovery process right now. For a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced legal professional, call us by phone today, use our online contact form to send an email, or click the live chat box on this page right now.