Nerve Damage

A variety of accidents can result in nerve damage, a lasting condition that impacts your quality of life. Many long-term injuries that people suffer, whether as the result of a car accident, medical malpractice, or other similar circumstances, are connected to nerve damage in some form or fashion.

Below, you’ll learn more about what nerve damage is, how it can occur, and the kind of help you can get if someone else’s negligence was what led to your injury. 

Types of Nerves and Symptoms of Nerve Damage

Types of Nerves and Symptoms of Nerve Damage

Understanding the kinds and functions of your body’s nerves can help you get a better grasp on how the different types of nerve damage occur. 

Altogether, nerves can be thought of as wires running throughout your body. At the center of each of these wires is their core, called the axon. It sends and receives messages to and from the brain and is encased in protective tissue layers.

Many types of nerves run throughout your body, and they are defined by the purpose they serve. The three most important types of nerves are as follows: 

Motor Nerves

These nerves send information to the muscles that control your voluntary movements, such as moving your arm to grab something.

If you sustain motor nerve damage, you may experience symptoms that include:

  • Muscle atrophy
  • Weakness
  • Paralysis
  • Twitching

Your exact range of symptoms can vary significantly depending on the part of the body where the nerve damage has taken place. 

Sensory Nerves

This set of nerves sends signals to your brain, allowing you to use each of your five senses. Sensory nerve damage can present with pain, numbness, or tingling. Some people also experience burning sensations, and others may develop issues with positional awareness. 

Autonomic Nerves

Lastly, autonomic nerves control automatic or involuntary functions, like your breathing and heartbeat. Damage to these nerves can, therefore, be life-threatening. Symptoms can include the inability to feel chest pain, bladder dysfunction, and dry eyes and mouth, among many others. 

Main Types of Nerve Damage

The most severe type of nerve damage is called neurotmesis. It occurs when every part of a nerve is severed, including the protective layers around its axon. As such, neurotmesis can result in the loss of function of the affected nerve. Most often, the condition is caused by tearing, bruising, or stretching of the nerve itself or the tissues protecting its axon.

Another type of nerve damage is axonotmesis. And though it is overall less severe than neurotmesis, it is still a serious concern. It occurs when a nerve’s axon is crushed or sustains a pressure injury. The protective tissues, thankfully, remain intact, but it usually takes years for the rest of the damage to heal.

Lastly, there is neuropraxia, the mildest type of nerve damage. Instances of the condition can occur when pressure is placed on the nerve, blocking the transmission of its signals. Some forms of carpal tunnel syndrome and brachial plexus injuries are, in fact, types of neuropraxia. Despite its relative mildness, however, it can still take anywhere from days to months for neuropraxia-related damage to heal.

Accidents That Can Cause Nerve Damage

Car accidents and other vehicular collisions are incidents that often result in nerve damage. You might suffer cuts from the vehicle’s windows, which can lead to permanent nerve damage, or you may even injure your spinal cord, leading to paralysis because of severed nerves. 

Crushing accidents cause nerve damage, too. Suppose any part of your body gets crushed. In that case, whether in a car accident or in something like a construction site mishap, your nerves can be permanently damaged and unable to work in the same way they did before the crushing injury.

One last common cause of nerve damage is medical malpractice.

Medical errors that can lead to these sorts of injuries include the following:

  • Intubation errors
  • Surgical errors (such as improper surgical positioning)
  • The negligent use of tools and instruments (such as tourniquets and bandages)
  • Failure to diagnose degenerative conditions
  • Mistakes during childbirth
  • Undiagnosed strokes 

Even something as seemingly “simple” as a slip and fall accident can harm the body in such a way that it causes nerve damage.

Impact of Nerve Damage On Everyday Life

Because nerve damage can result in everything from numbness to paralysis, each case regarding the condition is unique. Nevertheless, most who struggle with such injuries agree that the outcomes can put a physical, emotional, and financial strain on your life. 

You may not be able to use certain limbs, or you might struggle with some automatic functions, like bladder control. Pain is also a common issue, with many people experiencing debilitating, long-term pain that keeps them from participating in their lives as they once did. 

An accident that is severe enough to result in nerve damage could also leave you struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression. It’s also easy for bills to start piling up for things like hospital stays, rehabilitative therapy, medications, and assistive devices, which will only add to the stress of dealing with pain and physical issues.

Given the fact that nerve damage can keep you from performing your daily tasks, you may also be unable to return to your previous job (or any job at all), which means your earning potential disappears at the worst possible time.

Compensation Available for Nerve Damage Injuries

If your nerve damage is the result of an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you can file a claim with a personal injury lawyer to seek compensation. In these kinds of cases, you may be eligible to receive both economic and non-economic damages

Economic damages are those that reimburse you for the expenses you’ve taken on because of your injury. Medical expenses fit into this category, as do future expenses for ongoing care. Lost wages are another type of economic damage you can claim. These not only include your usual pay but also commissions, bonuses, and even vacation and sick days. 

Non-economic damages are not as easy to quantify. They generally include pain and suffering, which refers to the emotional and physical distress you’ve suffered because of the injury. If you’re not able to live your life as you did before the accident, you can claim loss of enjoyment of life, too. 

Contact an Experienced Nashville Personal Injury Attorney for Help With Your Nerve Damage Claim 

After suffering an injury that is serious enough to leave lasting nerve damage, you need experienced Nashville personal injury lawyers on your side. The process of filing a claim and getting compensation can be difficult, requiring the help of people who know Tennessee law and will fight for your rights. 

At Labrum Law Firm Personal Injury Lawyers, we have years of experience helping people who are dealing with injuries that are a result of medical malpractice, car accidents, slip and fall accidents, and so much more. Contact us today at (615) 685-8546 to schedule a free consultation.