Signs a Car Accident Caused Nerve Damage

Car accidents lead to numerous injuries. While some are minor, others are severe, and some result in the loss of life. There are numerous injuries you can suffer in a car accident, including spinal injuries, broken bones, cuts, bruises, and traumatic brain injuries.

An often overlooked injury caused by a car accident is nerve damage. Our bodies are made of trillions of nerves that control our movements, and one suffers a significant injury, the result can be pain and permanent impairment. If your medical team has diagnosed you with nerve damage, speak to a local car accident attorney at Glisson Law.

When you should seek medical attention

If you suffer an injury in a car accident, you may experience some pain in the initial hours or days, but you might not realize it is a severe injury like nerve damage, which can be challenging to identify. Nerve damage can manifest in different ways, such as:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Digestive problems
  • Numbness in your legs, arms, feet or hands
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Paralysis
  • Lack of coordination resulting in falling
  • Throbbing, jabbing, or burning pain
  • Unexplained pain during passive activities like sleeping or sitting
  • Heightened sensitivity to touch and temperature
  • Excessive sweating or inability to sweat
  • Muscle spasms
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Chronic head or neck pain
  • Twitching
  • Radiating pain

Some symptoms can overlap with other injury symptoms, complicating the ability to identify nerve damage. But regardless of your injury, you should seek medical attention to diagnose and treat your symptoms. Fast diagnosis and treatment may lessen your risk of permanent damage.

Injuries that result in nerve damage

All car accidents have an inherent risk of resulting in nerve damage. However, specific injuries have a higher probability of nerve damage, including:

  • Spinal impact, also known as radiculopathy or sciatica, occurs when the nerves are pinched or compressed and can lead to weakness, numbness, and pain.
  • Whiplash happens when a person’s head whips back and forth suddenly, causing minor to severe trauma to the neck that can impact tendons, muscles, and soft tissue, and lead to nerve damage.
  • Disk herniations common in car accidents impact the rubbery discs between your vertebrae, sometimes, resulting in pinched nerves with symptoms including pain, weakness, tingling, or paralysis.

Many injuries can lead to nerve damage, and the best way to identify them is to seek medical attention. Minor injuries that lead to nerve pain may resolve with heat, stretching, massage, and may require rest. However, severe injuries can lead to more invasive treatments like spinal injections and surgery.

Types of nerve damage

The three categories of nerve damage are:

  • Neurapraxia. Mild nerve damage that occurs when the nerve is compressed or stretched. Often, these injuries resolve within a few days or months. Treatment typically involves at-home treatments, rest, ice, and massage.
  • Axonotmesis. Nerve damage that involves damage to the axons and the myelin sheath that may take six months to a year to resolve with occupational therapy.
  • Neurotmesis. The most severe type of nerve damage occurs when the nerve is severed entirely. A full recovery is unlikely even with surgical intervention.

The severity of the nerve damage will be graded on a scale of one to five, with five being the most severe.

Nerve damage is life-altering and requires prompt medical attention. While some nerve damage does not recover fully, medical intervention can help you heal and lessen your symptoms and pain. Since these treatments can be costly, you should seek compensation for your medical treatment and other losses. Our local car accident attorneys can help review your medical records and seek fair compensation.

Evidence to prove the accident caused your nerve damage

One of the most challenging parts of pursuing compensation for nerve damage is proving it was caused by a car accident. Some injuries are invisible, which can make a diagnosis challenging. When you work with our team, we will gather and review evidence to help your claim, such as:

  • Medical records that show you received treatment following the accident. You must also follow through with the treatment plan to help support your claim since failing to follow the plan can hurt your case.
  • Keep a journal detailing your pain levels and whether you have difficulty accomplishing routine tasks.
  • The accident report can also be helpful to establish a timeline.

The best way to prove your claim is to speak to a local car accident attorney at Glisson Law.

Your nerves can be stretched, torn, pinched, or damaged in a car accident. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you could suffer permanent damage. Seeking compensation is challenging, but our team is here to guide you. Our Alton car accident attorneys will work to get you fair compensation for your injuries. We have over 30 years of experience helping accident victims. We are based in Alton and proudly serve Edwardsville, Belleville, St. Clair, and Madison Counties, and all of Southwestern Illinois and Missouri. Call our office or submit our contact form to schedule an initial consultation with Glisson Law today.