When Negligence Causes Paralysis and Chronic Pain
Nerve damage is one of the most debilitating types of injuries we can suffer in an accident. Nerve injuries can lead to chronic pain, numbness, mobility issues, and paralysis. Moving on after such a trauma can be extremely difficult, often involving costly medical expenses, missed career opportunities, and mental anguish as you try to deal with your medical condition. This can be incredibly distressing if the accident was not your fault.
If you or someone you loved suffered nerve damage due to someone else’s negligence, then you may be able to recover compensation in a personal injury claim. Nerve injuries come with a high price tag, but you may be covered under a liability policy that can allow you to recoup the costs. In order to do so, you will want to speak to a Boston nerve injury attorney at DiBella Law Offices, P.C. Call our Boston office today at (617) 870-0907 to schedule a free consultation.
Types of Nerves and Nerve Damage
Our nerves extend all throughout our bodies in two systems: our central nervous system, which makes up our brain and spinal column, and our peripheral nervous system, which includes our limbs, pelvis, torso, and face. Despite how pervasive they are in our bodies, nerves are extremely small and impossible to identify with a naked eye. This means they are also very delicate and can suffer catastrophic damage in an accident.
Nerves are divided into two categories in the body:
Sensory Nerves: Sensory nerves allow us to feel textures, heat, pressure, moisture, and other aspects of our environments. When damaged, we can experience numbness but may have control over the affected area. Sensory nerve damage in your hand may make it hard to feel your fingers, but you may be to move them.
Motor Nerves: Motor nerves allow us to control certain parts of our bodies. They allow us to move our arms, walk around, control our bladder, and even voluntarily control our breathing. Damage to these nerves can lead to paralysis or chronic pain when you try to move a limb.
A single nerve cell is made up of a protective outer layer and an internal structure. Both work together to send signals to and from the brain and spinal column. If either aspect is damaged, you may experience numbness, tingling, a pins and needles sensation, and even paralysis. The type of nerve that is damaged can also determine how you receive treatment and the costs of your injuries.
Nerves are often damaged in one of three ways during an accident:
Severed Nerves: Often the result of deep lacerations, a nerve can be cut, leading to both damage to the outer shell and inner structure. This can make it impossible for the nerve to send and receive signals, leading to paralysis. However, in some cases, only the outer shell is damaged, and the internal structure may be intact, resulting in only numbness. These injuries will often need to be treated with surgery and can end in permanent paralysis.
Pinched Nerves: Pinched nerves are the result of the nerve suffering too much pressure, which will mainly damage the outer structure but can also damage the internal structure if the pressure is too high. This is common during crush injuries, where broken bones and muscles impact the nerve’s ability to send and receive signals.
Pulled Nerves: When a nerve is pulled too harshly, the internal structure of the nerve may remain undamaged while the outer shell is damaged. This can lead to a pins and needles sensation or temporary paralysis as the nerve is unable to send and receive signals. However, with proper treatment, it can fully heal without any long-term damage.
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What Causes Nerve Injuries?
Whether you are involved in a vehicle collision, slip and fall, or swimming pool accident, your nerves can suffer extreme damage. Our bodies are designed to handle a lot of wear and tear, but most accidents push our limits and can catastrophically damage our nervous system. We can be thrown around during a car accident, cause our muscles to constrict our nerves. Or a deep enough cut, such as from a dog bite, can sever a nerve and cause paralysis in our limbs. While these injuries are painful and distressing, if they are caused by someone else’s carelessness, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim for damages.
Pursing a claim will come down to whether or not the other party had a duty of care towards you and if they acted negligently. Negligence can include speeding through a red light, failing to put up a wet floor sign, or allowing a dangerous dog to roam free without a leash. Common types of accidents and injuries that lead to nerve damage include:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Slip and falls
- Dog bites
- Swimming pool accidents
- Fourth-degree burns
- Broken bones and fractures
We've offered crucial support and guidance to individuals who have suffered injuries, ensuring their financial and emotional well-being.
Cost of Treatment
Each type of nerve injury will vary in terms of treatment. While some damage can be treated through medication and therapy, others, such as nerves that were severed, may require surgery in order for a doctor to properly repair the damage. These treatments can range in the thousands of dollars, especially if you need constant medication to deal with the pain.
Damaged nerves can also impact other parts of the body. For example, a skull fracture can sever the nerves around the ears and eyes, leading to both deafness and vision loss. While surgery may be able to help you regain your senses, permanent damage can lead to years of medical bills and assisted living equipment. In addition, an injury to the pelvis may lead to issues controlling your bladder and an injury to the chest can damage your diaphragm, making it hard to breathe.
That’s not even counting the costs of permanent paralysis. Even for partial paralysis in one hand, you may be unable to perform certain tasks or work your regular job. That means that on top of having to pay for treatment, you will need to change careers and find a job that will work for your condition. Altogether, you are looking at thousands of dollars in costs that you should not have to pay for if someone injured you through an act of negligence.
What Is a Nerve Injury Claim Worth?
Personal injury claims, whether they involve a broken bone or pinched nerve, are calculated based on two types of damages: economic and non-economic.
Economic Damages: This category relates to the monetary costs of an injury. While you may immediately think of your medical expenses, you can also include lost wages and lost career injuries if you were unable to work due to suffering paralysis or because certain tasks are too painful. Your attorney can calculate your economic damages by reviewing medical bills, invoices, receipts, old pay stubs, and old tax returns.
Non-economic Damages: Non-economic can include any personal costs an injury has caused, ranging from the physical pain of an injury to mental anguish to loss of enjoyment. These costs do not have a traditional monetary value, but they can be supported through testimony from medical experts, friends, and family, as well as by keeping a daily journal of how the injury has affected you.
Nerve injuries can include a mixture of both types of damages. On the one hand, you will have the cost of treating your injuries and paying for your medical bills. However, your injuries may come with chronic pain and a great deal of emotional turmoil. You may not be able to enjoy certain activities and hobbies, leading to a loss of enjoyment, because of the pain you are in or because a disability limits your abilities.
Contact DiBella Law Offices, P.C. Today
Dealing with a nerve injury and filing a claim can be extremely difficult to do on your own. You will need to review the at-fault party’s insurance policy, collect evidence of wrongdoing, add up the costs of your injury, and negotiate with an insurance adjuster. But your focus should be on healing rather than dealing with the legal hurdles of a claim. Instead of handling your claim on your own, reach out to DiBella Law Offices, P.C. Our Boston personal injury attorney can provide sound legal advice throughout the entire claims process and advocate for your right to compensation during settlement negotiations or a jury trial. If you have suffered a nerve injury due to another person’s negligence, call our office at (617) 870-0907.