Nerve damage can be extremely painful and often goes on for years. It can cause everything from weakness and numbness to loss of motor function. But what is nerve damage, and how does it happen?
Nerve damage is a common result of accidents, and it can impact you for the rest of your life. Read on to learn more about these injuries and how you can get compensation for them.
How Does Your Nervous System Work?
Before we dive into the different types of nerve damage, let’s talk some about your nervous system. Your nervous system controls almost everything you do, from movement and thoughts to memory and more. It also gives you your senses, controls your heartbeat, and manages your body processes.
Your nervous system is made up of trillions of nerves spread throughout your body. Electrical signals travel up and down special cells called neurons that transmit messages between the rest of your body and your brain. Your brain interprets these signals and then sends messages back down your nerves telling your body what to do.
Types of Nerves That May Be Damaged
There are three types of nerves that may be damaged: motor, sensory and autonomic.
- Motor nerves regulate the muscles you consciously control, such as those in your arms and legs.
- Sensory nerves relay information about the world around you, providing you sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste.
- Autonomic nerves regulate your body functions that you don’t consciously control, such as your heartbeat, digestion, breathing, and more.
All of these types of nerve damage fall under the umbrella of peripheral nerve damage.
How Nerve Damage Can Happen
Nerve damage can happen under a variety of different circumstances. Oftentimes, accidents such as car accidents or slip and fall accidents can result in nerve damage. When you’re involved in a serious impact or a fall, your nerves can get stretched, crushed, compressed, or severed entirely.
Sometimes, nerve damage can occur over a long period of time as a result of a medical condition. Autoimmune diseases, diabetes, carpal tunnel, and Guillain-Barre syndrome can all cause nerve damage. In some cases, hormonal imbalances and tumors may also cause nerve damage.
Symptoms of Nerve Damage
There are several symptoms that could indicate you may have nerve damage. The particular symptoms you experience will depend on which types of nerves you’ve damaged.
- Damage to your motor nerves can cause weakness, twitching, or cramps.
- Damage to your sensory nerves may make it hard for you to detect changes in temperature, feel pain, or keep your balance with your eyes closed. You may also experience numbness or tingling.
- Damage to your autonomic nerves can cause changes in your blood pressure, excessive sweating, and gastrointestinal problems.
It’s important to note that you could experience more than one of these symptoms. You may have damage to more than one type of nerve at once, which can cause a wide range of symptoms.
How Do You Get Compensation for Nerve Damage?
If you’ve suffered nerve damage in an accident, you could be entitled to compensation. There are three basic types of compensation you can get after a personal injury.
Non-economic damages help to compensate you for losses that don’t have an inherent financial value. These damages may cover pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, emotional trauma, mental anguish, and so on.
Punitive damages are meant to punish a defendant for acting in an especially awful manner during an accident. These damages come with a very high burden of proof and are rare to recover in personal injury cases.
A personal injury lawyer can help you calculate all the damages you’re owed and fight to get a full compensation offer.
Statute of Limitations
After an accident, you have a limited amount of time to file a personal injury claim. This is known as the statute of limitations, and once it’s passed, you won’t be able to have your claim heard in court. In Missouri, the statute of limitations on personal injury cases is five years.
While five years may seem like a long time, it can go by quicker than you realize, especially when you’re recovering from an injury. It’s best to talk to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your case to start gathering evidence and getting negotiations underway.
Get the Compensation You Deserve
Nerve damage can cause you pain for years after an accident, and in the worst cases, it may leave you diminished for the rest of your life. If you’ve suffered nerve damage in an accident, you could be entitled to compensation.
The attorneys at Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers want to help you get the money you’re entitled to. We’ll talk to witnesses, pull police reports, negotiate with insurance companies, and even go to court if that’s what it takes to get you the money you deserve. Schedule a free consultation with us today to discuss your legal options in your case.