Serious injuries often result in permanent nerve damage. Damage to the nerves can lead to a host of additional issues with pain, functionality, and overall health. There are a number of ways in which the nerves can be damaged. Treatment measures often depend on the type of nerve injury sustained.
When your quality of life and finances are impacted by nerve damage in Texas, you can recover compensation. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer can help you identify whether you qualify and how to move forward.
What Is Nerve Damage?
The nerves form a complex network that extends throughout the entire body and carries electrical signals to the brain. Your nerves are how you’re able to feel physical sensations like pain, cold, or hunger. They also play a central role in bodily functions like breathing, digestion, and the ability to move your muscles.
Because nerves are located throughout the body, it’s easy for an injury to result in nerve damage. After a minor injury, an injured nerve might heal quickly with no long-term effects. However, more serious injuries often result in permanent damage to the nerves. Depending on the type of injury, permanent nerve damage can, in turn, lead to other health problems.
Injuries to the nerves usually take one of three forms:
- Bruised nerve (neuropraxia)
- Severed nerve (neurotmesis)
- Crushed nerve (axonotmesis)
Of the three types of nerve injury, a bruised nerve — also called a nerve contusion — is the most minor type of injury and the most likely to result in a full recovery. Crushed and severed nerves indicate a more serious injury, with longer healing times and a greater likelihood of lasting nerve damage.
Types of Nerve Damage
Most nerve injuries impact peripheral nerves. These are the nerves that run throughout the body. However, peripheral nerves can be further divided into different types. There are three types of peripheral nerves most likely to be harmed in an accident.
Motor Nerve Damage
Motor nerves are the nerves responsible for movement. Everything from running to wiggling a finger is achieved with the help of motor nerves.
Damage to motor nerves can produce a wide range of outcomes, including:
Depending on the severity of symptoms, motor nerve damage can have a significant impact on a person’s ability to move around and perform daily tasks. This type of injury can also make it unsafe or impossible to perform necessary functions, like driving a car or typing on a keyboard.
Autonomic Nerve Damage
Autonomic nerves are responsible for automatic or involuntary bodily functions.
Some of the most significant roles of autonomic nerves include assisting with:
- Heart rate
- Blood pressure
- Sexual arousal
Damage to autonomic nerves can easily be life-threatening, especially when organs like the heart or lungs are affected. When autonomic nerve damage doesn’t result in death, it can lead to severe disability and the need for attendant care.
Even without a severe physical injury, autonomic nerve damage can also have a dramatic impact on the quality of life of the injured person.
Sensory Nerve Damage
Sensory nerves are the nerves that help provide the body with sensation. Damage to the sensory nerves can lead to issues with sensing temperatures, textures, and other sensations.
When you have sensory nerve damage, your risk of sustaining additional injuries can increase. For example, you may be more likely to suffer burn injuries because you are not able to feel a hot surface. Damage to the sensory nerves can also lead to issues with balance, coordination, and mobility.
Common Causes of Nerve Damage
Medical conditions like diabetes can cause nerve damage. However, most types of nerve damage are the result of accident injuries.
Some of the most common types of accidents and injuries that lead to nerve damage include:
- Workplace accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Defective product injuries
- Medical malpractice
- Birth injuries
Nerve damage is a common outcome of many different types of injuries.
Certain types of injuries have a higher rate of correlation with injury to the nerves, including:
- Deep bruises
- Stretching/pulling injuries
- Crushing injuries
- Electrical injuries
Some people are at higher risk of sustaining certain types of injuries. For example, the brachial plexus is a group of nerves often injured in infants at birth.
Signs of Nerve Damage
Nerve damage is often difficult to ignore. Symptoms can range from severe pain to mild discomfort.
Some of the most common signs of a damaged nerve include:
- Electrical sensations
- Stabbing pains
Nerve damage also commonly causes muscle weakness. Feeling uncoordinated or frequently dropping objects are other common signs that the nerves have been damaged after an injury. In more severe cases, nerve damage can result in a complete loss of feeling or severe chronic pain.
How Nerve Damage Is Treated
Treating nerve damage involves addressing the original injury and then providing additional treatment to aid in long-term healing. An injury involving severe nerve damage may require surgery for initial treatment.
As the wound begins to heal, treating damage to the nerves might involve:
- Physical therapy
- Massage therapy
- Pain management medication
The long-term prognosis for damaged nerves often depends on the severity of the injury and the type of injury. Healing can also be affected by other factors, like the age and overall physical health of the injured person.
Sometimes, nerve damage can result in a full recovery, while other times, there are limits to how much a medical team can do to help restore sensation and functionality.
Nerve Damage Compensation
Nerve damage can lead to costly medical expenses. When you’re left dealing with severe damage that impacts your quality of life or renders you unable to work, a personal injury lawyer can help identify whether your injuries qualify for personal injury compensation.
Your personal injury lawyer can look into the causes of your accident. They can see whether some other person or company can be held financially responsible for your injuries. If your lawyer can establish liability, they can work to negotiate a settlement that covers costs like medical bills and lost wages.
Consult a Skilled Laredo Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you’ve been in an accident in Laredo, Texas, that resulted in nerve damage, Roderick C. Lopez Personal Injury Lawyers can help. We hold a strong track record of helping injured clients in Texas recover the compensation that they need after an injury. Nerve damage can take a heavy toll on both your finances and quality of life. But you don’t have to bear this burden alone