Did you sustain nerve damage in a recent car crash? If so, you already know that this type of injury can cause a lot of pain and require significant and costly medical treatment.
Learn more about nerve damage after a crash, including when you may be able to seek compensation for the damages.
Our experienced auto accident attorneys in Harrisburg are prepared to help if you decide to file an injury claim. We have been representing injured victims for decades, and we always seek the maximum possible compensation.
Find out about your legal options after a collision. There is no cost or obligation to meet with one of our attorneys to discuss your situation.
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What is Nerve Damage?
When working properly, your nerves signal electrical impulses that pass back and forth from your brain to the rest of your body. These signals enable you to move your muscles and feel different sensations. Your nerves also help to automate important body functions, such as breathing, digesting food – even sweating.
Damaged nerves cannot properly transmit these signals or impulses. This is why you may feel pain in the affected area and beyond. There are three types of nerves in your body:
- Autonomic nerves: These nerves help to control certain involuntary body activities, such as your blood pressure, heart rate, digestion and regulation of your body temperature.
- Motor nerves: These nerves pass information from your brain to your spinal cord and then on to your muscles. Motor nerves control muscle movements and other actions.
- Sensory nerves: As it sounds, these nerves help you to feel certain sensations, such as what is hot or cold. It also informs you that you are in pain.
As you can see, having any type of nerve damage could seriously impact your overall enjoyment and quality of life.
How Could a Car Crash Cause Nerve Damage?
The impact of most car crashes, even minor ones, can cause all kinds of injuries to occupants. Whether you sustain nerve damage could depend on several factors. For instance, where in the car were you sitting? How fast was the vehicle going at impact? What part of your body was injured?
In addition to these factors, the type of injury you sustained also determines whether you may have suffered any nerve damage. Some of the most common injuries that may result in nerve damage include:
- Whiplash: This injury is very common in a crash. However, whiplash injuries can be very severe and cause excessive pain. Victims may find they cannot easily move their heads without pain due to pinched or damaged nerves.
- Herniated discs: If any part of the spinal cord gets damaged, it can cause the victim excruciating pain. In a car crash, the discs that support your spine can rupture, due to the intense and sudden pressure on the spine at impact. Ruptured, or herniated discs can cause crash victims to experience both pain and numbness in the spine.
- Blunt trauma: The impact of a car crash could also cause a victim to strike a blunt object or hard surface. If this occurs, it could cause the nerves in the affected area to compress, causing pain, discomfort and numbness.
- Broken bones: If you sustained a fracture in a car crash, the broken or dislocated bone could be pressing on your nerves, causing you pain and discomfort.
- Neck and back injuries: Even if you do not herniate a disc during a collision, you could suffer some other neck or back injury. Both back and neck injuries could cause you to suffer from pinched nerves in the affected area. For instance, nerve damage in your cervical spine could cause radiating pain in your neck, shoulder and arm. If you injured a lumbar nerve, you may experience pain in your lower back, buttocks, hips and legs.
Nerve injuries should be diagnosed as soon as possible. Left untreated, nerve damage can cause victims to suffer from long-term, chronic pain. This is why it is critical to get diagnosed and treated immediately, rather than putting it off due to cost or other concerns.
What Symptoms May Indicate Nerve Damage From a Crash?
It is important to pay attention to all the symptoms you experience after a car crash. While you may only have minor muscle strains, you could also have severe internal injuries or nerve damage.
Symptoms that may indicate you suffered nerve damage include:
- Tingling and/or numbness in your hands and feet
- Burning, throbbing or sharp pain
- Pain that seems to radiate outward from the injury
- Pins and needles in various parts of your body
- Feeling like your muscles are weak
- Chest pain
- Feeling dizzy
- Constipation or bladder dysfunction
- Unable to control motor function of certain areas of your body
- Abnormal sweating (either too much or too little)
- Dry eyes and dry mouth
- Inability to sense chest pains and other signs of a heart attack
- Sexual dysfunction
If you experience or continue to experience these symptoms, you should immediately get assessed by a specialist. There is treatment available, but you should begin it as soon as possible to help ensure the most optimum outcome.
Can Victims File a Claim for Nerve Damage After a Car Crash?
If another driver caused the crash and your injuries, then you may be able to seek compensation for the damages against his or her liability insurance. This is true for any type of injury that you sustained as a direct result of that crash. However, there are a couple of factors that may limit what compensation you may seek.
Did You Seek Medical Treatment After the Crash?
If you did not seek medical care for your nerve damage after the car crash, it will be harder to establish where your injuries happened. The insurance company will likely argue your injuries could have happened any time or anywhere after the crash.
What Pennsylvania Insurance Coverages Did You Purchase?
Pennsylvania’s no-fault status means you have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. This coverage will help pay for your medical bills and lost wages related to the crash. That said, medical bills quickly add up. If you only purchased the minimum limits, you may not have enough coverage for all your damages.
Can You File an Insurance Claim Against the At-Fault Party?
This depends on whether you opted for limited tort or full tort coverage when you bought or renewed your auto insurance policy. If you are not sure, it is a good thing to check. Those with limited tort may have a more difficult time filing a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance. This is something you should discuss with one of the licensed attorneys at Schmidt Kramer.
Our Trusted Firm is Ready to Help You With Your Recovery
Contact our law offices today, or anytime, to learn more about your legal options. We have staff available to take your call 24/7. Your initial case review is completely free. If you choose our firm to represent you, there are also no upfront costs to pay while we manage your case. You only pay for our services if we win your case.
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