If you were injured in a car accident and are experiencing tingling in your limbs or shooting pain through your neck and back, you may have suffered nerve damage in the wreck. Check out this article for answers to common questions about the effects of nerve damage and your legal rights to hold the negligent party legally and financially responsible.
The pain you're experiencing may last for weeks, months, or even years, depending on the extent of the damage. Our firm has handled many nerve injury cases, and we are here to help you as well.
1. Signs of Nerve Damage After a Car Accident
After a wreck, you are likely suffering from pain and stiffness throughout your whole body due to the impact. However, it's important to recognize when that pain indicates a more serious nerve injury. Common signs of nerve damage include:
- Numbness, loss of sensation, or tingling in your arms, hands, legs, neck, back, or throughout your body. This may be similar to the pins and needles feeling you get when a body part "falls asleep." However, if that feeling continues, it may be a sign of serious nerve damage.
- Burning, stabbing, or shooting pain is often a sign of direct damage to a nerve.1
- Muscle weakness. You may experience muscle weakness throughout your whole body or only one part of the body, such as your legs, arms, hands or wrists. 2
- Weak or lost reflexes. Doctors commonly perform the knee jerk test to assess the strength of your nerve circuits. If your reaction is weak or absent, it may indicate that you have damaged your nerves.3
- Headaches. Occipital neuralgia may feel like a headache but is actually the inflammation of occipital nerves caused by a head injury or pinched nerve in the neck. You may feel a burning, throbbing pain behind your eyes and a shooting pain that starts at the base of your skull and spreads to the top of your head.4
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may have suffered nerve damage in the wreck. It's important to visit a qualified neurologist so that you can seek necessary treatment. We also recommend speaking with a car accident lawyer to potentially avoid the financial burden of medical bills and lost wages caused by another driver's negligence.
2. How Does a Car Accident Cause Nerve Damage?
The sudden force of another car hitting your vehicle can cause serious nerve damage to your head, neck, and spine that can lead to pain throughout your whole body.
- Blunt force trauma associated with wrecks may stretch or tear your nerves.
- Deep cuts or lacerations caused by the wreck may sever or damage nerves.
- Whiplash, or the forceful back-and-forth movement of your neck, may cause stretched or pinched nerves.
3. Common Locations of Damaged Nerves
Your nervous system runs throughout your entire body from your brain, through your spinal cord, to the very tips of your fingers and toes. Because it is a large, complex system, you may experience symptoms of nerve damage throughout your body, but common areas for nerve injuries after a car accident include:
- Lower back
- Middle back
4. What Compensation Can I Seek for Nerve Damage?
Compensation for a nerve damage personal injury claim can vary greatly depending on the severity of the damage, the pain you are experiencing, and the permanence of your injury. In these types of claims, you can seek compensation for both economic and non-economic harm, including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost future earnings (if your injury affected your ability to earn the same income as before the accident)
- Lost enjoyment of life
- Other damages including physical pain and suffering
- Punitive damages (if the at-fault party was grossly negligent or reckless in causing your injury)
6. How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help You Secure a Fair Settlement for Nerve Damage in Columbia?
Though it causes intense physical pain, nerve damage is often difficult to prove due to limitations in medical technology. However, an experienced South Carolina personal injury lawyer can overcome the hurdles often present in these types of cases, so you can receive a fair and full settlement. Although we may not be able to establish the significance of the damage you experienced through medical proof, we can often demonstrate the impact the nerve damage has had on your life by gathering evidence and statements from the people who know you best and have witnessed how your life has been affected since you were injured in the accident. We present this information to the insurance adjuster, and if needed, a jury to help them better understand the severity of your injury and how it has changed your life, so they can accurately determine a fair settlement or verdict.
Speak with Our Columbia, South Carolina Accident Attorneys Today
Nerve injury cases can be difficult to navigate. Injuries like this may be hard to detect, but there is no doubt that you are experiencing life-changing pain. We are here to help you through the legal process to seek a full and fair recovery. To speak with a member of our team, contact us at either of our office locations: (803) 790-2800 in Columbia, SC or (843) 427-2800 in Myrtle Beach, SC.