Broken bones, lacerations, soft tissue injuries and bruises can completely heal with the right treatment after a car accident. Nerve damage is different and often takes much longer to heal. Sometimes, it doesn't heal at all, if it is serious nerve damage.
There are two systems that make up the nerves in the body:
- Central nervous system — consists primarily of the brain and spinal cord.
- Peripheral nervous system — nerves that branch out from the brain and spinal cord and extend to other parts of the body.
The types of nerves within these systems are:
- Autonomic nerves — these control involuntary or partially voluntary functions in the body.
- Motor nerves — these pass information from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles and control movement.
- Sensory nerves — these relay physical sensations from the body to the spinal cord and brain and are responsible for pain.
Damage to the nerves after a car accident often results in irreversible and debilitating pain. Sometimes, it results in other health complications that make it difficult to perform certain tasks.
Nerve pain linked to spinal, bone and soft tissue injuries
When a nerve becomes cut or damaged, it's difficult for the body to generate new cells to replace the damaged nerve. This is very common when nerves in the spinal cord become damaged. In other cases, nerves may be pinched or compressed by surrounding bones, cartilage, muscles or tendons. This is often due to:
- Herniated or slipped discs
- Soft tissue injuries (usually in the muscles)
- Bone fractures
- Swelling and inflammation
Common symptoms of nerve compression or damage include:
- Sharp, stabbing pains
- Pain that radiates from one part of the body to another, for example:
- Nerve damage in the neck may cause pain that radiates through the arms and as far as the fingers.
- Nerve damage in the lower back may cause pain that radiates down the legs and into the feet.
- Numbness, burning or tingling sensations (usually in the arms or legs)
- Muscle weakness and/or atrophy
- Bladder and/or bowel dysfunction
Nerve damage linked to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
Severe TBIs that occur at the base of the skull can lead to damage to the cranial nerves (nerves that connect the brain with body). This often results in:
- Facial paralysis or loss of sensation
- Loss of sense of smell and/or taste
- Double vision or complete vision loss
- Difficulties with swallowing
- Tinnitus (ringing in ears)
- Hearing loss
Treatments available for nerve pain and damage
Pinched or compressed nerves are often treated with surgery and physical therapy. For instance, if you sustained a herniated disc, the pressure placed on the nerves in the spinal cord can be reduced by repairing the disc. Other options to help treat nerve compression are chiropractic treatment and acupuncture.
In many cases, there is no permanent fix for damaged nerves. Your doctor may prescribe medications to help reduce pain and inflammation. Otherwise, your doctor may need to perform electromyography. This procedure can identify damaged nerves that aren't healing properly. In addition, surgery may then be required to reduce the impact of the damaged nerves.
Speak to an experienced Toronto lawyer to learn about your legal options
Treatment for nerve pain and other injuries associated with your crash will be costly. Insurance companies often care more about their own profits than they do about compensating injured motorists.
Get an experienced Toronto car accident lawyer on your side who knows how to deal with the insurance companies. The legal team at Smitiuch Injury Law will gather the facts and prove how negligence led to your crash. We'll also fight tirelessly to help you recover every dollar owed to you in damages. This usually includes, but is not limited to:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Wage loss while you're unable to work
- Disability benefits if you sustained a permanent injury
- Non-economic damages for pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life
- Punitive damages if your crash was caused by recklessness or gross negligence
We offer free and confidential case consultations. Contact us online to find out how we can help you.