Nerve Damage: Causes, Symptoms, and Compensation 

Nerve damage is a complex medical condition, and its impacts can devastate an individual’s life.

This thorough resource will delve into the complexities of nerve damage. Here, we explore its causes, symptoms, and the potential compensation available in a personal injury claim.

What is Nerve Damage?

What is Nerve Damage?

Nerve damage occurs when disruption or injury to the body’s nerve network appears. To understand nerve damage better, let’s look at how our nervous system functions.

The nervous system includes the brain, spinal cord, and cranial and peripheral nerves. These components work together to send vital nerve signals throughout the body. Consider nerves as pathways that carry electrical signals. The nerves allow your body to communicate with your brain.

When a nerve is severed, it loses its ability to send these signals. The effect can be paralysis or sensation loss in the body parts or organs. Yet, not all nerve damage involves complete severance. 

In some cases, external factors such as bone, ligaments, or tissue pressing on a nerve can lead to irritation and inflammation. These factors often disrupt nerve signals or cause them to misfire.

What Types of Nerve Damage Can Occur?

Nerve damage takes different forms, each with unique effects on the body.

  • Peripheral Neuropathy: Nerve damage in the extremities, such as the hands and feet. This causes numbness, tingling, and pain.
  • Radiculopathy: Nerve root damage may lead to pain or weakness in specific body areas.
  • Mononeuropathy: Nerve damage to a single nerve. This includes localized issues like carpal tunnel syndrome.

Understanding these types helps in recognizing and managing nerve damage symptoms.

Living With Nerve Damage

Coping with nerve damage often necessitates adapting to new challenges. Individuals may find help in adaptive devices that enhance mobility. These tools can make everyday tasks more manageable.

Moreover, seeking solace and guidance can be beneficial. Joining support groups with other nerve damage victims can provide emotional support and valuable advice. Sharing experiences and learning from others can foster community and understanding.

Additionally, addressing the emotional aspects of living with nerve damage is essential. Counseling can be valuable in managing the psychological toll often accompanying nerve damage. It offers strategies for coping with pain, frustration, and changes in daily life.

What Symptoms Can Arise From Nerve Damage?

Nerve damage symptoms can differ based on the type of nerve signals affected. 

Nerves are responsible for carrying three main types of alerts: 

  1. Autonomic signals
  2. Motor signals 
  3. Sensory signals

Each type can produce distinct symptoms when disrupted.

Autonomic Signals

These signals control involuntary bodily functions, including heartbeat, respiration, digestion, and temperature regulation. Nerve damage affecting autonomic signals can lead to arrhythmia, irregular breathing, digestive issues, and sexual dysfunction.

Motor Signals

Motor signals enable muscle movement, facial expressions, and speech. Nerve damage disrupts motor signals. The disruption can result in paralysis, weakness, slurred speech, limited range of motion, and loss of coordination. The specific symptoms hinge on the location of the nerve damage.

Sensory Signals

Sensory signals convey information from the body to the brain. It alerts you to perceive pain, numbness, tingling, and temperature changes. Damage to sensory signals can result in various sensory disturbances. 

What Are the Risk Factors for Nerve Damage?

Know the risk factors associated with nerve damage. By understanding how it can happen, we can prevent it.

Burn Injuries

Burn injuries can damage nerves, whether caused by heat, combustion, chemicals, or radiation. First and second-degree burns typically affect only the nerve endings. But third-degree burns can destroy nerves, leading to permanent loss of sensation.

Physical Trauma

Trauma resulting from car crashes, slips and falls, and other accidents can cause nerve damage in many ways:

Broken Bones

Broken bones can tear muscles, tendons, blood vessels, and nerves. The tears lead to numbness and loss of movement below the break.

Crushing Injuries

Soft tissue damage from crushing injuries can disrupt nerve signals. Often, the crush affects limb movement and sensory responses.

Back Injuries

Trauma to the back can harm the spinal cord or nerve roots, causing nerve compression and damage.

Repetitive Motions

Certain activities involving repetitive motions can cause nerve damage over time. An example is carpal tunnel syndrome resulting from wrist inflammation. This issue frequently arises when a task demands constant repetition. 

What Compensation Can I Recover for Nerve Damage?

You may be compensated if someone else’s negligence or intentional actions caused your nerve damage. Understanding what you can recover is essential for pursuing a legal claim. Compensation for nerve damage includes economic and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are those for tangible costs. Compensation helps ease the immediate financial strain. Fair compensation ensures access to necessary medical care and support. This enables victims to regain their independence and quality of life. 

Nerve damage can lead to high medical bills. Victims often need surgeries, ongoing treatments, and medications. These costs can be a huge financial burden for the injured person and their family. Rehabilitation expenses, like physical therapy, are vital for recovery. Yet, they can also be very expensive.

When nerve damage prevents someone from working, it can result in lost earnings, another factor that makes it even harder to make ends meet. This financial instability can impact their prospects. Seeking compensation is a critical step towards rebuilding their lives after nerve damage.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages address the hardships beyond medical bills and financial costs. 

Nerve damage often brings physical pain, emotional distress, and limitations in everyday life. The pain can be intense, making it tough to do regular activities, while the emotional toll can be just as heavy. 

Fair compensation can relieve these non-economic damages. A successful compensation claim can help individuals cope with pain and enhance their quality of life. It’s a way to get support for the challenges that come with nerve damage and work toward a better future.

Medical Costs Associated With Nerve Damage

Medical expenses for nerve damage pose a significant financial burden. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reports on national health cost projections. For 2022, they indicated increased healthcare spending, including for nerve damage. 

Medical costs associated with nerve damage vary depending on injury severity. 

Some of these expenses arise from the following:

  • Diagnostic tests
  • Specialist consultations
  • Costly surgeries
  • Medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Assistive devices
  • Long-term care

Health insurance coverage and government assistance programs can help mitigate these expenses.

Contact Our Chicago Personal Injury Attorneys for Help with Your Nerve Damage Claim

Nerve damage can affect a person’s mental, physical, and financial well-being. The path to seeking the compensation you deserve can be complex. That’s why reaching out to an experienced attorney is a wise step. 

A Chicago personal injury lawyer can guide you through the legal process. They’ll ensure that your rights are protected and help you on the road to recovery. Your journey to regaining control over your life begins with the right legal support.