Peripheral nerve damage from a motor vehicle accident

Here at Giddens & Gatton Law,amp; P.C., we fight for just compensation for the victims of car accidents. Part of any claim for damages is of course for medical expenses, past and future, as well as for pain and suffering caused by the collision.

Nerve injury

A common injury from a car crash is peripheral nerve damage, sometimes called peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral nerves are those on the periphery - meaning on the outside or on the edge - those in the extremities like the arms, hands, legs and feet, but also those that control organs. These peripheral nerves send and receive messages between the brain and spinal cord (the central nervous system) about what is happening in the periphery.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, called NINDS for short, which is part of the National Institutes of Health, explains that there are three kinds of peripheral nerves: motor, sensory and autonomic. The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy depend on which type of nerve has sustained damage. For example:

  • Motor nerves control intentional muscle movement and damage can cause weakness, twitching, reflex problems and more.
  • Sensory nerves communicate about physical sensations like pain and temperature as well as of touch. Damage to sensory nerves may result in problems with sensation, pain, reflex, physical positioning ability, coordination and more. Sensory nerve damage can cause serious, long-term problems.
  • Autonomic nerves control organs and physical functions. Harm to autonomic nerves may cause overheating; problems with swallowing, bowel or bladder functions; blood pressure irregularity; and more.

Nerve problems impact legal damages

This only begins to touch on the very complex problems caused by peripheral nerve damage. One of our jobs as attorneys is to be sure that our car-accident clients have thorough medical assessment of harm to the peripheral nerves so that we can advocate for proper money damages in a personal injury claim. For example, future medical care could be extensive and expensive and a client's ability to work could be impacted.

Any settlement or case presented in court should take into account these future needs. In addition, pain and suffering, both physical and emotional, from peripheral neuropathy can be extensive and should be part of any damage claim from an at-fault accident that impacts the victim.

At our law firm, we evaluate every motor vehicle accident claim only in light of comprehensive evaluation of nerve and other injuries by medical specialists.

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