Omaha Nerve Injury Attorney
Following a vehicle collision, our immediate concerns are with the obvious, visible injuries, such as broken bones, bad cuts, heavy bruising, but rarely do we think to check beneath the surface. Nerve damage is a very real risk following a major traumatic event and can range from temporary tingling in your fingers to paralysis below the neck, otherwise known as tetraplegia.
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In moderate to severe cases involving nerve injuries, victims may accumulate millions of dollars in medical bills, suffer a major shift in their career or lifestyle, and require years of rehabilitation or continuous assistance with everyday tasks. Injuries can be traced back to an inciting incident like a traffic collision with a drunk driver or a fall caused by faulty handrails.
If you suffered a nerve injury as the result of someone else’s negligence, it is important that you seek legal aid immediately to ensure your medical and financial burdens can be alleviated. Do not hesitate to contact Bottlinger Law L.L.C. at (402) 505-8234 to discuss your Omaha personal injury case.
Nerves act as the messaging and control system for the body, connecting the brain and spinal column to the body’s various organs, muscles, and bones. To fulfill such a wide array of processes, nerves have three different functions: sensation, movement, and coordination. When any of these processes are damaged, either by disease or trauma, your brain and spinal column have a difficult time controlling your body.
The severity of a nerve injury is classified with the Sunderland system, which divides the injuries into five different categories based on the impact they have on your body:
- First Degree: A minor nerve injury that involves tingling in the hands or limbs, often as a result of a nerve being “locked” from sending or receiving signals. Most injuries are resolved with rest in a few hours or weeks.
- Second Degree: The nerve is disrupted but remains intact. Minor surgery can be avoided if properly tested and diagnosed.
- Third Degree: The nerve is partially damaged, affecting its ability to send and receive signals. Treatment and recovery options vary, but surgery and nerve grafting may be required.
- Fourth Degree: Severe damage to the nerves that results in scarring, which blocks the electrical signals in the nerve. Nerve grafting is required in most cases.
- Fifth Degree: The most severe scenario where a nerve has been split into two or more pieces. Requires surgery to properly repair the damage and recover functions.
Determining the degree to which your nerve was damaged will take the skills of a trained medical professional, which is why it is important to receive treatment after a traffic collision or work injury. Symptoms may not be immediately apparent, and a hospital will need time to properly diagnose the extent of the injury.
In addition to the degrees of a nerve injury, there are a number of common types that can occur as a result of trauma or serious lacerations:
- Fibromyalgia: The inflammation of a nerve.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A common workplace injury in offices where the nerves in the hand become compressed, resulting in pain, numbness, and tingling.
- Brachial Plexus Injury: The stretching, compression, or tearing of the nerves in the neck and shoulders. This injury can occur in traffic collisions, heavy falls, and even football.
- Spinal Accessory: Damage to the nerves control the neck, making it difficult to turn your head or move your shoulders.
- Paralysis: Partial or total loss of feeling or movement in the affected area. It can include paraplegia, which affects the lower body from the waist down, or tetraplegia, which affects all four limbs.
Paralysis is considered the most severe of the various nerve injuries and has the largest impact on an individual’s life. Referred to as partial or complete, paralysis is the result of major damage to the nerve that heavily stretches, scars, compresses, or severs the nerve. It is most common in spinal cord injuries and can have life-changing effects in the most severe cases. Paralysis can be classified as:
- Partial: Limited feeling and control over the affected region.
- Complete: Total loss of feeling and control over the affected region.
- Localized: Loss of feeling or control over a specific region, such as your hands, one side of your face, or vocal cords.
- Generalized: Paralysis that affects multiple regions, such as monoplegia (one limb), diplopia (two limbs), paraplegia (lower body), and tetraplegia (below the neck).
Treatment for paralysis is often more difficult than other nerve injuries because it often involves a bundle of nerves that have been damaged. Surgery and rehabilitation may help a victim regain partial sensation or control over their body parts, but the healing process is often costly and time-consuming. If your injury was the result of someone else’s negligence, then compensation can be pursued through a personal injury claim to help you recover from this trauma.
Trauma to the nerves can occur as a result of a variety of incidents, including:
- Slips, trip, and falls
- Auto accident
- Mechanical malfunctions
- Farm equipment
- Sports injury
- Deep lacerations
Medical bills related to nerve injuries can vary depending on the severity of your injury and how long it will take you to recover, but there are a number of factors that can be considered. When calculating compensation, damages are divided into two categories: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are clearly outlined based on the physical costs to your life, including:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages from time off work
- Lost future earnings if your career was impacted
- Property damage
- Cost of medical equipment such as wheelchairs or braces
- Cost of renovations to your home to assist with mobility
Sometimes referred to as “pain and suffering damages,” non-economic damages are more fluid and refer to damages that cannot be accessed based on bills or lost wages. Non-economic damages can include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss in quality of life
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium or companionship
Bottlinger Law L.L.C. understands the difficulty following a traumatic event and believes that each victim deserves their fair day in court. When you bring your personal injury case before us, we will take the time and care to properly review your case to find the best route forward for you. Founded in 2013 with the explicit purpose of helping victims receive proper compensation from insurance companies, we have a thorough understanding of how to bring a personal injury claim through mediation and trial. We offer free initial consultations and do not charge any fees unless we win a case, so there’s no reason not to contact us at (402) 505-8234.
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