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When someone thinks about a car accident injury, they might visualize a broken bone or head injury. However, there are many car accident injuries that are not visible. Internal injuries can have grave consequences and should be taken very seriously. One such injury is nerve damage.
Every sensation and voluntary and involuntary movement the body makes involves the nerves. For instance, without nerves, your body would not be able to tell if something is hot or cold, a vital sensation that protects you from harm.
Nerve damage can be painful and is sometimes felt immediately, but the pain is often masked initially and not felt until days later. Following a car accident, it is crucial to seek medical attention, even if your injury seems minor, to be evaluated for nerve damage, as well as other internal injuries.
Car accidents commonly affect the peripheral nervous system (PNS) that surrounds the brain and spinal cord, two of the most vulnerable parts of the body. The PNS consists of three types of nerves that play a significant role in the body’s ability to function properly:
Internal injuries and the body’s reaction to trauma and stress can cause serious nerve damage, often due to compression or inflammation that press against the nerves. Some common injuries that cause nerve damage include:
Symptoms of nerve damage tend to be worse at the site of injury. Signs of nerve damage include:
Nerve damage is most common in or near the spine but can be in any part of the body. If you are experiencing any symptoms, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Not all nerve damage is permanent. Depending on the extent of your injury, medical treatment for nerve damage is possible. Diagnosis begins with a physical exam to test your sensations, reflexes, coordination, and strength to help determine whether your sensory or motor nerves are damaged.
Additional neurological tests follow the physical exam to test the electrical activity and nerve function in your muscles and their ability to respond. These tests usually involve imaging scans. Additionally, to determine how quickly electrical impulses move through the muscles, the physician may utilize a nerve conduction velocity (NCV) test, which stimulates muscles through an electrode patch attached to the skin.
Treatment will depend on the severity of the nerve damage. In less severe cases, treatment may include medication for chronic pain, physical therapy, assistive devices, and more. Critically damaged nerve injuries may be treated through surgery, provided the nerve has not died.
Suffering nerve damage from a car accident can lead to financial hardship. Our experienced Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help you if your injury was caused by a negligent driver. Call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Middletown, Dover, Milford, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.