Around 83 percent of car accident victims suffer from whiplash, a nerve injury resulting from the forceful movement of the neck. This nerve damage can extend to the patient’s spinal cord, depending on the impact. In severe cases, patients may suffer permanent disabilities and even death.
Besides vehicular collisions, nerve damage can also occur due to medical malpractice, particularly in orthopedic surgeries. Similar to car crashes, the health consequences of medical negligence can be devastating.
Given the extensive nature of these injuries, patients often face expensive medical costs and longer periods of recovery. It is proper for injured parties to claim rightful compensation for the losses and injustices they suffered.
Parties may claim against insurance companies or file a personal injury lawsuit. The average payout for nerve damage can vary widely per case. Regardless of the amount involved, parties should have a working knowledge of the underlying legal procedures. Seek legal advice from personal injury lawyers before taking any court action.
The Personal Injury Center helps readers learn more about their rights when they suffer nerve damage and other injuries. We provide a collection of legal articles on various topics to help you expand your legal knowledge.
|Key Takeaways |
What is nerve damage?
Nerve damage or neuropathy occurs when a single or group of nerves becomes damaged and dysfunctional. Consequently, the affected nerves may no longer deliver signals effectively between organs. In peripheral neuropathy, for instance, patients may suffer imbalance and immobility since the signal from the brain to the spinal cord becomes erratic.
People with nerve injuries may manifest the following symptoms:
- Bladder dysfunction
- Burning sensation
- Dry eyes and mouth
- Excessive or insufficient sweating
- Muscle atrophy
- Chronic pain
- Sexual dysfunction
- Tingling or prickling sensation
Patients suffering from nerve damage should seek immediate medical treatment to avoid complications that could lead to limb amputation.
Causes of nerve damage
The most common triggers of nerve injuries are as follows:
- Physical trauma that compresses, stretches, or cuts nerves
- Hormonal imbalance
- Narrowing arteries
- Tumor growth
- Autoimmune diseases like celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and systemic lupus erythematosus
- Specific conditions like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic kidney disease, and diabetes
- Excessive intake of certain medications, especially immunosuppressants
- Vitamin deficiency, especially Vitamin B12
Sometimes, the cause of nerve damage may seem inexplicable and unapparent at first. It is often the case with brain stem injuries.
Patients may need extensive tests and procedures for a thorough understanding of the condition. Moreover, doctors must accurately diagnose the root cause of their patient’s condition, as different types of nerve damage require specific medical treatment.
Types of nerve damage
The three classifications of nerve damage are as follows:
Neurapraxia is a peripheral nerve injury triggered by focal demyelination or ischemia. The blockage of nerve impulses in the affected areas may partially or entirely disable motor and sensory conduction. Medical experts consider neurapraxia as the mildest classification of peripheral nerve injury.
In terms of nerve damage severity, axonotmesis falls between neurapraxia and neurotmesis. It occurs when a group of nerves sustains severe damage. The axon is disrupted within its myelin sheath, while the neural tube remains intact.
Neurotmesis occurs when a nerve becomes wholly severed. Patients may suffer complete paralysis in the injured area.
Levels of nerve damage
Nerve damage severity has five degrees:
The damage is reversible and repairable without the need for surgical intervention. The affected nerve can recover within hours or days.
Doctors may need to conduct pre-operative nerve testing to confirm this level of nerve damage. While there is axonal loss, surgical intervention is still unnecessary.
The disruption of the axon and its supporting structures occurs at this stage. Patients may need neurolysis or grafting, depending on the severity of nerve injuries.
The scarring on the axon and its structures may disrupt nerve regeneration. Electrical testing would confirm the inability of electrical energy to pass through the neural pathways.
Fifth-degree nerve injuries typically manifest in lacerations or severe stretch injuries. Surgery is necessary to repair this type of injury.
Impact on victims
Nerve damage can have life-altering effects on victims’ lives, such as:
- Difficulty or inability to perform daily activities and work
- Loss of employment
- Inability to build or maintain relationships due to immobility and imbalance
- Sleep disturbances
- Development of mental health disorders, like anxiety and depression
- Financial difficulties due to expensive medical expenses
- Overall diminished quality of life
It is never easy living with nerve injuries, especially when they become permanent. Patients may struggle to keep up with complicated procedures even when their condition is treatable. They may also require the support and understanding of close family members and peers to accommodate their unique needs.
Depending on the severity of nerve damage, healthcare providers will recommend specific treatment options for recovery and rehabilitation.
Here is a list of treatment options for nerve damage:
- Wearing braces or splints
- Massage therapy
- Electrical stimulation
- Physical therapy
- Weight loss
- Nerve grafting
To manage nerve pain, doctors may prescribe amitriptyline, duloxetine, pregabalin, gabapentin, and tramadol.
Always consult a licensed medical professional before undergoing any of these procedures. Additionally, most treatments for nerve injuries require patients to visit their doctors at several intervals for close monitoring and adjustments.
How much is the average payout for nerve damage?
The value of each nerve damage injury varies. For instance, a Mayville man received a $150,000 payout for his wrist nerve injury. On another account, an eight-year-old boy acquired $1.08 million as compensation for the nerve damage he incurred at birth.
There is no standardized formula to calculate the average nerve damage settlement. However, several factors may affect the amount of compensation claimants would receive, and these include the following:
Severity of injuries
More serious injuries generally have a greater valuation than minor ones. For instance, severe pinched nerve injuries can cost hundreds of thousands or more.
Medical bills are critical determinants of a reasonable personal injury claim. Besides past surgeries and treatments, claimants may account for future procedures that they may need to undergo.
Impact of injuries to the affected party’s life
Aside from health implications, nerve injuries can negatively impact patients’ families, careers, and social lives. These factors do not have a direct dollar value, but they may add a reasonable amount to the payout.
Contribution of the injured party to the cause of injury
In comparative negligence states, injured parties may receive lesser compensation if found negligent. For example, in an auto accident, drivers not wearing seatbelts may receive a smaller payout for their back injuries.
Ways To Maximize Your Settlement for Nerve Damage
These tips can help increase the value of your nerve damage payout.
Seek medical attention as soon as possible
Seeking medical care immediately upon suspicion of a nerve injury may reduce the chances of permanent damage. In addition, it demonstrates that the injured party is not deliberately harming themselves or being negligent. The court or insurance company might deny a payout if they believe claimants intentionally or unintentionally complicated their conditions.
Keep and organize relevant pieces of evidence
Always keep medical records, such as billing statements and prescriptions. These documents will help support your case during negotiations with the insurance company or court hearings. Refrain from losing any of them, as reproducing records can be time-consuming and expensive.
Research the value of your claim
Although there is no average settlement for nerve damage, you can find previous settlements similar to your case. Besides medical costs and injury severity, look into applicable state laws and regulations.
Avoid accepting the first offer
The first offer is rarely the final offer. While receiving the payout is urgent, never allow others to lowball you. Even if the insurance company seems stern about its proposal, there are ways to re-open the negotiations.
Substantiate your claim
Many claimants refuse to substantiate their claims and instead focus on explaining how much they deserve a specific amount. It is better to list the costs you think should be reimbursed along with their corresponding receipts. Moreover, providing context to specific but relevant expenses is also helpful.
Refrain from posting everything on social media
Insurance companies may check your social media activity while investigating your claim. Some institutions will use your posts to incriminate you and make you ineligible for payout. It is best to discuss this matter with a legal counsel.
Do not delay the filing of your personal injury claim
Review your insurance policy, as there may be a time limit for filing a claim. Some companies limit the claims period to twenty-four hours from the incident. Even if you have more time available, file earlier to avoid unexpected delays and other complications.
Consult a personal injury attorney
Consult a car accident lawyer if you suffered nerve damage after a car collision. If your injury arose from medical negligence, seek a medical malpractice attorney. They can help you explore the best options to receive justifiable compensation.
Things To Know Before Filing a Nerve Damage Personal Injury Lawsuit
Filing a case can be time-consuming, stressful, and expensive. Here’s what to expect when filing a personal injury lawsuit:
Who should you sue?
Depending on the circumstances of the case, you may file a personal injury claim against the following parties:
Erring medical practitioners may be liable for nerve damage and other injuries their patients suffered. Under the doctrine of vicarious liability, head doctors may also answer for their staff’s wrongdoing.
Employees may file a worker’s compensation claim for nerve injuries. Coordinate with the company human resource department or other designated representatives to initiate the process.
In certain situations, players may hold their competitors accountable for nerve damage claims, especially if the injuries were caused intentionally.
The at-fault driver and insurer are primarily liable for the car accident settlement. They will cover bodily injuries, property damage, and other reasonable expenses.
Level two dog bites and higher may cause nerve injuries. Dog owners should compensate victims for injuries caused by their pets’ aggression.
Elements of personal injury
A personal injury case involves four elements, namely:
Duty to exercise reasonable care
The erring party must have a duty to exert reasonable care. For example, drivers have a responsibility to drive safely and avoid injuring others on the road.
Failure to exercise reasonable care
The at-fault parties must have intentionally or unintentionally neglected such duty of care.
Causation pertains to the causal relationship between an at-fault party’s action and the victim’s injury. A direct link must exist between the two.
Actual damages suffered
Lastly, the injured parties must have suffered compensable harm. Actual damages represent the financial award the court may grant to compensate for the victim’s injuries and losses.
All elements of personal injury must be present to acquire a favorable judgment from the court.
Actual damages or compensatory damages can either be economic or non-economic damages.
Economic damages cover financial expenses injured parties incurred after the incident. For nerve damage claims, economic damages may pertain to medical costs for nerve grafting and other medications. It can also cover the victim’s lost wages while rehabilitating.
In comparison, non-economic damages are intangible and non-monetary in nature. This type of compensation accounts for the victim’s suffering and pain as well as emotional distress and loss of consortium.
Besides actual damages, injured parties may also seek punitive damages in court. Its purpose is to deter the public from doing the same acts as those committed by the at-fault party. The awarding of punitive damages is at the court’s discretion.
Statute of limitations
A statute of limitations sets a prescription period for plaintiffs to file a personal injury claim. Filing beyond the prescribed period renders a claim moot and non-actionable.
The rules on statute of limitations may vary per state. Generally, the time limit for most personal injury claims runs from two to four years from the date of the injury. However, the statute of limitations is not absolute.
The discovery rule serves as an exception to the statute of limitations. Under this rule, the period for filing a case does not start at the date of the injury. Instead, plaintiffs may start counting the filing period upon discovering the wrongful act or negligence.
Did you know?
Medical experts consider trigeminal neuralgia the most excruciating nerve injury. Damage to the trigeminal nerve causes electric shock-like pain from the lower jaw to the eye region.
Find Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers for Your Case
There is no formula for determining the average payout for nerve damage. The best action injured parties can take is to gather evidence to strengthen their claim. In addition, it is crucial to know about technical regulations, such as the statute of limitations, to avoid forfeiting one’s case.
Filing a nerve damage claim can be nerve-wracking. It’s advisable to seek legal assistance from reliable personal injury attorneys to maximize the chances of your claim’s approval.
The Personal Injury Center can connect you with trusted personal injury lawyers in your area. Avail of our free case evaluation to get the process started.
Increase your odds of getting a higher payout for nerve damage with The Personal Injury Center. We can connect you with experienced personal injury lawyers.
FAQs on Average Payout for Nerve Damage
No specific limit exists to how much you can claim for nerve injury damage. However, parties should note that courts may impose damage caps on non-economic damages in some states.
In many cases, claimants must sign a contract releasing the insurer or at-fault party from future cases involving the same injury. Talking to legal experts before accepting any settlement is advisable to avoid potential injustices.
Some lawyers may accept your case on a contingency fee basis. Meaning you do not have to pay attorney’s fees upfront. They may only claim service fees if they win the case or reach a settlement.