Boulder Nerve Injury Lawyers
Peripheral nerve damage affects nerves in the body that lie outside of the brain and spinal cord. These nerves are responsible for sensation, movement, and function of the glands and organs. Injury to the peripheral nerves can seriously affect the brain’s ability to communicate with muscles and organs, and, therefore, bodily function.
Peripheral nerve injuries may be mild or severe. They can be caused by stretching or pressing on the nerve. Leading causes of nerve damage include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Pedestrian injuries
- Gunshot wounds
- Surgical errors
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Industrial or work-related accidents
- Slip or trip and fall accidents
- Accidents causing trauma to the body
In the most commonly used classification system (Seddon’s), nerve injury is classified by severity in the following categories:
- Neurapraxia: This is the mildest form of nerve injury, in which the nerve remains intact and the prognosis is good. Neurapraxia can cause temporary loss of motor and sensory function. It may take up to 12 weeks to recover completely from this level of nerve injury.
- Axonotmesis: This level of nerve damage is caused by crush injuries and displaced bone fractures disrupting the nerve cell axon (the long, threadlike portion along which impulses are conducted from the cell body to other cells). With axonotmesis, the axon is damaged, while the surrounding connective tissue remains intact. Partial or complete recovery is possible without surgery, but it may take several months.
- Neurotmesis: This type of nerve injury is caused by knife and gunshot wounds and severe ischemic (restricting blood flow) injuries. Both the axon and the surrounding connective tissues are damaged, and recovery will not occur. Neurotmesis usually requires surgery.
In addition to Seddon’s classification of nerve injuries, there is also brachial plexus avulsion. Avulsion injuries rank among the most serious types of nerve damage. They occur when the nerve root is torn from the spinal cord and can result in limited feeling, paralysis, or severe pain in the hands, arms, and shoulders.
Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic pain condition, often affecting one arm, leg, hand, or foot. CRPS usually occurs after an injury and is believed to be caused by damage to or malfunction of the peripheral and central nervous systems. CRPS-II (causalgia) is diagnosed when there is a confirmed, associated nerve injury. Symptoms of CRPS can vary in severity and duration. In more severe cases, it can cause long-term disability.
Symptoms of nerve damage can develop after an accident with injuries, such as a motor vehicle crash or a fall. Slip or trip and fall accidents cause blunt-force trauma from the impact of the body hitting the ground, which can injure the nerves. Auto accidents can also cause nerve injury in several different ways, including:
- Whiplash: The whip-like motion of the head and neck, for example, in a rear-end collision, can stretch and pinch the nerves in the neck.
- Blunt-force trauma: In a motor vehicle collision, it is not uncommon to hit the head, arms, or legs against a hard surface inside or outside the vehicle. The force of impact can compress the nerves.
- Lacerations: Deep cuts can be caused by shattered glass or sharp fragments in a car crash. These lacerations may sever the nerves, causing serious injuries.
Severe damage to the nerves suffered in an accident can cause chronic pain and long-term disability. It is important to aggressively pursue the compensation you will need to cover your medical expenses, time away from work, and other losses. Your best course of action is to speak with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.
Call the Tenge Law Firm, LLC in Boulder at (303) 665-2929. Our Boulder personal injury attorneys have the knowledge, skills, and resources to provide the dedicated legal representation you need after a nerve injury accident.
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