Birmingham Nerve Injury Attorneys
Nerve Injury in a Serious Accident
The nervous system helps to control everything in your body from breathing to sensing heat or cold or other sensations to controlling the muscles. Injury to the nerves can lead to disability or death. A Birmingham catastrophic injury lawyer who specializes in personal injury can help you recover damages from a serious accident to the nervous system.
Types of Nerves
There are two different nerve systems, the involuntary (autonomic), and the motor/ sensory (somatic). The autonomic nerves control the involuntary or partially voluntary activities of the body such as heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, and the regulation of body temperature. Motor nerves control movements and actions through passing information from the brain and spinal cord to muscles. Sensory nerves that are part of the somatic system like motor nerves, relay information from the skin and muscles up through the spinal cord and to the brain. The brain processes the information to create the feeling of pain and other sensations. If nerve injuries occur, the information that regulates the autonomic processes such as breathing, motor actions, and sensations from the skin or muscles to the brain are interrupted and this can have serious consequences to the functions of the body.
What Happens During a Nerve Injury?
When an accident injures a nerve, the trauma severs both the nerve and the nerve insulation. The insulation may remain intact while the fibers inside the nerve break. If the trauma does not cut nerve insulation, the end of the fiber that is farthest from the brain dies while the fiber end closest to the brain does not die. New fibers may grow beneath the nerve insulation until the fibers reach a muscle or sensory receptor. When the nerve fibers and insulation are severed and the nerve is not surgically repaired, the growing nerves fibers may form a neuroma, or painful nerve scar.
Symptoms of Nerve System Injuries
The symptoms of nerve system injuries are specific to the type of nerve damage. Autonomic nerve system injury symptoms are difficulty digesting and eliminating food such as difficulty swallowing and diarrhea, urinary problems such as incontinence, and sweating abnormalities such as sweating too much or too little that affects the ability to regulate body temperature. Other symptoms are dizziness and fainting when standing caused by a sudden drop in blood pressure, sexual difficulties such as erectile dysfunction, sluggish pupil reaction that makes it difficult to adjust from light to dark, and exercise intolerance that may make it difficult for heart rate to adjust in response to activity level. Damage to motor nerves can cause muscle atrophy, weakness, paralysis, and twitching known as fasciculation. Sensory nerve injuries can cause pain sensitivity, numbness, tingling or prickling sensations, burning sensations, and problems with positional awareness, which is the sense of knowing the position of body parts such as the limbs and the effort necessary to move these body parts.
Causes of Nerve System Injuries
Vehicle accidents, falls, and sports-related activities can cause nerve injuries. Broken or dislocated bones can exert pressure on nerves, pinching these and causing pain or severing the nerves. Slipped disks between spinal vertebrae can compress nerve fibers. Sometimes surgery can cause nerve damage when physicians are careless.
Liability for Nerve Injury Accidents
Liability for nerve injuries after accidents depends on the circumstances. In the situation of vehicular accidents where the other driver was intoxicated or careless, liability is with the careless or intoxicated driver. Sports-related activities with improper or faulty equipment, lack of training, and lack of appropriate supervision by organizations and sport staff are circumstances for liabilities. Improperly maintained environments such as unmarked wet floors or hazardous walkways can create liabilities for businesses and organizations. Physicians who injure nerves during surgery may have medical malpractice liability.
There is a two year statute of limitations on personal injury cases unless the claimant is a minor at the time of the injury and the statute of limitations may be until the child is 19-years-old, plus two years, but no more than 20 years. The exception is for adult claimants who have a disability at the time of the injuries and declared incapacitated by an appropriate court. This most often applies to those who are mentally incompetent. There are other exceptions for minors under four years of age where these minors can bring a lawsuit until an eighth birthday.
For assistance to navigate the court system, call a Birmingham nerve injury attorney at Guster Law Firm, LLC at (205) 581-9777.