Car Accidents and Neurological Issues
Most injuries suffered in a car accident are immediately apparent. For example, a broken bone or a severe neck or spine injury causes substantial pain and limitation of movement. An open bleeding wound or a substantial joint derangement are other types of injuries that are immediately known to the victim.
Neurological injuries may also be sustained in a car accident. These types of injuries sometimes do not develop for days, weeks or months after the initial trauma. Neurological issues can affect any part of a person’s body. Nerves assist the entire body in functioning properly. Neurological injuries can also be extremely painful, disabling and can change a person’s life forever. Recovering damages for such injuries can present challenges.
Types of Neurological Injuries
The nervous system is made up of two primary systems. One is the central nervous system, which involves the brain and the spinal cord. The other is the peripheral nervous system. This system links the brain and spinal cord to other parts of the body.
Neurological disorders include diseases of the central and peripheral nervous system such as,
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord damage including herniated or bulging discs
- Cranial nerve damage
- Peripheral nerve disruption
- Nerve root impingement
- Autonomic nervous system disruption
- Neuromuscular junction
Neuropathy is a condition that refers to nerve damage in the peripheral nervous system. This can affect a person’s ability to walk, hold objects, and maintain balance. When this condition is caused by a car accident, pressure is often placed on nearby nerves, or nerve fibers can become compressed and cause pain and numbness.
Radiculopathy is a condition that compresses or damages the nerves as they leave the spinal column. This too, causes pain as well as numbness or weakness in the arms or legs. Pain may also radiate throughout the lower back, and into a person’s limbs.
Both of these conditions are commonly seen after car accidents. They can also present a number of different symptoms.
Symptoms of Neurological Issues
A number of symptoms indicating a person’s nerves have been damaged may present themselves after a car accident. These include:
- Atrophy of muscle tissue
- Bladder problems
- Dry eyes or mouth
- Excessive sweating, or an inability to sweat
- Numbness or tingling into the extremities (hands or feet)
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Excessive pain
- General weakness
- Involuntary twitching
While some individuals recover from their neurological issues, some never do. Some vehicle crash victims are left to deal with the consequences of their accident for many years to come.
Legal Proof and Persuasion Issues Related to Neurological Conditions
When a person is involved in a car accident that was the fault of someone else and they are injured, they can make a claim and, if necessary, file a lawsuit for negligence just as they can with any other injury. However, proving neurological damage and claiming compensation for these injuries may be challenging. Insurance companies and their defense attorneys fight these claims hard.
One of the issues in these types of personal injury claims is that neurological damage can be difficult to place a value on. This is particularly true in the damage elements of pain and suffering, and disability, which is also referred to as loss of normal life. Neurological problems can be extremely painful, but this can be difficult to prove to a jury. Typically the amount awarded will depend on the plaintiff’s testimony, testimony of medical experts, and other evidence presented at trial.
Neurological issues may also often difficult to diagnose. The symptoms of neurological issues are the same types of symptoms seen with a number of other injuries. Doctors will typically have to run several tests before determining that a neurological problem is present. This can cause problems with the statute of limitations on Illinois personal injury claims, which is two years.
Contact a Lawyer in Illinois for the Help You Need
At the Blumenshine Law Group, our attorneys understand how difficult neurological issues can be to live with. We also know how difficult they can be to prove in court, and how to overcome those obstacles and argue them successfully.
If you have been injured and are now suffering from neurological issues, contact us or call us at (312) 766-1000. We offer free initial consultations, so call today and we will start reviewing your case.