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Accidents And Nerve Damage

The nerves are a network of cells that transmit messages from the brain to all parts of the body and back again. They make it possible to feel sensations and to move body parts. They also transmit the messages that let your brain run body functions you don’t directly control, like your heartbeat and digestion. Basically, nerves are what make it possible for you to go about your day-to-day life. But nerve fibers are delicate, and when they are injured, severe pain and other disabilities can result.

The lawyers at Maples, Nix & Diesselhorst in Oklahoma City are here to help you victims of nerve damage receive the medical care they need and the compensation they deserve. Call our Edmond office at 800-539-0652.

Categories Of Injury

Many physicians who treat nerve injuries first classify the severity of the injury using the Sunderland Classification System. This system divides nerve injuries into five separate classes, which include:

  • First-degree injury: A mild injury that temporarily prevents messages from being sent along the nerve or that sends some parts of a message but not others. These injuries typically heal on their own within a few hours to weeks. Banging your “funny bone” on an object is an example of a first-degree nerve injury.
  • Second-degree injury: An injury that results in a loss of continuity along the nerve. Surgery is usually not required to repair these injuries, especially if nonsurgical testing can pinpoint the location and cause of the problem.
  • Third-degree injury: Damage to the nerve fibers or supporting structures that impairs communication. Surgery may be required to remove a neuroma (buildup of scar tissue on the nerve fiber) or to put in a graft to help the nerve heal on its own.
  • Fourth-degree injury: Damage or scarring that completely blocks the nerve from transmitting messages. Surgery is often required to remove scar tissue and put in a graft to restore communications along the nerve.
  • Fifth-degree injury: An injury that breaks the nerve completely, so that two or more parts are no longer connected. If the break is not fixed, the part of the nerve separated from the spinal column will die. The only way to repair the break is through surgery.

What Accidents Cause Nerve Injury?

Since nerves are easily damaged, almost any type of accident can result in nerve injuries. Some of the most common types of nerve injury-causing accidents include:

  • Vehicle accidents. Whiplash, severe bone fractures and lacerations can all cause nerve injuries in addition to other types of injuries.
  • Burns. The more severe a burn injury is, the more likely it is to have damaged one or more nerves that lie underneath the burn area. A patient may need to be treated for nerve injuries in addition to burn injuries, and may suffer permanent nerve impairment.
  • Spine injuries. Damage to the spinal cord is one of the most devastating types of nerve injuries, but any damage to the vertebrae or disks in the spinal column can also pinch or damage a nerve.
  • Slip-and-fall injuries. A slip-and-fall may result in a pinched, stretched, cut or damaged nerve, depending on the circumstances of the accident.

Holding Negligent Parties Responsible

Suffering a nerve injury in an accident can be devastating but is even more difficult to bear when the accident is caused by the negligence or recklessness of another, be it a distracted driver or property owner who fails to repair his or her premises. Nerve injuries can cause serious pain, loss of mobility and other problems that may follow you for the rest of your life.

Make Your Appointment Today

If you’ve suffered a nerve injury in an accident, you deserve to be compensated for your losses. The experienced Oklahoma City personal injury attorneys at Maples, Nix & Diesselhorst can help you understand your legal rights and potential options for your particular situation. Call us at 800-539-0652 to learn more. You can also email the firm to request your free case evaluation.