Types of Nerve Damage From Car Accidents

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Car accidents affect victims for a lifetime despite happening within a split second. Victims often suffer from more than just broken bones and bruises. In some cases, car accident victims can suffer from nerve damage after a crash.

There are numerous types of nerve damage from car accidents – ranging anywhere from mild to severe. All of which result in costly medical expenses and immense suffering, despite the severity level. Below is everything you need to know about nerve damage from car accidents to ensure you get the justice you deserve.

How Does Nerve Damage from Car Accidents Happen?

Car accident injuries that lead to nerve damage often go unnoticed. Most times, people mistake nerve damage symptoms for everyday body aches. However, car accident nerve damage can result due to the following injuries:


A whiplash injury occurs when the head and neck jolt back and forth very quickly. It can affect the nerves in the upper body, leading to neck trauma. Inflammation in the affected areas will affect nerves within those particular areas.

Herniated discs

Jelly-like discs between the vertebrae in your spine are often forced out of place during a car accident. Therefore, the herniated disc will put a lot of pressure on nearby nerves and lead to pain and suffering. At times, a car victim may experience paralysis due to the displaced disc.

Pinched nerve

Although not immediately visible, a pinched nerve could lead to severe nerve damage if not treated immediately. They could happen due to herniated discs or whiplash motions. Equally, you could suffer from a pinched nerve when there is inflammation in different body areas due to the accident trauma.

Types of Nerve Damage from Car Accidents

As stated earlier, nerve damage is an umbrella term for nerve injuries. Essentially, any trauma may have serious effects on your nerves. Therefore, the easiest way to classify nerve damage is by looking at the severity of the injury. Here are the three nerve damage severity levels to get you started:


It is the lowest level of injury that occurs to your peripheral nerves. With neurapraxia, nerve impulses are blocked, but the nerve stump stays intact. Therefore, only the sensory and motor connection to the injured areas is lost.

Neurapraxia will occur when nerves are stretched or compressed in a car accident. Usually, it will heal on its own after a few weeks of rest. At-home treatments can also help make healing faster and alleviate any pain you may be experiencing.


Encompasses a group of severe nerve injuries. Often, axonotmesis occurs when your nerves get damaged after stretching. The result is permanent or long-term paralysis of certain motor and sensory functions.

Although the affected nerves are cut, they are not completely severed. Therefore, you will need occupational or physical therapy to recover fully. With proper treatment, car accident victims can recover within six months to two years.


It is the most severe type of nerve damage. Neurotmesis happens when a nerve becomes completely severed. It will often occur after a violent injury with deep cuts. The result is, therefore, permanent damage that will impact your quality of life.

However, immediate surgical intervention after a car accident can help you make a partial recovery. You may not attain full functionality of affected areas, but it can help reduce the severity of the damage.

Symptoms of Nerve Injuries After a Car Accident

Different types of nerve damage after a car accident will have various symptoms. However, a few symptoms are universal to various kinds of nerve damage.

For those with autonomic nerve damage, here are the symptoms you might experience:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Dry mouth
  • Dry eyes
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Bladder problems
  • Constipation
  • Anhidrosis

Car accident victims with damage to motor nerves may experience the following symptoms:

  • Paralysis
  • Twitching
  • Weakness
  • Muscular atrophy

Finally, sensory nerve damage victims may present symptoms like:

  • Numbness
  • Pain
  • Burning
  • Sensitivity to touch
  • Tingling sensations
  • Lack of positional awareness
  • Numbness

However, it is possible to have symptoms indicating more than one type of nerve damage. For instance, it is not uncommon to simultaneously experience lightheadedness and numbness in your leg. The extent of damages will depend on the severity of the car accident.

Get Fair Compensation For Car Accident Nerve Damage

An auto accident attorney from Elrod Pope Law Firm can help you get the justice you deserve after nerve damage from a car accident. With our help, you can focus on what matters most – attaining full recovery. Our attorneys will handle your claim, so you don’t have to worry about paying for the treatment.

We work with your healthcare professionals to evaluate your medical needs and factor them into your car accident compensation claim. Therefore, you can get fair compensation for all damages. Ensure you contact us today to get a free case evaluation.

Car Accident Nerve Damage FAQs

What compensation is available for nerve damage?

Compensation for nerve damage after a car accident will vary depending on the pain level, the damage’s severity, and the injury’s permanence. You can seek compensation for both non-economic and economic harm. These include lost wages, medical expenses, punitive damages, and lost future earnings.

How do car accidents cause nerve damage?

The impact of another car hitting yours causes severe damage to your neck, spine, and head. Blunt force trauma will tear or stretch your nerves, while deep cuts can sever nerves.

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