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Valuing Injuries: Nerve Damage

Valuing Injuries: Nerve D…

Any accident can have minor to extremely severe damages with respect to injuries to the person involved in an accident. In personal injury claims, the plaintiff is provided with the opportunity to get compensation for the injuries they have suffered due to the accident caused by someone else’s negligence. This article and a series of subsequent articles will discuss specific personal injury claims with respect to proving the nature and extent of a type of injury. This article will discuss proving the nature and extent of injury with respect to a nerve damage claim.

The nervous system is involved in everything the body does, from regulating our breathing to controlling our muscles and sensing heat and cold. According to the WebMD there are three types of nerves in the body; these are:

  • Autonomic nerves
  • Motor nerves
  • Sensory nerves

Because nerves are essential to all that we do, nerve pain and damage can seriously affect the quality of a person’s life. It is commonly understood that nerve damage can create some of the worst physical pain a person can suffer, and can be disabling. However, proving the existence and extent of nerve damage can be challenging in a personal injury case; which further makes it difficult to predict a judge’s response in such a case.

As noted above, nerve damage can cause physical pain and suffering but even more than just that. While pain and suffering damages are often the largest components of damages in a personal injury case, it is not limited to physical pain that the plaintiff suffers. Pain and suffering extends to mental and emotional pain as well as the overall loss of the quality of life. With respect to nerve damage, such mental and emotional pain and suffering damages could be extremely high for a plaintiff considering the resulting discomfort and possible diminishing function of organs or limbs. Further, the compensation extends to living with chronic nerve pain and or related disabilities that potentially lead to damages for psychological issues like depression.

It should be noted that unlike other damages, pain and suffering with respect to nerve damage cannot be easily assigned an exact dollar amount. Where a case goes to trial, the jury will award damages based on their own assessment of the plaintiff’s testimony, any medical expert testimony and any other evidence that is presented during the trial. Therefore, accurately predicting the damages amount will be set at is only based on an educated guess with respect to similar cases in the past. It is for this very reason that settlement negotiations can reach a deadlock because of what each party believes is a fair compensation for the plaintiff’s nerve damage pain and suffering.

It should be noted though that proving that nerve damage occurred is possible. Diagnostic nerve conduction tests can show impairment of nerves or expert medical testimony showing the plaintiff’s injuries lead to nerve damage. Once nerve damage is established, the plaintiff will testify on their personal experience and the impact of the injuries on their life.

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Categories: Auto Accidents