In 2021, an estimated 42,915 people died in car crashes, resulting in $474 billion in damages. Furthermore, the average economic cost for a fatal car accident causing a disabling injury was between $101,000 and $1,750,000. Economic costs included wage losses, medical expenses, administrative expenses, property damage, and employers’ uninsured costs.
While there is no “average” settlement for nerve damage cases, you can determine a general amount by considering several factors. For example, the compensation you could win in a car accident settlement depends on how severe your injuries are and who was at fault. Generally, more severe injuries result in larger settlements.
A nerve damage settlement from an insurance company can range from thousands of dollars to a million dollars. You will need to consult with an experienced Denver car accident lawyer to help you correctly assess the value of your case.
Due to the varying degrees and types of nerve damage injuries, their settlement values will also vary significantly.
What Are Nerve Damage Injuries?
Our bodies use peripheral nerves to send messages from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. Nerves are essential for nearly all of our bodily functions. For example, sensing hot and cold, moving the body’s muscles, walking, and breathing requires nerve functioning.
Peripheral nerves are fragile and easily damaged or injured. A nerve injury, or peripheral neuropathy, will affect the brain’s ability to communicate with muscles and organs. Therefore, seeking medical attention for peripheral nerve injury ASAP is essential. Early diagnosis and treatment could prevent complications or long-term damage.
The three types of nerves in the body include autonomic, motor, and sensory. When damage occurs, these nerves become stretched, compressed, crushed, pinched, or spliced. A car accident that results in nerve damage can leave the victim suffering from physical pain, emotional distress, excessive medical bills, and more. It can also impact the victim’s ability to work and their quality of life.
Varying Degrees of Nerve Damage Injuries
“Nerve damage” is an umbrella term for various types of injuries. There are several different types of nerve damage.
For personal injury cases, it’s best to quantify nerve damage by the severity of the injury. For example, a more severe injury would equate to a higher damage value. There are three levels of nerve damage severity:
- Neurapraxia – this is the mildest form of nerve injury. It is characterized by local segmental demyelination at the injury site. However, the axon continuity and surrounding tissues are not disrupted—the condition results in the blockage of nerve conduction and transient weakness or paresthesia. Since the nerve structure is unobstructed, patients have a high recovery rate with neurapraxia.
- Axonotmesis – this is a second-degree nerve injury with disruption of the axon. That is, the nerve structure is compromised. As a result, the victim will likely suffer long-term or even permanent paralysis.
- Neurotmesis – the most severe form of nerve injury, where the axon and all surrounding tissues are disrupted. The nerve is entirely severed so that the patient will suffer permanent damage.
Primary Factors for Determining the Settlement Value of a Nerve Damage Case
The main factors that will help you determine the value of your nerve damage case include:
- The severity of your injury
- The cost of current and future medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Establishing clear liability
- How much insurance coverage is available
How Severe Is the Injury?
To determine how severe the injury is, we need to know:
- How much physical pain is the victim experiencing?
- How much medical care do they require for the injury?
- And is the victim suffering any permanent damages
- Has their daily life been affected by the injury?
An attorney or insurance adjuster may ask more specific questions like:
- How much pain is the nerve injury causing, and how frequently does the pain occur?
- Has medical care been effective in reducing or eliminating nerve damage symptoms?
- Is the nerve damage injury impacting your ability to perform day-to-day activities?
- Are you unable to work or partake in hobbies due to your injuries?
Every case must be assessed and evaluated individually since nerve damage can vary significantly in severity and impact.
For example, a professional athlete gets into a car crash. Before the crash, they dedicated their life and time to athleticism. That was their livelihood. However, after the crash, they may have sustained permanent damage that prevents them from exercising or continuing as a professional athlete. They may also struggle with chronic pain from the accident injury. If they experience pain that permanently impairs their ability to return to their athletic career, that would be considered a severe injury. On top of everything, they will probably experience mental and emotional anguish from such a drastic turn of events in their life.
Let’s say another person got into a car accident but only experienced minor neck pain. This person was able to moderate their pain after the accident through physical therapy. Therefore, that would not be considered a severe injury. The former example would most likely receive a higher settlement than the victim who walked about with a minor neck injury.
Medical Care and Treatment Costs
Any accident claim should cover all medical treatment and care, including future costs. This is particularly important for individuals with severe injuries since they will likely experience long-term damage. As a result, they may have ongoing, long-term medical bills for treatment or rehab.
Medical treatment that personal injury victims can seek reimbursement for include:
- Ambulance fees
- Doctors visits
- Surgery or any major operations
- Medical imaging (X-Rays, CT Scans, MRIs)
- Hospital bills
- Ambulance costs
- Home or assistive care costs
Any nerve damage injury that requires long-term treatment and care will result in a higher payout for the victim.
Nerve damage injury that will incur long-term care will result in a higher settlement payout.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering is the actual physical pain and emotional anguish caused by the injury. Examples of pain and suffering may be:
- Physical aches and pains
- Mental anguish
- Diminished quality of life
Pain and suffering are considered non-economic damages. Non-economic damages are a bit more challenging to calculate as there are no fixed costs for pain, mental distress, or lowered quality of life. While you can calculate the exact dollar amount for an X-Ray or surgery, pain and suffering don’t come with a price tag.
Permanent paralysis or scarring and disfigurement will be claimed under pain and suffering.
Liability is the pinnacle for all personal injury cases, including car accidents. The liable party must accept legal and financial responsibilities for the accident. In addition, they must compensate the victim for any resulting damages and losses.
The likelihood of the other driver being liable at trial is crucial for valuing a nerve damage injury settlement. In some cases, liability is clear and plain and clear. For example, if a motorist is sitting at a red light or parked in a parking lot, it’s obvious the other driver is at fault. However, in some instances, like multi-car accidents, clearly establishing liability may bit a bit more challenging.
Evidence is vital for proving liability. Victims must present sufficient evidence to prove the other party’s negligence or fault for causing the accident. Evident includes, but is not limited to:
- Photographs of the accident scene, injuries, property damage
- Eyewitness testimonies
- Accident reconstruction
- Cctv footage or surveillance cameras
Your attorney will present all evidence during the discovery phase of the case.
Amount of Insurance Coverage
The insurance coverage available will be essential in determining nerve damage value. Generally, personal injury claims go through the at-fault party’s insurance policy to negotiate a settlement.
Sometimes one insurance policy alone is enough to compensate a victim for all damages fairly. However, that’s not always the case. Consider, for example, a massive truck accident, where multiple insurance parties are liable and must compensate the victim. And yet other times, one driver’s policy limit may be insufficient to compensate the victims for all damages. In such situations, the victim should seek a Denver personal injury lawyer to file a lawsuit.
Working with a Denver Car Accident Lawyer can spell the difference between the success or failure of a personal injury claim. Your lawyer can help investigate all available insurance policies and determine if a lawsuit is worthwhile. Sometimes insurance companies offer very meager settlement offers or outright deny claims, so it may be necessary to file a lawsuit.
What Are the Symptoms of Nerve Damage?
After a car accident, the victim may suffer a range of different types of nerve damage. While symptoms can vary greatly, there are some common symptoms of nerve damage, including:
- Muscle Spasms
- Burning sensations
- Severe pain
- Muscle atrophy.
- Sensitivity to light
If you sustained injuries in an accident and experience any of these symptoms, seek medical care immediately. A medical professional should treat nerve damage as a severe injury. If you wait too long to seek appropriate medical intervention, the nerve damage can worsen and cause permanent damage.
While the initial medical bills may seem overwhelming or out of control, your Denver personal injury lawyer can help you file an injury claim to get compensation for your damages.
Can You Get Compensation for Nerve Damage?
Absolutely. You can receive compensation if you suffer nerve damage from a car accident. Our lawyers have helped countless clients receive compensation for their injuries. You may be entitled to seek compensation for the following damages:
- Medical payments
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Lost wages
- Future lost earning potential
- Property damage
- And much more
Seek Legal Advice from a Denver Personal Injury Attorney
If you or someone you love has suffered nerve damage injuries from another driver’s negligence, we strongly urge you to call an attorney at our firm. We will look over your case details at your initial free consultation.
When you file a claim for nerve damage injuries, you want to be sure you receive the maximum amount possible for your damages and losses.