Car accidents place a great deal of stress on the body. This stress can cause injuries such as herniated discs or bone spurs, both of which can lead to a pinched nerve from a car accident.
Where Do Pinched Nerves Happen?
You can get a pinched nerve (i.e., radiculopathy) from a car accident in several different places. Two common places where pinched nerves occur are the back/neck and the wrist.
The swelling of a herniated disc in the back or neck can compress, or pinch a nerve. If you had your hands on the steering wheel or if you held your hands out to brace yourself in the crash, you may suffer a wrist injury. The swelling in your wrist can pinch nerves, causing carpal tunnel syndrome.
What Are the Symptoms of a Pinched Nerve?
You may have a pinched nerve if you are experiencing:
- A sensation of pins and needles or tingling
- Pain that radiates outward, and feels sharp, burns, or aches
- Numbness or lessened feeling
- The sensation that your hand or foot is “asleep”
- Weak muscles
What Are the Treatments for Radiculopathy?
Your doctor will likely try conservative treatments first for a pinched nerve. He may prescribe that you rest the affected area, sometimes with a splint or brace to immobilize it.
Physical therapy can treat a pinched nerve from a car accident three ways:
- Strengthen nearby muscles to reduce the pressure on the nerve
- Stretch the muscles around the nerve to alleviate compression
- Make modifications to your activities to cut down on motions that aggravate the nerve
Steroids and non-steroid medications can treat the pain of a pinched nerve. Corticosteroid pills or injections can reduce swelling and discomfort. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as over-the-counter pain relievers (e.g., Motrin, Advil, Aleve), can lessen inflammation and suffering.
If conservative treatments are not successful, then you might have to undergo surgery to get relief for your pinched nerve. The operation could involve severing a ligament or removing a bone spur or portion of a herniated disc, depending on the location of your pinched nerve.
If you get prompt treatment for your pinched nerve, there is usually no permanent damage to the nerve. If you delay treatment, the nerve can suffer permanent damage, which can cause chronic pain and disability.
How Much Compensation Can I Get for a Pinched Nerve From a Car Accident?
The amount of compensation you receive will depend on two main factors:
- The total amount of your medical expenses and lost wages. Your damages will be higher if you require surgery after trying conservative treatments.
- The long-term consequences of your injury. If your pinched nerve does not respond well to treatment, you may have to endure long-term or permanent impairment, such as chronic pain.
If you have suffered a pinched nerve in a car accident that was not your fault, the Montero Law Center can help. Call us today at 954-767-6500 to set up your free consultation.