top of page
  • Writer's pictureTom Fowler

Nerve Damage from Car Accident Settlement

Updated: Feb 23, 2022

When people imagine car accident injuries, they often come think of broken bones, herniated discs, whiplash, or back pain. However, other another common injury due to car accidents is nerve damage with severe pain.

While nerve damage is usually overlooked and the injury is not visible, it often comes with severe pain and permanent damage. Nerve injuries can also come with life-threatening consequences.

In this article, auto accident nerve damage settlements and insurance claims are discussed in detail for better understanding.

About Nerve Damage Injury

About Nerve Damage Injury

A car accident often happens when you least expect it. However, it can lead to a lifetime of damage and trauma. Auto accident victims may suffer from serious effects, such as a significant nerve injury.

Nerves are a critical part of the nervous system and are responsible for thousands of different functions, from sensing heat and cold and controlling the muscles to regulating a person's breathing. Below are the body’s three different nerve types:

Sensory Nerves

These nerves control pain and sensations through information from the skin and muscle back to the brain and spinal cord.

Motor Nerves

These nerves are responsible for controlling all movements through information from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles.

Autonomic Muscles

These nerves control the body's partially voluntary or involuntary activities, including regulating the heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature.

There are over 100 types of nerve injuries that one can suffer due to an auto crash that range from mild to severe. However, all nerve damage can lead to back pain, suffering, and expensive medical costs.

A nerve damage injury with severe pain takes place once trauma splices, pinches, crushes, compresses, or stretches a nerve. Since proper nerve function is critical to everyday life, nerve injuries can significantly affect someone’s quality of life.

If someone suffers nerve damage from an auto accident like radiculopathy or pinched nerves, they deserves justice. The personal injury case settlement is available, and it is advisable to call an experienced attorney with dependable legal advice to discuss the settlement details.

Nerve Damage from Car Accident

Nerves are often injured in an auto accident like a rear end collision. Over 25% of nerve damage injury cases are from truck and car accidents. Many lawyers encounter these common injuries in motorcycle accidents, accounting for 32.5% of peripheral nerve damage injuries.

Nerve damage from car accidents happens in the same ways as damage to muscles, ligaments, bones, and everything else. A nerve is usually damaged in an auto crash because it gets overstretched or suffers acute pressure as the body violently or suddenly moves.

Below are the three nerve injury degrees of severity:


Neurapraxia is the least severe nerve injury type. The nerve’s structure stays intact, promoting a full recovery.


Axonotmesis is more serious than neurapraxia. The nerve’s structure is compromised, leading to a long-term or permanent paralysis of the motor and sensory functions.


Neurotmesis is the most severe among the nerve injuries. Since the nerve is severely damaged, permanent damage is also expected.

Nerve Damage Injury Symptoms

The physical signs and symptoms of nerve damage from an auto crash vary depending on the person never having been injured. The symptoms also vary according to the injury’s severity.

Here are the common nerve damage injury symptoms:


The auto accident victim may suffer unexplained and chronic pain in the area of the damaged nerve. Pain is a common nerve damage injury symptom, including back pain.


The human brain uses the nerves for directing and coordinating all the muscles’ voluntary movements in the body. Once a trauma damaged one of the nerves, the signals from the brain are interrupted. As a result, someone loses the ability to move.


Several nerves are responsible for transmitting sensation signals to the brain. Once an auto accident with a rear end collision damages one of these sensory nerves, the body’s affected area can experience some degree of numbness.

Other nerve damage injury symptoms include:

  • Paralysis

  • Muscle atrophy

  • Positional awareness problems

  • Lack of bladder control

  • Dry eyes or mouth

  • Lightheadedness

  • Inability to sweat

  • Heavy sweating

  • Weakness

  • Sensitivity

  • Twitching

  • Burning

  • Tingling

  • Spasms

After an auto accident with a severe collision, the victim may find it hard to differentiate the nerve damage from common aches like back pain. That is why it is critical to seek professional medical attention as soon as possible.

Car Accident Nerve Damage Causes

Car accidents can result in a pinched nerve. A vehicle collision can damage almost every body part. The pinched or damaged nerves are the top concerns of many auto accident victims. Nerve injuries often happen during the force impact.

If someone is a victim of a car accident with a severe collision, there is a big chance that their body was thrown against the door, dashboard, or steering wheel. The victim may suffer from serious crush injury that can result in nerve damage. The car accident also causes damage to the bones, resulting in nerve damage.

Most drivers suffered nerve damage in different parts of the body, including the face, hands, shoulders, arms, feet, and legs, depending on the area the victim suffered the car accident-related injury.

Below are the common auto accident injuries that cause nerve damage:

Back Injuries

The spine is composed of vertebrae, muscles, nerves, ligaments, and tendons. The spinal cord is responsible for sending information from the brain to the different body parts and is protected by soft tissue and vertebrae. Nerve damage from back injuries involves damage to the spine. It causes far-reaching nerve damage.

During an auto accident with severe collision, the spine’s delicate components are injured by the force of impact, resulting in fragile nerve injuries. For instance, herniated or bulging discs that compress the nerve can result in pinched nerves.

If the car accident victim has a severe trauma to the back, he can have a spinal cord damage. That damage can cease the nerve communication permanently and result in loss of bladder control, paralysis, and other chronic conditions.

Blunt-Force Trauma

Blunt-force trauma refers to the injury caused by a forceful impact like an auto accident. This injury occurs if the victim is being ejected from the vehicle in severe cases.

If the person's legs, arms, or head hit hard surfaces, it compresses or crushes the nerves. Hitting the head can cause a traumatic head injury, resulting in swelling that compresses the cranial nerves or post-concussion syndrome.

Neck Injuries

An auto accident can make the victim’s head rush forward and snapback, which leads to a whiplash injury. This sprain injury is caused by tearing or stretching of the neck’s soft tissue. Whiplash also causes a painful shoulder injury in severe cases, leading to pain and suffering.

The head and neck’s forceful jerking motion during the whiplash can cause nerve damage. If swelling occurs, nerves can become compressed, stretched, and torn.

Avulsions and Lacerations

Avulsions and lacerations are common after a traumatic wreck from an auto accident. An avulsion refers to an injury that takes place once the body structure is injured. For instance, an avulsion can occur when a small bone attached to the ligament or tendon is pulled away from the bone’s main part.

A laceration occurs once the soft tissue and skin are torn. This wound type is often jagged and irregular. Tears or deep cuts into the skin due to a car accident can also sever the nerves.

Factors that Impact the Nerve Damage from Car Accident

The value of an auto accident settlement for nerve damage varies significantly because of the different nerve injury types. Various factors can affect the car accident nerve damage settlement, from the degree of fault to the severity of the nerve damage injury.

Here are the factors affecting the nerve damage auto accident settlement:

The Severity of the Injury

The injury’s severity is the amount of permanent damage, medical care, physical pain and suffering a victim experiences. It also involves the victim’s altered way of life after the auto accident. The Des Moines auto accident lawyer or insurance company considers the following to determine the severity of the injury:

  • How the nerve damage affects the victim’s ability to perform work, hobbies, or daily functions;

  • How effective the medical care is at reducing or eliminating the different nerve damage symptoms;

  • How much pain the nerve damage causes and its frequency.

Since nerve damage varies in severity, an individual evaluation is advisable. For instance, a gym instructor was involved in a car accident with a severe collision. Before the auto accident, he dedicated his life to mentoring athletes and other fitness enthusiasts in various physical fitness.

However, after the car accident, he experiences ongoing chronic pain. Once that pain becomes permanent and impairs his ability to work, it is considered a severe nerve injury that lead to a lifetime pain and suffering.

Alternatively, a gym instructor involved in an auto accident suffered moderate pain and suffering damages. If that pain is alleviated with physical therapy, it is not considered a severe injury. A less severe injury is likely to receive less compensation than a more severe nerve damage injury.

Pain and Suffering

The nerve damage injury causes physical and emotional distress. For instance, someone involved in a car accident with severe collision endures pain and suffering damages, including diminished quality of life, mental anguish, and physical pain and aches.

That person has a chance to put a price tag on their medical bills. However, determining the cost of pain and suffering damages and other non-economic damages is a little more challenging.

For example, permanent disfigurement or paralysis is excluded from medical expenses, but the victim can take advantage of the pain and suffering damage claim. They need to contact a personal injury attorney to better understand the car accident settlement for nerve damage and demand the amount of damages owed.

Insurance Coverage Amount

The available amount of insurance coverage is another factor in determining the nerve damage car accident settlement. The typical personal injury claim primarily goes through the at fault driver’s auto insurance policy to ensure the required compensation.

A single insurance policy is usually sufficient to compensate the car accident victim for all damage. In some instances, like a truck accident, multiple insurance policies are involved in compensating the victim. However, the driver’s policy limit may not be sufficient to compensate for all damage. For such reason, the victim has the freedom to file a lawsuit.

The victim can consult with Des Moines injury lawyers to investigate the available insurance policies provided by the insurance company. The lawyer also helps in determining whether the lawsuit is worthwhile or not. If the insurance company denied the claim or the insurance policy is exhausted, but the car accident victim still has damages, it is best to file a lawsuit.

Clear Liability

In personal injury cases like car accidents with a severe collision, liability is a significant basis. The at-fault driver must accept the financial and legal responsibility for an auto accident and resulting damages to be liable for the victim’s nerve damage injuries.

The likelihood that the other driver is found liable at trial is one of the many factors in valuing the car crash settlement for nerve damage with the help of injury lawyers. A clearer-cut liability is involved in some cases like the victim is hit when parked in a parking lot or stopped at a red light.

Proving the liability relies on the evidence. The car crash victim needs to prove that the other driver is at fault for the car accident leading to the nerve damage injury.

The victim can seek legal services from an experienced personal injury attorney with reliable legal advice to gather all the necessary evidence to prove the liability, such as accident reports, witness statements, and property damage photographs. During the injury case discovery phase, these pieces of evidence are presented.

Medical Treatment Cost

The car accident claim has to account for medical treatment like physical therapy, including the current and future medical expenses. If the car accident victim suffers from severe nerve damage injury that leads to long-term damage, determining the cost of medical treatment as part of the car accident settlement for nerve damage with the help of injury lawyers is especially necessary.

The car accident victim can be reimbursed for different medical treatment types in the personal injury claim include prescription medicines, surgery, hospital and doctor’s bills, medical imaging, ambulance fees, and home care.

If the nerve damage injury incurs long-term care, it results in a higher car accident settlement payout.

What is the Average Settlement for Nerve Damage?

The average nerve damage settlement amount varies drastically. The settlement amount also relies on the case’s individual details. In most cases, the car accident victim can have a $15,000-$75,000 claim for mild to moderate nerve damage injuries. If the car accident victim suffered severe nerve damage, they might receive $100,000 up to millions.

The victims must estimate the nerve damage car accident lawsuit settlement with the help of injury lawyers if they were involved in a recent car accident. The amount will help them in the recovery process and other expenses.

How much is nerve damage worth in a car accident?

The nerve damage car accident settlement worth varies. For example, if the victim was stopped behind a delivery truck, and the operator suddenly backed up. As a result, the victim sustained a cervical disc herniation, causing a pinched nerve on the neck that requires a fusion surgery and an anterior cervical discectomy.

The car accident victim alleges that he cannot return to work due to nerve damage injury. This nerve damage case can settle at a $1,850,000 claim.

However, if the nerve damage from a car accident settlement is a more high-profile case, the settlement amount is different. For instance, if a car is involved in a multiple vehicle rear-end collision and the victim suffers a severe nerve damage injury in the lower back. The nerve damage with back pain requires a facetectomy and laminotomy. The victim cannot perform their job and needs extensive rehabilitation.

The victim’s lawyer brings the nerve damage settlement case and argues for past and future lost wages, future pain and suffering, and future medical expenses. If the victim wins the settlement case, they may be awarded approximately $9,200,000.

Can you Get Compensation for Nerve Damage?

All the costs related to nerve damage injuries is included in the car accident settlement. The victim can also get an amount to offset the effect of the car accident on their life.

Since a nerve damage injury usually leads to costly medical bills and impacts the ability to live and work normally, getting a nerve damage compensation is a great help. If the rehabilitation takes years, the victim may suffer from lost wages.

Can you sue for nerve damage after a car accident?

Can you sue for nerve damage after a car accident?

If someone is involved in a car crash, they must prove that they suffered a nerve damage injury and provide medical records. Medical treatment like physical therapy for car accident nerve damage is often scrutinized, particularly because the insurance company wants to know the exact cause of the car accident and the extent of the nerve damage injuries.

So, if the victim plans to sue for nerve damage after a car crash, working with a personal injury lawyer from a trusted law firm is advantageous.


A nerve damage injury after a car accident can lead to loss of wages, lifetime paralysis, pain and suffering, weakness, and impact the quality of life. The victim can get compensation for the nerve damage injury to pay present and future medical bills. It is advisable to contact a personal injury lawyer for a free consultation to have a better chance of winning the nerve damage car accident settlement case and avoid insurance company issues.

As a disclaimer, information in this blog should not be taken as legal advice for any individual case evaluation or scenario. Instead, information in this blog is for general knowledge and awareness only.

1,014 views0 comments


bottom of page