Seymour Furlong Lawyers

Nerve damage can have a profound impact on a person’s life, leading to pain, limited mobility, and a range of other symptoms.

For many Australians, seeking compensation becomes an important part of their recovery journey. But what can one expect in terms of compensation? 

Impacts of long-term nerve damage

Nerve damage refers to the injury to the nerve cells, which can disrupt the nerve’s ability to send or receive signals. Its implications range from temporary discomfort to lifelong disability, with symptoms like numbness, pain, or paralysis.

Long-term nerve damage, often referred to as chronic neuropathy or chronic nerve injury, can have a range of impacts on an individual, including:

Physical Symptoms:

  • Pain: Persistent or intermittent sharp, burning, or shooting pain.
  • Numbness: Reduced ability to feel in the affected areas.
  • Muscle Weakness: Difficulty in moving or controlling certain muscles, potentially leading to muscle atrophy.
  • Muscle Twitching or Cramps: Involuntary muscle movements or spasms.
  • Reduced Reflexes: Slower or absent reflex reactions.
  • Sensitivity: Increased sensitivity to temperature or touch.

Functional Impairments:

  • Mobility Issues: Difficulty walking or moving due to muscle weakness or loss of coordination.
  • Loss of Dexterity: Challenges with fine motor skills like buttoning shirts or holding objects.
  • Bladder or Bowel Dysfunction: Incontinence or retention issues.

Autonomic Symptoms: These are related to the body’s involuntary functions.

  • Sweating Abnormalities: Either excessive sweating or an inability to sweat.
  • Heat Intolerance: Difficulty with temperature regulation.
  • Digestive Problems: Issues like constipation or diarrhea.
  • Blood Pressure Changes: Postural hypotension, where blood pressure drops upon standing.

Psychological and Social Impacts:

  • Depression and Anxiety: Resulting from chronic pain and decreased mobility.
  • Sleep Disturbances: Pain or discomfort may interfere with sleep patterns.
  • Reduced Quality of Life: Limitations on daily activities and hobbies.
  • Social Isolation: Reduced ability or desire to interact socially due to physical limitations or emotional distress.

Economic Impact:

  • Medical Expenses: Costs associated with treatments, therapies, and medications.
  • Loss of Income: Reduced ability to work or the need for early retirement.

If you’re suffering from long-term nerve damage, it can significantly alter the course of your life. While filing a claim is highly encouraged, obtaining the correct TPD claim documents is the first step you must take.

Note: It’s crucial to consult a medical professional for a proper diagnosis if you suspect nerve damage.

Types of nerve damages with examples

Understanding the type of nerve injury is paramount, as each one presents different challenges to the claimant and could impact your claim and payout down the line.

  • Neurapraxia: Often due to minor traumas, where the nerve is either stretched or compressed. Recovery is usually possible without lasting consequences.

Example: After an awkward fall during a football match, Mike experienced temporary numbness in his leg due to neurapraxia but regained full sensation after a few weeks.

  • Axonotmesis: This occurs when there’s damage to the nerve’s inner core, but its outer protective sheath remains unharmed. Recovery is gradual and sometimes incomplete.

Example: After a routine knee surgery, Sarah felt persistent leg weakness. Diagnosis confirmed axonotmesis due to surgical complications.

  • Neurotmesis: This represents the most catastrophic form where the nerve is entirely severed, resulting in permanent dysfunction.

Example: Alex, involved in a construction site accident, had a nerve completely severed in his arm, leading to permanent loss of sensation.

Common causes of nerve damage

Understanding the cause is crucial for legal claims as it determines the liable party and how much you could be compensated for.

  • Traumatic Injuries: High-velocity accidents or incidents can result in nerve injuries. It is better to hire a car accident lawyer to receive up-to-date legal advice under these circumstances.

Example: Clara, while cycling without protective gear, had a head-on collision with a car, leading to severe nerve damage in her spine.

  • Medical Negligence: Medical procedures can induce nerve injuries if not conducted accurately.

Example: During Robert’s appendectomy, an inadvertent surgical error caused nerve damage, affecting his abdominal sensations.

  • Workplace accidents: Inadequate safety measures can lead to mishaps causing nerve damage. Filing a worker’s compensation claims would be necessary especially if your ability to work is negatively affected.

Example: Working in a factory, James got his hand caught in machinery due to a lack of protective barriers, resulting in significant nerve injury.

  • Slip and Fall Incidents: Such incidents, particularly in vulnerable populations, can result in injuries, including nerve damage.

Example: Emma, an elderly lady, slipped on a wet supermarket floor, leading to nerve damage in her hip due to the impact of the fall.

Average compensation for nerve damage

According to the Australian Lawyers Association, the average payout for nerve damage ranges from:

  • $5,000 to $100,000 for mild to moderate injuries.
  • $100,001 to millions for more severe injuries

If you have suffered nerve damage as a result of an accident or medical negligence, you should contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options.

How to calculate nerve damage compensation

You can also estimate the nerve damage compensation you may get based on a range of different factors. Keep in mind that everyone’s situation is different and you may need to get in touch with the legal professional to get accurate figures for your nerve damage compensation. Let’s break this formula down in simple terms:

  • Medical expenses: Think about all the medical stuff you had to pay for after getting hurt. This includes your doctor visits, any surgeries, the medications you had to buy, and even the cost of that wheelchair or braces you might’ve needed. And, oh, don’t forget the ambulance ride if you had one!
  • Lost income: Let’s consider the cash you missed out on because you couldn’t work. Did you miss an important job interview or a freelance gig? Yep, that counts too.
  • Pain and suffering multiplier: This one’s a bit tricky. It’s a number between 1.5 and 5 that reflects all the emotional and mental stress you went through. It also considers the hassle and inconvenience from the whole situation.

Let’s say your minor personal injury resulted in $2,000 in medical expenses, and you were off two days from work costing you $300.00.

Using the compensation calculator, your claim is estimated to be in the range of $3,450.00 to $11,500.00.

  • Claims Amount = $2,000 + $300 X [1.5 to 5%]
    For a serious debilitating injury, like a disfigurement or brain damage, your claim is estimated to be in the range of $11,500.00 to $23,000.00.
  • Claims Amount = $2,000 + $300 X [5 to 10%]

Note: The numbers provided are just estimates. Get specific and strong legal advice from a personal injury lawyer.

Parameters that would influence nerve damage compensation

Compensation is a complex calculation influenced by various factors, from immediate medical costs to potential future implications.

Gauging the injury’s severity

The gravity of the injury directly influences the compensation value. 

Example: Anna’s compensation, after mild neurapraxia from a fall, was significantly lower than Mark’s, who suffered from neurotmesis after a car crash.

Factoring in medical expenses

Compensation considers all medical costs, ensuring victims aren’t financially burdened due to the injury.

Example: Tim’s compensation covered his surgery, physiotherapy, and future medical visits after he suffered nerve damage from a workplace incident.

Estimating loss of earnings

Compensation considers current and future earnings losses, ensuring victims maintain financial stability.

Example: A graphic designer, Julia, couldn’t continue her job due to a hand injury. Her compensation reflected her projected earnings loss.

Evaluating pain and suffering

Beyond tangible losses, the emotional and psychological impacts also influence compensation.

Example: Post his accident, David struggled with depression and anxiety due to nerve damage, which was considered in his compensation.

Anticipating future needs

Compensation accounts for future implications, ensuring long-term needs are addressed.

Example: Maria, a pianist, received compensation for her future needs, like alternative career training, after her hand was severely injured.

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How to file a nerve damage compensation claim

To file a compensation claim, follow these steps:

  1. Gather evidence. This may include medical records, police reports, witness statements, and photographs of your injuries.
  2. Contact a lawyer. A lawyer can help you to assess your claim, gather evidence, and negotiate with the other party’s insurance company.
  3. File a claim. Once you have gathered evidence and consulted with a lawyer, you can lodge a claim with the other party’s insurance company. 
  4. Negotiate a settlement. Once the insurance company has accepted your claim, you will need to negotiate a settlement. This is the amount of money that you will receive in compensation for your injuries.
  5. Go to court. If you are unable to reach a settlement with the insurance company, you may need to go to court to have your case decided by a judge.

Here are some additional tips for filing a compensation claim:

  • Act quickly. There are time limits for filing compensation claims in Australia. It is important to act quickly so that you do not miss out on your legal rights.
  • Be honest and open with your lawyer. Your lawyer needs to have all of the information about your case in order to represent you effectively.
  • Be prepared to negotiate. Most compensation claims are settled out of court. This means that you will need to be prepared to negotiate with the other party’s insurance company.
  • Be patient. The claims process can take some time. It is important to be patient and to cooperate with your lawyer.

Make sure to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer. Get in touch with Seymour Furlong Lawyers for legal advice suitable for your situation.

Disclaimer: All examples and individuals mentioned in the above content are entirely fictional and for illustrative purposes only. They do not represent real people or legal cases, nor should they be construed as legal advice or factual representations.