Nerve damage in any form can drastically alter your quality of life, but what happens if the nerve damage was caused by the negligence of a healthcare professional? What if it was completely preventable, yet your life has been turned upside down and you are no longer able to do the things you love? What if a loved one is paralyzed because of nerve damage sustained during surgery? How will you cope? How will you afford to live? How will you afford the seemingly endless medical expenses?
Unfortunately, these are questions that come up far too often and victims commonly assume they have no legal rights or are told it was a side effect from surgery or other medical condition. This is not always the case.
Causes of Nerve Damage by Healthcare Professionals
Negligence by healthcare professionals could be responsible for nerve damage. The damage can vary from minor damage resulting in slight discomfort, to severe damage causing complete paralysis. While there are many factors that can contribute, the most common nerve injuries due to negligence are caused by:
- Laceration of the nerve during a surgical procedure
- Traction or stretching of the nerve during treatment
- Compression or pressure on the nerve during treatment
- Drug injection injury
Common Symptoms Caused by Nerve Damage
There are several symptoms that could be signs of nerve damage. Among many others, these symptoms suggest that there is nerve damage that could be caused by negligence during a medical procedure.
Paralysis – Paralysis is the complete loss of muscle function. Often accompanied by the loss of feeling in the area, paralysis will alter more lives than just the injured. Families, friends, and loved ones may all be impacted by this kind of injury.
Weakness in the muscle(s) – While not as severe as paralysis, the muscle group(s) are weak but not completely lost. More often the injury will not cause a loss of feeling in the area; however the injured person will not be able to function in the same capacity as prior to the injury. For example, if they previously enjoyed running but now experience a weakness in the legs due to injury to the nerve during surgery, they will likely be unable to perform at the same pace or distance after the injury.
Foot Drop or Drop Foot – This condition is caused by damage to the peroneal nerve, specifically. It causes the inability to lift the front part of the foot. When someone suffers from foot drop, the toes will drag on the ground when walking. Many poeple that suffer from foot drop will lift the leg unnaturally while walking (as if marching) to avoid dragging the toes on the ground and causing additional injury.
Loss of sensitivity or feeling – Unlike muscle weakness or paralysis, the function of the muscle is not lost, however there is numbness or tingling in the area.
Treatment of Nerve Damage Caused by Healthcare Professionals
If you or a loved one has suffered nerve damage due to negligence of a healthcare professional, treatment options will vary and can be very costly. In less severe cases, physical therapy and light weight braces may help to ease the discomfort. In very severe cases, additional surgeries may be required in an attempt to correct the damage.
No matter what the treatment is, it will no doubt be costly.
If you or a loved one has suffered nerve damage due to the negligence of a medical or healthcare professional, it is important that you seek help from an experienced attorney. They will help you and your family understand what the future medical expenses may be, what your legal rights are, and what steps you can take in order to protect your legal rights.
The attorneys at Brown Wharton & Brothers have dedicated their careers to helping victims of medical malpractice. With decades of combined experience, the team understands what you are going through and, most importantly, how to win your case.
Contact our office today. We will review your case and help you understand your rights. This review is completely confidential and absolutely free of charge.