There are a myriad of injuries you could suffer at work, regardless of your job. One of the most common work injuries is perhaps one of the lesser talked about: nerve damage. Nerve damage can happen to anyone and can range from temporary numbness to a debilitating and catastrophic injury. Should you suffer nerve damage at work, it may be difficult to determine an amount of a workers’ compensation claim because the symptoms and effects of nerve damage differ from person to person.
Types of Nerves
Nerves are vital to the operation of the human body. There are three different types of nerves, and damage to any of them can be life-altering:
- Autonomic nerves. These nerves work on their own and help control autonomous organs, such as heart function or the digestive system.
- Sensory nerves. These set of nerves send information throughout your body. For example, if you touch a hot stove, sensory nerves send a signal to your brain telling you that you burned your hand.
- Motor nerves. These nerves help control your body’s movement, such as a large set of nerves that help control your shoulder movement.
Types of Nerve Damage
There are three common causes of nerve damage, two of which are caused at work, depending on your field and what happened:
- Repetitive use of a limb or continued movement
- Trauma, such as sudden stress to the affected area
- Illness, such as cancer, disease, or diabetes
Repetitive movement can cause nerve damage. Movements such as typing on a keyboard or manufacturing work can lead to nerve issues such as carpal tunnel syndrome, as the repetitive movement causes tightness and pressure on the nerves, blocking their signals. Carpal tunnel syndrome and similar problems need the pressure on the nerves relieved, and this is done through physical therapy, medication, and at times, surgery.
Traumatic damage to the nerves happens more from sudden impact or damage to an area, more so than repetitive motion. Trauma to the nerves cause them to bruise, tear, or stretch, sometimes causing permanent damage. Treatment can range from physical rehabilitation to surgery, and symptoms can be lifelong.
People who suffer from nerve damage feel different effects, ranging from temporary and uncomfortable to permanent and catastrophic:
- Muscle weakness
- Tingling or burning sensation
- Minor to severe pain
- Muscle atrophy
Types of Workers’ Compensation Settlements
Following a work-related injury, such as nerve damage, you may be offered one of four benefit settlements:
- Temporary partial disability. This is for employees who have suffered nerve damage but can still work in some capacity.
- Temporary total disability. This is granted to employees who have suffered a nerve damage injury but that is not permanent; however, they are unable to work while they recover, meaning they can eventually return to work after recovery.
- Permanent partial disability. This is for workers who have suffered nerve damage that is serious and is permanent, losing function of one or more parts of their body. This worker can return to work but will be at limited capacity for the duration of their job.
- Permanent total disability. This is for those who have suffered a nerve damage injury so severe that is lifelong, and they cannot return to work in any capacity.
West Chester Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC Help Workers Recover from Nerve Damage Injuries
Nerve damage can be a serious injury and can be just as debilitating as any other, leading to lost time at work and lost wages. If you have suffered nerve damage at work and need help filing your claim, reach out to the West Chester workers’ compensation lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC. Our legal team will fight for your rights to receive the benefits for which you are entitled. Contact us online or call us at 610-594-1600 for a free consultation today. We are located in Exton, Pennsylvania, where we serve clients throughout Downingtown, West Chester, Exton, Coatesville, Phoenixville, Malvern, Lyndell, Wagontown, Uwchlan Township, Parkesburg, Chester Springs, Lancaster County, Reading, and Morgantown.