Injuries to the Nervous System
Nervous system injuries can be devastating, especially when they are caused by another person or party’s negligence. If you or a loved one has suffered a nervous system injury in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be able to claim compensation. Here at Grieves, we understand that adapting to life with a nervous system injury is incredibly difficult; our team of compassionate solicitors are experts in the field of personal injury cases and will work tirelessly to win you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to discuss your case.
What is the Nervous System?
The nervous system is a complicated system of nerves that carry messages from the brain to other parts of the body via the spinal cord. The nervous system comprises two major parts: the brain and the spinal cord. Neurons in the spinal cord carry impulses from the brain to the body’s muscles, facilitating movement. Both the brain and the spinal cord are extremely vulnerable; they are protected by the skull and the spine respectively, but are still susceptible to injury. Injuries to any part of the nervous system can have serious and life-changing ramifications for victims.
Nervous System Injuries
Injuries to the nervous system are usually permanent, resulting in life-long disabilities. Nervous system injuries typically include spinal injuries and traumatic brain injuries.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Injuries to the spinal cord can cause permanent paralysis below the level of injury. Depending on where the spinal cord has been damaged, a paralysis victim may be rendered either paraplegic or quadriplegic. Paraplegia is defined as paralysis or impairment of the legs; it is caused by injuries to the lower back and can also affect the organs in the lower abdomen. Quadriplegia is characterised by paralysis of all four of the body’s limbs and is caused by injuries higher up in the spine, below the neck.
Although some injuries to the spinal cord can heal, most are irreversible. If you have suffered a spinal cord injury because of an accident that wasn’t your fault, it’s highly likely that you will be able to claim compensation.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
TBIs (traumatic brain injuries) are caused by injuries to the head, such as those sustained in road traffic accident, falls, and assaults. Types of head injuries include:
Closed head injuries
The most common type of head injury. With closed head injuries, there are no visible signs of injury such as lacerations or bruises, but the effects of the injury on the brain may still be substantial.
Diffuse injuries occur when the brain is thrust forward inside the skull, causing damage to the blood vessels. Diffuse injuries often occur in car crashes.
Open wounds occur when the skull is cracked open; breaks in the skull leave the brain open to injury. Open wounds are often caused by assaults or by the head being hit by a sharp object.
Crushing injuries occur when the head is caught between two objects and crushed, such as between a car and the road or between two parts of machinery.
The effects of head injuries can be described as either mild, moderate or severe. Whether or not a head injury causes permanent brain damage depends on a number of factors, including which the severity of the injury and which part of the brain is affected. The longer a person is unconscious after a head injury, the more likely it is that they have suffered severe brain injury.
TBIs can also be caused by medical professionals; the brain may be damaged during surgery or starved of oxygen during birth.
Causes of Nervous System Injuries
If you have suffered a nervous system injury, you will be able to claim compensation if the injury was due to another person’s (such as an employer or road user’s) negligence. Common causes of head injuries include:
- Injuries at work, such as machinery accidents and falling from height
- Being hit by a falling object
- Medical negligence
- Being involved in a car accident, either as a pedestrian, road user, cyclist, or motorbike rider
Accidents at work are a common cause of head and spinal injury. Construction workers and workers working at height are at increased risk of suffering serious injury. Employers have a duty of care to protect their workers from harm; if they fail to, they may be liable for any injuries their employers suffer at work.
How Much Compensation Could I Claim?
The amount of compensation you will receive will depend entirely on the personal circumstances of your case, including the type and severity of your injuries, how much you have suffered, and whether you have had to endure any financial hardships because of your accident. For serious system injuries, compensation payouts are often substantial and are designed to help with rehabilitation and treatment costs, cover lost earnings (both actual and predicted), and pay for housing costs for the duration of the victim’s life.