How will nerve damage affect you, and does workers’ compensation cover it?

| Nov 30, 2020 | Workers' Compensation

Nerve damage is one of the things that can lead to long-term pain or dysfunction after an injury. It is possible in a number of scenarios such as after burn injuries, electrical shocks, falls or other incidents.

When you get hurt on the job and nerve injury is suspected, it’s important that you are able to get ongoing medical care for that injury. Permanent nerve injuries can potentially lead to serious, chronic pain as well as limited mobility and other issues.

How do you know if you have nerve damage?

Nerve damage is most obvious when it leads to significant pain or paralysis, but those aren’t the only possible symptoms. To start with, there are three kinds of nerves. They are the:

  • Autonomic
  • Motor nerves
  • Sensory nerves

These control different parts of the body. Autonomic nerves control involuntary activities, like blood pressure, while motor nerves control movements. Sensory nerves relay information to help you feel heat or pain, for example.

Damage to these nerves will present in different ways. For example, damage to an autonomic nerve could cause lightheadedness, constipation, bladder dysfunction or similar issues. Damage to the motor nerves could cause paralysis or weakness. Damage to the sensory nerves could cause burning, tingling, pain and other symptoms.

Medical providers can perform nerve tests to determine if you have damaged nerves. Then, treatments such as tricyclic antidepressants, pain relievers, anti-seizure drugs or capsaicin cream might be used to help treat the pain or discomfort. Other treatments may be used to address the nerve damage, such as by going through physical therapy or changing medications.

Are nerve injuries covered by workers’ compensation?

If the nerve injuries are linked to an injury on the job or a previous injury that was worsened by your job, then it’s possible that it will be covered. Make sure you tell the medical provider you see that you believe this is a work-related injury or symptom of a work-worsened injury. Your employer should help you start a workers’ compensation claim, but if they do not or you are denied the benefits you need, then your attorney may be able to step in and help.

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