Our nervous system plays an extremely important role in the functioning of our bodies. Damage to our nerves or indeed the system itself could have a huge impact on someone’s life. Nerve damage can range from minor to severe and affects people in different ways depending on which nerves have been damaged. Sustaining a damaged nerve injury can happen in a variety of ways. Whether you sustained your injury due to a workplace accident, medical negligence, road traffic accident or a slip, trip and fall accident, if the injury was caused by somebody else who failed to take the proper care expected of them in the eyes of the law, then you may be entitled to make a nerve damage injury claim for compensation. Although claiming compensation cannot change what has happened, it can help by assisting you financially with any costs and expenses you have incurred because of your injury.
If you have suffered a damaged nerve injury and would like to find out more about making a personal injury claim, Advice.co.uk can help by giving expert help and advice. Just call them on 0161 696 9685 for an informal chat, and if they believe your claim has reasonable prospects of success, they could put you in touch with a specialist solicitor from our panel.
Select a Section
- A guide to damaged nerve injury claims
- What is a damaged nerve injury?
- What are the three types of nerves?
- How much compensation can I claim for a damaged nerve?
- What can I claim for after a damaged nerve injury?
- Common types of damaged nerve injuries
- How we assess the severity of a damaged or injured nerve
- What are the long term effects of damaged nerve injuries?
- Causes of damaged nerve injuries
- Damaged nerve injuries caused by medical negligence
- Damaged nerve injuries caused by workplace accidents
- Damaged nerve injuries caused by road traffic accidents
- Is there a time limit to make a damaged nerve injury claim?
- How to make a nerve damage injury claim?
- No Win, No Fee damaged nerve injury claims
- Why claim for a damaged nerve injury with our team?
- Ask our experts
- Advice for people with damaged nerve injuries
Making a personal injury claim for nerve damage can be a complex process. To have the best chance of success and to ensure that you receive the highest award possible, it’s important to get legal advice and support.
This guide was developed to offer information to those seeking justice for a nerve injury inflicted upon them through no fault of their own. Below, you’ll find information on aspects of the claims process such as what can be claimed for, how much might you receive in compensation, personal injury claims time limits, how to start a claim for a damaged nerve injury, and the benefits of No Win, No Fee claims. The guide also provides background information such as what actually is a damaged nerve injury, common types of damaged nerve injuries, how the severity is assessed and what the long term effects could be.
If you have any further questions or queries while reading this guide, or would like to proceed with a claim, call us on the number at the top of this page.
The body’s central nervous system stretches from head to toe. For the body to perform normal daily functions, nerves need to be working correctly. Not only this, but they also help to control sensations and sensitivity throughout the body. When nerves are damaged, the victim could suffer either a loss of function or feeling, or enhanced sensitivity, which also often results in pain. Losing the ability to interpret sensations, suffering from a loss of sensitivity or experiencing increased pain due to nerve damage can affect the sufferer’s ability to work, exercise or even perform everyday functions and tasks. Severe nerve damage can result in paralysis and could even be life-threatening. For example, the sufferer may not be able to sense chest pain which could be the sign of a heart attack.
Depending on where in the body, and which type of nerves are damaged, the symptoms may range from mild to severe.
Everything you do is controlled by nerves. From breathing to walking to feeling hot or cold, the nerves will all have a role to play.
There are three groups of nerves within the body that have certain functions. These are:
- Sensory Nerves – These nerves allow you to process sensations and pain by relaying the information they pick up from the muscles and skin to the spinal cord and then to the brain.
- Autonomic Nerves – The involuntary and partially voluntary actions in the body such as blood pressure control, breathing, heartbeat, digestion and temperature regulation are controlled by these types of nerves.
- Motor Nerves – These types of nerves allow you to make certain actions or movements by relaying information from your spinal cord and brain to the muscles.
As you can see, when nerves get damaged, the body can’t always do what it should be able to do.
One of the most common questions we are asked is:
“What is the average payout for personal injury claims?“
Due to the complexity of damaged nerve injury claims, it is impossible to give an exact answer at this early stage. Each case is unique and several factors go into valuing a claim. Generally, more severe injuries will attract higher levels of compensation.
Although we cannot give you an exact figure, the compensation calculator table below might provide you with an idea of what you could recover. The figures below have been taken from the Judicial College Guidelines, a legal publication used by solicitors and the courts to value claims.
Reason For Compensation Average Amount Awarded Comments
Severe Neck Injury In the region of £139,210 Injuries leading to chronic condition and pain with a significant level of disability
Severe Back Injury £85,470 to £151,070 Damage to spinal column and nerve roots leading to chronic pain and permanent disability, also possibility of incomplete paralysis and impaired bladder, bowel and sexual function.
Less Severe Leg Injury Up to £11,110 Simple fractures and breaks that result in some soft tissue damage, some sensory loss and nerve damage.
Severe Ankle Injury £29,380 to £46,980 On-going pain and disability. Long treatment period and future problems such as with mobility and osteoarthritis.
Severe Knee Injury £48,920 to £65,440 Permanent loss of function of one or both knees, on-going pain.
Moderate Knee Injury Up to £12,900 Temporary loss of function of one or both knees and short term pain.
Very Severe Foot Injury £78,800 to £102,890 Injury so severe resulting in one or both feet being amputated.
Moderate Foot Injury £12,900 to £23,460 Loss of function with one or both feet with on-going pain and resultant permanent disability.
Modest Foot Injury Up to £12,900 Temporary loss of function to one or both feet with short term pain.
Serious Hand Injury £27,220 to £58,100 Total loss of use of one or both hands permanently with accompanying pain.
Moderate Hand Injury £5,260 to £12,460 Possible permanent disability to one or both hands and on-going pain.
Minor Hand Injury Up to £4,461 Short term pain and loss of function to one or both hands.
If you’d like a more precise valuation, why not contact our team of friendly advisers? They’ll go through the details of your claim with you and offer you more specific advice.
If your damaged nerve injury claim is a success, you may receive a compensation package made up of two heads of claim: general damages and special damages.
General damages are designed to compensate you for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity inflicted by the injury. The compensation you could receive for this aspect of the claim has been set out in our compensation calculator section above.
Special damages are intended to compensate you for any financial losses or expenses incurred as a direct result of the injury. To successfully recover such losses, it’s important to retain all receipts, bills, invoices and statements that prove the expenditure. Without such evidence, it may be difficult to recover.
- Some examples of the types of special damages you can claim for include:
- Medical Expenses – These may include prescription fees, medical equipment, private medical care or counselling costs, for example.
- Travel Expenses – Any travel costs that you have incurred can be reclaimed also.
- Care Costs – If you have needed help around the home or from a carer, you can claim for these costs too.
- Lost Income – If you have had to take time off of work, or have been unable to return to work because of your damaged nerve injury, you can claim for the lost income.
Nerve damage injuries can occur in many different ways and can lead to a variety of conditions. The most common are:
- Neuropraxia – Generally this type of nerve damage is less severe. It occurs when the nerve passage is blocked although the nerve fibres (axons and sheaths) are still intact. Nerves can be overstretched which can cause them to suffer dislocations and fractures. Neuropraxia is commonly caused by blunt force trauma or pressure on the nerve. Recovery can take as little as a few hours.
- Axonotmesis – Typically seen in crush or traction injuries, Axonotmesis occurs due to the axons of the nerve fibres becoming divided whilst the sheaths remain intact. Common problems associated with Axonotmesis are loss of motor or muscle function, loss of autonomic functions and loss of the sensations in the nerve transit. Recovery can take months to years depending on the severity of the injury.
- Neurotmesis – The worst of the nerve damage injuries, this occurs when both the axons and the sheaths of the nerve fibres are severed. Sometimes, if there has been a clean cut of the nerves, they may be able to be reattached successfully.
Determining the severity of a damaged nerve injury can be a complex process. A thorough medical examination is required that includes stringent tests to determine the extent of the damage and to be able to accurately estimate the expected recovery time. Advice.co.uk can help with this by organising a local medical for you free of charge as part of the claims process.
When you have sustained a damaged nerve injury, it is really important to consider whether there will be any long term implications for your health. With some injuries, particularly if severe, the implications could be permanent and have huge negative consequences on your quality of life. Nerve damage in the spine, for example, often takes longer to heal and doesn’t always recover fully or as it should in comparison with other areas of the body. If a child suffers from nerve damage, depending on the type, it could lead to them being permanently impaired or suffer from developmental delay. According to the NAP3 project, however, permanent and long term nerve damage is uncommon as symptoms can often improve over months or years.
Cases where the nerve damage is severe and the victims have been left with long term damage will receive higher levels of compensation than those with a lesser degree of damage and short term effects.
Some of the most common ways in which our nervous system may be damaged are:
- Cuts and lacerations – A simple cut can be all that’s needed to sever the nerves in some locations in the body.
- Traction or stretch injury – Nerves can be broken when stretched too far.
- Focal contusion – Localised cells are not the only things that can be damaged when hit with blunt force, nerves can also suffer damage.
- Compression – Damage can occur to the nerves when a heavy force or pressure is put on certain areas in the body. Crushing injuries are a prime example of this.
- Electrical injury – If a person has a strong electrical current running through them, this can then damage the nerves in the associated areas.
- Drug injection injury – Medical negligence nerve damage can occur from the incorrect use of a needle or other sharp object in a medical environment.
These are not the only ways in which nerves can be damaged, just the most common. If your injury was caused in a different way than those mentioned above, providing your injury was someone else’s fault, you could still be entitled to make a personal injury claim.
Damaged nerve injuries are caused in a variety of ways. In most cases, they occur either in the workplace or whilst in a public location. However, another place they can occur is in a medical environment.
Medical negligence nerve damage can occur through a variety of ways, the most common being when a local, regional or general anaesthetic is being administered using a needle. Precautions must be taken to prevent the needle from coming into contact with nerves. If precautions are not followed, then the risk of harm can increase, potentially leaving the victim with irreversible nerve damage. Regional injections can be particularly risky as they often require the injection to be administered into the spinal column where many of the most important nerves in the body are found. If these become damaged whilst the injection is being given, serious and life-altering consequences could occur.
Although the administration of anaesthetic is the most common cause of nerve damage due to medical negligence, harm can also arise as a result of the following examples:
- Knee replacement surgery causing nerves to be severed.
- Failing to diagnose, or misdiagnosing conditions that relate to a degeneration of the nervous system.
- Performing surgery for a hernia where there is a chance of damaging the genitofemoral or inguinal nerves.
- Medical equipment, including surgical equipment, being used incorrectly causing nerves to be damaged.
Some of the above problems can have severe consequences. Talk to Advice.co.uk for further help and guidance.
The second commonest cause of nerve damage is from industrial accidents or accidents in the workplace. Common accidents types resulting in nerve damage include slip, trip and falls or accidents involving crushed or trapped limbs by the likes of heavy machinery.
All employers are expected to have in place health and safety policies and procedures in accordance with the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. It is the employer’s responsibility to make sure staff are appropriately trained and adhere to the health and safety procedures they have put in place. If you suffer from nerve damage as a result of an accident that could have been avoided had your employer complied with their duties of care, you could be entitled to make a claim.
Given that road traffic accidents are among the most common types of accident in the UK, it stands to reason that nerve damage may result from such an incident.
Some injuries sustained in an RTA are minor, like cuts and bruises, and will heal swiftly. Others, such as those involving nerve damage, could take longer to heal, if they do at all.
If you have sustained nerve damage through a road traffic accident that wasn’t your fault, why not discuss what happened with one of our friendly advisers by calling the number at the top of this page?
Strict statutory time limits apply when making personal injury claims. The details of these limits are set out in the table below. If your accident happened longer than the timeframes set out in the table, your claim may be time-barred. Exceptions to the rule do exist, and we recommend calling one of our advisers to discuss.
Type of nerve injury Time limit
Immediate nerve damage 3 years from the day the accident happened
Nerve damage that has developed over time 3 years from the day of the diagnosis
Nerve damage from criminal action 2 years from the day of the accident
Nerve damage injuries to children Parents/litigation friends can begin a damaged nerve injury claim on behalf of the child before their 18th birthday. After their 18th birthday, they would have 3 years to make a claim from the date they turned 18.
Claiming for a damaged nerve injury can be a complex process. Before making any claim you need to be sure that you can prove liability as otherwise, it is unlikely that your claim will be successful. However, even when you can prove liability, trying to negotiate around all of the legalities involved can be daunting and unless you have previous experience of personal injury claims, you may feel overwhelmed.
The best and safest way to start a claim is to contact our team of specialist advisers. Advice.co.uk can offer you a free, no-obligation consultation where you can confidentially and thoroughly discuss all of the details of your case and ask any questions in regards to making a claim. We will then put you in contact with an appropriate personal injury solicitor that will be best suited to your individual needs.
Our panel of solicitors can offer you the chance of entering into a No Win, No Fee Agreement. This is known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), too. The purpose of a CFA is to offer potential claimants protection financially, as well as giving them the confidence to pursue a claim. By signing a CFA with a solicitor from our panel, you will not have to pay upfront fees or during your claim either. If your case doesn’t succeed, your solicitor will not ask for any payment.
If your case does succeed, your solicitor could ask for a small contribution towards their costs, which is known as a ‘success fee’. It would be deducted from the compensation you receive at the end of the claim. Success fees are capped by law so you will not lose a large portion of your compensation.
Advice.co.uk has been working in the personal injury sector for many years and has an abundance of experience in successfully claiming compensation for clients that have been injured through no fault of their own.
We are a friendly, reliable and honest team that will always put your needs first. Your solicitor will do all they can to get you the best possible outcome with the maximum settlement amount possible. When we are first approached to represent a client, we will always give our honest opinion on whether they have a good chance of being successful in their claim. We do not believe in taking on a claim that is unlikely to be successful as we do not wish to waste your time or give you false hope.
If you’d like further advice or guidance or would like us to pursue your claim on your behalf, just call us on 0161 696 9685 and one of our team will be on hand to get you the help you need with your claim.
Below we have listed some links to websites that you may find helpful.
NHS – Peripheral neuropathy – Information of the peripheral nervous system and peripheral neuropathy.
Legislation.Gov.UK – Information on the Health and Safety at Work Act.
Workplace Rights – Our guide to rights in the workplace.
No Win, No Fee Claims – Our guide to making No Win, No Fee claims.
Guide by ES
Edited by DEG