They are injured in different types of accidents. They fall off of ladders and scaffolding, they injure their backs when they lift heavy objects, some are hit by falling debris. Still others suffer from repetitive stress. Even on-the-job exposure to a toxic substance can cause nerve damage. No matter what type of work you do, there is a chance you may suffer from an injury at work that results in nerve damage.
Paul Giannetti, Attorney at Law, understands the grief and uncertainty you may be experiencing if you have nerve damage. You may wonder if you will ever be able to return to work, and meanwhile, not knowing how you are going to manage to pay your bills. At our law office, we help you understand your rights, and help you with your workers’ compensation claim so that you can receive all the benefits to which you are legally entitled.
Most Common Work-Related Injuries that Result in Nerve Damage
Almost any type of injury can occur in the workplace. The most common ones that result in nerve damage are:
- Trauma. This can happen in any business, but construction industry workers are particularly vulnerable to nerve damage due to trauma. Common accidents in that industry include falling from high places, being hit with objects, being caught in between objects, and being electrocuted. Trauma to the head caused by an accident can also result in nerve damage to the spine.
- Repetitive use. This injury occurs when a major nerve squeezed. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common workplace injury caused by repetitive typing. Spinal nerve damage can occur after repetitive stooping and lifting heavy objects.
Types of Nerve Damage
Two main types of nerve damage suffered in the workplace include:
- Bruising, tearing, or stretching of a nerve. Even stretching the tissue surrounding the nerve can result in nerve damage. This type of injury can result in total paralysis of the nerve, or a loss of function or severe limitations on the ability to move the affected body part. This type of nerve injury may cause permanent damage.
- Pressure on the nerve. Pressure is exerted in a way that blocks the brain from receiving the message the nerve is sending. If the pressure is relieved, the nerve may be regenerated. Even if the damage is not permanent, it may take months, or even years, of treatment for the nerve damage to be relieved. Treatment may even include surgery and physical therapy in order for the damage to the nerve to be alleviated.
Symptoms of Nerve Damage
Symptoms of nerve damage depend on the location of the injury and the specific nerve involved. There are three different types of nerves:
- autonomic nerves, which control things like heart rate and blood pressure
- motor nerves, which control movements and actions and communicate information from your brain and spinal cord to your muscles; and
- sensory nerves which relay messages from your skin and muscles to your spinal cord and brain.
Some general symptoms that signal nerve damage include, but are not limited to:
- Feeling lightheaded.
- Sensitivity to touch.
- Vision problems.
- Loss of coordination or balance.
- Loss of hearing.
- Burning sensations.
- Bladder or bowel issues.
This is not intended to be a complete list, but only an overview of the possible array of symptoms that are associated with nerve damage.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Nerve Damage Claims
New York Workers’ Compensation Board recognizes that nerve damage may cause the permanent loss of use of:
- Face (Scar)/Neck/Scalp
- Eye (Vision Loss)
- Ear (Hearing Loss)
If you have a permanent loss, there is a schedule established for how much workers’ compensation will pay you for your specific loss. For a temporary loss, you will also be compensated. Your medical bills will be paid and, if required, vocational rehabilitation provided for.
Workers’ compensation requires a doctor’s report documenting your loss. The report is submitted by the doctor after he or she has determined you have reached your maximum medical improvement.
How an Attorney Can Help
Working with the workers’ compensation insurance company is often difficult and complex. There are rigid deadlines you must comply with. Medical documentation may be complicated and, at times, the insurance company will have its own medical consultant whose mission is to find a way not to pay you.
Do not try and go this alone. If you are suffering from work-related nerve damage, contact Albany workers’ compensation attorney Paul Giannetti for a free consultation.