Across Oregon and throughout the United States, personal transportation is dominated by the automobile while commercial freight transportation is dominated by interstate trucking. As a result of our cars, most of us have a high degree of personal freedom with which we would not easily part. And with interstate trucking, most Americans shop amongst a variety of products that is rarely paralleled around the world.
But with these transportation advantages come some costs. Motor vehicles of all types are involved in crashes every day. Sometimes, the collisions are relatively minor, causing mostly an administrative headache. In other cases, however, these motor vehicle wrecks cause grave injury or death to one or more of the drivers or passengers involved.
And sometimes, it takes days or weeks before a person involved in the crash fully understands the extent of his or her injuries. This can be especially true with neurological injuries.
In this article, we will discuss some of the types of neurological injuries, along with their symptoms, that can result from a car or semi-truck accident.
What Is a Neurological Injury?
Neurological injuries are injuries to the nervous system, which consists of the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system.
The central nervous system is made up of the brain and spinal cord. These work together to process and transmit information, like a central processing unit in a computer. The peripheral nervous system is a network of nerves that link the brain and spinal cord to other nerves, muscles, and parts of the body.
Both the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system can be damaged by either disease or trauma. Not surprisingly, many neurological injuries result from crashes involving automobiles and semi-trucks.
Symptoms of Peripheral Neurological Injury
When peripheral neurological connections are interrupted in the body, a number of symptoms may appear. Keep in mind that there are over one hundred types of nerve injuries, and thus many related symptoms. The following list is therefore not exhaustive, but represents some common symptoms:
- Numbness, such as in the hands and feet
- Tingling sensation
- Prickling sensation
- Muscle weakness
- Balance problems
Sometimes, these symptoms are related directly to trauma, such as an automobile or tractor-trailer truck accident. In other instances, the symptoms can be caused by a condition that is not related to trauma but affects the whole body.
Examples of non-trauma conditions that can cause nerve issues include diabetes, carpal tunnel syndrome, and lupus.
Injury to the Central Nervous System
When the central nervous system (CNS) is damaged, it has limited ability to self-repair. Therefore, the consequences can often be grave. Moreover, the cost of treatments can be life-long and expensive.
CNS injuries include injuries to both the spinal cord and the brain. We will briefly discuss each below.
Spinal Cord Injuries – Damage to any part of the spinal cord (including nerves) can cause permanent damage. Both sensation and strength can be lost. In some instances, this can include complete paralysis. It can also affect body functions below the location of the injury.
A few possible symptoms include:
- Loss of feeling
- Loss of movement
- Difficulty breathing
- Altered sensation
Traumatic Brain Injury – When traumatic force is applied to the brain – such as from a collision between the head and a blunt object – traumatic brain injury can occur. Indeed, the top cause of TBI-related deaths is motor vehicle accidents. The severity of the TBI can range from mild to severe, but can only be diagnosed by trained professionals.
Call with Questions
Neurological injuries can be some of the toughest to diagnose and treat. For those who are lucky, the injuries are mild, respond to treatment, and heal. But for many, such as those who suffer significant spinal cord injuries or traumatic brain injuries, the results can be horrific.
If you’ve suffered a TBI or other injury as the result of an automobile or semi-truck accident, call the experienced personal injury lawyers at Nelson MacNeil Rayfield with your questions and we’ll be happy to answer them. By helping you hold wrongdoers accountable for their actions, we seek to make all of society safer.