All too often, we take our physical and psychological health for granted, not realising that the smallest injury or damage can have profound implications for our wellbeing. Nerve injuries can occur in a wide range of medical contexts, and if they do, serious health consequences and disability can occur. If nerve damage is caused by a mistake by a health professional involved in your medical care, you may be eligible to seek recourse for the pain, suffering, and losses you have suffered as a result. Our team, headed by Avril Scally, understand the considerable implications of nerve damage in terms of pain, loss of function, and the psychology of those affected, and will do all we can to support you and your family through what can be a deeply traumatic time.
In which medical circumstances may nerve injuries occur?
Nerve injuries can be caused in a number of medical contexts, including:
- During birth
- Use of needles/syringes for administration of drugs (e.g. epidural) or taking of blood
- Physical therapies (e.g. chiropractors)
- Dental treatment (e.g. root canals)
Medical professionals have a duty of care to protect the health of patients, including taking care not to cause injury during the course of their work. Treatments, interventions, and procedures should always be undertaken in such a way as to mitigate the possibility of nerve damage. This means they must explain any risks to you before they proceed, defer to another more experienced medical professional if they are in any doubt, and always use techniques, equipment, and tools in a safe and correct manner.
What are the implications of nerve damage?
Nerve damage can range considerably, from mild consequences which will alleviate with time, to serious and life-changing impacts. The human nervous system carries signals to and from the brain and every part of the body and is made up of the central and peripheral nervous system. The central nervous system is made up of the brain and spinal cord – any damage to this part of the body can cause extremely serious problems including loss of sensation, paralysis, and loss of organ function. Peripheral nerve damage symptoms may be more limited to the arms or legs.
Symptoms of nerve damage may include:
- Tingling/pins and needles
- Loss of sensation or reduced sensation
- Shooting pains
- Loss of movement or impaired movement
- Sensitivity to touch
- Freezing or burning sensation
- Lack of coordination
- Sexual dysfunction
- Loss of bladder control
Can damaged nerves heal?
As with many aspects of the human body, the long-term prognosis depends on a range of factors including the severity of the damage, whether it has been possible to repair the damage, and the type of nerve fibre affected. Surgery may be required to reconnect the two ends of a severed nerve, after which, with time, the nerves may heal, leading to the return of normal sensation and function. More acute damage, especially to the spinal cord, can have serious and life-long implications for the affected individual.
Can I bring a claim for nerve damage due to medical negligence?
To bring a claim for medical negligence relating to nerve damage, it will be necessary to provide evidence that:
- The medical care you received was below a satisfactory standard (i.e. that another medical professional would not have made the same error), and;
- This negligence caused you damage or injury.
To prove your case, we will compile evidence, including medical records, and seek expert medical opinion.
What may a nerve damage medical negligence injury claim cover?
Claims following nerve damage due to medical negligence may cover two areas of loss:
- Pain and suffering due to the injury; and
- Specific costs resulting from the injury caused. This may cover costs already incurred, such as transport, accommodation, and medical treatment, and expected future expenses, such as physical therapy and care costs. The costs you receive will be based on the precise injuries suffered and the circumstances of the case.
How Lavelle’s Medical Negligence Solicitors can assist you in bringing a claim
- Lavelle Solicitors have successfully managed many cases of injury or disease caused by nerve damage related to medical negligence.
- Our personal injury team, headed by partner, Avril Scally, who herself has over 15 years’ experience in medical negligence claims, place client care at the centre of everything they do.
- From the first moment you speak to one of our solicitors, we will listen to your case carefully and with empathy and will only recommend advancing your case if we believe you have a valid case.
- We have both the legal expertise and understanding of the real-life challenges faced by individuals and their families following such events.
- Our solicitors will manage the process entirely on your behalf; compiling the information necessary for your case, including medical notes and managing the submission of your medical negligence claim.
By entrusting us to handle your claim on your behalf, you can focus on what is most important, your recovery and care, or that of your family member or loved one.
For further information on making a claim for nerve injury resulting from medical negligence in Ireland, please contact Lavelle Solicitors in confidence on (01) 644 5800 or email Avril Scally at [email protected]
*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement. This statement is made in compliance with RE.8 of SI 518 of 2002.