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What It Means If You’re Suffering from Numbness and Tingling After a Car Accident

Understanding your symptoms and possible injuries

After a car accident, you may suffer from an injury like lacerations or broken bones that you can feel and see right away. Other times, you may be able to walk away after an accident, but still feel like something is wrong. Tingling or numbness may seem like no big deal, but they can be a sign of something much more severe.

That’s why no matter how you are feeling after a car accident, you should seek immediate medical care. Tingling and numbness may be signs of nerve damage or another severe underlying injury. It’s also why you need to talk to an attorney about your legal rights and options.

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    Nerve damage symptoms

    The nervous system carries signals from the brain throughout the body. Injuries that compress or damage nerves can cause a variety of symptoms depending on the location of the damage. Along with numbness and tingling, other common nerve damage symptoms include:

    • Heightened skin sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
    • Uncontrollable muscle twitching
    • Partial or full paralysis in the affected area
    • Sharp pain
    • Muscle weakness

    Nerve damage (Peripheral Neuropathy)

    Peripheral neuropathy is when the nerves located outside the brain and spinal cord – that is, in the peripheral nervous system – are damaged. The peripheral nervous system is responsible for sending information from your brain and spinal cord to the rest of your body, so damage to these nerves can cause you to feel symptoms in many parts of the body.

    After a car accident, you may feel tingling, stabbing, burning, or overall pain in your hands, arms, knees, or legs. You may also feel dizzy and light-headed, or suffer problems with digestion.

    Herniated and bulging discs

    The spine is made up of 26 bones, called vertebrae, and in between each bone is a rubbery shock absorber, referred to as a disc. The impact of a car accident can cause the exterior casing of a disc to become damaged, which allows the soft center to push through the opening. This injury is called a herniated disc or bulging disc. It’s also sometimes called a “slipped disc,” although that name is inaccurate because the disc as a whole does not “slip” out of place. Herniated discs can occur anywhere in the spine but are most common in the lower back and neck.

    Herniated discs can cause numbness and tingling if the bulging disc presses on a nerve, causing a pinched nerve. Other symptoms of a herniated disc include pain that occurs on one side of the body, pain when moving the neck, or pain that gets worse when standing, sitting, sneezing, coughing, laughing, bending backward, or walking.

    Pinched nerve

    Nerves can be damaged and torn, but they can also be pinched. This happens when there is too much pressure on the surrounding tissue. A nerve can be pinched by tendons, cartilage, muscle, and even bone. For instance, a pinched nerve might be caused by a herniated disc that bulges out and presses on the nerve, or a piece of broken bone that comes in contact with a nerve.

    Symptoms of a pinched nerve include:

    • Aching or burning pain
    • Numbness
    • Muscle weakness
    • Feeling that your foot or hand has “fallen asleep”

    Pinched nerves may require treatment to relieve the affected area of pressure. Without treatment, pain and other symptoms may be prolonged, and the pinched nerve itself may become chronic and result in permanent nerve damage.


    The largest nerve in the body, the sciatic nerve is located through the lower back down to your feet. When your sciatic nerve becomes pinched after a car accident, often by a herniated disc or fracture in the lower back, you may suffer from sciatica. Sciatica pain typically begins in the buttock area and shoots down the leg. Other symptoms of sciatica include leg weakness and bowel or bladder changes.

    Treatment for sciatica depends on the nature of the underlying injury. Doctors may prescribe pain medication or physical therapy. Heat, cold, and stretching exercises may also help to relieve the pain. Most cases of sciatica can heal with rest and time, but some may require surgery to repair the underlying injury if it doesn’t heal on its own.

    Compensation for nerve damage sustained in a car accident

    Nerve damage is more common and more serious than you may think. It may last a long time or even become a chronic medical condition. Nerve injuries may require medication, physical therapy, and even surgery to treat. It may also affect your ability to work and earn income, or to do the things you love.

    Under Tennessee law, you have the right to pursue compensation for your nerve damage – but you have to act quickly, and the insurance companies won’t make it easy. That’s why getting the right attorney can make all the difference.

    Nashville attorneys for car accident nerve damage victims

    After a car accident, your focus should be your injury. You shouldn’t have to worry about dealing with the insurance company. The right car accident attorney can help.

    At The Law Office of Eric Beasley,we understand how hard it is to deal with an injury like nerve damage. That’s why we take on the toughest cases to help our clients through difficult times. Attorney Eric Beasley has more than 20 years of experience fighting hard for the injured in Nashville and throughout Middle Tennessee.

    If you’ve suffered nerve damage after a car accident in Tennessee, get a lawyer who will put your needs first. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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