Average Payout for Nerve Damage Car Accident

Average Payout for Nerve Damage Car Accident

Nerve damage is one of the most common injuries sustained by people involved in a vehicular accident.

A nerve damage occurs when the area surrounding the nerve is crushed or fractured, causing the nerve to be severed or pinched. Often, the symptoms of nerve damage may only be visible after several days or weeks.

Suppose you were in a car accident, and you’ve sustained nerve damage as a result. In that case, you may ask yourself how much you could get as compensation for a personal injury claim.

What is the average payout for a nerve damage injury in a car crash case? What are the factors that could affect your final settlement sum? How can a personal injury lawyer help you with your case?

This article provides comprehensive answers to these questions. Moreover, this write-up will explore the different causes of nerve damage injuries and the effects of sustaining such.

If you’re involved in a car crash, contact an attorney to help you out. Personal Injury Lawyer Search is your go-to resource for seeking legal assistance concerning injury cases.

Browse our website and learn the benefits of working with a car accident lawyer, especially in cases involving penalties, fines, and lawsuits. Some of our attorneys even offer free consultations and free case evaluations.

The Degrees of Nerve Damage Injuries: How They Affect a Car Accident Settlement

In general, “nerve damage” is just an umbrella term for different types of nerve injuries. When talking about personal injury cases, it’s much easier to quantify nerve damage based on the severity of the injury since many trauma types can affect the nervous system.

Victims may sustain several injuries from the force and impact of the accident. Even common injuries from a car crash may be complex to diagnose as they may have permanent or lasting effects. 

It can be challenging to put a number to what a fair settlement is in nerve injury cases. The bottom line is that how much money you’re eligible for depends on the extent of the damages you sustain.

The following subtopics discuss the degrees of severity of nerve damage.


Neuropaxia refers to the least severe nerve injury. In neuropraxia, the nerve structure remains intact and typically allows full recovery.


Axonotmesis refers to a more serious form of nerve damage. The nerve structure is compromised in axonotmesis, typically resulting in partial or total loss of sensory and motor functions.


It is the most severe form of nerve damage. The peripheral nerve is entirely transected, translating to total sensory loss and motor deficits. In neurotmesis, recovery of function is suboptimal without surgery.

What Are Nerve Damage Injuries?

Nerve damage injuries occur when trauma from an impact compresses, stretches, pinches, crushes, or splices a nerve. Because proper nerve function is critical to a person’s daily activity, damage to any nerve can significantly affect your quality of life.

The nervous system of a living organism refers to the wide-ranging network involved in everything the body does. For humans, nerves are responsible for various functions, including controlling your muscles, regulating breathing, and sensing temperature.

There are three types of nerves present in the human body. The following are:

Sensory nerves – These nerves control pain and other sensations. Sensory nerves work by relaying information from your muscles or skin back to the central nervous system, which is made of the spinal cord and brain.

Motor nerves – These nerves control all bodily movement by relaying information from the central nervous system to your muscles.

Autonomic nerves – These are the nerves that control the body’s partially voluntary or involuntary activities. These activities may include regulating temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure.

Causes of Nerve Damage After a Vehicular Accident

A vehicle collision can damage nearly any part of the human body. Pinched nerves are a primary concern for a significant amount of car crash victims.

In a car crash scenario, nerve damage typically occurs during the force of impact. Your body can be forcefully thrown against the steering wheel, door, or dashboard, or you can suffer crash injuries that may damage the nerves.

Similarly, a car crash can damage bones and cause secondary nerve damage. Nerve damages commonly occur in the leg, foot, arm, shoulder, face, or hand.

The following sections will discuss car crash injuries that can result in nerve damage.

Nerve Damage From Back Injuries

Back injuries, particularly in the spine, could cause far-reaching nerve damage.

During an auto accident, the impact can damage the spine’s delicate components, including the nerves.

For instance, a herniated or bulging disc can cause a nerve to be compressed. Moreover, trauma to a person’s back can damage the spinal cord, which may permanently compromise nerve communication.

Spinal cord damage can result in paralysis, particularly the inability to control the bladder, and other serious conditions.

Nerve Damage From Whiplash and Other Neck Injuries

The force of a car collision can cause your head to rush forward and snap back quickly, creating what’s generally known as whiplash.

Whiplash is a sprain resulting from a torn or overly stretched neck tissue. In some cases, whiplash can even cause shoulder injury.

Moreover, the sudden jerking motion during whiplash can lead to nerve damage in the head and neck area.

Nerve Damage From Blunt-Force Trauma

In a car accident, blunt-force trauma occurs when you’re forcefully ejected from the vehicle or if a body part slams against a surface, such as a door or dashboard.

Hitting your arms, legs, or head on a hard surface can compress or crush the nerves. These instances typically translate to a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Simply put, TBI is a type of injury that affects how the brain works. Some effects of TBI are headaches, blurred vision, and loss of mental focus.

Nerve Damage From Lacerations and Avulsions

Both lacerations and avulsions are common after a car crash.

A laceration is an injury that occurs when soft tissue and the skin are torn. In more serious cases, deep cuts or tears may sever the nerves in the affected area.

On the other hand, an avulsion occurs when a body structure, usually a small bone connected to a ligament or tendon, is pulled away from its main section.

A separated tendon or ligament can lead to serious nerve damage if left untreated.

What Is Sciatic Nerve Pain?

Sciatic nerve pain, or sciatica, is caused by an irritation or damage to the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve starts in the gluteal area and is the thickest and longest nerve in the human body.

The sciatic nerve is made up of five nerve roots, which meet to form through your buttocks, hips, and down each leg.

Usually, sciatica betters on its own with time and proper self-care procedures. However, severe cases of sciatic nerve pain may require surgery.

What Are the Common Symptoms of Sciatic Nerve Damage?

There are more than 100 various types of nerve damage that may result from a car accident. Due to the wide range of nerve and injury types, nerve damage symptoms vary depending on the patients and their circumstances.

Typically, the signs of nerve damage include the following:

  • Muscle spasms or atrophy
  • Burning
  • Tingling
  • Sensitivity
  • Paralysis
  • Twitching
  • Weakness
  • Severe pain
  • Constipation
  • Heavy sweating
  • Inability to sweat
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dry mouth and eyes
  • Difficulty in controlling bladder activity
  • Positional awareness problems

Following an auto accident, it may be challenging to differentiate sciatic nerve damage from common body pain, so it’s always a good idea to seek medical attention immediately.

Where Is the Pinched Nerve?

The average settlement for a pinched nerve varies on a case-to-case basis.

For instance, the location of the pinched nerve and the body parts it can affect may affect the final settlement amount. 

A pinched nerve in your lower back often results in leg pain, making standing for long periods while working difficult. Meanwhile, a pinched nerve on the wrists could cause you to miss work, mainly if you must use your hands.

Finally, pinched nerves on the neck may affect basic tasks, such as bathing, getting dressed, or driving.

However, while all these injuries warrant compensation, some cases are more immobilizing than others.

According to Mayo Clinic, a nonprofit organization committed to clinical practice and research, pinched nerves can be one of the symptoms of another injury, such as whiplash or a herniated disc.

In such cases, more time off work, rest, and medical assistance may be needed to recover fully.

How Has the Pinched Nerve Affected Your Life?

Your final settlement amount should account for how the pinched nerve injury affected other areas of your life besides physically.

For example, a pinched nerve injury that compromises your ability to work could warrant compensation for the following:

  • Occupational therapy
  • Permanent disability
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Lost wages

Moreover, a personal injury lawyer should consider how your injury impacted your dependents. For instance, a breadwinner may be entitled to more compensation than a single person without dependents.

Moreover, if a family member needs to be at home with you to help care for your injury, that could also be factored in when determining your final settlement amount.

Temporary vs. Permanent Damage and Chronic Pain

A pinched nerve can be healed in a few weeks by relieving pressure on the affected nerve. However, if pressure on the nerve is left untreated for longer, the chances for chronic issues to appear will be higher.

Moreover, if you have sustained permanent nerve damage, you will need a higher amount of compensation to cover the injury’s future costs.

Chronic pains following nerve damage could take their toll on you for as long as you live. So, receiving only an “average” settlement means you most likely won’t have enough funds for future medical treatment you would require.

These medical expenses include the following:

  • Pain relief shots
  • Long-term medications
  • Alternative medications
  • Specialist visits

Some pinched nerve injuries, like whiplash and slipped disks, also have a chance of reoccurring. According to a publication by the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC), the onset of symptoms for whiplash can be delayed, putting you at risk for unplanned medical expenses.

Other Noneconomic Losses

Non-economic damages refer to the more abstract consequences following your pinched nerve injury. The following are examples of noneconomic losses:

  • Loss of consortium (the loss of benefits in an intimate or familial relationship) 
  • Emotional distress
  • Changes to quality of life
  • Pain and suffering

How Medical Damages Are Calculated

Your final settlement amount for a pinched nerve injury claim will reflect the types of treatment you would need to attain maximum medical recovery. Some examples of these are the following:

  • Diagnostic testing
  • Medical equipment
  • Surgery
  • Physical therapy
  • Prescription medicines
  • Chiropractic care (medical care focused on the spine, joints, muscles, and nervous system)
  • Doctor visits

Can You Sue for Nerve Damage After Your Car Accident Case?

In a no-fault state, the insurance company should cover the damages following a car accident injury. However, since most nerve damage cases are permanent, they are often exempted from these no-fault policies.

In some states, such as Florida, you can sue and file a motor vehicle accident lawsuit if your injuries are permanent and incur more than $10,000 in damages.

Is It Hard to Prove Nerve Damage?

Proving nerve damage can be challenging since it requires a thorough physical and neurological examination. A nerve conduction velocity (NCV) test may also be needed to investigate your case further.

An NCV test can identify nerve damage by measuring the speed of an electrical impulse through your nerves.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Lawsuits?

The statute of limitations refers to the time limit set by your state for you to file a personal injury lawsuit or claim.

Be mindful that the statute of limitations for filing a claim is based on the type of accident and where it happened. Working with a personal injury attorney is always advisable to determine your legal options for such cases.

“How Do I Know if I Am Eligible to Make a Claim for Nerve Damage After a Car Accident?”

Anybody who has sustained a nerve damage injury, from a simple pinched nerve to more complicated cases, such as a severed spinal cord, will be eligible for some compensation.

However, depending on the state’s policy and unless proven otherwise, a person who sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident of their own doing will not be eligible to pursue a claim.

How Much Pain and Suffering Settlement Do Insurance Providers Pay?

Pain and suffering refer to the emotional and physical trauma a person experiences after a motor vehicle accident.

To calculate a reasonable offer for pain and suffering, some insurance companies compute the sum of property damage and medical bills and multiply that by a number between 1.5 and 4 based on the case’s severity.

For example, if your original costs were $15,000 and your suffering was rated at 3, your pain and suffering settlement should be $45,000.

Pain and suffering are personal and highly subjective factors. Remember that a skilled lawyer can present a convincing case for a higher compensation.

Sciatic Nerve Damage Settlements: Understanding How Courts Determine Compensation After Accidents

Determining the average settlement amount for a sciatic nerve damage injury due to a car accident varies per case.

Settlement for mild nerve damage may range from $15,000 to $75,000. Meanwhile, serious injuries may incur a six-digit compensation or higher depending on the extent of the nerve damage and the accident’s circumstances.

Here’s an Example of Two People Suffering From Nerve Damage

John sustained sciatic nerve damage that affected half of his body, particularly his lower extremities and back. Meanwhile, Jane, who is right-handed, suffered nerve damage that affected her left hand.

Based on the two cases, John’s settlement will be more than the average nerve damage payout since the injury impacted his quality of life more.

However, there are exceptions. If Jane were a concert pianist or a painter, her losses could be significantly higher.

Insurance’s Role

Although low initial settlement offers are relatively common, an insurance company ultimately decides the amount based on expert opinions, documented financial damages, and medical outlook once negotiators compel a rational valuation.

Negligence and Liability

In states that adhere to the contributory negligence doctrine, the plaintiff will not recover damages if found to be partially responsible for the accident.

Meanwhile, in states that practice the comparative negligence doctrine, those injured in a car crash can still get a settlement even when they are partly at fault.

For example, Pennsylvania has a 51% comparative negligence rule, which means if you are deemed more than 50% responsible for the fault, you won’t be able to gain any compensation for damages.

Documentation and Evidence

The following documents and evidence will provide irrefutable justification when demanding compensation for personal injuries.

  • Medical chronologies
  • Crash reconstructions
  • Vocational assessments
  • Financial loss
  • Physician prognoses

An experienced personal injury lawyer can satisfactorily synthesize these pieces of evidence to help extract the maximum settlement amount from insurers and the legal system.

The Severity of the Injury

In general, the severity of the injury refers to the medical care a victim requires, the amount of physical pain they experience, changes in their quality of life, and the permanent damage they suffer following a car accident.

When determining how severe a nerve damage injury is, your insurance adjuster or attorney will consider the following:

  • How much pain the injury has caused, and how often such pain occurs
  • How the nerve injury is affecting your ability to perform daily tasks
  • How effective your medical care is in reducing or eliminating the symptoms

Take, for example, an athletic person who dedicated their entire life to fitness and was involved in a motor vehicle accident. After the crash, they experienced chronic and persistent pain.

In such a case, if the pain is so severe that it compromises their ability to exercise, it would be deemed a serious injury.

Cost of Medical Treatment

A personal injury claim should account for all medical expenses, including future costs. Such a case is especially true if you suffer severe injuries and you’re likely to experience long-term damage.

Here are the types of medical treatment that can be compensated in an injury claim:

  • Prescription medicines
  • Ambulance fees
  • Medical imaging
  • Surgery
  • Hospital bills
  • Home care treatment

Pain and Suffering

As mentioned in this article, pain and suffering refers to the physical and emotional trauma caused by an injury.

While you can easily put a price tag on hospitalization thanks to the hospital bill, determining the cost of noneconomic damage, such as pain and suffering, will be harder. For example, disfigurement or permanent paralysis cannot be included in medical costs, but it can be filed under pain and suffering.

Amount of Insurance Coverage

Another critical factor in determining a nerve damage injury settlement is the available insurance coverage of both involved parties.

Typically, compensation for a personal injury claim will initially go through the responsible driver’s auto insurance policy.

However, sometimes, a single insurance policy will not be enough to cover all damages. The car accident victim will likely need to file a lawsuit in such a case.

“Can I Get Compensation for Nerve Damage Injury After a Medical Procedure?”

Yes. You will likely be rewarded compensation if a medical practitioner’s negligence caused your nerve damage. As with other personal injury claims, you must prove that the doctor could not act with reasonable judgment.

Furthermore, you can suffer from multiple forms of nerve damage, each of which bears a separate string of symptoms. Unique types of nerve damage injuries will also require different treatments.

Role of Car Accident Attorneys

The dollar equivalent of some damages cannot easily be determined. Often, the most optimal way to recover compensation is to seek the legal advice of a lawyer.

When you hire a car accident lawyer, insurance companies see that as a sign that they will have to give you a fair settlement for your case.

If you need to look for the best personal injury lawyers anywhere in the United States, Personal Injury Lawyer Search can help you find one for your legal needs. This online directory lets you search car accident lawyers by name and state so you can immediately work with one near you.

“When Should I Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer?”

You should contact a car crash attorney immediately after an accident. The sooner you acquire professional legal assistance, the greater your chance of being awarded your deserved compensation.

For instance, lawyers can understand the strategies insurers use to reduce or deny your claims.

Are Personal Injury Lawyers Expensive?

A personal injury attorney often charges a contingency fee, meaning the law firm will only receive a payment if you get a settlement from your case.

A lawyer’s contingency fee typically ranges between 25% and 40% of the settlement. One-third, or 33%, is usually the standard percentage.

Suppose your lawyer’s contingency fee is 33%, and you recover $15,000 in a car accident claim. In that case, they will receive around $4,950 (15,000 x .33 = 4,950).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the range for an average payout for nerve damage from a motor vehicle accident?

With amounts ranging from a few thousand dollars for minor injuries to several hundreds of thousands or even millions for more serious cases, payouts for nerve damage depend on the impact and the severity of the case. 

2. How is nerve damage diagnosed after an auto accident?

Nerve damage is diagnosed through medical tests, including nerve conduction studies, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), and EMG (electromyography).

3. Are future medical expenses for nerve damage covered in the payout?

Yes. Future medical costs, including potential surgeries, physical therapies, and home treatment, can be factored into the final settlement sum, especially if the nerve damage injury requires long-term medical care.

4. Can I still get compensation if I was partially responsible for the car crash?

If you were at fault for an accident, it is still possible for you to yield partial financial recovery. Below are potential avenues for compensation in a car crash that was your fault:

  • Using applicable insurance coverage
  • Thoughtful legal strategies
  • Dedicated attorney support

These avenues emphasize evaluating the third party’s liability and leveraging the benefits of a first-party policy and counsel expertise. Understanding these options can help you avoid forfeiting otherwise rightful damages.

5. How can a personal injury lawyer help maximize my payout for nerve damage?

To help you secure maximum compensation for your claim, a personal injury attorney can gather evidence, negotiate with insurance adjusters, consult medical experts, and advocate on your behalf.

6. How long does it take to receive a settlement for nerve damage from a motor vehicle accident?

The time it will take to recover compensation from a nerve damage injury claim will vary depending on how complicated your case is. Typically, a settlement can take a few months to several years, particularly if the case goes to a court trial.

7. Do all nerve damage injury claims go to court?

No. Most nerve damage injury claims are settled out of court. However, a court hearing might be required as a recourse if both parties can’t agree on a settlement amount.

8. What should I document and keep track of to strengthen my nerve damage claim?

Documenting all medical procedures and maintaining a diary of your daily pain levels and challenges can provide strong evidence for your personal injury claim.


  1. Typical Car Accident Settlement Amounts (2023)
  2. Property damage cases
  3. Filing an Auto Claim with the Other Party’s Insurance Company
  4. How long do you have to report a car accident to your insurance?
  6. Neurotmesis
  7. Sciatica

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