If you have suffered a nerve injury during surgery, you are no doubt overwhelmed by the physical and emotional trauma you have suffered. If you live in Philadelphia or its surrounding area, this is the time to contact the well-respected nerve injury attorneys at Cooper Schall & Levy. Not only are we skilled litigators, but we are also compassionate people who know only too well how extensively nerve damage can interfere with your quality of life.
Whether the negligence of a medical professional has left you with severe pain, muscle spasms, paralysis, or disfigurement, our dedicated legal team is here to fight tooth and nail to get you the compensation you deserve.
Because we understand what a terrible combination of incapacity and high doctor bills are, your initial consultation with us will be free and we will charge you no attorneys’ fees until we recover the substantial damages you need to pay for your medical care and secure your future.
While nerve damage during surgery can also be caused by mistakes in the administration of anesthesia, we will concentrate here on surgical errors themselves.
Why the Risk of Surgical Nerve Injury Is Relatively High
Because nerves are all over the body, surgeons are always working in close proximity to nerve tissue. Although most surgeons are meticulous and hospitals and surgical facilities have protective protocols in place to protect patients, it doesn’t take too large a miscalculation or misstep for a surgeon to put pressure on, inflame, bruise, slice, or even sever a nerve with a surgical instrument.
According to the National Institutes of Health, 10 to 50 percent of patients experience some surgically induced neuropathic pain (SNPP) after common operations. Although in many instances, the neuropathic pain may resolve itself after a period of time, this is a high rate of postsurgical difficulty. It should be noted that certain pre-existing conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, smoking, heavy alcohol use, and obesity, can put patients at higher risk for nerve injury.
While sometimes nerve injuries can heal, although usually at a slow pace, in many instances, nerve damage is permanent and life-altering, all the more awful when it is the result of medical malpractice. No excuse is good enough when a surgical error results in a nerve injury that affects your senses, mobility, or independence. At Cooper, Schall & Levy, we will hold your doctor accountable and fight aggressively for the damages you require going forward.
Various Types of Nerve Damage
There are three different types of nerves in the human body — sensory, motor, and autonomic. Depending on which kind of nerve is injured, patients can experience a wide range of symptoms.
Motor nerves control our movements, so injury to motor nerves results in one or more of the following symptoms:
- Muscle atrophy (deterioration)
- Twitching or spasms
- Paralysis, either in one part of your body (e.g. an arm)
or in paraplegia (the lower limbs) or quadriplegia (the whole body)
Sensory nerves control our ability to feel sensations. For this reason, if sensory nerves are injured, patients may experience:
- Burning sensation
Autonomic nerves control our involuntary actions, such as our heart rate, blood flow, and temperature regulation, so damage to autonomic nerves may result in:
- Inability to sense irregularities or pain in your heartbeat, potentially leading to heart attacks
- Diminished or excessive sweating
- Dry mouth or eyes
- Bladder problems
Medical Mistakes that Cause Nerve Injury
Surgeons, like the rest of us, may have had a sleepless night, be feeling unwell, or be plagued by financial or marital problems. Nonetheless, they have taken an oath to “do no harm.” If they are negligent or reckless during your operation, they must be held responsible for:
- Slicing or severing a nerve
- Pushing on or compressing a nerve
- Stretching a nerve to the point of permanent damage
- Improperly using scalpels, tourniquets, or bandages
- Placing you in a position that pinches a nerve, restricting blood flow
We Will Fight Vigorously to Win You Damages for Your Surgical Nerve Injury
If you are a patient who has suffered a surgical mistake that resulted in a nerve injury, you are entitled to both economic and non-economic damages.
- Economic damages are designed to reimburse you for monetary losses, including medical bills (including those for corrective surgery), rehabilitative care, lost income (present and future), and long-term nursing care if you have become permanently disabled.
- Non-economic damages are designed to compensate you for intangible losses, such as physical pain, emotional anguish, loss of consortium, disfigurement, shortened life expectancy, or diminished quality of life.
- Punitive damages are only awarded in about 1 percent of medical malpractice cases. They are only likely to be a factor if your surgeon did something especially egregious, such as performing surgery while abusing alcohol or drugs.
What Cooper Schall & Levy Must Prove
For your medical malpractice case to be won, we must prove that you were in a doctor-patient relationship with the surgeon and that your surgeon deviated from the acceptable standard of care, causing you harm and monetary damages.
You can count on us to gather every bit of pertinent medical evidence, interview witnesses, and bring in an expert in the appropriate surgical field to testify on your behalf. Most of all, you can trust us to use our well-honed negotiation and litigation skills to persuade the court that you are entitled to maximum compensation.
Contact Our Experienced Nerve Injury Attorneys Today
We know that you are going through what is probably the most difficult challenge of your life. Don’t go through it without the best professional help available. Contact us now to feel the relief that comes from putting your case in capable, caring hands.