I’ve Been Having Numbness in My Hands or Feet After a Car Accident. What Can I Do?

January 12, 2022Car Accidents

After a car accident, not all injuries are immediately apparent. If you begin to experience numbness in your hands or feet, seek medical treatment as soon as possible. It could be a sign of something much more severe. 

What to Do if You Have Numbness in Your Hands or Feet After a Car Accident

If you are suffering from numbness in your hands or feet, the steps you take after can have a drastic impact on your health and ability to recover compensation. 

See a Doctor

Numbness in the extremities indicates there has been damage to a nerve, a nerve root, or the surrounding tissues in contact with the nerve. It is in your best interests to complete a physical exam to see if you have a severe injury that requires treatment. Delaying medical care may not only compromise your health but can make it much more challenging to recover compensation. Medical records must link an injury to the accident, and the longer the gap between treatment, the stronger an insurer’s argument that the nerve damage did not happen due to the crash. 

Document Your Symptoms

Write down as many details about your symptoms as possible. Keep a daily journal of your pain levels, how long episodes of numbness go on for or if they are constant, how your everyday life is affected, if you are unable to work or sleep, whether there are activities you cannot do if other people must help you, etc. Documenting your injury as much as possible is critical to the amount of compensation you will be able to recover. 

Consult an Attorney

After receiving medical care, contact a St. Louis car accident lawyer. Most will evaluate your case for free then advise you of your legal options and what they think is your best course of action. Once you hire an attorney, they will handle all aspects of your claim while you focus on recovering. To protect your case, your attorney will immediately begin collecting critical evidence of fault to ensure you recover the compensation you deserve.

Common Causes of Numbness in the Hands or Feet After a Car Accident

Nerve damage from a car accident can cause temporary numbness in your hands or feet, be episodic or chronic. Often it is attributed to one of the following injuries: 

Back Injuries

Lower back injuries are prevalent in car accidents. Herniated discs, fractured or broken vertebrae, or sprains can all lead to pain, pressure, inflammation, mobility issues, pain, weakness, and numbness. 

Neck Injuries

Whiplash is a frequently reported injury from a collision, which damages the soft tissues in the neck. Symptoms often present days or weeks following the accident, limiting the range of motion and causing pain. In addition to neck pain, whiplash can cause the neck’s spinal nerve roots to become compressed or inflamed, which can lead to tingling or numbness that radiates down the shoulder, arm, hand, and/or fingers. 

Pinched Nerves

A pinched nerve can occur anywhere in the body but most often in the spine. The surrounding tissues that press on the nerve root can cause pain, tingling, and numbness, including the hands or feet.

Treatment for numbness will depend on accurately diagnosing the underlying causes. Surgical intervention is rarely required for nerve damage after a car accident but may be an option to help relieve pain if you have a pinched nerve. 

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