Auto Accident Victims May Suffer Vertigo from Nerve Injury
Whether due to an automobile accident, motorcycle accident or bicycle accident, whenever a victim of another’s careless driving strikes their head, there is a chance they may develop a traumatic brain injury. This is because as the brainstem and skull move in different directions during a violent impact, an accident victim may suffer stretching of the vestibular nerve which can cause permanent injury. While it is very common for emergency departments to order a computerized axial tomography (CT) scan of a trauma patient’s head, vestibular disorders are often completely missed or ignored in the vast majority of traumatic head injury cases.
What is the Vestibular Nerve System?
The vestibular system is so complex and sensitive it can easily be destructed by a traumatic blow to the head. The vestibular nerve is one of two branches of the vestibulocochlear nerve. The vestibular nerves have the primary function of transmitting data to and from the brain that have to do with a person’s sense of balance. Specifically, the vestibular cranial nerve provides the means of communication data to and from the brain that directs the necessary adjustments to maintain a proper balance. When the vestibular nerve is working properly, the data transmitted to and from the brain is in constant transmission as an individual walks, runs and even sits.
What Happens When the Vestibular Nerve is Injured?
Any injury to the vestibular nerve itself, ganglion or its semicircle canals can impact an individual’s ability to remain in an upright position and cause him or her to experience a sense of vertigo that can be extremely severe and disabling.
Vertigo is a type of dizziness where an individual experiences a feeling of motion when he or she is in a stationary position. The person may feel that their surroundings seem to be moving either vertically or horizontally even though they are not moving or lying down. Often there may also be a sense of spinning and the severity of the symptoms can make it hard for a person to keep their balance and carrying out the everyday functions and tasks of life.
Vertigo can last from a few minutes to several days and even for the rest of a victim’s lifetime. Vertigo can result in the following symptoms:
- Loss of balance
- A sense that your surroundings are moving or spinning
- Difficulty walking
- Difficulty standing still
- Blurred vision
- Ear aches
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, auto accident or bicycle accident and sustained a severe blow to the head resulting in such symptoms as vertigo, you may have sustained a vestibular nerve injury. It is important to seek out the appropriate medical testing in order to properly diagnose and document the injury. With proper diagnosis, medical treatments can be applied to reduce the symptoms and effect on a victim’s life. When this treatment is properly documented in medical records, a lawyer experienced in vestibular nerve injury and traumatic brain damage caused from motor vehicle and bicycle accidents can often maximize a victim’s recovery and make sure he or she is compensated for future medical bills, future lost wages, and loss of earning capacity.
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