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Facial Nerve Damage Lawyer

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Facial nerve trauma is a frequent presentation to otolaryngologists, emergency rooms, and primary care providers. Trauma to the facial nerve is described as being the result of penetrating or blunt trauma to the temporal bone and its petrous portion. This area is pyramid-shaped and located at the base of the skull between the occipital and sphenoid bones. A facial nerve disorder may have a significant effect on a patient’s daily life and that of their family, especially if permanent complete or incomplete paralysis occurs.

Even a low-impact accident may result in debilitating injuries such as facial nerve damage. If you have been hurt in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, contact our personal injury lawyers in Sacramento today for free, friendly advice on your case at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400.

No matter what type of traumatic injury you are dealing with following a collision, you need to have someone at your side protecting your right to a full and fair settlement. Our legal team has the experience, skills, and resources to handle your case from start to finish. We have handled personal injury cases arising from all accident types since 1982. Do not go through this situation alone, and let our law firm help you seek justice and fair compensation. Get started today by calling us to schedule a free consultation with one of our accident attorneys.

Epidemiology of Facial Nerve Damage Cases

Trauma to the facial nerve is involved in 7 to 10 percent of all temporal bone fracture cases. The most common mechanisms for fractures of the temporal bone are motor vehicle accidents, with 31 percent followed by slip and falls and assault. Approximately 10 percent of broken temporal bone cases are related to injuries of the cervical spine, and 90 percent are connected to intracranial trauma.

How Do You Know if You Have Nerve Damage in Your Face?

A facial nerve disorder may produce some of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Difficulty eating, drinking and speaking
  • Loss of movement in the facial muscles
  • Neuropathic pain in areas connected to the damaged nerve
  • Numbness in the face, jaw, cheeks, tongue, or gums

Effective medical care for a facial nerve injury will depend on the cause of the condition and the nature of the symptoms. If the symptoms do not respond to medication or last longer than expected, a specialist may recommend surgical intervention to restore the function of the facial nerves.

How is a Facial Nerve Disorder Diagnosed?

A clinical exam for facial nerve damage must include a full otoscopy and neurological assessment. Physicians should examine the patient for a possible fracture of the basal skull and check for any evidence suggestive of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak, blood otorrhea, and hemotympanum. A functional assessment of the facial nerve should also be conducted with the use of the House-Brackmann scale:

  • Grade I: Normal function
  • Grade II: Mild dysfunction with slight weakness in the smile
  • Grade III: Good movement of the forehead, complete eye closure, and normal symmetry at rest
  • Grade IV: Disfiguring and obvious asymmetry, severe synkinesis, and incomplete eye closure
  • Grade V: Motion that is barely perceived and absent synkinesis
  • Grade VI: No movement (complete paralysis)

To determine the extent of facial nerve damage or involvement, a physician may also order other tests such as computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), bloodwork, and electromyography (EMG).

How is Facial Nerve Damage Treated?

The symptoms of a facial nerve disorder are treated as needed. A doctor may recommend analgesics for pain management, antiviral medicine, steroids to decrease inflammation, and physical therapy for facial nerve stimulation.

Alternative therapies in the treatment of facial nerve damage may also be explored by patients, such as acupuncture, biofeedback training, and electrical stimulation. Facial nerve repair and facial nerve decompression are the main surgical therapies that surgeons may recommend for acute facial paralysis cases. For cases classified as chronic, treatment may include free or regional muscle transfer.

What are the Consequences of Facial Paralysis?

A facial nerve disorder may have adverse effects on a patient’s physical and emotional well-being due to the significant disfigurement this medical condition may cause. A patient presenting with facial paralysis may suffer from a diminished quality of life, emotional distress, identity disturbance, depression, and impaired social interactions, particularly in female patients.

What Types of Damages are Available in a Personal Injury Case for an Accident?

When a person has suffered traumatic injuries such as a facial nerve disorder in a crash, they may be eligible for financial compensation. An experienced facial nerve damage lawyer may evaluate the extent of accident-related injuries and help seek economic and non-economic damages, including:

  • Medical Expenses: Costs of medical care should not put a hole in your wallet, especially if these expenses were incurred because of an accident-related injury such as facial nerve damage. An injured party may be entitled to recovery of medical care costs for the treatment of injuries, disfigurement, and scarring.
  • Lost Wages: Getting injured in a collision may require time off work to recover and attend medical appointments. It may be stressful to lose out on expected earnings, let alone deal with mounting medical expenses. That is why California law allows claimants to recover lost wages and loss of future earnings in accident cases.
  • Disfigurement: Facial trauma may involve disfigurement that may have profound emotional consequences. Patients may experience a loss of occupational function and suffer from social withdrawal. The field of facial nerve disorders requires the expertise of cosmetic surgeons to apply a wide array of aesthetic and reconstructive approaches to optimize patient outcomes. A personal injury lawsuit must address the psychological toll that disfigurement from facial nerve damage may have on an injured party and the need for reconstructive surgery.
  • Pain and Suffering: This type of damage encompasses the emotional suffering and physical pain an injured party has suffered as a result of an accident. The value of this non-economic damage differs from case to case.
  • Out-of-Pocket Expenses: A catastrophic accident has the potential to leave an injured party with impairments that may require out-of-pocket expenses. This may include in-home care and renovations to the home to accommodate a permanent injury or disability sustained in a crash. It may be challenging for family members to provide a loved one with the care they need. That is why California law provides injured parties a way of recovering such losses through a civil case.

A personal injury lawyer should always be contacted if serious injuries have been suffered in an accident caused by another party or entity and have been found to have a lasting effect on one’s ability to enjoy life and work. When facing life-changing injuries such as facial nerve damage, any insurance settlement or jury award received should consider future costs of medical treatment and loss of future earning capacity. The only way to make this possible is to retain legal counsel to advocate on your behalf. Watch this video on how to find the best facial nerve damage attorney in your area.

Is an Expert Witness Necessary in an Accident Case?

In a personal injury case for facial nerve damage, a demand should be made for an amount that reflects the extent of accident-related injuries and losses. While we would expect the insurance company to do what is right, that does not always happen in all cases. It is not uncommon for an insurer to dispute liability and claim that injuries were pre-existing conditions and unrelated to the crash. These are just some of the many defense tactics insurance carriers may use to get out of making a payout on a bodily injury claim.

When a level of speculation involving liability for the incident that resulted in traumatic injuries, an accident attorney may work with an expert witness to provide assistance on matters of proof. They may help establish various elements in a personal injury claim with the specialized knowledge they bring to the table. This may include an accident reconstruction expert who can use their background in physics and other relevant fields to determine the sequence of events leading up to the crash and establish the link between the incident and resulting injuries. Conversely, an injury lawyer may also retain the services of an expert to evaluate medical records and support a claim for costs of future treatment.

Is There a Time Limit on Personal Injury Lawsuits in California?

An independent investigation of an accident, identifying at-fault parties, and negotiating with insurers with regard to settlement amount all require substantial time and effort. In some situations, the full nature of traumatic injuries may not present themselves immediately. Under the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1, a claimant has two years from the date of an accident to file a lawsuit in civil court. Requesting a free consultation with an experienced attorney may help ensure that there is enough time to investigate the incident and file a lawsuit.

Contact a Facial Nerve Damage Attorney Today

Reaching out to our attorneys following an accident is essential to protecting your right to fair compensation and receiving the free, friendly case advice you need. When you turn to us for assistance, you do not have to worry about any upfront fees as we handle personal injury cases under a contingency fee arrangement. This means that we do not get paid unless we recover fair compensation on your behalf.

From the moment you call us, it is our goal to obtain the best outcome possible in your facial nerve damage case. Contact us today to get started and schedule a free consultation with one of our injury lawyers at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400. We represent clients in the Sacramento area and throughout California.

Photograph Source: By "Sasint" via Pixabay

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