Getting Compensation for Facial Nerve Damage

by Staff | December 20th, 2021

Facial nerve damage is a serious problem that can lead to disfigurement. If you’ve suffered facial nerve damage, it’s important to understand how much compensation you may get from the person or party responsible for your injury.

Many factors need consideration when calculating the total cost of compensation associated with facial nerve injury claims. These could include medical expenses, lost wages, and compensation for any pain and suffering caused by this injury.

What Causes Facial Nerve Damage?

Several factors can damage or injure your facial nerves.

  • Car accidents
  • Falls
  • Head trauma
  • Birth trauma for babies with the usage of forceps or during a difficult childbirth
  • Medical and surgical errors involving the delicate parts of the face

Sometimes, damaged facial nerves may regain function following an auto accident or partial laceration. However, with severe nerve damage, it may be impossible to restore facial muscle function.

Factors in Determining Compensation for Facial Nerve Damage

There are three primary factors in determining compensation for facial nerve damage. Based on these areas, an attorney can advise you on how much your case may be worth.

●     The severity of the injury

It is necessary to see a doctor for a diagnosis of facial nerve damage. This may entail diagnosing facial trauma or testing the facial nerves. The doctor can examine your face and check the symmetry of the muscles of the facial expression. They may require you to show how high you can raise your eyebrows, smile, close your eyes, and wrinkle your nose during your appointment.

CT and MRI imaging can pinpoint the site of an injury. The Seddon and Sunderland Classification can help the doctor label the five degrees of injury. It is almost always possible to recover from a first-degree injury, whereas a fifth-degree injury has little chance of recovery.

Doctors can measure a muscle’s responsiveness with electrical tests from electromyography or EMG tests. They can also use electroneuronography or ENoG when they apply skin electrodes on either side of your face. These electrodes send electrical pulses to measure the health of your facial nerves. If the muscle function is less than 10%, surgical compression may be necessary.

●     Medications and physical therapy

With the right medications and physical therapy, most facial nerve damage goes away within 2 to 4 weeks, and complete recovery can occur within 6 months. Your doctor may prescribe oral steroids to reduce swelling. Antiviral medications can also fight infections caused by inflammation in the facial nerve. If you cannot blink because of facial nerve damage, eye drops can help relieve dry eye symptoms.

A physical therapist can help people regain the ability to move their facial muscles with slow, small movements. According to one study, this therapy can be used with other treatments administered by a doctor, such as targeted botulinum toxin injections.

●     Surgical costs

If medical treatments are not enough to help with facial nerve damage, your doctor may require you to undergo one of these surgical procedures:

  • Decompression: This is performed to relieve the nerve compressed by a skull fracture, blood clot, or swelling. It involves drilling the bone canal surrounding the facial nerve to expose the nerve. After that, the surgeon cuts the sheath of the facial nerve to ease the pressure caused by blood clots or swelling.
  • End to end anastomosis: The doctor will sew the two ends together when a person’s facial nerve is cut. This surgery is only performed when they are millimeters apart.
  • Nerve grafts or cable grafts: A nerve graft can be performed if an end-to-end anastomosis isn’t possible because of the severity of the cut in the facial nerve. This procedure requires grafting a nerve from the thigh or the lower leg.
  • Plastic surgery operations: These are typically used in situations of facial nerve injury that have been present for a long time. Some people who have long-term facial nerve damage may require facelift surgery or muscle transfers. These procedures improve facial mobility and symmetry.

Get Compensation for Your Facial Nerve Injury

Depending on the severity of the injuries you sustained and the impact on your job and daily routine, your personal injury claim may be worth a lot of money. During your recovery from your operation, you may have lost income due to time off work. You may also experience non-quantifiable challenges like pain and suffering due to a long recovery from your facial nerve injury.

If you or a loved one are suffering from a facial nerve injury because of an accident that wasn’t your fault, your San Francisco personal injury lawyers at Berg Injury Lawyers can help you. We can estimate the costs of your ongoing medical care and loss of wages to determine compensation. Call us today to schedule your confidential, free consultation and find out how you can move forward with recovery from your injury.