Cranial Nerve Injuries Following an Auto Accident

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January 17, 2019
Edward Smith

Cranial Nerve Injuries Following an Auto Accident

One of the most significant dangers on the road is distracted driving. According to some of the statistics that have been published by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving remains a significant threat to everyone’s safety. Some of their findings include:

  • In 2016, close to 3,500 people died in accidents involving distracted driving.
  • Nearly 500,000 vehicles were operated by someone who was holding a cell phone.
  • Close to 400,000 people were injured in accidents involving distracted driving in 2016.

One of the many injuries that can occur in an auto accident involving distracted driving affects the cranial nerves.

The Role of the Cranial Nerves

The cranial nerves are fibers that come directly from the brain itself. This includes the brainstem. These nerves are different than those that come from the spinal cord. The cranial nerves help to carry signals between the brain and the rest of the body, mostly the neck. There are twelve different cranial nerves which all perform various functions. Some of these include:

  • The sense of smell carried out by the olfactory nerve
  • Sight, which is carried out by the optic nerve
  • Moving the eye, performed by the oculomotor, trochlear, and abducens nerves
  • Hearing carried out by the vestibulocochlear nerve
  • Facial movement and sensation carried out by the facial and trigeminal nerves
  • Neck movement, powered by the spinal accessory nerve
  • Tongue movement, performed by the hypoglossal nerve
  • Taste, conducted by the glossopharyngeal nerve
  • Digestion which is powered by the vagus nerve

Injuries to these nerves can cause acute symptoms.

Watch YouTube Video: The Functions of the Cranial Nerves. The video below explains all the functions of the cranial nerves.

Symptoms of Cranial Nerve Injuries

Any blow to the head can cause a traumatic brain injury. In addition to skull fractures and brain bleeds, the cranial nerves are prone to damage. Some of the symptoms of cranial nerve injuries include:

  • Difficulty maintaining balance
  • Double vision, blurry vision, and depth perception issues
  • Alterations in taste
  • Trouble with smell
  • Problems moving the eyes in specific directions
  • A decrease in the range of motion of the neck
  • An inability to shrug the shoulders
  • Numbness on certain parts of the face

These are all symptoms of cranial nerve injuries and might indicate neurological damage.

Contacting an Auto Accident Lawyer

Recovering from injuries sustained in a car accident is stressful. It is essential for everyone to ask for help. Following a motor vehicle collision, it is a good idea to speak with an experienced car accident injury attorney. An injury lawyer can provide assistance by:

  • Recreating the scene of the accident to ensure that the mechanism is correct
  • Work with insurance companies to help individuals receive the maximum benefit possible
  • Help families pursue damages related to the crash, its injuries, and emotional distress

Sacramento Car Accident Lawyers

I’m Ed Smith, a car accident injury lawyer in Sacramento. Car accidents can lead to severe injuries or even death. If you or someone you care for has been hurt in a motor vehicle collision, contact me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.

I am a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

Our past verdicts or settlements are viewable here.

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Cranial Nerve Injuries Following an Auto Accident:

Photo by: Pixabay. The image has been reproduced here with permission/ Cranial Nerve Injuries Following an Auto Accident.

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