I have been offered $10,000 as compensation for nerve damage from my employer’s insurance company after suffering a serious electric shock on faulty machinery at work. Should I accept this offer?

It would be unwise to accept any offer of compensation for nerve damage without first seeking legal advice from a personal injury lawyer. When an insurance company offers compensation for an injury it is for a full and final settlement. After accepting an offer of compensation, no further nerve damage claim will be possible, even if new injuries or symptoms develop at a later date.

Damage to the nerves can be particularly difficult to accurately assess and even experienced doctors may not be able to tell the extent of the injury without arranging a host of medical tests. In the absence of medical facts, a lawyer would be unable to accurately calculate compensation amounts, so it would certainly be unreasonable to expect an insurance company to have calculated your maximum entitlement to compensation.

The offer of compensation for nerve damage is therefore likely to be well below your full entitlement to damages. You are also entitled to recover costs and expenses associated with the accident, and the insurance company would not be aware of how much you have spent on treatment and other costs would not have been factored into the settlement offer.

The function of the nerves is to relay signals to the brain, and any damage can affect their ability to do so. When nerves are damaged it can cause pain signals to be sent to the brain from all over the body. The pain from damaged nerves can be seriously debilitating, and since nerve injuries cannot always be corrected by surgery, you may have to face a lifetime of discomfort.

Nerve damage compensation awards must reflect the degree of pain and suffering that is likely to be caused. If you are faced with what could be a lifetime of pain and suffering, ten thousand pounds would certainly be inadequate to compensate you for this. It is therefore probable that the amount of compensation you are likely to be able to recover if you make a claim for nerve damage will be several orders of magnitude higher than the amount the insurance company has offered you.

It will therefore be in your best interests to allow a lawyer to calculate your full entitlement to nerve damage compensation. When you are aware of how much you should be entitled to claim, you can then decide whether to accept the offer and put the matter to rest, or pursue a more appropriate settlement by making a legal claim for nerve damage.