The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body. Branching out from the back down each leg, it controls feeling in both legs; and, when it gets compressed or damaged, this can result in severe pain known as sciatica.
Sciatica has many potential causes, one of which is a traumatic injury. Most often, accident victims develop sciatica as a result of an injury to the lower back, such as a ruptured or herniated disk, a pelvic fracture, or a bone spur that compresses or impinges the sciatic nerve. These types of injuries are particularly common in car accidents, and car accident victims who receive a timely and accurate diagnosis will often be entitled to significant financial compensation for their medical expenses, severe pain and suffering, and other losses.
How is Sciatica Diagnosed?
Since many types of traumatic injuries can cause lower back and leg pain, accurately diagnosing an accident victim’s condition as sciatica requires a thorough clinical evaluation, and an X-ray, MRI, CT scan, or EMG scan may be necessary in order to identify the specific cause and location of the injury to the lower back. Symptoms that can indicate a potential sciatica diagnosis include:
- Pain radiating from the lower spine down the back of one or both legs (though usually only one leg is affected);
- Pain that can either be described as a mild ache or a burning sensation;
- Pain that worsens with coughing, sneezing, or sitting for extended periods of time;
- Numbness or tingling in the affected leg or legs;
- Weakness in the affected leg or legs;
- Loss of bowel and bladder control; and,
- A feeling similar to an electric shock in the leg.
What are the Treatment Options for Sciatica Resulting from a Car Accident?
The treatment options for sciatica resulting from a car accident vary depending on the nature and severity of the lower back injury that is responsible for causing the condition as well as the extent of the accident victim’s pain. While “mild” sciatica pain may go away over time without medical intervention, individuals with severe lower back injuries may need surgery in order to relieve the pressure on their sciatic nerve, and various other forms of treatment may be recommended as well. With this in mind, potential treatment options for cases of sciatica resulting from traumatic accident-related injuries can include:
- Anti-inflammatory medications and muscle relaxers
- Corticosteroid injections
- Physical therapy
- Lower back surgery
Of course, none of these options are cheap, and the costs of recovering from sciatica can far exceed what many car accident victims can afford. As a result, when facing the prospect of recovering from sciatica with medical intervention, it is important to speak with an attorney to find out if you may be entitled to financial compensation.
When Can a Car Accident Victim Recover Financial Compensation for Sciatica?
Like all other types of traumatic injuries and related medical conditions, individuals who are diagnosed with sciatica following serious vehicle collisions are entitled to seek fault-based compensation. If your accident was the result of another driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to full financial compensation for your medical expenses, pain, suffering, inability to work, and other losses. Common forms of negligence involved in serious car accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs
- Speeding, weaving, tailgating, and other forms of reckless and aggressive driving
- Running red lights, stop signs, and yield signs
- Driving while fatigued or falling asleep behind the wheel
Discuss Your Claim with Our Car Accident Attorneys
Our Los Angeles car accident attorneys have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for car accident victims and their families. In order to determine if you have a claim, we will need to conduct an investigation as soon as possible. Our attorneys are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so call us at 818-530-1300 or tell us how to reach you online now.