Sciatica Caused by Car Accidents

May 25, 2022 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Sciatica Caused by Car Accidents

Car Accident Back Trauma Can Lead to Sciatica

Car accidents can often inflict severe back injuries and deal severe damage to the vertebrae that make up the spine. The discs between these vertebrae in your back work as shock absorbers, but too much trauma can lead to them becoming herniated. A herniated disc can damage the sciatic nerve and cause sciatica. Sciatica causes intense pain in the lower back and lower extremities of one side of the body. If you were involved in a car accident that caused sciatica, you could file a car accident claim with the at-fault party's insurance company. You can only file a claim if the at-fault party behaved recklessly behind the wheel and caused the accident through negligence or if they acted intentionally. A car accident lawyer can help you prove the at-fault party's liability and work with you to help you receive compensation for your damages.

What is Sciatica?

The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body and stretches from the buttocks down to the sole of the foot. It serves to connect the spinal cord to the skin and muscles of the thigh, leg, and foot.  An injury to the back or lower half of the body can cause sciatica, which refers to intense pain in the lower back and lower extremities. It's rare for the sciatic nerve to suffer a direct injury, but it can be compressed, irritated, or inflamed by injuries occurring to the lower back. Some of the injuries that can affect the sciatic nerve include herniated discs, foraminal stenosis, vertebrae dislocation, spondylolysis, and spondylolisthesis. The pain associated with sciatica typically only affects one side of the body.

Symptoms of Sciatica After a Car Accident

The following are the symptoms of sciatica caused by a car accident:
  • Severe pain stretching from the lower back down the leg
  • Numbness in your lower extremities
  • Loss of mobility
  • Stinging feeling in the lower extremities when moving
  • Loss of bladder control

How Can a Car Accident Cause Sciatica?

The most common cause of sciatica is a herniated disc, as it can lead to a pinched sciatic nerve and cause sciatica. A car accident can cause sciatica because the discs in the back can be damaged by absorbing a car accident impact.  Car accident trauma can impact the discs and cause them to rupture, be knocked out of place, or damage the tissue surrounding the discs. This can put pressure on the sciatic nerve and cause enough damage for you to feel constant back and lower extremity pain.

Diagnosis of Sciatica Following a Car Accident

If you have lower back and leg pain following a car accident, you should go to the hospital to have a doctor check you out for sciatica. Diagnosing sciatica involves a physical examination and diagnostic imaging. Your doctor will consult your medical history while examining your lower back and lower extremities to see the effect the car accident had on those areas of the body. Your physical exam will include the doctor checking your muscle strength and reflexes. They will also determine if pain arises from straightening your leg or gentle pressure applied to the lower extremities. If the physical examination and tests are not enough to prove you have sciatica, your doctor will use medical imaging tests, such as an MRI scan or a discogram. These imaging tests will give the doctor a look at the sciatic nerve and intervertebral disc to determine if damage has affected those parts of the body.

The Fallout of Sciatica and Car Accident Damages

Sciatica can lead to complications in a car accident victim's everyday life. Basic daily activities can lead to immense pain in the lower back and lower extremities, as using a body part an affected sciatic nerve runs through can lead to pain. The pain from sciatica can also make it harder to fall and stay asleep, walk, work, exercise, and use the restroom.

Economic Damages Caused by Sciatica

You may suffer from economic damages from the car accident that caused sciatica. If the sciatica is severe, you may not be able to work. Intense pain can make working a hard labor job too difficult, and your doctor may advise you to stay home. You will also have to pay for medical bills associated with your injury, including physical therapy, surgery, and medications to ease the pain.

Non-Economic Damages Caused by Sciatica

You can also suffer from non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium. Sciatica can make the enjoyment of your life challenging, as it's hard to take pleasure in your life, friends, and family when you are dealing with constant back and lower extremity pain. 

How Can a Car Accident Lawyer Recover Damages for Sciatica?

If a car accident caused damages exceeding your insurance coverage limits, you could file a car accident claim with the at-fault party's insurance company to work toward recovering damages. A car accident lawyer can help you through the claims process by handling the legal procedures you do not have the experience to take care of. A car accident lawyer can assess the car accident to determine liability and what damages you should seek. It will be up to them to prove the at-fault party's liability to put you in a position to recover compensation for the damages caused by their negligence. A car accident lawyer can also send out the demand letter, collect evidence, interview witnesses, negotiate a settlement, and represent you in court. A successful car accident claim could net you compensation to pay for medical bills associated with your sciatica. You can also recover compensation for lost wages, lost earning potential, disability costs, property damage, and pain and suffering.

Contact Dolman Law Group for Help With Your Car Accident Claim

Sciatica can cause intense pain from your lower back all the way down your leg. Living with the injury can be a challenge since so many body parts are affected by the pain. If a negligent driver caused a car accident that resulted in severe and disabling injuries like sciatica, you could file a car accident claim with the at-fault party's insurance company. At Dolman Law Group, our experienced car accident lawyers can assist you with the legal procedures of a car accident claim and help put you in the best position to receive compensation for your injuries. They will account for all of your car accident damages while negotiating with the insurance company and help you seek compensation for the medical bills associated with your sciatica. Get in touch with Dolman Law Group today for a free consultation. Call 833-55-CRASH or leave us a message on our online contact page.


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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