Many car accident victims will develop a painful condition known as sciatica. This condition manifests as pain, tingling, or burning that radiates down from the back of the thigh along the back of the upper leg. It can manifest shortly after the accident, or it can take weeks or longer to develop. But the bottom line is the same either way: car accidents can cause sciatica, and your sciatica pain should be included in your insurance claim.
How does a car accident cause sciatica?
Sciatica happens when something puts pressure on the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body, running from the spinal cord down the buttocks and the back of both legs. Its job is to connect the legs with the rest of the central nervous system and, as such, any pressure on the sciatic nerve can affect a large area.
The most common cause of pressure on the sciatic nerve is a herniated disc in the lower spine (the lumbar spine). This is when one of the discs that cushions the vertebrae is damaged and tears open, allowing the soft tissue inside to rupture out. The herniated disc can create pressure against the sciatic nerve, causing pain and tingling radiating downward.
Not every case of sciatica is related to a herniated disc. Anything that causes swelling or pressure near the sciatic nerve—usually in the lower back—can cause the condition.
Since car accidents can cause herniated discs and other back injuries, we know that they can also cause sciatica. Indeed, this condition is fairly common among accident victims who have suffered any injury to the lower back. It also affects whiplash victims in some cases.
Will insurance pay for sciatica after a car accident?
The answer is yes, it should, but be prepared for the insurance company to fight you on this. Insurance companies will try to avoid sciatica payouts in several ways:
- They may claim your sciatica is not related to the car accident, especially if it does not manifest right away.
- They may claim you already had sciatica before the accident, and therefore it’s not covered. (Note: you can still recover money if a car accident made existing sciatica worse.)
- In many cases, they will just try to settle your claim as quickly as possible. Since it can take weeks or months before a victim becomes aware that they have sciatica, that often means the victim has already signed away their rights and cannot add the sciatica to their insurance claim.
This is why it’s so important never to sign anything or accept an insurance payment until talking to a lawyer. Your lawyer can handle the insurance company while you get the full care and diagnosis you need—and help you get every penny you deserve.
Talk to an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer for Free
If you think you may have sciatica related to your accident, you should not be stuck paying for the treatment. Let us help you. We will give you a FREE consultation with some of the best lawyers in the state. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.