Can a Slip and Fall Cause Sciatica?

Can a Slip and Fall Cause Sciatica?

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Can a Slip and Fall Cause Sciatica?

Slip and fall accidents are the starting cause of many painful conditions, including sciatica. This malady originates from irritation or injury to the sciatic nerve, which stems from your rump area. The sciatic nerve is the largest and longest nerve within the body and has five nerve roots that can impact areas from the lumbar region of your back down to your toes.
Although authentic injury to the sciatic nerve (commonly referred to as sciatica) is uncommon, the term generally describes pain that starts in the lower back and radiates down either leg. The pain, numbness, or weakness you feel is usually related to irritation, inflammation, or pinching of a nerve in your lower back.
When you slip and fall, it's common for the impact to cause a disc in your back to become herniated, and the result can be a pinched nerve which may produce sciatic pain and discomfort. If you believe your sciatic condition is related to your slip and fall accident, Morgan and Morgan may be able to help. Our slip-and-fall lawyers understand how important it is for you to get the medical care you need to treat this condition and the financial compensation you deserve for an injury caused by the negligence of others.
For more information about your slip and fall case, you can contact Morgan & Morgan today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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  • What Are the Symptoms of Sciatica?

    People that have sciatica describe the pain differently, which may be connected to the cause of the issue. Some who suffer from sciatica describe the pain as shooting sharp jolts of pain, while others describe it as a stabbing, burning, or electric sensation. Still, others may feel a pins and needles sensation in their legs, feet, and toes. Some people may have a combination of sensitivities.
    The pain may be steady, or it may fluctuate. Sometimes it's there, and sometimes it's not. Most people experience more pain in their leg area compared to their lower back, and it may worsen upon sitting or standing for long periods or when standing up or twisting the upper torso. Even a forced sudden move like coughing or sneezing can cause the pain to ignite.
    Typically sciatica will impact one leg, but it's possible for both legs to be affected. The location of the pinched nerve along the spinal column determines this. In the case of sciatica brought on by a slip and fall, you'll usually notice the pain immediately, although contributing factors can make it come on gradually.

  • What Are The Risk Factors For Developing Sciatica?

    A number of risk factors make it more likely to develop sciatica, which is a widespread complaint. In fact, about 40% of us will develop sciatica at some point in our life. However, injuries like those that occur in slip and fall are common catalysts. Here are the main risk factors for sciatica:

    • Sustaining an injury to the lower back or spine
    • Normal aging
    • Being overweight
    • Lacking a strong "core" (the muscles of your torso)
    • Having a physically demanding job
    • Lacking proper posture while weight training
    • Having diabetes
    • Having osteoarthritis
    • Having diabetes
    • Leading a sedentary lifestyle
    • Smoking
  • What Are the Leading Causes of Sciatica?

    While risk factors contribute to developing sciatica, there are actual medical conditions that are the root cause and may require medical intervention to treat. Here are the main causes of sciatica:
    Herniated or slipped discs - Discs are gel-like cushions in between the vertebrae of your spine. If you experience a violent impact or jolt, the pressure in your spine may cause a disc to push through (or herniate) outside of the spinal column, causing pressure on the sciatic nerve.
    Degenerative disc disease - This condition is the natural degeneration of discs between the spine and vertebrae. When the discs shrink, they become shorter, narrowing the nerve passageways. This causes another condition known as spinal stenosis, which can lead to pinched sciatic nerve roots that escape the spine.
    Spondylolisthesis - This condition describes an event where one vertebra slips out of line with the one above it and narrows the exit way for the sciatic nerve, causing it to be "pinched."
    Osteoarthritis - As we age, bone spurs can form in the spine and compress nerves in the lower back.
    Trauma - A violent impact or bump to the lumbar spine or sciatic nerve can result in a sciatic condition.
    Tumors - A tumorous growth can compress the sciatic nerve.
    Piriformis syndrome - This condition results in spasms or tightening of the small piriformis muscle located in the buttocks and can create pressure or irritate the sciatic nerve.
    Cauda equina syndrome - This syndrome is uncommon and affects a bundle of nerves called the cauda equina located at the end of the spinal cord. It can cause sufferers to experience pain down the leg, numbness, and bowel and bladder issues.
    While some of the medical explanations for sciatica may suggest it occurs by happenstance or is age-related, that doesn't mean that a serious slip-and-fall accident couldn't initiate, aggravate, worsen, or accelerate the development.  

  • How Do You Know if You've Damaged Your Sciatic Nerve?

    Only a doctor can give you an accurate diagnosis. We always recommend that our clients visit their healthcare provider after a slip and fall accident because you never know how much damage it could have caused. Another reason is that without medical evidence, it's extremely difficult to convince an insurance carrier to pay for treatment, pain and suffering, and other losses from your fall.
    Your doctor will perform a physical exam that may involve tests to determine mobility, strength, and flexibility and to pinpoint where the pain originates. They may also order imaging and other diagnostic tests such as:

    • Spinal X-rays
    • Magnetic reasoning imagings (MRIs)
    • Computed tomography scans (CTs)
    • Electromyography studies
    • Myelograms
  • How Long Does Sciatica Last After a Fall?

    In many cases, the pain from sciatica will go away on its own with self-care treatments like stretching, hot and cold compresses, and over-the-counter pain relief. However, everyone's pain threshold is different, and you shouldn't hesitate to visit your doctor for their opinion. You should always seek out medical care if the pain is unbearable, you have muscle weakness or numbness, loss of bowel or bladder control, or immediate severe pain after some trauma, such as a slip and fall.
    Generally, if you're in pain for more than six weeks, your doctor may recommend more aggressive treatment. Your doctor may prescribe medications, physical therapy, spinal injections, chiropractic care, or acupuncture. Surgery may be an option in cases that don't respond to less invasive treatment.

  • When Should Surgery Be Considered for Sciatica Relief?

    Surgery is a last resort when your sciatic condition has not improved, even after stretching and medication. Another reason to consider surgery is if the pain is progressing, you have significant weakness in your lower body, or you have lost control of bladder or bowel functions. Generally, your doctor won't consider surgery until symptoms have not improved for more than a year. In cases where the pain is intense and ongoing, and you're unable to stand or work and have been admitted to a hospital, the timeframe for surgical intervention may be shortened.
    While surgery introduces serious health risks, it is a substantial factor in how much your claim could be worth if you're able to prove that negligence from another party is the reason for your slip and fall accident. Of course, establishing that the sciatic condition is linked to the slip and fall accident would be required.

  • How Can I Link My Sciatica to a Slip-and-Fall Accident?

    In an insurance claim, you need considerable evidence and proof that negligence played a part in your accident, leading to your injuries. The accident must have occurred on someone else's property to win an insurance claim for a slip and fall. Slip and fall cases are linked to an area of law called premises liability. This is a legal doctrine that property owners are responsible for maintaining safe conditions on their property and are liable to pay for damages should someone sustain an injury due to their negligence.
    If the accident which caused your sciatica transpired on someone else's property, there must have been some dangerous condition resulting in your slip and fall. Furthermore, the hazardous situation must have been known to the property owner, (or they should have reasonably known) and they did not warn you or try to repair the hazard.
    Since sciatica and other back pain are so common, especially as we age, it can be difficult to link the two even with medical proof. For instance, if you are an older adult, are overweight, pregnant, or have any pre-existing back issues, the insurance company will argue that the matter is naturally occurring. However, if you're young, it will be more difficult for them to use naturally occurring degeneration as a defense. Another significant point of contention is if you had sciatica symptoms before the fall.
    Generally, we'll need to gather evidence that proves that your condition occurred post-trauma (or after the slip and fall accident.) Another option is to show that the accident aggravated or worsened the pain. Again, this can only be documented by medical evidence, which likely can only be verified by tests your doctor will perform.

  • What Is the Average Payout for Sciatica?

    How much your claim is worth is always a good question. At Morgan and Morgan, we always try to get the maximum amount possible for our clients, but a variety of considerations always determine the amount. Typically, the most consequential details are the injury's severity and how much it impacts your life. For example, if your sciatic pain is intense and you're forced to miss work or be hospitalized, this would affect the value of your claim since it involves medical expenses and lost wages.
    Here is how our slip and fall lawyers generally calculate the extent of damages to include in an insurance claim:

    • The cost of all necessary and reasonable medical care, both past, current, and in the future
    • Lost income, past, present, and future
    • Any long-term sciatic nerve damage
    • How your sciatica affects the quality of your life
    • The degree of your pain and suffering

    Other factors are where you live, the insurance policy limits, and your status on the other party's property at the time of your accident. Your status may matter because some states have varying laws about when a lawsuit is permissible. For example, if you're visiting a restaurant to eat, you would be considered an invitee, and a slip-and-fall lawsuit would be acceptable. If you suffered a slip and fall somewhere on the back forty of your neighbor's property while you were taking a shortcut, you might be considered a trespasser. In this case, the neighbor would likely not be liable because you were neither invited nor were they aware of your presence.

  • Contact Morgan and Morgan

    Sciatic pain can have a tremendous impact on your life. It can be incredibly frustrating when this condition is brought about by the negligent actions of a property owner who failed to maintain a safe premise. However, negligent parties can be held accountable with the proper evidence and solid legal representation. Our slip-and-fall lawyers have extensive experience in winning slip-and-fall cases. You can take advantage of our legal expertise and years of accrued knowledge with these complex cases. You only pay for our services if we recover compensation.
    Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

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