Do You Have Sciatica or Nerve Damage After a Car Accident?
Our Jacksonville attorneys will fight for full compensation
A car accident happens at a single moment in time, but the effects of the crash on your body can linger for a long time afterward. Some of the most life-altering injuries sustained in car accidents are nerve injuries. Nerve damage can cause pain, numbness, and temporary or permanent disability, and the long-term cost of those effects can be substantial.
That’s why you need an experienced car accident attorney on your side. The Law Firm of Pajcic & Pajcic in Jacksonville, Florida has a proven track record of results for people who sustained nerve damage in car accidents. If you’ve been injured, contact us today for a free, confidential consultation.
What is sciatica?
The sciatic nerve, the largest nerve in the body, connects the spinal cord with the thigh, leg, and foot. It starts in the lower back and branches through the buttocks, hips, and down each leg. Sciatica is not a specific injury, but rather a symptom: pain that radiates down the path of the sciatic nerve, from the low back down to the back of the thigh and calf, usually affecting one side of the body.
You may have sciatica if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- A tingling sensation that runs from the lower back down the back of the leg.
- Weakness or numbness in one leg.
- Low back pain that radiates down the buttocks and the thigh – usually, the pain is worse in the leg area than in the lower back.
- Pain or discomfort when sitting.
Usually, the cause of sciatica is pressure on the sciatic nerve (often called a pinched nerve), although the nerve can also be damaged directly by certain medical conditions.
Can a car accident cause sciatica?
Any traumatic accident can cause sciatica, and car accidents are no exception. Injuries to the lower back sustained in a car accident can cause a pinched nerve. For instance, a car crash can cause a herniated disc, and depending on the location of the herniation, this can put pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Car accidents can also cause fractures (broken bones) in the lower back. If a bone fragment gets loose, it can pinch the sciatic nerve. Other types of back and leg injuries can also cause swelling or inflammation that pinches the sciatic nerve.
Sciatic nerve damage can happen to anyone involved in a car accident, but the risk is higher for people with certain underlying medical conditions like spinal stenosis. Unfortunately, some people are at elevated risk and don’t even know it – the underlying condition may not have any symptoms until it’s aggravated by a car crash.
Other types of nerve damage from car accidents
Another nerve that is commonly affected by car accidents is the ulnar nerve (commonly called the “funny bone”), one of the three main nerves in the arm. Unlike most other major nerves in the body, the ulnar nerve is not well protected by surrounding muscles and bones, so it’s quite susceptible to injury, especially in the elbow area. Car accidents can cause a pinched ulnar nerve if the shoulder, humerus (upper arm bone), elbow, or forearm is fractured or dislocated.
Some of the symptoms of an ulnar nerve injury from a car accident can include:
- Numbness or tingling while performing activities that require repetitive motion of the fingers or hands, such as typing, writing, or drawing.
- Reduced strength, burning sensation, or “pins and needles” in the fingers, hand, or forearm.
- Swelling in the elbow area.
Car accidents can cause many other types of nerve damage as well, including damage to the spinal nerves, sensory nerves, and digital nerves. Depending on the nature and extent of the damage, nerve damage can cause permanent paralysis and disability. For example, damage to the nerves in the upper arm (often called “biker’s arm,” but it’s not exclusive to bikers) can cause permanent partial paralysis or total loss of use of the arm. Damage to the nerves in the brain or spinal cord can cause permanent paralysis or disability. The long-term cost of such injuries can be substantial, especially if they affect your ability to work or do the things you love. That’s where a car accident lawyer can make a meaningful difference in such situations.
What’s the value of a nerve damage settlement from a car accident?
There’s no single average settlement or verdict for nerve damage, as every case is unique. But the potential cost of a nerve injury can easily be in the hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. Some of the costs that should be included in your settlement include:
- Medical expenses, ranging from emergency treatment to long-term care.
- Lost wages, if your nerve damage affects your ability to work and earn an income.
- Pain and suffering, which can be quite substantial as many nerve injuries cause chronic pain.
- Modifications to your home or vehicle to accommodate a permanent disability or assistive devices such as a wheelchair.
- Replacement services if your nerve damage affects your ability to care for children, perform household chores, and so on.
Again, depending on the circumstances, the full value of a car accident nerve damage settlement can easily be in the hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. However, the insurance companies don’t always see it that way. Your injury is a threat to their bottom line, and they may offer you a “lowball” figure or try to dispute or deny your injury claim. That’s why you need the right legal representation to fight for what you rightfully deserve.