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What is Sciatica?

Colburn Law

Car accidents can lead to multiple types of injuries. Some of these injuries, such as broken bones or lacerations, are often obvious immediately after the collision. Other injuries do not appear for hours or even days after a car accident. Delayed back pain, including sciatica, is common after a motor vehicle collision.

Causes and Symptoms of Sciatica

Causes and Symptoms of Sciatica

Sciatica refers to pain that radiates from the sciatic nerve, which is located in your lower back and travels through your hips and down each leg. This pain can occur for several reasons, including a herniated disc, bone spur, or spinal stenosis, a condition that involves the narrowing of the spine. Many people develop sciatica after a car accident.

The most common symptom of sciatica is pain that radiates through your lower back and down the back of your legs. This pain can range from mild to severe, causing a sharp, burning sensation or a jolt that feels like an electric shock. Sciatica typically occurs on one side of the body, and you may experience numbness, tingling, or weakness in the affected area.

Legal Options for Sciatica Victims

If you develop sciatica after a car accident, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Washington is a fault-based accident state, which means that drivers who are responsible for causing collisions must pay for their victims’ damages. You can hold the at-fault driver accountable for your losses through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.

During the insurance process, an adjuster will investigate your collision and determine who is responsible. If the company finds the other driver responsible, the adjuster will provide you with a settlement offer. You can choose to accept or decline the offer at this stage.

During the lawsuit process, you will need to provide enough evidence to satisfy four key elements.

  • The driver owed you a duty of care. All drivers have a duty to drive safely and follow traffic laws.
  • The driver breached his or her duty of care in some way, such as running a red light or speeding.
  • The driver’s breach of duty caused your accident.
  • You sustained damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage, that you can collect in your lawsuit.

How to Protect Your Rights After a Washington Car Accident

Although the car accident claims process may seem straightforward, it becomes very complex if you have delayed back pain. If you tell the other driver that you are not hurt or fail to seek medical attention, the insurance company may use this information as a reason to deny or reduce your claim. You may also make a statement to the insurance company about your injuries—or lack thereof—that turns out to be incorrect later on. In this situation, the company could use your conflicting statements against you, or you may accept a lower settlement than you actually need to recover.

Your actions immediately after the accident are very important. To protect your right to compensation, take the following steps.

  • Call 911 and report the accident to law enforcement.
  • Seek medical attention, even if you do not feel hurt.
  • Exchange contact information with the other driver and keep your interaction brief.
  • Ask any witnesses for their contact information.
  • Take pictures of the accident, your injuries, and the area around the scene.
  • Do not speak to an insurance representative until you speak to a lawyer.

A Seattle car accident lawyer can represent you in your sciatica accident claim and protect your right to recovery. Contact us as soon as possible to discuss your next steps.