The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the human body. It runs from the spinal cord to the hips and buttocks and travels to each leg. When the sciatic nerve is injured or damaged, this damage is referred to as sciatica.
The damage causes pain throughout the entire nerve. As it is a long nerve, an individual can experience pain all the way from their spinal cord ranging down to their feet.
A damaged or injured sciatic nerve can cause:
- Weakness or numbness in the foot and/or leg
- Buttocks pain
- Lower back pain
- Tingling, also referred to as a pins and needles feeling
In addition to the symptoms listed above, a person can also experience difficulty maneuvering around or moving their leg. This can sometimes cause a hindrance when performing daily tasks or when performing work-related tasks.
If a sciatica injury is caused by another party, the injured individual can often file a personal injury claim. The specific legal theory used to obtain money from the defendant depends on the facts surrounding the injury. Some common legal concepts involved in sciatica lawsuits include:
- Negligence: a person’s unintentional acts resulted in a sciatica injury to another
- Battery: a person’s intentional act caused the injury
- Product defect: the injury was caused by a defective product (such as a chair that collapsed due to a manufacturing defect)
What a plaintiff must prove to win their lawsuit depends on the legal theory that they are suing under. For example, if the cause of the sciatica injury was negligence, the plaintiff must prove the defendant: owed a duty of care to them; that they breached this duty; and that the breach was the cause of measurable damages.
A common example of this is in a car accident. In such cases, the defendant usually owes a duty of care to other drivers to drive safely and follow road rules.
If they breach their duty to drive safely (such as speeding), and their conduct causes an accident and results in an injury, they may be held liable for the injuries, including any sciatica injuries.
An individual injured at work may typically file a claim for workers’ compensation through their company. Workers’ compensation is a state-mandated insurance program to compensate employees who sustain a workplace injury.
Eligibility requirements for workers’ compensation are rigid. For instance, the person filing the claim must be an actual employee, not an independent contractor, and their injury must have been incurred while working.
It is in your best interests in contact a personal injury attorney about your sciatica injury. An attorney will explain your legal rights and which type of claim you can file. Your attorney can also provide guidance throughout the course of the lawsuit.