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Sciatica is a type of nerve pain that my team and I repeatedly hear about from our auto accident clients. It is also known as lumbar radiculopathy. Below, I outline this condition, what causes it, treatment options, and similar conditions.

sciatica car accident

What is sciatica?

Sciatica is pain that runs down the back of the leg. It is named after the sciatic nerve, a nerve that originates in the lower lumbar spine and then travels down the back of both legs. Sciatica pain is felt all along this nerve, from the lower back, to the pelvis, hips, and buttock, and to the thighs.

This pain is usually described as shooting jolts of pain, and sometimes as a burning pain. Sitting or standing in one place for a long time or certain movements, such as twisting, may cause more severe pain.

What causes sciatica?

Car accidents commonly cause nerve damage because the sudden stop or change in direction causes injuries to the spine. These injuries are often minor enough that they don’t immediately seem problematic, but they may result in nerve pain that can last for months or years in severe cases.

Sciatica after a car accident may be a symptom of one of the conditions described below.

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Car collisions can be terrifying, stressful events and cause both personal injury and property damage.  There are 16,000,000 car accidents (no typo there) a year in this country.  There are more than 4.5 million automobile accidents that resulted in property damage and 1.7 million crashes that resulted in personal injuries.

It is amazing how much we are doing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and yet we don’t take the simplest steps to we could to prevent car accident deaths (although that may be an unfair comparison).

The sheer number of collisions, the varying results, and complex outcomes all contribute to many misconceptions about car accidents. What’s important to remember is that if you suffered an injury as the result of a car collision, you should contact a personal injury attorney.  It can be us at Miller & Zois or another attorney.  But if you have been hurt, you should be talking to someone to make sure you understand your rights and options. (You know, we will make this the last misconception.)

Traumatic brain injuries can occur in car accidents in a number of different ways. For example, the head may collide with the airbag or be pierced by a projectile. It is possible for other bodily injuries to lead to brain damage, such as a broken trachea that deprives the brain of oxygen. This article discusses the different mechanisms of brain injury in car accidents and their effects on the brain.

Coup-contrecoup Injury

Coup-contrecoup is a term used to describe a particular mechanism of brain injury in whiplash and similar traumatic scenarios. When the head whips back and forth and/or collides with an object, the brain moves inside the skull. This causes the brain to collide with the skull.

Our motorcycle accidents see a lot of cases involving lane splitting. Let’s talk about what lane splitting is and what the Maryland law is on this subject.

What is Lane Splitting?

Lane splitting is a term used to describe when motorcycles drive on the lines between lanes, allowing them to pass cars by going in between them. Related to lane splitting is lane filtering. This is when motorcyclists move up between cars stopped at a stoplight.

Maryland Laws on Motorcycle Lane Splitting

Most of us have experienced some neck pain or lower back pain in our lives. As a personal injury lawyer who handles car accident cases, I see these complaints all the time. Car accidents exert extreme forces on the human body, particularly the spine

The neck and lower back are two areas that are commonly injured in accidents because of car crash mechanics. The vertebrae in the neck are called the cervical vertebrae and those in the lower back are called the lumbar vertebrae.

As the car comes to a sudden stop, the body lurches forward and is caught by the seat belt, causing the neck to whip quickly. This is what is commonly known as whiplash

The last clear chance doctrine is a frequently litigated and extremely confusing exception to Maryland’s contributory negligence law.  Even the names are confusing.  The doctrine has also been called the doctrine of discovered peril,  supervening negligence, subsequent negligence, and the aptly named humanitarian doctrine.  The most common incorrect assumption is that it is a defense to the case. In fact, the opposite is true.

What Is the Doctrine of Last Clear Chance?

The gist of the doctrine is that even if the plaintiff contributed to her own injury, her lawsuit will not be barred if the defendant had a clear opportunity after the plaintiff had put herself peril, to avoid the injury by the exercise of ordinary care. Another way to frame this same idea is that 'if the defendant has the last clear opportunity to avoid the harm, the plaintiff's negligence is not a 'proximate cause' of the result" (Prosser, Law of Torts § 66).

So the way this works, at least in Maryland, is that the jury can find contributory negligence but still award damages if it found that the defendant blew a last clear chance to avoid the accident.

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You get in an accident. The other driver’s insurance company denies the claim.  Your question is: what do I do if my car insurance claim is denied?

Insurance companies deny car accident claims for good reasons and bad.  The reality is insurance companies make money by taking premiums and not paying out claims.  So their default thinking is finding a reason to deny a claim.  Is this bad faith?  Maybe.  But you really don’t care.  You just want to get compensated.  The important thing to remember is this is why we have car accident lawyers and a civil justice system.

What are some reasons insurance companies deny car accident claims?

A recent study conducted by the Highway Loss Data Institute found that collision avoidance systems installed on 2013-2017 BMW models showed claim rate reductions in collisions, property damage, and injuries. This shows that this technology has the potential to reduce auto collision and injury rates.

As we are seeing with the coronavirus, fewer accidents don’t only save precious lives. There is less of a toll on our hospitals and, yes, our insurance companies that that can help reduce health care and insurance costs.  So anything that comes along that can move us to a safer future is a very good thing for all of us.

What are collision avoidance systems?

In the context of auto accident insurance claims, the acronym SIU refers to “Special Investigation Unit.” All the big auto insurance companies have an SIU of some type. The primary purpose of these investigation teams is to uncover fraudulent claims activity in auto accident cases.

special investigation unitInsurance companies seem to think that auto accident claim fraud is widespread and pervasive. I disagree with this view as to how prevalent claims fraud is. However, there is no dispute that many car accident claimants either exaggerate their injuries or even make them up entirely.

What is an SIU?

In the world of insurance injury claims, “SIU” means “Special Investigation Unit.” Almost all insurance companies have special investigation units (SIUs), although the actual name of the unit may vary depending on the insurer. The core purpose of SIUs is to root out fraudulent injury claims. The SIUs seek to determine whether victims in car accident cases are exaggerating the scope of their injuries, getting unnecessary medical treatment to try to increase the value of their case, or even staging the car accident. As GEICO explains, the goal of an SIU is “to detect, deter, and defeat insurance fraud.”

As I’ve written before, we spend a lot of energy trying to track down defendants. Not in most cases. But when our lawyers can’t find someone with relative ease, it can be a big hassle. In 2020, people are moving more quickly and leave fewer tracks when they move.

Accurint

One effective weapon we have used over the years is Accurint which provides access to over 34 billion current public records that you can utilize to find your man or woman.