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Low back pain, sciatica, sprain strain lumbar spine

Sciatica, also known as lumbar radiculopathy, is a symptom of a problem with the sciatic nerve, the largest nerve in the body and the primary nerve of the leg. The sciatic nerve controls muscles in the back of the knee and lower leg and provides feeling to the back of the thigh, part of the lower leg, and the sole of the foot. Sciatica usually affects only one side of the lower body. Sciatica can occur suddenly or it can develop gradually. It may start in the lower back and extend down the leg to the calf, foot, or even toes. Sciatica consists of pain, weakness, tingling or numbness, which might feel like a bad cramp, or it can be excruciating, shooting pain that makes standing or sitting nearly impossible. The pain might be worse when sitting, sneezing, or coughing. For some people, the pain from sciatica can be severe and debilitating, while for others it may be infrequent and irritating, but has the potential to get worse.

Diagnostic procedures for sciatica may include a complete medical history and physical examination, x-ray, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and electromyography/nerve conduction study (EMG/NCS). The symptoms of sciatica may resemble other conditions or medical problems, so one should always consult a physician for a diagnosis.

[depiction of low back pain, burning, numbness, tingling, radiating pain, sciatica caused by low back injury]

While there are many causes of sciatica, it is most commonly caused by a herniated disk in the spine that presses on the sciatic nerve. Other causes include: a ruptured intervertebral disk, lumbar spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back), an injury such as a pelvic fracture, degenerative disc disease (breakdown of discs, which act as cushions between the vertebrae), spondylolisthesis (a condition in which one vertebra slips forward over another one), irritation of the root(s) of the lower lumbar and lumbosacral spine, and pregnancy.

Sometimes sciatica goes away on its own with time and rest. Treatment, if needed, depends on the cause of the problem and it may include exercises, medicines, and surgery to relieve pressure on the nerve. The goal of treatment is to decrease pain and increase mobility. In determining the specific treatment, a physician takes the following factors into consideration: age, overall health and medical history, extent of the disease, tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies, expectations and patient opinion and preferences.

If you develop sciatica in the work place, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney may be necessary.

If you develop low back radiating pain (aka sciatica) from a motor vehicle accident in Ohio, consult for free with an attorney at NRS Injury Law.

Back injuries are the most common injuries caused by automobile accidents and workplace trauma.  Unexpected impact from an collision, lifting, twisting, fatigue, falls and trauma are the most common causes of back injuries which account for 75% of all workers' compensation and auto accident claims.

Back injuries can be minor (mild sprains or strains) to severe and disabling (disc herniations and other disorders of the spinal column).  The more severe back injuries often become chronic and disabling for workers', flaring up with or without new trauma.  Disc herniations can be treated in a number of ways from conservative (rest and medication) to more aggressive (injections and/or surgery).  It is important to understand the signs and symptoms of disc herniations to help your doctor arrive at a diagnosis as early as possible.   Early diagnosis often leads to better results from treatment.

The back is divided into three levels. The top or the cervical level (from the base of the skull through the neck). The mid or the thoracic level (below the neck down between the shoulder blades to just above the waist), and the low or lumbar level (from the waist down to the sacrum). Significant back injuries can result in herniated discs in any of these levels. By definition a herniated disc is a rupture of the nucleus propulsus which causes irritation of the spinal nerves and applies pressure to the spinal cord.  Depending upon where a herniation occurs, the patient may experience symptoms in other parts of their bodies (i.e., referred pain).   For example, a neck injury may cause numbness, tingling, burning, or pain in the arms, hands or fingers while a low back disc herniation is likely to cause pain & symptoms through buttocks into the legs and down into the patients feet and toes.

If you suffer from any of these symptoms following a neck or back injury, it is important to report this to your doctor.  If symptoms persist your doctor should order an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or other testing to determine if a disc herniation is present. Be sure to consistently report all symptoms to your doctor from the first visit to help the doctor arrive at a diagnosis and to help your attorney prove the relationship between your auto accident or workplace trauma and the medical condition.

It may be the title of the 2014 award winner at the Sundance Film Festival, but to the hundreds of thousands of Americans who suffer a whiplash injury each year, whiplash is no Hollywood story. Whiplash can cause years of chronic pain and may be associated with other long- and short-term medical problems, including everything from blurred vision and sleep disturbances to arthritis. And according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), an organization funded by automobile insurers, the annual cost of whiplash claims is $8 billion.

Rear-end collisions often result in an acceleration-deceleration whiplash injury. When you are hit from behind, your head is thrown forward rapidly, causing the muscles, ligaments and tendons in your neck to stretch beyond their normal range. When you come to a stop, your head is thrown backward.

You should know that:

  1. Taller people and women are among the most likely to suffer whiplash injuries.
  2. Because the effects of a soft tissue (whiplash) injury are not always immediately evident, you should see a doctor as soon as possible after an accident involving your neck.
  3. Proper positioning of your head restraint can increase your protection against injury.
  4. Although not a primary law in Ohio, seatbelts are important in the prevention of violent acceleration-deceleration injuries.
  5. Whiplash may occur even in relatively low-speed collisions.

This video shows the mechanism of whiplash injuries - http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xe6cwl_auto-accident-and-whiplash_tech

Last, you should know that insurance companies fight against compensating victims of soft-tissue/whiplash injuries. An experienced auto accident lawyer from the Cleveland law office of Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg Co., L.P.A. can develop a strong case on your behalf.

While the automobile insurance companies flood the airwaves with clever commercials and catchy jingles about their low rates, accessibility, and commitment to “being there” for their customers, the reality is a much less personal, more anonymous, and an entirely bottom-line profit-maximizing business model, when it comes to claims adjusting, that far too often boils claim evaluation down to, “Don’t like it? So sue me.”

One of the most common complaints amongst our clients who have suffered injuries as the result of auto accidents is that they end up being made to feel more like a wrongdoer than a victim. This is especially common in claims like the ones on which this CNN article focuses – i.e., those accidents involving relatively minor property damage to the vehicles, but still resulting in injuries (http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/02/09/insurance.hardball/). The insurance companies know and love the popular misconception that only catastrophic or "serious" car crashes can cause real bodily harm, despite the countless cases where the impact of cars colliding (even at low rates of speed) causes damage to the people inside even when the bumpers do their job in protecting the cars (and insurers) from major damage (i.e., repair costs). For these lower impact accidents, insurance companies scoff at medical records and doctors’ opinions as to degree of injury, with insurance adjusters often relying instead upon their own “medical expertise” to determine that the resulting injuries couldn’t possibly be so severe as what the medical evidence says. In other words, the accident victim must be lying. Adjusters are trained to evaluate low impact accidents where treatment goes beyond 6-8 weeks as being medically unnecessary without any further consideration.

Insurance companies will frequently make a play to offer nominal settlement amounts to victims of their customers’ driving mistakes as soon as possible to avoid having to pay more if/when the injuries turn out to be more serious than just a bump or a scratch, which is especially common with the types of spinal injuries that often result from car accidents. And if you think that initial offer was unreasonable? Tough. An insurance company gets no benefit out of paying more or paying earlier. So the mantra becomes, "deny, delay and defend." (http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/anderson.cooper.360/blog/2007/02/insurance-companies-fight-paying.html); (http://www.cnbc.com/id/36178055).

While popular opinion seems to be unkind to those individuals who hire lawyers to pursue insurance claims and take these insurance companies to court, what other options do the insurance companies give victims in these kinds of claims? As the CNN article poses it, the position has increasingly become, “Take it or leave it...” or, perhaps more accurately, “Take it or spend time, money, and energy fighting for more.” That uphill battle for fair compensation is a tough pill to swallow for anyone who’s already suffered due to a car accident. It’s unlikely to change anytime soon, but articles like this CNN report help raise public awareness regarding what those “good hands” and “good neighbors” are really up to, aside from collecting premiums.

If you or a loved one are injured in an automobile collision and are getting this kind of run around from an insurance adjuster, call the attorneys at NRS Injury Law.

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” As the song goes, the holidays can be a wonderful time of the year for family gatherings and celebrations. At the same time, workers often feel stressed from the need to complete work related to the holidays. All too often, sleep is the first thing that is compromised, and for many occupations, sleep deprivation can be a serious hazard with severe complications. For example:

Sleep deprivation and resulting fatigue can ruin the holidays when it is not kept in check. There are things we can all do to avoid some of these circumstances. First, make sleep a high priority. Don’t take on work that you can’t handle when you are especially stressed. Further, find a way to manage your workload and that of your employees in a way that can mitigates the chances for work-related accidents. If you notice that a fellow employee is not getting enough sleep and is making mistakes, call it to the attention of a supervisor. You may be uncomfortable with interfering, but you could be saving a life or, at the very least, a serious accident.

Do what you can to stay alert. If you need to take a rest, ask someone to cover for you until you feel rested and do the same for others. Is it really worth getting in just one more hour if you are risking harm to yourself and others? While you might make extra money by working overtime, the ramifications of a serious accident can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Take care of yourself this holiday season by eating healthfully and staying hydrated. Find a way to relieve your stress, whether it’s by working out or participating in an activity you enjoy. Above all, don’t take on work that is not possible to accomplish in a reasonable time period.

This holiday season strive to achieve some balance between your work and enjoying time with your family and friends. Try to find some time to wrap up both personal and professional tasks so that you can start with a fresh slate in 2016. By staying alert amidst the holiday bustle, we can all be safer and prevent accidents on the road, at work and in the home.

The attorney at Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg wish you an enjoyable holiday season!

If you, a friend or a family member are involved in a work-related accident or suffer from an occupational disease — or even if you think that your physical or psychological ailment is work-related — speak to a worker's compensation attorney at Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg Co., L.P.A. Our attorneys have the experience you need to get the results you deserve and are entitled to by law. Call us toll-free at 1.855.GOT.HURT (1.855.468.4878) or contact us by filling out our No-Risk Consultation Form.

When Injuries Happen, Know Your Rights                         

With the holiday season just around the corner, you may think that the biggest pain point caused by shopping occurs in the area around your wallet. Yet shopping (excluding online shopping) is like any other activity that takes place in the real world—it is fraught with risks. And so while it may seem harmless to browse stores in search of the latest electronics, toys, clothing and other goods, shopping-related injuries, including slip and fall injuries, back and neck injuries and other misfortunes, occur regularly throughout the U.S. and account for thousands of personal injury claims each year.

How do shopping injuries occur?

The term "shopping injuries" is used to describe personal injuries that occur while visiting a store, shopping mall, strip center or other retail establishment. Shopping injuries often occur as a result of a store owner's failure to maintain a safe premises. They can also occur when store owners do not provide adequate warning – to shoppers and workers alike – of hazards in and around the store.

Types of shopping injuries

Many shopping-related injuries end up being minor (e.g., scratches, bruises, muscle strains). Yet more serious injuries may include broken bones, sprains, head trauma, neck injury, spinal injury, and even death. Moreover, the rate of shopping injuries tends to increase during heavy shopping seasons, such as during the holiday season (particularly Black Friday), and other holidays.

Specific shopping-related accidents typically include:

Head and body injuries – these types of injuries can occur as a result of broken or misplaced retail displays, falling objects (particularly out-of-reach objects) or other mishaps

Slip and fall injuries – these can occur as a result of wet floors, torn carpets, poorly lit lighting, and escalator malfunctions. They also can result from objects or merchandise on the ground or floor that create a slip or trip hazard

Shopping cart injuries – shopping carts may seem non-threatening. But they are rolling metal objects, and if wielded improperly or without regard for others, they can tip over, ram into unsuspecting shoppers, knock over displays and products that then become hazardous objects, or cause other mishaps inside and outside of stores.

Parking lot injuries – these types of injuries often result from broken, cracked, uneven or improperly designed parking lots. They can also result from the landlord’s failure to remove snow or ice during or after inclement weather.

Overcrowding injuries – when lots of people congregate in a small space, nerves can get frayed, the orderly flow of foot traffic gets interrupted, and accidents can happen, including in extreme cases, trampling.

How to Evaluate a Shopping-Related Personal Injury Claim

People who are injured in or around stores, shopping malls, strip centers or other commercial property can generally use Ohio’s negligence law to file personal injury claims. Our state’s premises liability laws compel store owners to exercise reasonable care in ensuring that their store's premises are reasonably safe from hazardous conditions or hidden dangers they would ascertain as having the potential to cause injury. For example, objects that have fallen from shelves or the ceiling should be removed; spills should be quickly cleaned up; broken railings and/or stairs should be fixed, light bulbs that are burned out should be replaced to provide adequate lighting; and so on. Additionally, owners are compelled to provide adequate security for their customers.

Anyone who wishes to prove in a court of law that he/she was injured as a result of a store’s negligence must prove things:

  1. The store owner possessed knowledge – or should have known – about a dangerous condition that existed on his/her property
  2. The store owner neglected to regularly inspect his/her store for dangers—or, he/she neglected to provided adequate maintenance
  3. The shopper would not have been injured if the dangerous condition had not existed on the property in question
  4. A clear connection could be drawn between the dangerous condition and the shopper's injury
  5. The shopper suffered actual damages – i.e., injury/injuries, medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, etc. – as a consequence of the dangerous condition

No Cost Evaluation

If you or a loved one have been injured while shopping on a store's premises, your rights are at stake—you need to seek immediate legal advice. At Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg Co., L.P.A., our personal injury attorneys may be able to help you pursue compensation for the pain and suffering that you have been forced to endure. The experienced personal injury lawyers at NRS are highly knowledgeable in personal injury litigation, including shopping injuries. We fight side by side with injured victims to make sure they and their families receive compensation for negligence that caused them to be hurt. We will aggressively pursue your case and work to help you obtain the medical care and compensation you need to rebuild your life.

In the event you or a loved one has suffered a shopping-related injury, contact the personal injury attorneys at NRS Injury Law by filling out our No-Risk Consultation form, or call (855) GOT-HURT and speak with one of our trained staff members.

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