Sciatica is a very painful condition that can have a negative impact on many aspects of your life. If you’ve injured your back at work and been diagnosed with sciatica as a result, you could be entitled to claim compensation. Our guide on sciatica compensation claims will show you when you might be able to sue your employer for sciatica. We’ll also consider what compensation for sciatica could cover.
We can check whether you might be entitled to compensation for sciatica. Initially, we provide free legal advice after reviewing your claim in a no-obligation consultation. Then, if you wish to take legal action and your claim is suitable, a personal injury solicitor from our panel could manage your claim on a No Win, No Fee basis. Knowing that legal fees won’t be charged unless you’re compensated will usually lead to a stress-free claims process.
You can call 0800 652 1345 to discuss your case when you’re ready or read on to find out more about how sciatica compensation claims work.
What is sciatica?
Your sciatic nerve begins in the lower back and continues through your hips, buttocks and legs. Its two main purposes are to allow sensation (feeling) in your legs and to help your legs and feet to move.
Sciatica is a condition where the sciatic nerve becomes compressed, pinched, inflamed or irritated.
Symptoms of sciatica
Some of the main symptoms of sciatica include:
- Pain when bending, lifting your legs, coughing and sneezing. This can be an electric-shock type pain that travels down the leg.
- Numbness in the back or legs because signals from the brain can’t reach the affected area.
- Pins and needles (tingling). Similar to the effect of sitting on your leg for too long.
- Incontinence. This usually only occurs in severe cases of sciatica when the brain signals to the bladder are not received. It can be very distressing and embarrassing.
- Lack of muscle control or muscle weakness. This is another severe side-effect of sciatica which can be caused by nerve damage.
If you have any symptoms linked to sciatica and believe they are work-related, you should seek medical attention and inform your employer about your concerns.
What causes sciatica?
Sciatica can be caused by herniated discs in your back. This is where a soft tissue that sits between your spinal bones pushes out. This can put pressure on the sciatic nerve. Slipped discs and other back injuries that cause sciatica can be the result of an accident at work such as a fall.
Your symptoms may worsen if your role means that you:
- Sit down for extended periods i.e. at a desk.
- Stand on your feet for prolonged periods.
- Need to bend backwards.
In some cases, doctors will prescribe painkillers and suggest exercises to reduce the symptoms of sciatica. Physiotherapy may also be suggested. In more serious cases, surgery may be required or painkilling injections may be needed. The extent of your symptoms and treatment will need to be factored into any sciatica compensation claim you make.
Can I claim compensation for sciatica?
A personal injury solicitor from our panel can usually gauge whether someone might be entitled to compensation for sciatica quite quickly. Some of the things they’ll check before accepting a sciatica compensation claim include:
- Did your employer act negligently and breach their duty of care; and
- Can your sciatica diagnosis be linked to your employer’s negligence?
During your free consultation about your claim, we’ll check your chances of being compensated. You could make the claims process easier by providing proof to show why you have sciatica and why your employer is to blame. So, we’ll explain the types of proof that could help a little later on.
What can employers do to prevent back injuries and sciatica at work?
Various laws exist that place legal duties on employers to try and keep staff as safe as possible. The laws that might be relevant for sciatica compensation claims include the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) 1998.
Some of the ways they can try to prevent back injuries and sciatica include:
- Conducting risk assessments regularly.
- Training staff on how to do their job safely.
- Providing suitable chairs, desks or workstations to allow good posture while working.
- Allow staff adequate rest breaks.
- Try to reduce repetitive tasks.
If you believe your employer has caused an accident that has led to sciatica or they’ve made your existing sciatica worse, please call our team for free advice on your options.
Common workplace accidents that can cause sciatica
Sciatica isn’t a condition per se, it’s a symptom of other conditions such as slipped discs and other back injuries. As such, it’s possible to suffer from sciatica following various workplace accidents. Remember, though, you’ll only be able to claim compensation for sciatica if the accident that caused it was linked to your employer’s negligence. For example, you could claim compensation for sciatica caused by:
- Slips, trips and falls. This is a common workplace accident. If you’ve slipped or fallen because of a leak that hasn’t been fixed, a broken handrail on the stairs, a pothole in the company car park or a recently cleaned floor without warning signs, you might be entitled to compensation.
- Manual handling. Jobs that require lifting heavy objects can cause injuries to the back if they’re lifted improperly because of inadequate training and can contribute to sciatic nerve compression.
- Falls from height. Another common way of injuring your back at work is to fall from a height. Examples of when sciatica compensation claims could be linked to a fall from height include if you fell from a damaged or poorly maintained ladder. Similarly, you could claim if you fell from a raised platform because your employer failed to provide a safety harness.
If an accident at work led to your sciatica, please get in touch if you’d like to see if you could be compensated.
How much compensation for sciatica can I claim?
The amount of compensation you might receive for sciatica should account for the suffering you’ve endured and your future suffering too. As such, your personal injury solicitor will need to get a full understanding of your sciatica before calculating how much compensation you could be paid.
To do this, they’ll arrange a medical assessment with an independent specialist for you. The appointment will involve a physical examination plus a discussion about how sciatica has affected you. The specialist will then send a report about your sciatica to your solicitor that will help them to determine the appropriate compensation level.
If you win a sciatica compensation claim, a settlement could cover:
- The pain and suffering caused by sciatica.
- Loss of amenities – if hobbies and other activities are affected by your sciatica.
- Medical expenses such as physiotherapy costs.
- Lost income because of your sciatica.
- Care costs if you needed help with your normal tasks while suffering from sciatica.
- Travel costs.
- Mobility aids.
- Future loss of earnings for longer-term back injuries.
- Psychiatric damage i.e. emotional distress, depression and anxiety.
- The cost of making changes to your house and vehicle to make accessibility easier.
Your solicitor must try to include all of your suffering in your claim as compensation can only be sought once.
Providing proof for sciatica compensation claims
One of the most important tasks in any type of workplace injury claim is finding the proof to substantiate your claim. This needs to prove the cause of your accident, the party responsible and the full impact of your sciatica. For a sciatica compensation claim, this could include:
- Communications. If you have ever raised concerns about your working conditions with your employer, any responses you received (emails, letters etc) could be used as supporting proof.
- Medical notes. The doctor that diagnosed sciatica will be asked to forward copies of your medical records. These can help to prove the extent of your injuries when combined with an independent medical report.
- Witness statements. It might be necessary for your solicitor to ask your colleagues about an accident that caused your sciatica or your working conditions.
- Photographs and videos. If your sciatica resulted from an accident at work, CCTV footage and also photographs of the accident scene could help to prove the cause of the incident.
- Accident reports. Legally, most UK employers keep records of accidents in the workplace. You are allowed a copy of your accident report form and it could prove useful in your claim as it will prove where and when you were injured.
You may also want to send your solicitor financial records if you’ve lost money as a result of sciatica. This could include wage slips, receipts or bank statements.
If you have already gathered any proof to support your claim, please let your advisor know when you call for your free initial consultation.
No Win, No Fee claims
In our opinion, lodging a personal injury claim for work-related sciatica is easier if you’re represented by a specialist solicitor from our panel. Additionally, we believe that their knowledge of the claims process could result in you being paid a higher amount of compensation.
As we know no one wants to risk money on legal fees, so our solicitors offer a No Win, No Fee service. If your sciatica compensation claim is accepted, you:
- Will not be asked to pay legal fees upfront.
- Do not have to pay your solicitor if the claim fails.
- Will have a fixed percentage of your compensation deducted if your claim is won to pay your solicitor for their work. This is known as a success fee.
At the start of the claims process, a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) will be sent to you. This is your contract and it will list your success fee percentage clearly. Once you’ve signed the contract, your solicitor will get to work.
Throughout your claim, your solicitor will manage everything for you. They’ll collect proof, file your claim, argue your case with your employer’s insurers and try to secure a fair compensation settlement. As your claim progresses, your solicitor will send you regular updates. Before any settlement offer is accepted, it will be discussed with you to check that it’s fair.
To find out if a solicitor on our panel will represent you on a No Win, No Fee basis, please call our team today.
Time limits for sciatica compensation claims
Work-related injury claims in the UK have a 3-year time limit. This could begin from the date of an accident (if your sciatic injury was immediately obvious) or the date a doctor diagnosed sciatica (your date of knowledge).
There’s quite a bit of work your solicitor will need to do before they submit your claim to your employer. As such, it’s best not to leave it too late before contacting us. To avoid your claim becoming statute-barred, we’d suggest starting the claims process as soon as you can.
Working with a personal injury solicitor can make the claims process much shorter. If your case is taken on, your solicitor will act as swiftly as possible so that you don’t have to wait any longer than
Start a sciatica compensation claim today
If you’re suffering from work-related sciatica, call us today on 0800 652 1345 to find out if you might have grounds to claim compensation. A friendly member of our team will go through everything with you and explain your legal options.
After your case has been assessed, we could refer you to a personal injury lawyer on our panel. They’ll deal with your case on a No Win, No Fee basis if you both agree to work together. As you won’t be risking any of your own money on upfront legal fees, you should find the claims process a lot less stressful.
Please use live chat to connect with us if you have any further questions on sciatica compensation claims, or claim your free consultation here.