Visitor Question

Stepped on plastic sign holder in store which caused sciatica…

Submitted By: Anonymous (Mesa, Alabama)

I was walking in Target and I didn’t see that a hard plastic sign holder was on the floor. I stepped on it and it tweaked my back. I began to limp as my back was locking up and I felt a sharp pain going down my leg. I immediately reported it to the manger, who advised me to seek medical attention if needed.

I went to the clinic and was diagnosed with sciatica. I was given 4 different medications and was told to follow up with my primary care. I am waiting to hear from Target. Should I seek a lawyer? What are my options here? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Anonymous,

According to the Mayo Clinic, sciatica refers to pain radiating along the path of the sciatic nerve down the buttock and leg. Sciatica is caused by compression of one or more of the five (5 ) sets of nerve roots in the lower back. Common symptoms of Sciatica include:

  • Lower back pain
  • Pain in the rear or leg that is worse when sitting
  • Hip pain
  • Burning or tingling down the leg
  • Weakness, numbness, or difficulty moving the leg or foot
  • A constant pain on one side of the rear
  • A shooting pain that makes it difficult to stand up

Causes of Sciatica can include:

  • Lumbar spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back)
  • 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)
  • Pregnancy
  • Muscle spasm in the back or buttocks

Other things that may make your back pain worse include being overweight, not exercising regularly, wearing high heels, or sleeping on a mattress that is too hard or too soft

The people at Target will likely refuse to accept liability for your Sciatica. This is especially true since Sciatica can be aggravated by a slip and fall, but not caused by one.

To have any chance of succeeding in your injury claim against Target will require you to prove your Sciatica was aggravated by the slip and fall. Moreover, you will also have to overcome Alabama’s rule of Pure Contributory Negligence.

Under the rule of Pure Contributory Negligence, if it can be shown the victim in an accident contributed to the accident in even the slightest amount, the victim is wholly barred from recovering compensation. In your case, it is arguable you contributed to your own injury by failing to watch where you were going. As a result, it is likely you will not prevail in your injury claim.

This does not preclude you from seeking the advice and counsel of a local personal injury attorney . Most personal injury attorneys do not charge for initial office consultations.

Learn more here: Retail Store Injury Claims

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.

Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


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