Car accidents, whether minor or major, can result in debilitating injuries, including knee injuries. A severe knee injury can impact your work or daily routine and potentially require surgery. In some cases, even surgery is not enough to restore the full function of an injured knee, leaving you with a lifelong disability. If you want to find out more about common types of knee injuries in car accidents and how an attorney from Mountain States Injury Law can help you get compensation for your knee injury, please continue reading.
What Causes Knee Injuries in a Car Accident?
Different types of car accidents can result in a knee injury. This includes head-on collisions, sideswipe, roll-overs, rear-end collisions, or lane departure accidents. If you have been in any of these accidents, you could have injured your knees.
If you feel any kind of discomfort or pain in your knee after the accident or your leg movement feels constricted, it is best to get the knee inspected by a physician. It is not uncommon for victims of car accidents to underestimate the seriousness of their injuries. Keep in mind that even minor knee injuries can need medical attention.
Common Types of Knee Injuries After a Car Accident
The following are the common types of knee injuries that can result from a car accident:
Patella is another word for the kneecap. The kneecap can become dislocated if the body experiences a violent jolt, such as a severe car accident. The dislocation can be painful and restrict your movement. If the patella dislocates during the accident, you will need immediate medical attention.
Medical specialists can run some tests to determine the nature of the injury and pursue the necessary treatments. One of the symptoms of a dislocated kneecap is knee joint swelling. The doctor may prescribe a prolonged rest period after kneecap dislocation to avoid any stress on the knee joint.
If your knees collide with the door or any parts of the vehicle during the collision, you may suffer from kneecap damage. Kneecap damage is extremely painful and may require surgery. If you have knee damage resulting from a car accident, you may have to rest for a couple of months and take time off work. The surgery for kneecap damage is followed by therapy to prevent further damage.
A fracture is different from a kneecap dislocation. If your knee is fractured, the doctor might give you a cast to wear on the knee joint. Fractures can require surgery if the fracture within the knee is displaced. A kneecap fracture is also referred to as a dashboard knee which means the knee collided with the dashboard during the collision. Even if the fracture is small, it can lead to further bone damage or diseases such as arthritis over time.
Another common car accident knee injury is ligament damage. Ligaments in the knee help it move and can be damaged from playing sports, jumping the wrong way, or a severe car accident. The ligaments in the knee allow it to move flexibly. In most cases, one of the following three knee ligaments get damaged:
- Anterior cruciate ligament
Some car accident knee injuries result in the tearing of the anterior cruciate ligament, also known as the ACL. Any damage to the ACL can prevent the person from walking or putting any weight on their leg. This kind of injury can require surgery and physical therapy.
- Posterior cruciate ligament
The posterior cruciate ligament is a strong ligament, and only a person involved in a severe car accident may tear the posterior cruciate ligament. The most common symptoms are knee wobbling and excessive pain. Surgery can be required depending on the nature of the injury.
- Medial collateral ligament
The medial collateral ligament can be damaged due to any external sprain on the knee leading to surgery.
The meniscus protects your knee joints by acting as a shock absorber. If the meniscus is torn due to excessive jolts from the car accident, it can cause swelling. The joint might lock up, making the knee unmoveable. This sort of injury requires surgery.
Kneecap dislocation can also trigger tendons to rupture, which can cause extreme pain. A tendon rupture requires immediate medical attention, followed by a period of rest so the tendon can heal. Like other knee injuries mentioned above, it may require surgery.
Although discoloration of the knee is rare in car accidents, it can happen. The impact from the collision may cause damage to your nerves and arteries. This means that blood circulation is disrupted. If you have knee discoloration after a car accident, you should see a healthcare provider who can help restore blood circulation and reduce nerve damage.
Your Legal Options After a Car Accident Knee Injury
Knee injuries are not only painful but expensive. The most common treatment for a severe knee injury is surgery and physical therapy, which means months of rest and treatment. Knee injuries after car accidents can force you to take time off work, leading to potentially lost wages. This means if there is a liable party in the accident, you should seek compensation from them to cover all medical expenses and property damage that you suffered.
You can file an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit after the accident. While knee injuries can take a few months to recover, you need to pay attention to the statute of limitations if you wish to pursue litigation. Some states in the U.S. require the victim to file a claim with their insurer so the damages can be covered under personal injury protection insurance. You can also file a claim with the liable driver’s insurer, which would be called a third-party claim, to seek compensation.
If you wish to sue the liable driver, you can hire an attorney from Mountain States Injury Law to represent your case to help you earn a favorable verdict.
Filing a personal injury lawsuit or pursuing a third-party car insurance claim can be a daunting task. Hiring an attorney from Mountain States Injury Law to handle your case can allow you to focus on your recovery and ensure you get the maximum compensation for your knee injury.