Did You Suffer a Leg or Knee Injury As a Result of a Car Accident?
Don’t give up your knee injury claim with the insurance company!
While back and neck pain is usually the most serious injuries related to a car or work accident, knee injuries are often ignored or not taken seriously. If you have been in an accident, you may notice some of these symptoms related to your knee(s):
- Weakness and irritability
- Locking or grinding
- Tingling or tenderness
- A popping sensation
- Redness or swelling
- Pain when doing an activity
- Limited range of motion
Here are some of the injuries that our clients have suffered from being involved in a serious car accident:
Knee Sprain / Knee Strain
Dislocation of the Knee
Knee Sprain & Knee Strain
One of the things that I was diagnosed with after the car accident was knee sprain. What can I do about it?
I have seen many folks who have had a knee sprain or strain from a car accident. This usually comes from a direct hit to the knee with some part of the vehicle, such as the dashboard or seat of the vehicle. As with all injury claims, it is very important that your injury is diagnosed by a medical professional.
Knee sprains manifest themselves by the stretching, tearing, or rupturing of the ligaments or the joint capsule. A strain is the stretching or severing of the muscles or tendons. Collateral (MCL & LCL) and cruciate (PCL & ACL) ligament sprains are common. Muscular strains are also relatively common.
Your doctor will ask you about the injury and the symptoms and examine you. Mention to him if you heard a snap or pop when you hurt your knee. It could be more severe than just a strain. The doctor will probably check the movement and strength of your knee joint. An x-ray, CT scan, or MRI may show more extensive damage to your knee, other than a sprain or strain.
Follow the recommended treatment from your doctor. Some of the treatments that we have seen for knee pain include:
- Prescription pain medication
- Physical therapy, which teaches you exercises to help improve movement and strength and decrease pain.
- Surgery may be needed if other treatments do not work or the strain is severe. Surgery may include a knee arthroscopy to look inside your knee joint and repair damage.
It is important to fully document the treatment needed relative to your knee pain if you are going to pursue a claim against an at-fault driver’s insurance company. All too often, I have clients that fail to document their knee injury from a car accident. Sometimes they just ignore it and hope that it will get better over time. My advice is that, as with all injuries from a car accident, they should be fully documented medically so that you can be fairly compensated for your injuries.
The MCL (medial collateral ligament) is the most commonly damaged ligament in the knee and may be sprained or torn. Often, there is a tearing sensation along the inner knee, causing swelling of the knee. Some types of force from the outer to the inner knee are responsible for an MCL injury. We often see this type of injury when there has been trauma to the knee in a car accident.
The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) crisscrosses the knee joint with its companion ligament, the PCL. The ACL stabilizes the knee, preventing forward motion of the tibia on the femur. An ACL injury is another common type of knee injury. Individuals with an ACL injury often are unable to walk and experience great pain that gets worse with movement.
The PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) is stronger than the ACL and is not torn as often as the ACL. The PCL braces against excessive translation or movement in the anteroposterior (AP) plane. A PCL tear requires strong, blunt force trauma, such as a dashboard strike to the anterior aspect of the knee in a car accident. A PCL injury is often due to major trauma and is rarely an isolated injury associated with other ligament and bone damage.
Fracture of the bones of the knee is usually caused by trauma, such as a car accident. A fracture may be open or closed, characterized by an obvious deformity or protruding bone. A fractured knee may require immobilization in a cast or surgery. Often, fractures heal without permanent damage but may be complicated by arthritis or arterial injury.
Dislocation of the Knee
A knee dislocation is a potential “limb-threatening” injury that could result in amputation without timely medical treatment. A posterior dislocation may result from force to the proximal tibia, such as a dashboard crash injury or a forceful fall on a flexed knee.
Meniscus Tear in Knee
One of our past clients suffered a knee injury, called a meniscus tear, due to his knee striking dashboard in a car accident. This injury was one that had to be corrected by surgery. After our client underwent surgery, he experienced pain localized to the knee and swelling. The client also needed physical therapy.
There are 3 grades of these type of knee injuries:
- Grade 1 – Some tenderness and minor pain at the point of injury.
- Grade 2 – Noticeable looseness in the knee when moved by hand, major pain and tenderness
- Grade 3 – Considerable pain at the inside of the knee, swelling and joint instability, and may need a light splint or brace.
DISCLAIMER: It is important to note that this is general information, and should not be considered “legal advice.” I have been handling personal injury cases for many years, and can offer general answers to common questions, but please do not construe anything on this website to be legal advice about your case. Each case is different. An attorney can only give legal advice when he or she understands the facts involved in your case. There are also strict time limitations on filing a personal injury claim. You should contact a personal injury attorney immediately if you have questions about your case.