Car Accidents Can Cause Severe Knee Injuries

March 21, 2022
Car Accidents Can Cause Severe Knee Injuries

A Severe Knee Injury Caused By a Car Accident Can Change Your Life

One of the most common car accident injuries is a severe knee injury. A severe knee injury can lead to partial or permanent disability, with the victim needing treatment such as extensive physical therapy and surgery to get back on their feet. Knee injuries can cause significant damages in the form of medical costs, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity. Not only will you have to pay for the medical expenses, but you could be without work while on your road to recovery.  These injuries also will often come with an immense psychological and physical burden that need not be financial in nature as well. Hiring an experienced car accident lawyer can help to ease the burden by possibly getting you compensation for your injury. They can help you file a personal injury claim, which can put you on the path to financial recovery.

Kneecap Injuries Caused by a Car Accident

Commonly referred to as the patella, the kneecap is a triangular bone that serves as a shield for the knee joint. It gives the knee joint the structure to allow you to bend your knee and move around freely.  If you bang your knee against the dashboard or steering wheel during a car crash, the knee joint will likely pop out of place. This means you have dislocated your kneecap, which leads to swelling, intense pain, and an inability to straighten your knee.

Car Accident Inflicted Knee Fractures

A patellar fracture can come in four forms: a stable fracture, a displaced fracture, a comminuted fracture, or an open fracture.  A stable fracture is the least severe type of fracture. This refers to when the bone gets knocked out of position by one or two millimeters. A displaced fracture means the broken bone is no longer in position and doesn't align with the rest of the knee. A comminuted fracture means the bone is shattered into three or more pieces, with pieces floating around in your knee. An open fracture means the broken bone pierced the skin or penetrated down the bone. With a mild kneecap injury, physical therapy may be all that is needed to stabilize the knee back into alignment. In severe cases, surgery will be your only option.

Ligament Injuries Caused by a Car Accident

Knee ligaments are tissue bands that connect your femur to your tibia and fibula. The ligaments connect your upper leg to your lower leg, stabilize the knee joint, and prevent the knee from twisting. A knee ligament can be injured during a car accident if your bent knee receives a blow to the front or side. The ligaments can be torn or ruptured as a result of a blow. Here are some of the ligaments that can be injured during a car accident:
  • Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL)
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)
  • Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL)
  • Meniscus
A knee ligament fracture causes severe structural damage to the knee and prevents the whole leg from operating properly. Fractures will typically need surgery to heal due to the extensive damage.

How Can a Car Accident Cause a Knee Injury?

The knee is most at risk for injury when it is bent. This exposes the kneecap and ligaments to intense pressure. As you drive, your knee needs to be bent. Any force from a crash that impacts your knee is likely to lead to a serious injury. In a rear-end collision, the knee is jolted forward into the dashboard, while a front-end collision forces the dashboard into the knee. A T-bone accident differs from the two above. It's unlikely for your knee to be impacted by the dashboard from a side collision like this. The impact from the side causes your body to twist. Your knee twisting can lead to a fracture.

What are the Symptoms of a Severe Knee Injury?

The following are some of the symptoms of a severe knee injury following a car accident:
  • Intense pain in the knee
  • Swelling of the knee
  • Discoloration
  • Limited range of motion
  • Lack of strength in the knee
  • Temperature variation
  • Popping noises when you move your knee

Diagnosis of a Severe Knee Injury from a Car Accident

Diagnosis of a knee injury involves a physical examination of the knee. The doctor will check to see how many of the symptoms listed above you suffer from and how far you can extend the lower leg. They will also maneuver the knee to check the integrity of your knee's structures. A physical examination will not suffice for a more severe knee injury. Some diagnostic imaging will also be needed to inspect the interior of the knee and see how the bone broke. These tests include an X-ray, CT scan, ultrasound, and MRI.  Your doctor may suspect that your knee injury has caused an infection or inflammation. This will require both a blood test and an examination of the liquid inside your knee. Fluid is collected in a process called arthrocentesis, where a needle is stuck in your knee and removes a small amount of fluid for further testing. 

Filing a Car Accident Claim to Collect Damages for a Severe Knee Injury

If your insurance does not cover the cost associated with your severe knee injury, you need to file a personal injury claim with the insurance of the at-fault party. The is often the only way to get access to compensation for the damage your injury caused is through a personal injury claim. An experienced car accident attorney will help you determine who is liable for your damages and determine how to prove the negligence of that liable party. Your attorney will be able to deal with the insurance company and work to get you compensation, either through the court system via a trial or a satisfactory out-of-court settlement.

Liability for a Car Accident

Liability for a car accident claim can vary depending on the circumstances of the car accident. An experienced attorney will be able to sort out the parties that can be held liable for the accident. Although the impulse is to hold the other driver responsible, any party that had something to do with the conditions that led to the accident can be held liable. For a personal injury claim to move forward, it must be proven that the negligence of the at-fault party caused your severe knee injury. You or your lawyer would have to request your medical records and provide a timeline that shows your knee injury came from the car accident. You could potentially receive compensation to cover many types of damages that arise as a consequence of your knee injury. These damages can include but are not limited to medical bills, lost wages, lost earning potential, property damage, and trauma associated with your injury.

Contact Dolman Law Group for Help With Your Car Accident Claim

A severe knee injury can leave you out of commission for several months, with expenses piling up as you pursue medical treatment. While you worry about getting better, a car accident attorney can worry about fighting to get you compensation. At Dolman Law Group, we have experienced car accident lawyers that can help you file a personal injury claim. We will do the legal legwork for your claim, so you can worry about healing from your injury. Dolman Law Group offers free consultations. If you're interested, feel free to call us at 833-55-CRASH or leave us a message on our online contact page.

Matthew Dolman

Clearwater Personal Injury and Insurance Attorney

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has represented over 11,000 injury victims and has served as lead counsel in over 1000 lawsuits. Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess or $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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