Types of Knee Injuries Caused by Car Accidents

March 30, 2022
Types of Knee Injuries Caused by Car Accidents

Car Accidents Can Result in Numerous Severe Knee Injuries

One of the most challenging injuries a car accident can cause is a knee injury. You can suffer several kinds of knee injuries, with their severity differing based on the part of the knee it affects. They all come with severe symptoms, including intense pain, swelling, limited range of motion, and more. Knee injuries require significant medical solutions, including physical therapy and surgery. Hiring a personal injury attorney can help ease the burden of your medical costs by possibly getting you compensation for your injuries.

How Can a Car Accident Cause a Knee Injury?

Pressure impacting the knee can lead to a severe injury, but that risk can be more likely if the knee is bent. When your knee is bent, it leaves the kneecap exposed to the impact of a crash. A bent knee can also affect the ligaments and cartilage that hold the knee together by not providing a cushion for these vital facets of the knee.

Types of Car Collisions That Cause Knee Injuries

The most common collision leading to a knee injury is a head-on collision because the other driver's car comes into direct contact with your knee. This impact can also force the dashboard into your knee and lead to a crush injury. A rear-end collision also can bring your knee into contact with the dashboard. This type of collision can force your body forward, with your knee cracking against the dashboard with no give.  A sideswipe collision can leave your left knee exposed to an injury when driving a vehicle. Your door offers less protection than any other part of the vehicle, so a sideswipe can cause the other car to impact your knee directly. A T-bone accident causes your car to spin out, forcing your body the twist as your vehicle turns. Any twisting in the knee can lead to a fracture. Any impact with another car or road object as your car spins out can also result in a knee injury.

Patellar Fractures Are Common During Car Accidents

The patella is another name for the kneecap, which serves as the protective shield for the rest of the knee. The patella gives the knee its structure and the ability to bend and move freely. Any break in the kneecap bone can leave the knee joint exposed to damage. This break can occur by intense trauma from a crash affecting the kneecap.

Types of Patellar Fractures

The following are the four types of patellar fractures:
  • Stable fracture: This is when the bone gets knocked out of position by one or two millimeters.
  • Displaced fracture: The bone breaks and is no longer in position. It doesn't align with the rest of the knee and requires surgery to realign.
  • Comminuted fracture: The bone shatters into three or more pieces and causes these pieces to float around inside your knee.
  • Open fracture: The broken bone pierced the skin or penetrated down the bone.

Impact With the Dashboard During a Car Accident Can Result in Torn Ligaments

The knee is held together by bands of elastic tissue called the ligaments. These knee ligaments connect the femur to the tibia and fibula, stabilize the knee joint, and protects the knee from twisting. Trauma from a car accident can lead these ligaments to tear, affecting the victim's mobility.  The following are the ligaments that can tear in a car accident:
  • Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL)
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)
  • Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL)

PCL Injuries Are the Most Common in Car Accidents

Although car accident trauma can tear all of these ligaments, a PCL tear is the most common. Referred to as “dashboard knee,” this type of injury is mainly caused by impact with the dashboard. This PCL connects the tibia to the femur, so a tear can make mobility difficult. Partial disability may occur due to a PCL tear.

A Car Accident Can Cause a Meniscus Tear

A meniscus tear is likely to happen if the knee joint unnaturally twists or hyperextends. A torn meniscus can lead to pain, swelling, stiffness, and difficulty extending the knee. Icing the knee can heal a minor meniscus injury. If your knee locks or therapy isn't enough, the torn meniscus will require surgery.

Being Crushed During a Car Accident Can Lead to a Tibial Plateau Fracture

A tibial plateau fracture is a break at the top of the shinbone. As this break involves the cartilage surface of the knee joint, it can damage the ligaments, cartilage, and tendons that help your knee operate. It will be much harder for your knee to absorb the shock it needs to absorb for you to walk.  A crushed knee in a car accident causes a tibial plateau fracture. A tibial plateau fracture is likely to occur if the car accident causes compaction between your knee and a hard surface.

Filing a Car Accident Claim

If the cost of your injuries exceeds your personal injury protection insurance, you will need to file a car accident claim to potentially receive compensation. If your insurance doesn't cover the cost, this claim will be your only option to possibly obtain payment for your injuries after a car accident in a no-fault state like Florida.

Liability in a Car Accident Claim

For a car accident liability claim to succeed, you need to prove the at-fault party's negligence led to your injuries. A car accident lawyer will help determine who is liable for the accident that caused your injuries and how to prove their negligence The liable party can be the other driver that caused the accident and the maker and seller of a defective car or car part that led to the accident. If the other driver was on the job, their employer might also be liable. Negligent actions that can be used as proof of liability in a car accident claim include: Your car accident lawyer can prove these negligent actions with eyewitness accounts, video footage of the accident, medical records linking the accident to your knee injury, or ticket or arrest records from the accident. A successful car accident claim can net you many types of damages, including but not limited to medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning potential, property damage, cost of living with a temporary or permanent disability, and pain and suffering.

Contact Dolman Law Group for Help With Your Car Accident Claim

These types of knee injuries can have a long recovery process. It can be costly, especially if you need extensive physical therapy and surgery. A car accident claim can put you on the path to potentially receiving compensation to pay for your costly medical treatment. At Dolman Law Group, our experienced car accident lawyers will put in meticulous work to help you potentially receive compensation for the damage your injury caused. We will work to put you in the best position to possibly obtain compensation to pay for your medical bills. Dolman Law Group offers free consultations. If you're interested, please 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.

Learn More