Many of us are familiar with whiplash, not to mention the various head injuries that are often the unfortunate result of a brutal car crash. But what is less well known is that knee injuries are also commonly caused by car crashes.
Because car crashes sometimes happen at high speeds, the force of suddenly coming to a stop can hurl people against each other and against the insides of the car. If two or more cars crash into each other at high speeds, the damage can be even more severe.
Due to the amount of collision that tends to happen in car accidents (both inside and outside the vehicle) fractures are a common result of car accidents, especially knee fractures. If you notice any discoloration, misshapenness, or even the knee bone protruding out of the skin, you have a knee fracture. At the very least you will need to wear a cast, with surgery being recommended in some of the more extreme cases.
Dislocations are less common than fractures, but no less serious. If left untreated, a dislocated bone can cut off the blood supply to the bone (or other parts of the body), which could ultimately lead to the amputation of the limb if not treated right away.
Sprains and Strains
Sprains and strains are the results of stretching joints too far and/or in directions they should not be stretched. This is common in car accidents as body parts are forced into unnatural positions and the tendons, ligaments, and muscles around the joint become torn or damaged. Sprains and strains are given one of three grades, based on the amount of pain experienced as a result, with Grade I being assigned to those injuries with minimal pain and Grade III representing the most amount of pain.
The cartilage around your knee is there to act as a sort of shock absorber, but the force experienced in a car crash can exceed the amount of force the cartilage can handle, resulting in tears. Torn cartilage around the knee is also commonly experienced along with knee sprains and strains, since both tend to be caused by the knee getting forced into unnatural positions. In most cases, time and rest are all that’s needed to heal sprains, strains, and torn cartilage, although in some cases, surgery may be required.
Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injury
The ACL is the ligament that runs across the knee to stabilize and strengthen the joint. Damage to that ligament is a serious injury and can result in the inability to walk or exert any kind of pressure with that leg. Immediate medical attention is required after sustaining an ACL injury. Surgery is usually required, followed by ongoing medical treatment.
In addition to the costs of medical treatment (which can easily exceed $10,000 if surgery is required), many people file claims for intangible damages as a result of having sustained a knee injury in a car crash. Even after treatment has been administered, many people report a loss or reduction of strength and motion in that leg for the rest of their lives after the accident, inhibiting their ability to work, play, perform household chores, and/or conduct errands.
If you’ve been in a car accident recently and sustained a significant knee injury, you could be eligible to collect damages. Contact a personal injury attorney today to discuss whether you might have a case.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or some other type of accident, you need the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer.