A knee injury in a car accident is painful and debilitating. A severe knee injury could require surgery, physical therapy, and months of recovery. If you were hurt in a car accident caused by another driver, you may want to talk to a personal injury lawyer to determine if you should file a claim or lawsuit.
Types of Car Accident Knee Injuries
Car accident knee injuries happen because of blunt force trauma and twisting motions. Soft tissue injuries, such as sprains, bruises, and strains, may be painful and stiff for a few days, but they will usually heal without problems.
However, other knee injuries in car accidents are severe and may require extensive medical care:
Approximately 70% of auto accident knee injuries affect the anterior cruciate ligament or ACL. The ACL is a tough band of tissue that connects the upper and lower knee joints. A tear to the ACL usually requires surgery and requires months of recovery.
There are two pieces of cartilage in the knee between the femur and tibia. Each is called a meniscus, and a car accident can damage either of them. A torn meniscus is moderately painful, while a rupture causes severe pain and debilitation.
Blunt force trauma in a car crash can dislocate the knee joint. This also can cause blood vessel and ligament damage.
Any car accident can cause a knee fracture, but head-on collisions frequently fracture the kneecap or patella. Many knee fractures require surgery, and these injuries can cause arthritis in the joint later.
Signs of a Knee Injury
Some knee injuries will be evident after a car accident, but others may not be noticed for a few days. If you notice any of the symptoms below in your knee joint, see a doctor right away:
- A knee infection can cause yellowing or redness
- Temperature changes
- Warmth in the knee can indicate healing, but if it becomes hot and swollen, you could have an infection or blood clot
- Reduced movement
- If you cannot move the knee easily without pain, you could have a significant injury
- Minor pain after a car accident is typical, but if the knee hurts when you touch or move it, there could be a severe injury.
Compensation for a Knee Injury
After a car accident, you can file a personal injury claim against the negligent driver’s auto insurance policy. However, obtaining the highest amount of compensation without an attorney is difficult.
Insurance companies are difficult negotiators because they are in the profit business more than the paying claims business. They know most accident victims are inexperienced negotiators and need money to pay their medical bills and living expenses. Most insurance companies will offer you a low settlement in hopes that you will take it and go away.
A personal injury lawyer is skilled and experienced in negotiating with insurance companies. Your lawyer knows how much your car accident knee injury is worth. If you had surgery, that adds considerably to the case value, and your lawyer will demand more money.
The attorney also could help you in some cases with your medical bills. If your healthcare providers are waiting to be paid until you get a settlement, your attorney may be able to negotiate with them to reduce what you owe.
Every case is different, and nothing is certain, but your attorney may help you increase your settlement and potentially reduce your medical costs. Your stress and anxiety will be less, and you can focus on getting your health back.