Knee pain after a car accident is not uncommon. The force of the impact of a collision can cause your knee to twist abruptly, causing torn ligaments and soft tissue injuries. If the impact forces your knee forward or the car crunches inward, your knee may suffer the brunt of the blow.
Whatever types of collision occurred, knee pain after a car accident can begin immediately or sometimes can be a delayed symptom of an injury. In either scenario, knee pain and knee injuries can be quite serious. Some knee injury accidents may require long-term treatment, like surgery, physical therapy, or prescription pain management.
Types of Knee Injuries from a Car Accident
Several components make up the knee, including the femur, tibia, fibula, and patella. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments connect to the bones surrounding the knee and provide balance and flexibility. Each part of the knee must properly work together for the knee to effectively do its job for mobility. Trauma can cause severe damage that can impact a person forever. Below are some common types of knee injuries from a car accident:
Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injury
An ACL injury is a strain or tear of the anterior cruciate ligament, which helps connect your femur to your tibia. This type of injury often occurs in athletes and results from landing hard after jumping or falling from a height.
People who have torn or injured their ACL often hear a loud popping sound at the time of the accident. Depending on the severity of the injury, the doctor may recommend immediate surgery. Therefore, it is critical to get checked out by a medical professional immediately.
A meniscus tear affects the knee cartilage, which offers a cushion between the shinbone and the thigh bone. The injury often happens when the knee is twisted or rotated out of alignment.
Symptoms of a meniscus injury include pain, swelling, and trouble lengthening the knee are symptoms. A healthy meniscus provides support and stability to the knee when in motion. Often corrective surgery is required to correct this type of injury.
Dashboard Knee – Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Injury
The posterior cruciate ligament connects the top and bottom of the leg at the back of the knee; it is a counterpoint to the ACL. Notably, ligament injury occurs most often in rear-end car accidents and is called "dashboard knee" because it happens when an occupant slams into the car's dashboard.
Pain and swelling are the most common symptoms of this injury, and treatment can be both invasive and long-lasting.
Outcomes After a Knee Injury
The severity of a knee injury depends on various factors like age and physical condition. While some superficial wounds can heal after time with proper medical care, some injuries result in the need for long-term rehabilitation and pain management. Unfortunately, many knee injuries result in surgery.
If your knee pain develops in the days or weeks after an auto accident, make sure to seek medical care and consult with a healthcare professional as soon as possible. The sooner you receive treatment, the sooner healing can begin. Further, medical documentation will help if you choose to file an injury claim down the line.
Knee Injury Settlements after a Car Accident
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may be eligible to file a claim to recover compensation for your losses, due to the injury accident. In no-fault states like New York and New Jersey, you can file a personal injury protection (PIP) claim with your car insurance company.
Car accident injury claims often include the value of your medical expenses including
- Hospital stays
- Rehabilitation therapies
- Medical devices such as braces, wheelchairs and crutches
- Transportation to and from medical appointments
In addition to medical expenses, your injury claim after a knee injury in a car accident could also include lost income from time needed off work to recover. You may also be eligible for intangible losses, such as pain and suffering.
If your medical treatment will extend far into the future, or you have lasting injuries that will require ongoing treatment, your claim could include a demand for compensation for future medical expenses, future pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life, or lost income.
Get Help Recovering Compensation for a Knee Injury after a Car Accident
If you have been in a car accident, seek immediate medical attention. Knee injury accident symptoms are often not immediately apparent, so be sure to ask your doctor or healthcare provider to examine your knees as soon as you feel symptoms.
Furthermore, it is essential to document the date of the accident and the times that symptoms begin to occur. If you begin experiencing knee pain two weeks after an accident, take detailed notes for yourself to remember all of the signs and when they occurred so that you can tell your doctor all of the details.
The higher the value of your injury claim, the more complex the negotiation becomes--and the more important it is to enlist the help of a car accident attorney who can do all of the negotiations on your behalf. Most insurance adjusters will take you seriously if you pursue a high-value claim with the help of a lawyer, making it much easier to obtain fair compensation.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness, the car accident lawyers of Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, can help. Our experienced attorney team has recovered millions of dollars in damages for accident victims. Contact us today for a free legal consultation.