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What You Need to Know About Knee Injuries from a Car Accident

If you suffer a knee injury as a result of another person’s negligent driving, contact a Chicago personal injury lawyer to learn about your legal rights.

What You Need to Know About Knee Injuries from a Car Accident

car accident victim can suffer different types of knee injuries, from simple cuts and burns to severe ligament and soft tissue injuries. Some soft tissue injuries may be more complicated than others and may require long-term treatment.

Common Types of Knee Injuries

Car accident victims often suffer knee injuries due to sudden external force on the knee. Here is a look at some common types of knee injuries car accident victims suffer.

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury: This type of injury occurs when you fall from a height and hurt your knees. You may hear a loud popping sound. Depending on the severity of the injury, the doctor may recommend an immediate surgery.

Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) injury: Commonly known as dashboard knee, this type of injury occurs when the driver or the passenger hits the dashboard of the car. Common symptoms include pain and swelling. The injury affects the ligament connecting the tibia (shinbone) to the femur (thighbone).

Medial collateral ligament (MCL) injury: Like a PCL injury, an MCL injury occurs when the knee hits a solid object inside the car. The medial collateral ligament also connects the tibia to the femur.

Meniscus injury: This type of injury hurts the discs that help prevent friction between the knee bones. These discs provide cushioning and stability to the knee while walking. Common symptoms of this injury include swelling, severe pain, instability, and locking in the knee.

Possible Outcomes of a Knee Injury

The consequences of a knee injury vary depending on the severity of the injury, your age, and your current physical condition. Some injuries heal with time after initial medical treatment. However, some injuries may trigger long-term consequences. A doctor is the best person to suggest to you the best treatment option for your case.

Doctors usually use a conservative treatment method called RICE for minor knee injuries. RICE stands for Rest, Ice, (gentle) Compression, and Elevation. If this conservative treatment method fails, a doctor may recommend physical therapy for some weeks or months. If the injury is more serious, a doctor may suggest a surgical treatment option. Recovery time depends on the severity of the injury. For example, minor injuries may go away within a few days, while serious injuries may take weeks, months, or years to recover completely.

Long Term

Osteoarthritis is a common form of joint disease often caused by underlying bone fractures or the breakdown of joint cartilage. Regular treatment with compounds such as turmeric provides benefits such as helping to reduce the pain and other symptoms of osteoarthritis but cannot cure the disease completely.

Knee Meniscus Tear Injury

When a person is involved in a car accident it can result in multiple types of injuries. While knee injuries aren’t as common in a car accident as neck and back injuries are, they can be quite serious. They often require surgery and rehabilitation which can be costly and time-consuming.

If you or a loved one have been involved in a Chicago car accident and has suffered a knee injury, you should be receiving ALL of your benefits, not just the ones the insurance company wants to accept. At Willens & Baez, we focus exclusively on representing the individuals and family members of those who were injured by someone else’s reckless or negligent behavior.

Common Knee Injuries

There are several components that make up the knee. The femur, tibia, fibula, and patella are the bones that come together at the knee. In addition, there are muscles, tendons, and ligaments the provide balance and allow movement of the knee joint. Inside the knee, there are two pieces of cartilage called menisci, or two meniscus, that sit on top of the tibia and act as shock-absorbers. There are fluid-filled sacs that surround the knee called bursas, they cushion the knee as it moves.

All of these parts have to function properly in order for the knee to work. Trauma or acute injury to the knee can cause serious damage that can affect a person for a lifetime.

Common knee injuries as the result of car accidents include:

  • Torn meniscus – this injury is the result of trauma caused by forceful twisting or hyper-flexing of the knee joint. The symptoms generally include pain, swelling, popping, and an inability for the knee to support a person’s weight. Treatment includes therapy to strengthen the muscles that stabilize the knee but when these measures are ineffective, surgery may be required.
  • Knee fracture – as with any type of broken bone, a knee fracture can have varying degrees. A kneecap fracture can happen at the top, center, or bottom and can happen in more than one area. They are generally caused by a direct blow. Symptoms include bruising, swelling, inability to walk or straighten the leg. Depending on the severity and location, surgery may or may not be required.
  • Torn ACL – this injury occurs when the anterior cruciate ligament tears away from the knee joint. This can be extremely painful and potentially debilitating. Depending on the severity of the injury, therapy for rehabilitation can take 3 to 6 months. However, it can take 6 to 9 months to heal if surgery is required.
  • MCL Tear – this is a sprain or tear to the medial collateral ligament. This ligament connects the thighbone to the lower leg. When injured, symptoms include pain, stiffness, and swelling. The pain can range from mild to severe, depending on the extent of the damage. This injury can often be treated without surgery unless the ligament is torn in a way that it cannot heal.

Knee injuries that result from car accidents can be serious. If you need weeks or months to recover, you will have to deal with lost wages. You may not be able to do the same work as you once did, resulting in loss of earning capacity. Knee injuries can affect you in ways you would not have otherwise imagined.

If you have been in a car accident, it is important that you seek immediate medical attention. Knee injury symptoms can sometimes take a while to become apparent. If you begin to experience symptoms anytime after your car accident, contact your doctor immediately. This is especially the case if you’re going to be filing a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

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Millions in Case Verdicts & Settlements

Over the past two decades, Mr. Willens and his team of Chicago personal injury lawyers have been instrumental in obtaining numerous million-dollar-plus recoveries on behalf of clients in a wide variety of injury cases. One of the personal injury verdicts he was involved in was recognized by The National Law Journal as one of the Top 100 Verdicts in the country in the year in which it was tried. One of the verdicts he helped secure set a state record.



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