Statistics Regarding Knee Injuries from Car Accidents
An older NCBI study studied the frequency of knee injuries from auto accidents, determining that knee injuries constituted almost 10 percent of all auto accident injuries recorded each year. Many of these injuries were considered “low severity”—lacerations, abrasions, contusions—however, some were quite serious. The majority of the knee injuries occurred following a frontal collision, with about 20 out of every 1000 knee injuries being classified as “serious, non-fracture knee injuries.” In this study women were more likely to experience a serious knee injury than men, however, overall, those who experienced a serious knee injury were less likely to have been wearing a lap and shoulder belt.
Misconceptions Associated with Knee Injuries
The knee is the largest joint in the body and tends to be very susceptible to injury from a car accident. Many people—and insurance companies—tend to discount the seriousness of a knee injury that can prevent an individual from going to work, walking, or even wanting to get out of bed each morning. In other words, to the person with the injured knee, it’s a pretty big deal. After all, we use our knees for bending, sitting, walking, standing, driving, running, and everything in between.
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When mobility is sharply limited, so are the day-to-day activities—sometimes for many months. Because knee injuries are rarely life-threatening, insurance companies tend to discount the potentially serious nature of such an injury. An ACL or MCL tear could severely limit an individual’s ability to work, affecting virtually every aspect of his or her life, yet the insurance company may try their best to minimize their liability or shrug off the injury as inconsequential.
How Do Knee Injuries Occur in an Auto Accident?
When one vehicle collides with another (or when one vehicle collides with a fixed object), the force of the collision can wreak havoc on the human body. An individual’s knees could strike the dashboard with considerable force, could be forcefully bent the wrong way during a crash, or could take a direct hit in a side-impact crash. Dashboards are not meant to “give” during a crash therefore, the knees are forced to bear the brunt of the impact.
Understanding Knee Injuries Resulting from an Auto Accident
The exact knee injury will depend on a variety of factors, including the severity of the impact, the speed of both vehicles, the position of the individual in the vehicle, and the type of vehicles involved in the collision. A high-impact auto collision can leave drivers and passengers with fractured or broken bones. The kneecap (patella) is the most common knee bone to be fractured or broken during an auto accident, although breaks and fractures are also common at the ends of the tibia or femur. In some cases, a bone can dislocate when the patella slips out place, or the tibia or femur are pushed out of place.
The tendons in the knee attach the knee bones to the muscles in the knee. Tendon tears cause difficulty in walking and bending the knee as it may feel as though it will “give way.” Ligaments attach bones to bones; a knee ligament injury may make itself known by a loud “pop” at the time of the injury, an inability for the individual to place any weight on the knee, a feeling that the joint is “loose,” and, of course, swelling and pain. While a partial tear could possibly heal on its own—depending on the age and overall health of the individual—more serious tears usually require surgery. Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injuries, Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) injuries, Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) injuries, Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) injuries, and a tear in the meniscus are all serious knee injuries that are often sustained in an auto accident.
How a Doctor Can Help Those with Knee Injuries
If an auto accident knee injury is relatively minor, the doctor may prescribe rest, ice, elevation, and pain relievers. If the knee injury is more serious, surgery and/or physical therapy may be required. The treatments necessary for a more serious knee injury can be expensive. Individuals who are unable to return to work will deal not only with medical expenses but with lost wages and an inability to pay even the most basic living expenses as well. It is extremely important that those who suffer a serious knee injury as the result of a car accident caused by a negligent driver be able to get the best medical treatment available to minimize future disability caused by the knee injury.
How an Experienced Denver Car Accident Attorney Can Help with Your Knee Injury
If you have suffered a knee injury from an automobile accident caused by the negligence of another, you may find it difficult to convince the insurance company to take you seriously. You may be facing significant medical expenses as well as lost wages and are uncertain where to turn. Denver Attorney Dianne Sawaya can help you through this difficult time. Dianne is someone you can really trust to do what is right for you, for your family, and for your future.
At the Law Offices of Dianne Sawaya, we know that a Colorado car accident can change your life forever. If your accident is the result of a negligent driver, that person is liable for any injuries you sustain in the accident, including knee injuries. We understand that the insurance company is likely to be as unhelpful as possible, leaving you wondering how you will pay your medical bills, how you will continue to receive the medical treatment you need, and how you will pay your normal monthly bills if you are unable to work.
Dianne Sawaya has spent her life in the Denver area and has made it her mission to help Denver residents get what they need and deserve following an accident. Thanks to pre-med undergraduate studies, Dianne also has a deeper understanding of medical issues than most lawyers. Dianne will work hard on your behalf to ensure you receive the treatments and settlement you are entitled to receive — contact the Law Offices of Dianne Sawaya today!