An Overview of Ankle Injuries Suffered in Massachusetts Car Accidents

In Massachusetts, alone, there are well over one hundred thousand car crashes every year that leave thousands of people seriously injured and cause hundreds of deaths.  Ankle injuries are common occurrences in car accidents and, recently, our office has noticed an increase in ankle injuries that were suffered in car crashes. It doesn’t take a serious car accident to cause an ankle injury. Sometimes, accident victims suffer injuries to their ankle in relatively minor car accidents, such as rear-end collisions and T-bone crashes.  According to PubMed, the rate of moderate to serious foot and ankle injuries is 24.7 for every 1,000 vehicle occupants injured in the United States. Ankle injuries can cause many problems and, being a weigh bearing joint, can impact your daily life activities.

Common Types of Ankle Injuries from a Car Accident

Ankle injuries can be very painful and an extreme burden.  The description “ankle injury” is very general and can include various types of injuries.  Some of the most common ankle injuries caused by a car accident include strains, sprains, and fractures, all of which can result in long-term ankle instability.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published a study stating that serious or severe injuries to the lower extremities of the body (legs, knees, ankles, and feet) are the second most frequent occurring injuries in car accident, falling right before upper back injuries.

Ankle Strain

An ankle strain refers to damage, such as a tear, to tendons as a result of being pulled or stretched too far.  A tendon is a fibrous cord of tissue that connects muscles to bones.  In a car accident, your foot may get stuck behind a pedal or stuck under the seat causing an ankle strain.  There are two tendons in the ankle that are often strained.  These tendons act as stabilization and protection mechanisms, they are called the peroneal tendons. A strain of these tendons often result in severe pain, selling and instability.

Ankle Sprain

An ankle sprain is defined as damage, such as a tear, to ligaments as a result of being stretch beyond their normal range of motion.  A ligament is a fibrous tissue that connects two bones together at a joint.  An ankle sprain can happen the same way an ankle strain can occur, by getting stuck behind a part of the car and being stretched too far. It is often said that sprains hurt more than breaks. Besides the pain, sprains can take weeks, if not months, to heal.

Ankle Fracture

In an ankle fracture, one or more of the bones that make up the ankle can be broken.  A simple one bone break in the ankle can prevent you from walking while multiple fractures in the while may prevent you from putting any weight on it for months. We recently had a woman suffer a trimalleolar fracture, which refers to a three-part fracture of the ankle. This is a very serious injury.  Typically, when an ankle breaks, there are addition ankle strains or sprains detected.  The most common ankle fracture is a talus fracture.  The talus is the large bone in the ankle that articulates with the tibia bone of the leg and the calcaneus and navicular bones of the foot.

Take Legal Action To Recover Money For Your Ankle Injury

Ankle injuries can result in very expensive medical bills, cause you to miss time at work and lose wages, and cause serious pain and suffering. When someone is hurt in a car accident that was caused by a negligent driver, the injured person has the legal right in Massachusetts to file a personal injury claim. The claim is for financial compensation to reimburse the injured party for the money they had to pay for medical treatment, compensate them for any lost wages for missed time at work, and compensate them for the pain and suffering the accident and injuries caused.

Who is Liable for Causing the Accident and Your Injury?

As with any personal injury claim, liability is a very important factor to consider when pursuing a claim.  The injured person cannot recover unless someone else is held liable for the injuries. A driver will be held liable for an accident and any injuries if they are found to have caused the car accident. Liability is determined by a driver’s failure to execute reasonable care in the operation of their vehicle. This is also known as negligence.  For example, a driver will be considered negligent if the motorist failed to properly yield to traffic and consequently struck a vehicle and injured its occupants. The negligent driver will then be held legal and financially responsible for the injuries they caused to others. 

What are the Damages the Other Driver is Responsible For?

The damages in an accident case are the injuries an accident victim suffered and the monetary loss they incurred because of the accident and injuries.  The damages establish the amount the victim is compensated for their medical bills, expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering that accumulated or were incurred after the accident.

What Can You Do If You Suffered An Ankle Injury In A Car Accident?

If you have been injured in a car accident in Massachusetts, you should discuss your accident and injury with an experienced personal injury attorney. It is recommended to speak with an experienced accident lawyer before talking to the other driver’s insurance company or giving them a statement.  An injury attorney can help protect your rights and guide you through the claim process to ensure you get what you deserve for the injuries you suffered. 

Mahaney & Pappas, LLP has skilled Massachusetts personal injury lawyers and an experienced legal staff. We understand the stress of being injured and the injury claim process.  If you, or someone you know, has been injured in a car crash, please contact us online or call (508) 879-3500 to schedule a free meeting and case evaluation.