Information on Knee Injuries Suffered in Car Accidents

Numerous personal injury cases we handle in Massachusetts involve injuries suffered in car accidents.  In those car accidents, we come across a lot of knee injuries. The effects they have on clients are devastating.  Most of these knee injuries result from the knee slamming into the dashboard or steering column of the car upon impact.  This may occur whether the car accident is a rear-end collision or a head-on collision.  In a rear-end collision the driver or passenger is usually jolted forward and slams into the underneath of the dashboard.  In a head-on collision the impact is usually so severe and sudden that the dashboard is usually pushed into the driver or passenger while they are thrown forward. 

Knee injuries suffered in car accidents result in extensive medical bills and costs, lost income from not being able to work, significant pain and suffering, and sometimes permanent or partial disability.  Because of the severity of the injury to the knee from a car accident and the extensive damage it creates, seeking fair and just compensation can be difficult.  This is why an experienced personal injury attorney can help get the injured party the financial compensation they deserve.

The most common types of knee injuries we have seen in our cases include:

Kneecap Injuries  

The kneecap, also knowns as the patella, is a bone that protects the internal knee joint.  We all know where our kneecap is, but don’t fully understand how important it is until it has been injured.  The primary function of the patella is knee extension.  In severe car crashes the kneecap is prone to injury because it is exposed and the leg is usually bent while driving.  A crash with significant force can cause fractures of the patella, which usually result in swelling, pain, bleeding and the inability to extend the knee.   This injury can be particularly debilitating and surgical treatment is sometimes necessary for more serious kneecap fractures, such as displaced (where the broken bone is separated and does not line up) or comminuted fractures (where the bone is shattered into three or more pieces).  

Ligament Injuries

The knee has several ligaments that can be injured in a car crash.  The PCL (posterior cruciate ligament), ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and MCL (medial collateral ligament) are ligaments that are often injured in car accidents.  These ligaments are usually injured from a blow to the front or side of the knee while the knee is bent. So it is easy to see why the knee is often injured in car accidents since we usually drive with our knee bent.  These ligaments can be stretched, torn or ruptured during a serious accident and can be painful and debilitating.  Treatment for knee ligament injuries vary. There are nonsurgical treatments, such as, the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation) or wearing a knee brace and attending physical therapy.  In other situations, surgical treatment, such as arthroscopic surgery, is needed for more severe injuries. 

Knee injuries can cause a permanent or partial disability that can change your lifestyle.  For instance, if you have an active lifestyle and enjoy running, hiking and working out, a permanent knee injury can be devastating.  The proper medical treatment is needed to get the best possible recovery from knee injuries.  Likewise, the proper handling of your legal claim for a knee injury is needed to get the best possible financial result.  If someone’s negligence causes you to sustain a knee injury you deserve the most compensation possible.

If you have been hurt in a car accident, feel free to contact us or call (508) 879-3500.  We are happy to talk to you about your situation and assist you in getting you the money you deserve.