Last year in Virginia, there were more than 66,500 car crash-related injuries across the state. This figure accounts for a variety of injuries, including those that damage the knee. The knee is the largest joint in the body, and, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, one of the most easily injured. A study published by the National Institutes of Health supports this, stating that a crash doesn’t need to be severe to cause injury. Most knee fractures during the study period occurred in an accident in which the vehicle was traveling less than 30 miles per hour.
Causes of Common Car Accident Knee Injuries
Sports injuries or inflammatory disease are most often associated with the knee, but traumatic injuries can cause as much pain and require as much treatment. In a car crash, even when wearing a seatbelt, drivers’ and passengers’ limbs will often impact different parts of the car. Knee injuries are commonly caused when the knee:
- Hits the dashboard
- Hits the door
- Hits the windshield or window
- Is twisted
- Is hyperextended
Most Common Knee Injuries in a Car Crash
The most common knee injuries that result from a car accident include:
- Fracture. Knee fractures commonly occur in car accidents in the patella, the small bone on the front of the knee. Meant to act as a shield for the inner structure of the knee, the kneecap can be broken if it is slammed forward into a part of the car. Surgery is often necessary to repair this type of fracture.
- Dislocation. A dislocation occurs when the bones are moved out of place, either partially or completely. It can be painful and make it impossible to bear weight on the knee.
- Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tear. The ACL runs diagonally down the middle of the knee. It keeps the tibia bone from sliding forward and helps the knee rotate. Direct collisions and sudden stopping or changing direction most often cause this type of injury, which is commonly treated with surgery and/or rehabilitation.
- Meniscus Tear. The meniscus is a piece of cartilage that acts as a cushion between the upper and lower bones. Forceful twisting or rotating of the knee can tear this cartilage, leading to instability and pain.
- Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Tear. The MCL is found on the outside of the knee, and it can be damaged by blunt force. Like an ACL injury, an MCL injury may be treated with surgery and/or rehabilitation.
- Patellar Tendon Tear. The patellar tendon connects the kneecap to the top of the shin bone. When this is completely torn, it is impossible to straighten the knee.
Damages After a Car Accident Knee Injury
A knee injury can cause severe pain and significantly impact a victim’s daily routine. Treatment plans for these injuries often involve immobilization, surgery, and rehabilitation. For accident victims whose jobs require physical fitness and for those who are extremely active, knee injuries can cause considerable time away from regular activities. The financial strain, physical pain, and emotional stress can be hard to manage. That’s why Virginia law allows victims to hold those responsible for their injuries accountable. The at-fault driver who caused these injuries can be held responsible through a personal injury claim. A claim could provide compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Future medical bills
- Future lost wages
If you or someone you love suffered a knee injury in a car accident, you may be eligible for compensation. Even if you aren’t sure of your rights, taking action today could protect your health and your financial stability going forward. A knee injury may not be life threatening, but it can have serious, negative consequences for you and the lives of those you love. Our legal team understands that any injury that keeps victims from living their normal lives should be addressed both medically and legally. Our experienced lawyers are here to help accident victims obtain the compensation they need to recover as quickly and fully as possible. We would be happy to discuss your situation during a free, no-obligation consultation. We can learn more about you, explain your legal rights, and help you make the most effective decisions for your future. Call our Fairfax office, or take a moment to fill out the contact form on this page to get in touch with us today.