Legally Reviewed by:

Jonathan Rosenfeld

March 2, 2023

Over $400 Million worth of case results

Awarded The Best Lawyer in 2024 by U.S. News

Nationally Recognized in Legal Community

Knee injuries can be painful and lead to long-term complications and permanent disability. Thousands of people experience knee injuries in car accidents every year, resulting in costly medical expenses, lost wages, and significant pain and suffering. Here we discuss knee injury car accident settlements.

If you or a loved one have suffered from a knee injury after a car accident, contact the personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation.

Knee Injury Car Accident Settlement

Our Chicago car accident lawyers are experts in knee injury claims and personal injury cases and will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our law firm about your personal injury case remains private through an attorney-client relationship.

We accept all injury cases on a contingency fee basis. This agreement ensures you pay nothing until your case is resolved through a negotiated settlement or jury trial award.

Car Accident Knee Injury Statistics

The trauma experienced in a motor vehicle accident can cause significant injuries to the lower legs. Statistics from the US Department of Transportation [1] show that 37% of people involved in a frontal collision will sustain a lower leg injury. In addition, 10% of all injuries sustained in car accidents involve the knee.

Knee injuries are common and can occur in various vehicles and accident types.

The following statistics represent the percentage of knee injuries sustained in different vehicles and accident types.

Vehicles Involved

  • Car 70%
  • Truck/Trailer 17%
  • Motorcycle 4%
  • Pedestrian 8%
  • Bike 1%

Accidents Types

  • Rear-End 18%
  • Lane Change 74%
  • Head-On 5%
  • Rollover 1%
  • Sideswipe 2%

What Causes Knee Injuries in a Car Accident?

Knee Injury

When a vehicle is struck from the side or involved in a rear-end collision, the victim has an increased risk of injury to their knees and lower legs.

A vehicle hit from the side when a driver failed to give way or a car rear-ended from behind when stationary at a traffic light are common accident scenarios resulting in a knee injury.

Knee injuries are also common in pedestrian accidents due to the height of the car bumper being in line with the knee.

Common Types of Knee Injuries After a Car Accident

Common Types of Knee Injuries After a Car Accident

Knee Injury

When the leg or knee strikes the steering wheel or vehicle dash, the force of contact can cause significant trauma. As a result, these injuries are referred to as dashboard knee injuries.

The knee joint is complex, with many intricate structures prone to injury during blunt trauma or twisting. As a result, various injuries can occur during an auto accident, such as soft tissue injuries, broken bones, knee fractures, and, unfortunately, more severe injuries like leg amputations and spinal injuries.

Knee Fracture

A fractured bone is one of the most common leg injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident. The kneecap (patella) is the bone located at the front of the knee and is commonly fractured due to blunt force.

The kneecap can break into several small fragments and detach from the surrounding ligaments that support the knee joint allowing weight-bearing and movement. A patella fracture will usually require knee surgery to repair the damage.

Symptoms of a knee fracture include:

  • Intense pain in the kneecap and surrounding tissues
  • Swelling of the knee
  • Pain when moving or twisting the knee
  • Pain when extending the leg
  • A more severe injury will cause abnormalities in the appearance of the bones
  • Pain when pressure is applied to the kneecap or surrounding tissues

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Damage

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) [2] is located in the center of the knee and is responsible for the rotation and forward movement of the tibia (shin bone). If the ligament is hyperextended or torn in a car crash, it can cause intense pain. A torn ACL injury occurs when a blunt force impacts the joint and causes the connective tissue in the knee to tear.

ACL injuries can be severe and often require reconstructive surgery to replace the torn ligament.

Symptoms of an ACL injury include:

  • Rapid swelling of the connective tissue surrounding the knee
  • Inability to move or extend the knee
  • Instability of the knee (feeling like the knee can not hold weight)
  • A popping sound or sensation in the joint

Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Injury

The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) sits behind the ACL in the center of the joint, and both ligaments work together to support the rotation and forward movement of the tibia (shin bone) [3] and femur (thigh bone) [4].

Damage to the PCL is less common and usually results from a powerful force such as the knee hitting the dashboard of a vehicle. The ligament can also be torn if the joint is twisted in a side-on collision.

Symptoms of a PCL injury include:

  • Rapid swelling of the connective tissue around the joint
  • Stiffness of the joint
  • Difficulty with weight-bearing or walking
  • Instability of the joint (feeling like the joint may collapse and give out)

Meniscus Tear

A torn meniscus is a common knee injury after a car crash. The meniscus is the soft cartilage in the joint that absorbs shock from impact. Any blunt force that causes the knee to twist can tear this important cartilage and cause significant pain.

Symptoms of a meniscus tear include:

  • Rapid swelling of the connective tissues around the joint
  • Intense pain when rotating the knee
  • Difficulty extending or straightening the knee
  • Lack of stability in the joint

Knee Dislocation

A dislocated knee occurs when the kneecap dislocates, causing the femur and tibia to be disconnected from the joint. Any impactful force or twisting motion has the potential to cause this painful injury.

Symptoms of a dislocated knee include:

  • A popping sound at the time of impact
  • The knee collapsing
  • Rapid swelling
  • Visual signs of trauma such as bruising or the joint looking out of place
  • Inability to weight bear on the joint

Medial Collateral Ligament Injury

The medial collateral ligament (MCL) runs on the inside part of the knee and prevents the leg from twisting and extending too far toward the midline of the body. An MCL injury usually occurs from direct trauma to the outside of the knee, causing the inner ligament to stretch and tear.

Symptoms of an MCL injury include:

  • Pain along the inside of the affected knee
  • Inability to walk
  • Rapid swelling of the joint
  • Stiffness and a sensation of locking or catching in the joint

Below the Knee Amputation

Amputation can be defined as the loss or removal of a body part. Statistics show that 45% of amputations occur directly from traumas such as motor vehicle accidents. For example, the impact of a car crash can cause a severe crush injury where the leg is too damaged to be repaired and saved.

A below-the-knee amputation is a life-changing injury that results in permanent disability, pain, and long-term emotional distress.

Complications From a Knee Injury

Complications From a Knee Injury in a Car Accident

Research published in the Journal of Accidents Analysis and Prevention in the United States shows that approximately 30,000 knee injuries are sustained in car accidents each year.

These serious injuries can often require the need to seek medical treatment and undergo surgery, with some victims requiring up to three knee surgeries to repair the damage.

Injury victims may need to complete extensive physical therapy and rehabilitation. In addition, the ongoing complications from a knee injury can be costly and traumatic.

Chronic Pain

A knee injury can cause long-term chronic pain that impacts a victim’s ability to live an active, healthy life. In addition, consistent pain medication may be required, which carries the risk of addiction and further complications.

Post Injury Arthritis

Osteoarthritis can occur in the knee joint as a consequence of the injury sustained. Damage to the joint and tendons can cause degenerative knee problems resulting in ongoing pain and difficulty with mobility.

Impairment of Daily Activities

Knee injuries can cause significant impairment to simple daily activities such as walking, getting out of a chair, and traveling up and downstairs. In addition, the inability to do these simple tasks free of pain can result in emotional and psychological distress.

Treatment for Knee Injuries

Treatment for Knee Injuries

The treatment required for a knee injury case will depend on the level of damage sustained to the joint. For example, some ligament sprains will heal on their own in time, while other more severe ligament tears or bone fractures may require surgical repair.

Surgery may involve a total knee replacement or arthroscopic surgery to repair ligaments and realign bone fractures. Knee arthroscopy and surgeries for severe injury cases can often be costly and require several months of post-operative rest and rehabilitation. In addition, the time off work to heal properly can cause a significant financial burden.

Treatment for a knee injury and healing time can vary depending on your age and if you suffered from any pre-existing conditions that impact recovery.

Who Pays for the Pain and Suffering in a Knee Injury Case?

Illinois operates under an ‘at fault’ car accident insurance coverage system. It means that the driver who causes the accident is legally responsible for paying for any damages or injuries arising from the crash.

There may be multiple parties at fault in the accident in some knee injury settlements. In this scenario, the liability is divided according to the principle of comparative negligence.

There are four ways to seek compensation for a knee injury after a motor vehicle accident in Illinois.

  • A claim with your own insurance company (a “first-party” claim).
  • A claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company (a “third-party” claim).
  • Workers compensation claims
  • A civil court claim against the at-fault driver.

How an Insurance Company Handles Knee Injury Car Accident Settlement Claims

Insurance companies will try to settle a claim quickly and offer the smallest payout possible.

If the injured person does not have an attorney handling their compensation claim, the insurance company may make an offer well below the actual value of the case. It is essential to engage an expert attorney in knee injury settlements from the start.

Workers Compensation Claims

By Illinois law, an employer must carry workers’ compensation insurance to pay for medical bills and lost earnings of an employee who was injured during the course of their employment. The employer is required to provide car insurance coverage for damaged vehicles and workers’ compensation insurance policies for any work-related accident, including a motor vehicle or pedestrian accident.

If you suffered a knee injury in a motor vehicle accident while completing duties relating to your job, you might be able to make a knee injury compensation claim through workers’ compensation insurance.

In a workers’ compensation claim, the employee must have been acting within the scope of employment at the time of the wreck and may have been driving a commercial, company, or personal vehicle.

Whether an employee was driving the car within the scope of employment at the time the accident happened is not always clear-cut. For example, an employee going to or from work or traveling for lunch would not be considered to be acting within the scope of employment.

However, if the employee was asked to make a work-related stop or run a business errand in their personal vehicle when the accident and injury occurred, then a workers’ compensation claim may be possible.

What Happens When More Than One Insurance Company Is Involved?

You must contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to determine what type of insurance claim you can file and against which responsible parties.

The team at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC often identifies multiple parties that could be listed as defendants in a car accident claim or personal injury lawsuit.

In addition to the party at fault in a company motor vehicle accident, potential defendants could include:

  • The employer and the employer’s insurance carrier
  • Any other driver involved in the collision
  • The vehicle manufacturer that sold the defective car

How Much Compensation Is Available for a Knee Injury Claim?

If you have suffered a knee injury after a motor vehicle accident, you can make a claim for compensation against the at-fault party’s insurance company. Making a claim for compensation is an essential part of the recovery process. It not only assists in financial recovery but can also offer emotional closure to a traumatic incident.

Proving that a knee injury was caused by a motor vehicle accident can be difficult, particularly if the victim had a preexisting knee injury or if the damage developed after leaving the accident scene. Therefore, it is crucial to engage a personal injury lawyer experienced in knee injury cases to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Average Settlement Values for a Knee Injury From a Car Accident

Many factors impact the value of knee injury verdicts, so it is challenging to provide average settlement estimates for knee injury victims. For example, knee injury verdicts can vary from $45,000 to $65,000 for a torn ligament that requires surgery to hundreds of thousands of dollars for severe life-altering injuries.

Some people may refer to a knee injury settlement calculator available online in an attempt to self-assess a serious injury concerning a car accident case. However, these calculators are inaccurate and can not provide the injured victim with a detailed analysis of their particular injury and circumstances.

It is best to seek the guidance and direction of an attorney experienced in knee injury cases to walk you through the compensation process and make sure you get the settlement you deserve.

What Impacts the Compensation Settlement Value?

Several factors can contribute to the settlement value of a knee injury compensation claim. The severity of the injury, the long-term complications, and the financial burden are all commonly assessed.

Knee injury car accident cases may be assessed for the following damages:

  • Lost wages– A knee injury or knee surgery can take a long time to heal, and a victim may be unable to work during the recovery period.
  • Medical expenses– Any medical bills received as a result of the accident, including the cost of an ambulance from the accident scene. Any future medical costs that may be incurred are also considered, such as rehabilitation, surgeries, and physical therapy. It is important to keep all your medical records as evidential proof.
  • Property damage– Your vehicle was likely damaged in the accident, and insurance will pay for the repair.
  • Physical pain and suffering– Knee injuries are both acutely painful and can cause ongoing chronic medical conditions.
  • Loss of ability to perform house duties– A knee injury victim may not be able to complete everyday tasks around the house, such as cleaning or gardening.
  • Emotional and psychological distress– Serious knee injuries can impact a victim’s ability to perform daily activities that provide them enjoyment. Losing the ability to participate in those activities can cause ongoing emotional distress.

Every knee injury is different, and our personal injury attorneys will make sure that every possible avenue for compensation is pursued.

How Do I Claim Compensation for a Knee Injury After a Car Accident?

If you or a loved one are experiencing knee pain after an auto accident, you must contact a law firm to engage a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

Serious knee injuries from car accidents cause victims significant trauma and financial burden in medical bills and lost wages. However, by contacting an attorney and proceeding with a knee injury claim, you may be able to obtain compensation.

A personal injury claim may provide compensation that covers:

  • Medical expenses, including knee surgery and future medical costs
  • Cost of hiring essential services such as cleaners and gardeners
  • Lost wages
  • Physical rehabilitation programs
  • Physical pain and ongoing suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Punitive damages

Is There a Time Limit on When I Can Claim Compensation?

Chicago’s statute of limitations will restrict the amount of time injured victims can file a claim for compensation against any other driver at fault for causing the motor vehicle accident.

In Illinois, the statute of limitations for car accident claims is two years from the date of the motor vehicle accident. Therefore, if you do not file your claim within two years of the date of the crash, you will lose your right to compensation.

For this reason, you must contact our law firm as soon as possible after your accident to ensure your knee injury case is handled promptly.

What Steps Do I Take to Start the Process of Compensation?

What Steps Do I Take to Start the Process of Compensation?

If you or a loved one have suffered a knee injury in a motor vehicle accident, do not hesitate to contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC for immediate legal assistance. You must engage a professional personal injury lawyer to fight for a fair knee injury settlement and the compensation you deserve.

Call us today at (888) 424-5757 for immediate legal help, and schedule a free consultation to discuss your knee injury compensation case.

Our auto accident lawyers are experts in personal injury cases. We provide a professional and compassionate service, ensuring you are entirely supported through your knee injury case claim.

We accept all knee injury cases on a contingency fee basis. This agreement ensures you pay nothing until your case is resolved through a negotiated settlement or jury trial award.

All confidential or sensitive information you share with our law firm remains private through an attorney-client relationship.

Resources: [1] US Department of Transportation, [2] OrthoInfo, [3] TeachMe Anatomy, [4] Cleveland Clinic

Client Reviews

Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld.

- Michonne Proulx

Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own.

- Ethan Armstrong

Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan!

- Giulia

This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you.

- Daniel Kaim

Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial.

- Lisa
Free Consultation (888) 424-5757