Many victims of car accidents suffer knee injuries that involve damage to soft tissue, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and the joint. The blunt force trauma or twisting that occurs through a collision impact can lead to a fracture, dislocation, cartilage tear, sprain, or strain. These injuries can be the result of a rear-end crash, side impact accident, or rollover. When the accident is the fault of the other driver, the victim has the right to seek financial compensation to recover their damages.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represents victims of vehicle accidents and other types of professional negligence. Our law firm has successfully prosecuted cases for our clients who suffered severe knee injuries caused by the negligent actions of others. Our attorneys are available to answer any legal questions on how to receive the monetary compensation you deserve if your injuries were a result of someone else's negligence. Should you have additional questions, we invite you to contact our office for a free review of your legal rights.
Calculating the Value of Your Case
On the RosenfeldInjuryLawyers.com website, under the Illinois Car Accident Settlement Center, our attorneys explain our five-step procedure on how to estimate what your car accident case might be worth. If you did not read What Is My Car Accident Case Worth? click here.
If you suffer a knee injury in a crash, there are specific litigation factors to consider that will help confirm the validity of your claim for compensation. These factors include:
- Due to the force and trauma of many car accidents, knee injuries are one of the most common forms of injury in crashes.
- The total cost of a surgery for a knee injury, such as to the ACL, can cost more than $10,000 for a repair. While insurance coverage might pay for most of the needed treatment and related services, you could be responsible for all other costs, including deductibles, copays, and insurance payments.
- Recovery time for serious knee injury operations might take as long as six to nine months, though less serious operations might take a shorter time to heal.
These facts alone paint a stark picture for the immediate future following a car accident that produces a knee injury. Surgery will be expensive, rehabilitation will be serious, and work will have to be put on hold for a significant amount of time. However, many patients report a declined sense of movement in the knee following surgery that affects their life thereafter in areas such as sports, work, and general mobility.
This leads many plaintiffs' lawyers to ask for non-economic financial compensation (in categories such as pain and suffering) for the reduced quality of life plaintiffs suffer in addition to the economic damages they already face (i.e., medical bills, lost wages, etc.). Knee injuries severely impact the lives of victims, and an accurate portrayal of this should be pled and proved at trial and considered ex-ante (what the future might hold) when estimating how much your car accident case is worth.
Torn Meniscus and Crushed Patella Cases
In many automobile crashes, the victim's knee will hit the dashboard, that might crush the kneecap (patella) or twist the leg in an awkward position. Doctors diagnose the condition as a “dashboard knee” injury. Unfortunately, wearing a seatbelt does not always save the victim from a knee injury in a severe car accident, especially a head-on crash. The doctor might also diagnose the knee injury to include:
- Cartilage Tear – The knee is constructed with a cartilaginous pad on each side of the knee bones that work to cushion the shinbone against the thighbone. Doctors referred to the pads as the meniscus and can be easily torn in different areas. Treatment for a torn meniscus usually requires wearing a brace to provide additional support of the affected knee. In severe cases, the surgeon will remove the patient's damaged knee cartilage, followed by a short recovery time. Usually, the tear will involve only minimal permanent damage.
- Sprains and Strains – Of the vehicle accident causes the need to be stretched beyond its limits; they can easily cause ligaments and muscles to tear, sprain, or strain. Victims with a torn ligament are often in excruciating pain. The impact from some vehicle accidents can cause the medial collateral ligament (MCL) or anterior crucial ligament (ACL) to tear, requiring repair surgeries and extensive rehabilitation and therapy.
- Knee Dislocation – Many high-speed collisions result in intense impact against the victim's body for the trauma forces can cause the need to dislocate when the joint bones are moved out of the normal position. A dislocated knee is a complex injury that usually involves a cartilage or ligament tear. If the dislocation injury involves the blockage of arterial blood flow, the secondary harm to the joint will likely require an amputation below or above the knee.
- Bone Fractures – The shinbone, thighbone, or patella (kneecap) can be fractured in serious automobile accidents especially those involving a side-impact collision or head-on crash. The fracture might displace the kneecap or break any or all of the bones that make up the joint, requiring the need to wear a full leg cast for up to two months. The fracture can cause the patella to pull away from the knee joint which would require a surgical procedure for repair. These injuries often result in arthritic conditions that develop many years into the future.
- Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injury – Any accident that involves the kneecap hitting the dashboard can cause a complete or partial tear of the PCL (posterior cruciate ligament). Treating this injury often includes intense physical therapy to strengthen the quadricep muscles that help to stabilize the posterior crucial ligament. In severe cases, the surgeon will rebuild the PCS using transplanted (donor) tissue. The recovery process is expensive and often requires a few weeks of rest. This injury often results in an arthritic condition that develops in the years ahead.
Long-Term Knee Injury Complications
Unfortunately, many victims who suffer a knee injury often develop long-term complications that result in the future need for treatment, therapy, and surgical procedures. In the years ahead, the injured victim might develop complications that include a posttraumatic arthritic condition that makes it difficult to remain mobile or perform certain jobs or tasks. In severe cases, surgeons may recommend that the patient undergo a total knee replacement where the original knee joint is removed and replaced with an artificial implant.
Do I Have a Case for Compensation?
If you have been injured in an automobile accident that was not your fault, and you suffered any type of injury, you might have the legal right to seek financial compensation to recover your damages. An attorney working on your behalf can evaluate your claim, review your medical records, speak to eyewitnesses, and investigate your case to ensure your family can receive the compensation you deserve.
In determining the ability of your case, your attorney will work closely with the medical team that provided your care to best understand any therapy, surgery, or rehabilitation you will need in the future. Your lawyer will build the case on the evidence that shows you have extensive damages that could include:
- Hospitalization expenses,
- Medical bills,
- The cost of rehabilitation, physical therapy, occupational therapy, medications, pain-killing drugs, and surgical procedures,
- Lost wages due to your time away from work because of your temporary or permanent disability,
- The loss of earning ability in the future if you are no longer able to return to your original job where you worked before the accident occurred,
- Non-tangible damages including pain, suffering, emotional trauma, stress, and anxiety.
Steps to Take to Ensure Adequate Compensation
The action you take immediately after the accident in the days following the crash might be used to determine how much compensation you receive through a negotiated settlement or jury trial verdict. Typically, accident victims are not thinking clearly because their adrenaline is racing in response to the traumatic experience. The victim may determine that they are not suffering serious injuries at first because they are more interested in the health and well-being of the passengers in the vehicle and might not choose to accept care from the EMT (Emergency Medical Technicians) arriving at the scene in an ambulance.
However, taking the right steps at the accident scene could help improve your chances of receiving adequate monetary recovery for your injuries. The most common mistakes victims make after being involved in an accident include:
- Not Going to the Hospital to Receive Proper Medical Attention. The defendant (the party at fault for causing the accident) will claim that if you fail to go to the doctor, it means that you were not hurt in the accident. Even if you can show that you have serious injuries that were not obvious at the accident scene, it may make it more difficult to receive the amount of compensation you deserve.
The best action to take after the accident is to call 911 yourself and request an ambulance and law enforcement be sent to the scene of the accident immediately. Once the emergency professionals arrive, asked to be taken to the hospital right away. You may not be fully aware that you were injured without a proper physical examination where the emergency doctor can use the best diagnostic equipment to identify broken bones, damaged organs, cuts, bruises, lacerations, and other severe injuries. You can always give your statement to the law enforcement officer once your injuries have been stabilized.
- Failing to Document Your Injuries and the Accident Scene. Once you arrive at the hospital, it is important to document your injuries in words and photographs/videos if possible. Call a friend and have them take photographic and video evidence of the accident scene including the condition of the cars, roadway conditions, environmental factors, and the weather that all might have played a part in causing your accident.
- Failing to Visit Your Doctor at Scheduled Follow-Up Appointments. The defendant, the defendant's insurance company, or claims adjuster will look for any evidence that you were not really injured in the vehicle accident. The best action to take once you have been released from the hospital emergency room is to ensure that you visit the doctor for every follow-up appointment to prove that you are receiving treatment and additional diagnoses that might reveal additional injuries.
- Speaking with the Insurance Company before Hiring an Attorney. Any statement you make to anyone concerning what happened at the accident could reduce your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve. It is important to remember that the insurance carrier is in business to generate profits for shareholders by minimizing the amount of compensation they pay out to the victims. Consider hiring an attorney first who can speak on your behalf and provide legal advice on how to maximize your monetary recovery.
- Signing the Release Form without Legal Advice. Once you accept the insurance company's check, your claim is resolved, and the case is finalized. If you then realize that the amount you receive was far lower than your damages, you have no options to return for additional compensation. Because of that, it is important to obtain legal advice before signing anything or authorizing a settlement in the case without an attorney's advice.
Hiring an Attorney to Receive Compensation
The auto accident knee injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC understand that the crash that led to your injuries was not your fault but the responsibility of a reckless driver. Our law firm has successfully obtained millions on behalf of the victims and their family members to ensure they were adequately compensated to cover their medical expenses, household bills, lost wages, loss of future earnings, pain, suffering, and emotional damage and we can help your family too. Let us begin working on your case now.
Our legal team encourages you to contact our attorneys today to schedule a free, no-obligation case consultation to discuss the merits of your monetary recovery claim. We accept all personal injury cases, wrongful death lawsuits, and vehicle crash injury claims through contingency fee arrangements. This legal contract postpones the payment of legal services until after we have successfully completed your case through a negotiated settlement or a jury verdict.
Our law firm gets results quickly because we understand you need money now. We proudly offer every client a “No Win/No-Fee” Guarantee, meaning if we are unable to secure financial compensation on your behalf you owe us nothing. All information you share with our law office will stay confidential.