The amount of compensation you can recover for an ACL injury from a car accident will depend on the facts of your case, including the extent of the damage and how well it healed.
These knee injuries involve tears to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Although ACL tears happen frequently in sports activities, they can also result from car crashes. If you have a swollen knee that makes it too painful to stand, and it feels as if your knee will “give way,” you should get immediate medical attention.
Possible Outcomes of an ACL Injury
Some mild ACL injuries can heal with R.I.C.E., which is:
- Rest: Keep your weight off of your knee.
- Ice: Apply ice packs for 20 minutes every two hours or as your doctor directs.
- Compression: Wrap your knee with an elastic bandage or compression wrap.
- Elevation: Get your knee at a higher level by lying down and propping up your knee with pillows.
After the R.I.C.E. self-care at home, your doctor might send you for physical therapy and rehabilitative care. You might have to wear a knee brace and walk with crutches for a few weeks.
Your doctor might recommend surgery to repair the ACL damage if you are:
- An athlete
- Young and active
- Your knee buckles with ordinary use
- Your ACL injury is severe
Severely damaged AC ligaments do not heal well, so your surgeon will reconstruct the ACL by removing the damaged ligament and replacing it with a tendon from another part of your knee or an organ donor. Rehabilitation can take eight to 12 months after knee reconstruction.
Factors That Affect the Settlement Value of an ACL Tear from a Wreck
We cannot state a dollar value for settlements of ACL injuries from car accidents because every case is different. These are a few of the many factors we will use to calculate how much your car accident case is worth:
The Severity of Your ACL Injury
ACL injuries include an overextended but intact (not torn) ligament, a partial tear of the tissue, and a complete tear.
Treatments You Had to Undergo for Your ACL Injury
If your ACL damage heals without surgical intervention, you will have lower medical expenses, which will tend to lead to a lower dollar value of your settlement. Higher medical costs usually go hand-in-hand with higher compensation.
How Successful the Treatments Were in Treating Your ACL Injury
Because the knee is a complex joint and load-bearing, some people do not experience a perfect recovery of function and subsidence of pain. Many people go on to have future injuries to the knee. Even with full recovery of function and returning to a pain-free state, you are at higher risk of osteoarthritis in the knee after an ACL tear.
Complications From the Treatment of Your ACL Injury
All surgeries come with risks, such as infection and damage to nearby tissue. The pain pills they give you can lead to opiate addiction. Costs that complications create can get added to your total settlement demand.
Other Injuries You Sustained in the Wreck
It takes a significant collision with a direct blow to the knee to cause an ACL tear. In this type of scenario, the patient usually suffers other injuries, such as fractures, in addition to the ACL damage. The type, severity, and locations of other injuries will be factors in the settlement value of your claim.
Possible Compensation for an ACL Car Accident Injury
Continuing Issues and Impacts on Your Life From the Injury
If your knee does not heal well and you face a lifetime of mobility issues and pain, you should receive compensation for these losses.
Lost Income Past and Future
Your past lost income includes the time you missed from work because of the accident, medical treatments, and recuperation time. Lost future income is for when you cannot earn as much money as before as a result of the ACL injury.
For example, a professional baseball player suffered a complete ACL tear in a car crash and after treatment was no longer able to perform at a “major league” level. He should get compensation for his lost future income.
The value of your claim does not stop at the total of your economic losses. The law allows you to recover for non-economic harm as well, for things like your pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. Your spouse might have a claim for loss of consortium.