Crashes are always a risk for Kirkland bicyclists, and in some cases when a rider goes down, their knees are the first thing that hits the ground. These accidents can lead to a variety of injuries; some of the most common are knee injuries. If a bicycle accident involved a driver who was at-fault in the incident, the bicyclist can pursue compensation from the driver and his or her insurance company.
Common Bicycle Accident Knee Injuries
In some bicycle accidents, the knee injuries the rider experiences are minor, these can include:
- bone bruises;
- mild road rash (abrasions); and
- contusion injuries.
While these accidents can be painful, they leave little to no long-term damage. Other knee injuries are more severe. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), collateral ligaments (MCL, LCL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), and meniscus can all tear during an accident. These injuries may lead to swelling and pain in the knee, as well as impaired mobility during recovery.
Fractures and dislocations of the knee joint happen sometimes during bicycle accidents as well. The knee is made of the tibia and fibula leg bones and the patella (kneecap). In some cases, riders might fracture the patella bone during a fall from the bike, and sometimes the patella can move all the way to the side of the leg, dislocating the joint. These injuries are very painful and cause extreme swelling.
Prognosis and Treatment for Knee Injuries
Most minor injuries are treated with the RICE method (rest, ice, compression and elevation).
Ligament tears often require surgery, although different factors affect the decision to have surgery like:
- tear severity; and
Surgeons may perform the procedure via open surgery or via arthroscopic surgery using smaller instruments and incisions. Some surgeries, like those to repair meniscus tears, only have a recovery time of several weeks, but ACL and collateral ligament surgeries may require many months and sometimes up to a year to recover.
If the knee is dislocated or severely fractured, knee reconstruction or replacement surgery may be necessary. For any surgery, the recovery time period depends on the progress made in physical therapy afterward.
Legal Options for Bicyclists
You should make every effort to preserve all possible evidence and paperwork after the accident:
- accident reports;
- medical bills;
- witness accounts;
- clothing; and
- the bike.
You may decide to file a claim against the driver's auto liability insurance for your injuries in the accident. If you are unable to reach a fair settlement, you may pursue a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. If you're considering a liability claim or lawsuit for severe injuries, speak with an attorney to protect your rights and negotiate with the insurance company.
Max Meyers Law can help you obtain compensation for some of the most common knee injuries after accidents in Kirkland. Contact our office at 425-399-7000 to schedule a free consultation today.