Automobile accidents occur with alarming regularity. Unfortunately, our Washington State car accident attorney explains, the human body was never intended to withstand the forces of a high-speed collision. In an accident, almost any organ or appendage could be damaged. While rarely acknowledged, knee injuries are surprisingly common—and, unlike a cut, a bruise, or a broken bone, have the potential to cause debilitating and life-long disability.
Common Car Crash Knee Injuries
When people imagine automobile accident injuries, they often think of:
However, the knees are—perhaps more than most other body parts—uniquely vulnerable. When a motorist or passenger experiences a sudden change in velocity, the forces of acceleration or deceleration could thrust their knees onto hard surfaces in the interior of the car, such as the dashboard, glove box, or door panels. In particularly severe collisions, a victim’s body could be contorted or forced into an unnatural position, potentially breaking the bones comprising the knee or placing intense stress upon its tissue and ligaments.
While a car crash could damage the knee in any number of ways, these injuries are especially common:
- Torn meniscuses
- Medial collateral ligament injuries
- Posterior cruciate ligament injuries
- Anterior cruciate ligament injuries
- Patella fractures
- Muscular injuries
- Cartilage injuries
Knee injuries often take months—and sometimes even years—to heal.
What to Do If You Have Suffered an Automobile Accident Knee Injury
If you, or a loved one, have been involved in a serious, Seattle-area automobile accident, you should always seek immediate medical attention. Even if you do not believe that your injuries warrant a physician’s attention, the doctor could help you identify, diagnose, and treat injuries you did not realize that you sustained.
Furthermore, seeing a physician shows the insurance company that you have serious concerns about your physical well-being and are not simply seeking to profit from a personal injury lawsuit.
For less serious injuries, your doctor might recommend:
- Rest. Since the knee is critical to mobility, bedrest may aid recovery.
- Elevation. Elevating the knee can help reduce swelling, improve circulation, and prevent the accumulation of fluids inside and around the joint.
- Medication. Depending on the severity of the injury, your doctor might prescribe pain medication or recommend over-the-counter alternatives.
- Compression. Knee wraps and braces can decrease swelling and stabilize displaced bones.
- Icing. Icing can also reduce swelling, and may assist in pain symptom management.
However, some knee injuries demand comparably intensive treatment—treatment that could be prohibitively expensive, even for families with high-quality health insurance plans.
Your Potential Damages in a Car Accident Claim
Washington law affords automobile accident victims the right to take legal action against the person or parties responsible for their injuries. If you have been involved in a Seattle-area car crash that was not your fault, you could file a claim for damages. Your damages could be:
- Economic. Economic damage is a term that refers to objective, easily calculable losses. Examples of economic damages include medical expenses, physical rehabilitation costs, and prescription medication co-pays.
- Non-economic. Non-economic damage is a term that refers to comparatively subjective losses. Examples of non-economic damages include emotional pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, and disfigurement.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, Max Meyers Law could help you file a claim that covers the totality of your economic and non-economic damages, including, but not limited to:
- Your past, present, and anticipated medical expenses
- Physical rehabilitation
- Prescription medication co-pays
- Lost income from work
- Diminished earning potential
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment
- Wrongful death
While Washington state does not currently cap the damages available in most personal injury claims, you must still act fast: the Evergreen State does have a strict statute of limitations, that restricts how long accident victims have to file a claim for recompense. If you wait too long to take action, the court could dismiss your case without further consideration.