In 2018, 159,925 car accidents and 47,419 related injuries occurred in Alabama, according to the Alabama Department of Transportation. And, as one study found, roughly 10% of those injuries were knee injuries.
That’s more than an estimated 4,700 people who suffered a knee injury from car accidents in Alabama. These injuries can have lifelong impacts and cause serious pain and suffering. Read on to learn more about knee injury risks, treatment, and legal options. And for help with your case, contact the car accident lawyers at Warren & Simpson today.
Common Types of Knee Injuries from Car Accidents
The knee is a complex joint composed of a lot of moving parts. That means knee injuries from car accidents can take many forms. Below, we’ll take a look at some of the most common knee injuries from car accidents.
A fractured patella is a broken kneecap. This serious injury often occurs in head-on collisions that drive the knee forward into the driver panel. Victims often suffer from severe pain, trouble extending the leg, and swelling around the knee.
Knee Ligament Injuries
Side-impact crashes and other accident types can harm any of the ligaments in the knee. These include the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), lateral collateral ligament (LCL), and medial collateral ligament (MCL).
Knee ligament injuries result in severe swelling, a “loose” feeling in the knee, and an inability to put any of your weight on the affected leg. Surgery is often the only way to repair a knee ligament. Medical expenses associated with this type of injury can be factored into the compensation that the victim is owed.
A sudden impact to the knee from a head-on collision or similar impact can knock your knee bones out of place. This causes knee pain after a car accident and loss of mobility until the bones are re-set in their normal place.
When you are in a car accident that forces your knee into the dashboard of your car, you can suffer dashboard knee. This is a serious injury to the PCL. It is tied to intense pain at the site of the impact to the knee. While it doesn’t always require surgery to repair, the pain and reduced mobility from a dashboard knee injury can be long-term.
If you have suffered any kind of knee injury from a car accident, it’s important to explore your legal options.
Legal Options After Suffering a Car Accident Knee Injury
If you have knee pain after a car accident, you have two main legal options for recovering compensation: an insurance claim or a lawsuit.
Often, the first step is filing an insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Insurers almost always refuse to offer a fair settlement. This is when you may be able to file a suit against the insurance company to force them to play fair.
Alabama law also allows victims of injuries that were the result of someone else’s negligence to sue the at-fault party. In the case of a knee injury from a car accident, the at-fault party would likely be the other driver.
Whether you pursue an insurance claim, lawsuit, or both, you run the risk of being taken advantage of. Insurers have plenty of tricks up their sleeves to withhold compensation from you. And negligent drivers may hire attorneys to try to disprove your claims to avoid compensating you. The good news is that working with a skilled personal injury attorney can protect you from these risks and give you the best possible chance of winning a fair settlement.
What Is the Average Settlement for a Car Accident with Knee Injury?
Settlements for common knee injuries from car accidents can vary widely. They depend on a few factors:
- The severity of your knee injury
- How your knee injury has impacted your ability to work
- How your injury has affected your daily life and well-being
- Which medical procedures will be required to repair your injured knee
- Whether you played any part in causing the accident
With that said, settlements for knee injuries from car accidents can range from several thousand dollars to well over $1 million. If, for instance, your knee injury will keep you from ever walking again, you will likely receive a much larger settlement than if your knee pain after a car accident resulted in a couple of weeks of physical therapy.
Your car accident lawyer can help you determine how much you are owed for knee pain after a car accident. And they can raise your chance of getting the maximum available amount.
Tips on Maximizing Knee Injury Settlement Amount
Have a knee injury from a car accident? Consider the following tips to maximize your settlement.
1. Be Careful when Speaking to Insurers
Insurers love to call car accident knee injury victims and pretend to be on their side. What they are really doing is trying to get you to say something they can use against you to avoid paying you. Instead, you can direct them to speak with your lawyer.
2. Document Your Injuries
If possible, take photos or videos of your injuries, the accident scene, and any other relevant information. These pieces of evidence can be extremely valuable in your lawsuit later on. As mentioned above, the severity of the injury plays a role in compensation. So it is essential to record the injury.
3. Keep a Daily Journal
Write down what you are going through because of your knee injuries from a car accident. Discuss any pain, effects at work, and troubles the injury is causing at home. Later, you can use this to support your lawsuit. Additionally, write down information about other injuries that took place as a result of the accident. If you suffered a back or neck injury in addition to the knee injury, be sure to keep a record of it.
Get the Compensation You Deserve After a Car Accident
At Warren & Simpson, we know how severely a knee injury from a car accident can impact your life. And we have the legal knowledge to help you recover the compensation you deserve. With more than 2,000 cases won and dozens of verdicts and settlements over $1 million, we have what it takes to help you win.
To schedule a free consultation with our legal team, call 256-539-7575 or contact us online.