Filing a Lawsuit For a Knee Injury Suffered in a Maryland Car Crash

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Car Accidents Published on September 21, 2023 and updated on January 4, 2024.

doctor evaluating knee injuryCar crashes have the potential to cause serious knee injuries with debilitating symptoms. Without proper treatment, you could have permanent complications.

Medical treatment for these injuries is expensive, and you cannot expect the liable driver’s insurance company to offer the compensation you need. You should consider talking to an experienced lawyer about seeking compensation for a knee injury from a car crash.

The experienced attorneys at The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl pursue maximum compensation for victims of other drivers’ negligence.

Below, our Maryland auto accident lawyers discuss how car crashes can cause knee injuries, the potential long-term effects, and legal options for victims.

Call to schedule a free consultation. There are no upfront costs: 410-297-0271.

Why Car Crashes May Cause Knee Injuries

Blunt force trauma is the most common cause of a car crash knee injury. For example, a driver’s knee could hit the steering wheel or dashboard during a collision, causing a fracture or structural damage to the joint. In fact, car crashes have caused so many drivers to hit their knees on the dashboard that it is referred to as dashboard knee.

Car crash knee injuries are not always the result of blunt force trauma, however. Drivers and other vehicle occupants may suffer soft-tissue injuries, dislocated knees or fractures. This is often the result of the victim tensing up before the impact of a crash.

Many types of Maryland car crashes could cause knee injuries. The more violent the collision, the more likely it is victims will suffer severe injuries, including knee injuries. For example, head-on collisions could cause the dashboard, steering wheel or even the engine to get pushed into your knees.

Knee injuries could also occur in:

Rear-End Crashes

A rear impact could push your body forward, causing your knee to suffer blunt force trauma from the dashboard.

Side-Impact Collisions

These types of collisions often cause occupants’ bodies and/or legs to twist. This could result in soft-tissue damage to the knee or even a fracture.

Stationary Object Collisions

Sometimes these are head-on collisions and sometimes they are side-impact collisions. The force of impact could cause parts of the interior of the car to get pushed into vehicle occupants.

Knee Injuries Often Caused by Auto Accidents

Crash victims could suffer any of the following knee injuries in a collision:

Knee Dislocation

One or more of the three bones in your knee (femur, tibia, patella) could get pushed out of alignment. When this happens victims often hear a popping noise.

Meniscus Tear

Each knee has a medial and lateral meniscus to provide cushioning. A car crash could cause these pieces of cartilage to twist and tear. Meniscus injuries can affect the range of motion in your knee.

Broken Patella

This often happens when the knee hits the dashboard. If the bone shifts out of place, doctors may need to do surgery.

Tibial Plateau Fracture

This is the name for an injury to the bone on the bottom of the knee joint. The problem with this injury is that the soft tissues around the bone may also suffer damage. This piece of bone is critical to your ability to walk, as it supports your weight. These injuries often result from the leg getting stuck under the dashboard after the crash.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Sprain or Tear

The ACL allows you to rotate your knee and move it forward. ACL injuries often occur when the knee twists too much or gets pushed too far to one side, also called hyperextension.

Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Tear or Sprain

The MCL connects the bones in your lower leg to your thigh bone. The purpose of the MCL is to prevent your knee from buckling too far inward.

Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Injury

The PCL could tear or become sprained or strained if your knee slams into the dashboard.

What Are The Symptoms of a Knee Injury?

If you suffer a fracture, dislocation or severe soft-tissue injury, you are going to know it. Broken bones and dislocations cause significant pain. You may also be unable to use the injured knee or put any weight on it. This could make it difficult to maintain your balance while walking, if you can stand up at all.

Other common knee injury symptoms include:

  • Bruising
  • Discolored skin
  • Redness
  • Your knee feeling warm to the touch
  • Fever
  • Popping noises when you use the affected leg
  • Deformity, which could indicate kneecap damage or a significant injury to your ligaments

If your knee hurts after a crash, you should go to the hospital right away. If you wait to seek treatment, you may increase your risk of long-term complications.

Sometimes it can take a day or two for symptoms to present themselves. However, if your knee feels stiff or there is minor pain when you use the affected leg, you should not assume these problems will go away on their own.

How Can Doctors Treat Knee Injuries?

Serious knee injuries, especially severe fractures and torn ligaments, often require surgery to heal correctly. In some cases, doctors must insert plates or screws to help broken bones come back together and stay in their proper place.

Sometimes knee injuries cause damage to blood vessels, and this may require surgery. If blood flow to your lower leg is restricted, victims could suffer life-threatening complications.

Soft-tissue injuries may heal on their own, provided victims limit use of the affected knee, use ice to limit swelling and keep the knee elevated. However, victims may need physical therapy to rebuild strength in the surrounding tissues and regain mobility. Doctors may also prescribe anti-inflammatory medications to help limit swelling and promote healing.

Why You Need Proper Treatment For Knee Injuries

You need proper treatment for a knee injury, otherwise, you may have long-term complications. This could include chronic pain when you use the affected leg. For example, if a bone break does not heal properly, walking and standing for long periods may be quite difficult and painful.

Knee injuries also increase your risk of arthritis later in life, especially if the injury does not receive the proper treatment.

Physical therapy is vital following ligament damage to your knees. Rehabilitation may take several months or longer. Victims need to follow through with treatment, otherwise, they could have long-term mobility issues.

What Are Your Legal Options if the Crash Was Caused by Another Driver?

If the crash was caused by another driver, you have the right to seek compensation for damages, including the cost of your medical care, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, and more.

Knee injuries are serious, and treatment is not going to be cheap. You need full compensation for your injuries and damages to have the best chance to make a full recovery. While you can seek compensation on your own, you need to remember you are taking on a powerful insurance company. They deal with accident claims every day, and they are skilled in denying or devaluing claims.

You should hire an experienced lawyer to deal with the insurance company on your behalf. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl have been securing millions in compensation for accident victims for many years. We have taken on many insurance companies over the years.

While most cases settle, we are always ready to take cases to court. Our goal is to secure maximum compensation, as we want to help you get your life back on track.

The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl Helps Crash Victims. Contact Us

Sports fans know how debilitating knee injuries can be. They have probably seen some of their favorite athletes miss several months recovering from damage to their knees.

However, knee injuries can occur in more common situations as well, such as car crashes. Victims of these accidents should strongly consider seeking legal assistance. Medical treatment is not cheap and without it, you could have long-term complications.

Call for legal help after a car crash. The consultation is free. Phone: 410-297-0271.