Common Knee Injuries and Valuing a Knee Injury Case
Knee injuries can challenge an individual's ability to work and perform day-to-day operations. If you get injured at work or in a car accident, you may need to consult legal counsel to be properly compensated. Every knee injury case is different, and it can be difficult to value the appropriate compensation for a knee injury due to the many factors of that injury.
Common Knee Injuries
In a vehicle accident a passenger’s knee often crashes into the car dashboard, resulting in pain and physical damage to the Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL), injury doctors often refer to as “dashboard knee”. While a seatbelt can protect the vehicle occupant from many injuries, it often cannot protect the knee from slamming into the dashboard. In addition to worsening pain, dashboard knee can lead to instability in using the knee.
Other common knee injuries can include a cartilage tear, sprain, dislocation, or fracture. Injuries to the knees tend to have long term consequences such as arthritis and soreness. In many cases, the knee will never be the same.
The cartilage that cushions the shinbone against the thigh bone at the knee is referred to as the meniscus. This piece of cartilage can be torn in different areas very easily when subjected to the stresses of a car accident or high-velocity impact. While severe tears require surgery, more minor tears in the meniscus can be rehabilitated by wearing a brace.
During a car accident, the knee can be forced to bend in a way that it wouldn’t normally bend, which can cause severe sprains or strains in the Anterior or Posterior Cruciate Ligaments or other ligaments and tendons around the knee. If a ligament tears, this can cause excruciating pain and require surgery and extensive therapy.
Impact in a vehicle collision can result in a knee dislocation for a vehicle occupant. The joint bones are forced out of their normal position, often including cartilage or ligament tears. A knee dislocation can be a serious injury, and if the arterial blood flow is blocked an amputation may be the only solution.
A side impact or head-on collision can jam the knee, causing the bones around the joint to fracture. The most commonly broken bone in knee injuries is the patella (or kneecap). Less frequently the ends of the femur or tibia bones in the leg can fracture where they touch the knee. Depending on the severity of the injury, the repair may require a full leg cast or surgery.
Valuing Knee Injuries for a Personal Injury Claim
While each of the above injuries can impact your life forever, not every injury is entitled to a hefty compensation. No formula can take into consideration all the factors for a personal injury claim. However, a couple of key items can help you create an estimate if you think your knee injury may be appropriate for a personal injury claim.
To determine an estimate for valuing an injury case, a personal injury lawyer considers the knee injury and the costs involved with the recovery. The lawyer also guesses how much the defendant would be willing to pay to settle the case before the trial. Finally, a lawyer considers how the jury will lean in deciding the case.
Lawyers analyze the personal injury damages from medical bills and lost wages as well. These numbers are easy to track, but educated guesses are needed when dealing with the cost of the pain and suffering of the injury. For example, an active person who loses ability due to knee injury may be able to argue for the “loss of quality of life.” On the other hand, an individual with a previous knee injury may receive fewer damages. Personal injury lawyers use past cases to help determine their educated guess for such damages. All in all, valuing a knee injury case is a complex process, requiring knowledge of past case law.
In some cases, the injured individual may not be able to prove that their injury was caused by the defendant. To receive more damages from the court, it must be obvious that the defendant was at fault for the knee injury. When there is little proof that the defendant is at fault, a defendant may be willing to chance a trial whereas the injured plaintiff may be willing to accept a lower settlement.
A knee injury caused by a car accident or work incident changes life quality in a big way, often requiring months of rehabilitation and sometimes time off of work. Therefore, when an injury occurs, consider exploring personal injury claim possibilities with a personal injury lawyer.
At Carrillo & Carrillo, we fight for your rights under the law. If you have been injured due to a vehicle or work accident, call us today at 352-371-4000.