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Knee Injuries from Automobile Collisions


Car accidents have the potential to injure any number of parts of our bodies. While perhaps not as devastating as upper body injuries, knee injuries from automobile collisions are capable of derailing the victim’s life.

Several components make up the knee. The bones that come together at the knee are the femur, tibia, fibula, and patella. Then, there are muscles, tendons, and ligaments that provide balance and allow knee joint movement. Inside the knee sit two pieces of cartilage called menisci that sit on top of the tibia and act as shock absorbers. All of these parts have to function properly for the knee to work. Trauma or acute injury to the knee can cause serious damage that can affect a person for a lifetime.

Most Common Knee Injuries

The most frequently represented knee injuries that result from an automobile collision include:

  • Torn Meniscus – The result of trauma caused by forceful twisting or hyper-flexing of the knee joint. The symptoms generally include pain, swelling, popping, and an inability for the knee to support a person’s weight. Treatment includes therapy to strengthen the muscles that stabilize the knee, but surgery may be required when these measures are ineffective.
  • Knee Fracture – As with any broken bone, a knee fracture can have varying degrees. Generally caused by a direct blow, a kneecap fracture can happen at the top, center, or bottom and can occur in more than one area. Symptoms include bruising, swelling, and inability to walk or straighten the leg. The location and severity of the fracture dictate whether or not it requires surgery to heal.
  • Torn ACL – This injury occurs when the anterior cruciate ligament tears away from the knee joint. This can be extremely painful and potentially debilitating. Depending on the severity of the injury, rehabilitation therapy can take 3 to 6 months. However, it can take 6 to 9 months to heal if surgery is required.
  • MCL Tear – This is a sprain or tear to the medial collateral ligament. This ligament connects the thighbone to the lower leg. When injured, symptoms include pain, stiffness, and swelling. The pain can range from mild to severe, depending on the extent of the damage. It is possible to treat without surgery unless the ligament is torn, so it cannot heal.

Knee injuries that result from automobile collisions can be severe. If you need weeks or months to recover, you must deal with lost wages. You may not be able to do the same work as you once did, resulting in loss of earning capacity. Knee injuries can affect you in ways you would not have otherwise imagined.

Possible Outcomes of a Knee Injury

The consequences of a knee injury vary depending on the severity of the injury, your age, and your current physical condition. Some injuries heal with time after initial medical treatment. However, some injuries may trigger long-term consequences. A doctor is the best person to suggest the best treatment option for your case.

Doctors usually use a conservative treatment method called RICE for minor knee injuries. RICE stands for Rest, Ice, (gentle) Compression, and Elevation. If this treatment method fails, a doctor may recommend physical therapy for some weeks or months. A doctor may suggest a surgical treatment option if the injury is more serious. Recovery time depends on the severity of the injury. For example, minor injuries may go away within a few days, while serious injuries may take weeks, months, or years to recover completely.

Representation for Knee Injuries

If you’ve suffered a knee injury in an automobile collision due to another driver’s negligence, you are entitled to compensation for your incurred damages. Maginnis Howard’s skilled personal injury attorneys have decades of experience handling complex cases, including those involving victims who have suffered significant knee injuries due to the negligence of another North Carolina driver.

We handle personal injury cases on a contingency basis, meaning that you do not pay any attorneys’ fees unless and until we make a recovery on your behalf. You can reach us at (919) 526-0450 or by email through our contact page. You may also visit one of our three conveniently located offices in Charlotte, Raleigh, and Fayetteville.