Should I Worry If I Have Knee Pain After a New Jersey Car Crash?

Posted on behalf of James Lynch on December 1, 2023  in Car Accident News. Updated on January 3, 2024

close-up of young man standing and holding his knee in pain - no face shownKnee pain after a car crash could just be a bad bruise, but in some cases, the damage could be more severe. Without a proper medical examination, there is no way to be sure what injuries you sustained and whether or not you need treatment. Some knee injuries, without proper diagnosis and medical care, may not properly heal. You could be left with chronic pain and limited mobility.

In this article, our knowledgeable attorneys at Lynch Law Firm, PC, talk about the different kinds of knee injuries that often happen in collisions. We also discuss some of the treatments and how recovering compensation in a legal claim can help cover your medical costs and other damages.

Our experienced auto crash attorneys in New Jersey are ready to help if you have been injured due to another driver’s negligence. Not sure if you have a case? Many crash victims have this same question. Since we offer a completely free initial consultation, you can learn if you have legal options at no cost to you.

Call for a FREE case review today. (800) 518-0508

When Should I See a Doctor for My Knee Pain After a Car Crash?

You should seek medical care immediately after a car crash, and not just for your knee pain. Being in an accident sends your body into shock. While in this state, you may not feel any pain right away. It is only in the days and even weeks following your accident that you may start to feel the effects. The risk of waiting to seek medical care right away is that you could have serious internal injuries that could become worse or even be life-threatening.

With knee injuries, you may suffer unnecessarily from severe pain. Because it is such a complex joint, many injuries related to your knee may not heal without medical intervention. In some cases, you may even need surgery.

In addition to protecting your health, getting a proper medical examination right after a crash means your visit is documented in your medical records. If you do have a valid claim for seeking compensation due to another’s negligence, your medical records help to provide a solid link to the accident and your injuries.

What Kinds of Knee Injuries Are Caused by Car Crashes

The impact of a collision can cause your body to get violently jolted around. During this motion, your knees could get awkwardly twisted or forcefully slammed against an object, like the dashboard. Knee injuries that are most common in car crashes include:

Knee Dislocation

Injuries to the knee may involve the misalignment of one or more of its three key bones: the femur, tibia, or patella. Victims who experience a dislocation in this way may hear an audible popping noise.

Meniscus Tear

The knee houses both a medial (inside the knee) and lateral (outside the knee) meniscus, which serve as crucial cushions. In a car crash, this part of your knee can twist and possibly tear these soft tissue structures. Meniscus tears are very painful and may also impact your knee’s range of motion.

Broken Patella

A common occurrence in cases where the knee collides with the dashboard, leading to the possibility of the patella shifting out of place. Medical intervention, often in the form of surgery, may be necessary.

Tibial Plateau Fracture

This type of injury affects the bone beneath the knee joint. What makes it particularly troublesome is that it can also cause damage to the surrounding soft tissues. This bone segment plays a vital role in weight-bearing and walking. Such injuries frequently result from the leg becoming trapped under the dashboard following a collision.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Sprain or Tear

The ACL enables knee rotation and forward movement. Injuries to the ACL often occur when excessive twisting or forceful lateral movement is applied to the knee, a condition known as hyperextension.

Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Tear or Sprain

The MCL connects the leg bones to the thigh bone, serving as a vital stabilizer to prevent the knee from buckling excessively inward.

Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Injury

The PCL can sustain tears, sprains, or strains when the knee forcefully impacts the dashboard.

What Symptoms May Indicate a Serious Knee Injury After a Car Crash?

Knee injuries are extremely painful and may present with multiple symptoms, including:

  • Pain when walking or putting weight on the injured leg
  • Feeling like the injured knee is unstable or may give out
  • Mild to severe bruising on and around the affected knee
  • Redness and other discoloration on or around the injured knee
  • Popping noises when you walk or try to bend the affected knee
  • Swelling in the knee, typically accompanied by stiffness
  • The injured knee feels warm to the touch

How Are Knee Injuries From a Car Crash Treated?

Once the doctor diagnoses what is causing your knee pain, he or she can determine your plan of care. Not seeking treatment or waiting to get examined could leave you with chronic pain. In some cases, you could suffer permanent complications that leave you with limited mobility.

Treatments for knee injuries vary, depending on what part of the knee sustained damage. For instance, if you sprained your knee, you may only need rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE). However, you should never self-diagnose, as you cannot see internal damage that may have occurred.

If you sustained a tear in one of the ligaments that supports your knee, you may need surgery to repair it. A dislocated or fractured kneecap will also require surgery. Some crash victims with knee injuries may need plates or screws inserted to hold the bones in place while they heal. Knee injuries often require physical therapy as well, to rebuild the muscles and other supportive soft tissue.

Why Should I Seek Medical Treatment for My Knee Pain?

If you have knee pain after a car crash, you should have it examined at a nearby emergency room. These facilities are open 24/7 and have the equipment and specialists on hand to more quickly diagnose your injuries. Waiting to seek treatment could make your injury worse and prolong the healing process.

The other problem with waiting to seek medical care after a crash is that if you decide to seek compensation for your damages, you may have a hard time being successful with your claim. Insurance companies may try to argue that you were not injured in the car crash but by something else. They may also say that if you were injured, as you say, then you would have sought treatment right away.

Injured in a New Jersey Car Crash? Call Lynch Law Firm, PC for Results

If you were injured by another’s negligence, we encourage you to seek legal help as soon after your New Jersey car crash as possible. Insurance companies do not have the same end goal as you do as they need to protect their bottom line. Your goal, however, is the same as ours. We work tirelessly in an effort to recover the maximum possible amount of compensation. Our goal is to help ensure you are not left paying for damages caused by another party.

At Lynch Law Firm, PC, we charge no upfront costs or fees. We only get paid for our services if we first win your case. Call to get started by finding out what legal options you may have. We have staff available to take your call anytime, night or day.

Experienced Lawyers. We get results. (800) 518-0508

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