Car accidents can be a nightmare. You’re usually left to deal with an onslaught of physical and emotional trauma when they happen. All three bones – femur, tibia, and fibula – might break due to a car accident.
Pain in your lower extremities may mean an injury to your soft tissues. A car accident-related leg injury may signal a herniated disc or sciatica. It may also indicate a fractured bone. If this is the case, you should seek medical attention.
See a personal injury attorney when you have attended to your physical needs. Legal professionals can help people recover from the debilitating effects of car accidents by seeking compensation. This compensation could be more than just payment for your medical bills. It could also include recovery for your pain and suffering, lost wages, and any verifiable damage.
This guide will cover auto accident leg injuries, personal injury attorneys, and how these lawyers can help after an accident.
If you need legal resources about car accident leg injuries or access to a database of personal injury lawyers, check out The Personal Injury Center. They offer a free consultation.
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What leg injuries might you suffer after a car accident?
If you’re lucky enough to survive a car accident, there’s a good chance you’ll suffer some common leg injuries. These can include leg fractures, kneecap or patella dislocation, or soft tissue injuries.
Fractures can happen when your legs come into contact with the dashboard or steering wheel during an accident. When the car hits a tree or large rock, the impact may result in other types of leg injuries. You may also suffer from leg fractures when thrown from a car and your legs hit hard objects on the road.
Whether it’s a sprained ankle or broken leg, you might experience pain, swelling, and bruising all over your lower extremities. Suppose this sounds like something you’ve experienced. In that case, it’s best to understand how to treat them properly before they lead to complications.
Depending on the severity of the impact and your position inside the vehicle, you may experience different leg issues. This can include the following conditions.
Broken or shattered bones
The human body is often subject to sudden deceleration and impact in an accident. The force can break or shatter bones, sometimes puncturing the skin and protruding from it.
Fractures usually happen at the site of impact but may also occur at other areas of the bone’s shaft. Common fracture sites include the following:
- Knee joint: Connects your thighbone (femur) to your shinbone (tibia).
- Ankle joint: Connects your lower leg bones (tibia and fibula) with your talus bone.
- Foot: This is where several small bones meet at the base of each toe.
The most common bone broken in an accident is the tibia, the large bone in your lower leg. A fractured tibia can be extremely painful and may take months to heal properly. It can lead to long-term complications if not treated properly. If the fracture is severe, it might require surgery.
The sciatic nerve is a massive nerve that extends from your lower back down the back of each leg. Sciatica occurs when there’s pressure on the nerve, causing pain and other symptoms.
If you’ve been in a motor vehicle accident, you may have suffered injuries to your back or spinal cord. These can result in pressure on your sciatic nerve, which can cause pain and other symptoms like tingling or numbness in the legs. You may also experience weakness or loss of sensation in the lower body.
Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury
The ACL is one of the leading knee ligaments. It keeps your shin bone from sliding forward on your thigh bone and your knee from giving way when you move. It also helps to avoid damage to other parts of the knee, such as cartilage and meniscus tissue.
An ACL injury means the ligament has been torn or damaged and cannot hold your shin bone in place. If you have this injury, you will likely experience pain and swelling in your knee joint. You may also notice that you won’t be able to straighten or bend your knee without the excruciating pain.
An ACL tear can also lead to other long-term complications, including osteoarthritis, meniscal tears, and arthritis of the knee joint.
The meniscus is a C-shaped cartilage acting as a shock absorber shielding the knee joint bones. A torn meniscus may happen when the knee gets twisted or knocked side to side. This is common in a car accident when you hit your knee against the dashboard or steering wheel.
A torn meniscus can also occur when your knee joint is forced to work harder than usual. The stress damages the cartilage cushioning your knee joint. The symptoms of this condition include the following:
- Swelling and pain around the affected knee joint
- Difficulty moving, straightening, or bending your leg
- Tenderness when touching or moving the affected area of your knee
You can treat this injury with rest and physical therapy in less serious cases. However, sometimes, you may need surgery to repair the torn meniscus tissue. Doctors usually diagnose a torn meniscus using an MRI scan and physical exam.
Bursitis results from an inflammation of the bursa, a tiny sac filled with fluid found around your joints. This sac reduces friction between bones, tendons, and muscles. Bursitis typically affects your knees and elbows but can also cause pain in your wrists, hips, shoulders, and heels.
Bursitis occurs when the bursa becomes inflamed, irritated, or infected. Furthermore, car crashes can cause bursitis through the following:
- Crushing or bruising the soft tissue around your joints
- Sudden jolt on one leg
- Twisting your body in an awkward position
Car accident victims might also experience pain with movement or even at rest. Some people will experience both. Treatment for bursitis includes rest with ice packs applied to reduce swelling. It could also be any of the following:
- Taking anti-inflammatory medication like Ibuprofen and Naproxen Sodium
- Undergoing physical therapy
- Using anti-inflammatory bursal injections
When does a leg injury warrant medical attention?
A leg injury can be severe if there is broken bone or nerve damage. In these cases, it needs medical attention. Doctors will ensure that the broken bone won’t move or be out of place, causing further damage to the surrounding tissues and nerves.
A leg injury may also be severe if it affects the whole leg or foot. This can include any or all of the following:
- Muscle or tendon tears, including those causing muscle weakness or paralysis
- Bone fractures or breaks, including those affecting nerves or leading to amputation
- Severe bleeding in major arteries, veins, or muscles
If you manifest these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately. If you’re still unsure if your injury is serious, look for the following signs:
Pain that continues for days and weeks
Several factors, including overexertion, trauma, and stress fractures, can cause leg injuries. If you experience persistent pain in your leg, seek medical attention to discover the cause and receive treatment. The longer the leg pain persists, the more likely you will have a severe injury.
The most common reason for leg pain lasting more than two weeks is a fracture or other injury to the bone. This is caused by falling, hitting something, or even twisting your ankle too hard. Depending on your injury, the pain may be sharp, dull, or throbbing.
The doctor may order X-rays or other tests to identify the underlying cause of your pain. They may also recommend physical therapy if they feel that movement will help reduce pain and increase mobility in the affected area.
Adverse impact on daily activities
A leg injury is also serious when it affects your everyday life. Suppose you were hurt in a vehicular crash and can’t stand up on your own. This is a serious problem that you need to address immediately.
A leg injury can likewise be severe if it causes pain or discomfort, making walking or doing your usual activities difficult. It’s essential to get an evaluation by a doctor if this happens.
Visible changes in the area of injury
A severe leg injury is easy to spot. The skin in the affected area may be discolored, swollen, or bruised.
For example, if you have a laceration on the leg and the color of the skin around it changes.It may be a h ematoma, a lump of blood trapped in your tissue, and a possible sign of severe injury. Another example is if the bruises on your leg grow larger or take longer to heal than expected.
If you see these signs of serious injury after an accident, go to your doctor immediately.
When should you work with a lawyer for car accident leg injuries?
There’s no law mandating you should hire a lawyer after experiencing a car accident-related injury. However, seeking legal counsel is always a good idea if you need help in getting compensation.
The reason is simple. You have legal rights as a victim and may inadvertently lose them if you don’t take immediate action.
For example, a negligent driver caused a car accident, and they don’t have insurance coverage. They might conceal the fact that they were at fault to avoid paying damages.
You must not let them get away with it. Talking to an attorney immediately after an accident is essential to ensure you get compensation.
A lawyer can educate you on your options and ensure that everything goes smoothly from start to finish. They can help you determine whether you have a case and what compensation you can claim.
If you need more clarification about hiring a lawyer, consider the following instances when you need their help.
You’re running after an insurance firm
When you’re injured after a car accident, the last thing you want is to grapple with insurance companies and their policies. Running after these firms to file and get your claims is a time-consuming process. It can be frustrating, too. You should be focusing on healing and getting back on your feet.
That’s where your personal injury lawyer comes in. They’ll take care of the insurance company so you can focus on yourself. They can guide you through the insurance claims process and make it more manageable.
Your personal injury lawyer will deal with insurance companies and ensure they do not bulldoze you into a lowball settlement. They can also mediate so you will not undergo lengthy court proceedings.
You’re filing a lawsuit for damages
There are some risks in filing a lawsuit without assistance from an attorney. If the case is not handled correctly, it may be difficult or impossible to win at trial.
Hiring a car accident lawyer when you want to file a lawsuit for damages. They can help you get the compensation you deserve.
A lawyer can assist in navigating the legal system, which is often complicated and confusing. In addition, a personal injury attorney can help get your case into court as quickly as possible. With this, you can start receiving compensation for your injuries.
You need help gathering evidence to prove your injury claims
When you’re involved in an accident, the last thing you’d want is to gather evidence to prove your claims. However, when the other party doesn’t have insurance, it can be challenging to get compensation. The same is true when the damage is too extensive for your insurance company to cover.
Your car accident lawyer can take care of all that. They can gather the necessary evidence and document everything correctly. They’ll also obtain copies of medical records if required. With them around, you don’t have to worry about missing any crucial details or court deadlines.
Did you know?
Car accidents cost the US government $340 billion in 2019, equivalent to $1,035 for each American in the US. These include insurance administration, emergency services, medical expenses, legal and court costs, workplace losses, and property damage.
Get Compensation for Your Leg Injuries
Leg injuries can be debilitating. If you’ve suffered a leg injury, you know how difficult it can be to go about your daily activities. These injuries can affect your ability to walk, stand, and even sit comfortably.
You might claim compensation for your injuries if you sustained leg injuries due to someone else’s negligence or carelessness. Work with a personal injury lawyer to ensure you recover the damages you deserve.
If you need help finding a seasoned personal injury attorney, check out The Personal Injury Center’s tort lawyer database.
Whether your leg injury is mild or severe, it’s best to seek medical attention and compensation for your injuries. The Personal Injury Center will help you find the best lawyer for fighting for your rights.
FAQs on Car Accident Leg Injuries
A laceration or broken bone in the leg can be life-threatening when they cut the femoral artery. This artery is the primary blood vessel that supplies blood to the lower body. Damaging it can result in death.
A torn calf muscle feels like a severe cramp at the back of your leg. It can also feel like a pulled muscle, as if someone is tugging your calf. You may feel pain when you try to walk or stand up, and the pain may increase with movement.
The amount of money you will receive for your injuries depends on the severity of your injuries. It could also vary based on how these injuries affect your daily life. A tibia or fibula fracture has a median recovery amount of $85,000. It could bump to $167,000 if the accident resulted in a more serious injury like a broken femur.