Dashboard Knee Injuries
According to the Association of American Family Physicians, knee pain plagues millions of Americans each year, affecting approximately 25 percent of adults in the United States. In some cases, knee pain is the result of normal wear and tear, which may be exacerbated by sports, age, nature of employment, and lifestyle choices. While most knee pain is a part of life for many people, other knee pain may be the direct result of an accident caused by another person.
For example, dashboard knee injuries, which involve the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), are commonly the result of head-on collisions and other car accidents that throw front-seat occupants into the dashboard of a vehicle. When a person's knee slams into a dashboard, the impact is typically just below the knee joint, which pushes the shin bone back and ruptures the PCL. The consequences of a dashboard knee injury can be life-long. If you have suffered a dashboard knee injury or any other type of car accident injury, the Georgia personal injury lawyers of The Mark Casto Law Firm, P.C. are here to help. Contact our office today at 706-940-4030 to receive a free case evaluation.
Common Causes of Dashboard Knee Injuries
According to The National Library of Medicine, a study that reviewed 494 patients who sustained PCL dashboard knee injuries, the most common cause was traffic accidents. This accounted for nearly half of all patients in the study. Additionally, the most common “injury mechanisms” were dashboard injuries. The study also reports that other causes of dashboard knee/PCL injuries include, but may not be limited to, the following:
- Athletic injuries (not limited to sports);
- Motorcycle accidents; and
- Soccer-related injuries.
Overwhelmingly, a person is more likely to sustain a PCL knee injury from being involved in a car accident that causes a passenger's knee to slam into a dashboard.
Signs and Symptoms of a Dashboard Knee Injury
PCL dashboard knee injuries may have symptoms that are similar to other knee injuries, which can make it difficult for a doctor to timely diagnose a PCL knee injury following an accident. Diagnosis can also be complicated by a patient who has other knee injuries, such as an ACL tear, which may or may not be the result of a dashboard accident.
The signs and symptoms of PCL knee injuries include pain, swelling, and instability, which are all symptoms associated with a variety of knee injuries. Patients with symptoms of a dashboard PCL injury following a car accident may also have symptoms of a fractured patella (knee cap).
Any symptoms following a dashboard accident should be discussed with a doctor.
Treatment for Dashboard Knee Injuries
In mild PCL dashboard knee cases, the injured patient may not need anything other than rest to heal from the injury. Moderate cases may require pain medication, physical therapy, and potentially an injection into the knee. In more severe cases – which are common in dashboard accidents – surgery is required to repair the torn PCL ligament. The only way to truly know how serious your injuries are following a car accident is to seek a comprehensive evaluation from a medical professional.
Reasons to Seek a Medical Evaluation
Most injuries stemming from a serious car accident are evident shortly after the accident. However, because PCL dashboard knee injuries can be difficult to diagnose – as the symptoms can mimic other knee injuries – early medical treatment is critical to an accurate diagnosis.
Regardless of how serious injuries seem following an accident, a medical evaluation is crucial to documenting (1) that a car accident happened, and (2) that injuries directly resulted from the accident. An accident report may also document the details of an accident, which may reveal that an injured person slammed into the dashboard of a vehicle, among other facts suggesting a knee injury is a probable consequence of the accident.
What if I Don't Have Symptoms of a Knee Injury Right Away?
It is not uncommon to walk away from a car accident and not feel pain. Many people have a rush of adrenalin following an accident that may mask pain and other symptoms of an injury. Even if an injured person does not “feel” injured, a medical evaluation is essential. Symptoms of a PCL dashboard knee injury may begin days or weeks following an accident.
By having the initial medical evaluation shortly after an accident, an injured person has created a record that will be immensely helpful in the event a personal injury lawsuit is filed. Waiting to see a doctor for an initial evaluation, especially if an injured person waits weeks or months, can make it difficult to prove a PCL dashboard knee injury is the direct result of a car accident. If you have any kind of injuries or losses after a car accident, consider visiting with the experienced car accident attorneys at The Mark Casto Law Firm, P.C. to ensure your legal rights remain protected.
Filing a Lawsuit After Sustaining Dashboard Knee Injuries
The only way to seek compensation to recover for pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages, is to file a claim with an insurance company (which may be the injured person's policy or another driver's policy) or to file a personal injury lawsuit. In both situations, insurance companies will be involved as compensation must come from some source.
Insurance companies can be difficult, and it is not uncommon for injured victims to be offered an amount of compensation that is woefully inadequate. If a dashboard knee injury results in surgery, physical therapy, the need to take medication, and long-term follow-up care, the damages, which is another word for harm, can be immense.
In addition to physical and mental pain and suffering, a dashboard knee accident victim may have a mountain of medical bills totaling well into tens of thousands of dollars, if not more, and lost wages from the inability to return to work. Insurance settlement offers do not always consider the collective harm an injury victim has suffered. By choosing to work alongside a Georgia personal injury attorney, car accident victims will have the ability to get all of their questions answered and understand all of their legal options.
Contact The Mark Casto Law Firm, P.C. Today
If you suffered personal injuries in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation if another person was at fault for causing the accident. The Mark Casto Law Firm, P.C., represents injury victims from throughout Georgia. Our Georgia personal injury lawyers handle not only auto accident cases, but also medical malpractice, workers' compensation, and nursing home abuse and neglect cases, among others. To receive your free case evaluation, contact us today by calling (706) 940-4030.