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Leg Injury Car Accident Settlements

Leg Injury Car Accident Settlements

Knee, ankle and leg injuries are fairly common in car accidents. So what are the different types of leg injuries? If you have suffered a broken leg, ankle or knee injury, what can you expect in potential car accident compensation?

The purpose of this article is to give you an overview of car accident leg injuries involving the leg, ankle and knee, as well as the average car accident settlement amounts for leg and knee injuries. After you review this information, it is a good idea to consult with a personal injury attorney to review your specific claim.

Leg, Knee and Ankle Injury Overview

If you are ever in an accident, it is always important to remember that documentation is crucial. Take pictures of your vehicle and of your person if possible. Even if your injuries seem minor, you should always see a doctor as soon as possible. Some injuries are not always obvious immediately after an accident.

Some of the symptoms that you may notice that indicate a leg injury are:

  • Sensitivity and tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Soreness
  • Loss range of motion
  • Locking, ripping or popping sensation
  • Bones appear to be bulging

Injuries to the lower body are frequent in car accidents. They are particularly serious in many head-on and side-impact car wrecks. The violence of such accidents can cause the leg and its assorted parts to be crushed, twisted or stretched in an unnatural manner.

Knees, ankles and feet contain at least 60 bones that may be damaged in a car accident. The leg contains a variety of bones, from small and delicate structures to some of the strongest and hardest to break bones in the body. Leg injuries are extremely painful and can take a long time to heal.They are also very expensive to treat and typically require extensive physical therapy. People with serious leg, ankle and knee injuries can face a long term or even permanent disability.

Some common injuries to these parts of the body are:

  • Broken bones: High speed, violent crashes can cause the knee and/or foot to smash into the steering wheel or floor of the vehicle. They can also be crushed by the frame of your vehicle if the impact is severe. This can cause a shattering of various parts of the leg, such as the kneecap, femur, ankle or foot bones. Immobilization of the knee might be needed to heal fractures, but if any bones are shattered then surgery is likely required.
  • Strains and sprains: The ankle and knee are very susceptible to a strain or sprain. These occur when they are twisted or otherwise manipulated unnaturally in a motor vehicle accident. Soft tissue injuries can affect ligaments, cartilage, muscles and tendons that connect the bones in the leg, ankle, knee and foot.
  • Torn meniscus: This knee injury can be caused by a twisting of the knee joint or bending it unnaturally. This can be a long-term injury that affects mobility. Sometimes simple treatments such as ice and elevation are enough to heal a torn meniscus but in severe cases surgery is required.
  • ACL or MCL tear: The anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament are vital to the integrity of the knee and can be torn in a car accident. If a ligament tears in the crash, you may hear a popping and followed by pain and swelling. The knee will not be able to bear much weight and will be unstable from side to side. These tears often require surgery and take months to heal.
  • Dashboard knee: The knee is close to your dashboard. It is common for the knee to hit the dashboard in major accidents. This can cause your shin bone to push upwards and tear the PCL or posterior cruciate ligament.
  • Amputations: In extreme cases, car accidents can lead to necessary amputations of a leg. Both partial and full amputations of the leg are very serious and have lifelong effects.

There are many other serious injuries that may affect your legs, knees and ankles. You could have serious cuts or bruises, burns, puncture wounds. Any injury to your legs will be painful and has the potential to affect your daily life and possibly your ability to work.

Leg Injuries Are Not Always Obvious After a Collision

It is not uncommon for pain and discomfort to show up days or even a long time after an accident. Regardless of whether you are not showing signs or experiencing any injuries immediately, calf or thigh injuries may be present. Your leg is made up of muscles, ligaments and tendons that can become torn or burst in the event of a motor vehicle accident leaving victims to experience pain in the leg. In the event that you are experiencing leg pain following an accident, do not delay receiving treatment. Delaying treatment can result in your injuries unsuccessfully healing leaving you with a lifetime of recurring aggravation.

Potential Compensation for Leg, Knee and Ankle Injuries

Serious injuries to your leg, knee or ankle in a car accident may make it very difficult or impossible to walk or to put any weight on your legs. In less severe accidents, you may need to avoid putting weight on the leg for weeks. Serious car accident injuries could necessitate the use of a cast, surgery, prescription drugs, physical therapy and steroid injections to reduce pain and swelling.

These treatments for such severe lower body injuries are expensive. This is especially the case for leg, knee and ankle injuries that are permanent. Such severe injuries will not allow you to fully recover your health and income earning ability you had before the accident. If the accident was the fault of another person, he or she should have to help you deal with medical costs.

The person or persons who caused your leg, knee or ankle injuries can be held responsible in civil liability court for the cost of your injuries. This simply means the person could have to compensate you in some or these ways:

  • Your medical costs and all bills related to the leg injuries.
  • All your lost wages. If you had to take off work or use your sick and vacation time, you should be compensated for this. For many workers, foot, ankle, leg and knee injuries have long-term or permanent implications on their ability to work and earn a living. You could be entitled to compensation for the wages you will lose over your lifetime.
  • Compensation for your pain and suffering. Depending upon the injury and amount of pain and suffering, you could be entitled to several times the amount of your medical bills and lost wages. Most insurance companies and juries use a multiplier to determine the degree of pain and suffering compensation. This number usually is from 1-5 and is multiplied by your fixed injury costs. This includes both physical and mental pain and suffering.

Average Settlement Amounts for Leg, Knee and Ankle Injuries

The amount of your personal injury settlement will vary based upon many factors. It is necessary to speak to an experienced car accident personal injury attorney to get a good idea of a potential settlement amount for your broken ankle, broken leg or injured knee.

However, some recent information by Jury Verdict Research sheds some light on knee injury lawsuit settlements:

  • The average verdict amount in a serious knee injury case was $359,000
  • The median knee injury verdict was $114,000
  • In 8% of knee injury cases reviewed, the verdict was more than $1 million

Of course, how ‘severe’ is defined is variable. Verdict Research states that ‘severe’ is a knee fracture, knee dislocation, knee replacement, or aggravation of a prior injury to the knee. Approximately 50% of the knee injury cases reviewed were car accidents, and the other half were other types of personal injuries, such as premises liability cases. Knee injuries are very common in slip and fall cases.

Jury Verdict Research does not offer information about the average knee injury lawsuit verdict or settlement for car accidents. But the median verdict for a car accident knee injury was $94,400. The range in these cases was $26,000 to $216,000. That is a very wide range, and your verdict amount could be at either end of the range.

Below is more interesting information for average knee injury settlements, according to Verdict Search:

  • Collisions in intersections have average knee injury verdicts of $70,700.
  • Pedestrian knee injury verdicts had a median verdict of $150,000.
  • Rear end crash knee injuries have a verdict median of just $9000 in the Verdict Research cases reviewed. This is because there are not a lot of knee injury cases in rear end crashes. Some of the claims involve a preexisting injury, which means these are tough legal cases to win.

Motorcycle knee injury payouts, as you may imagine, are often higher because the damage is more severe. The median verdict in such cases was $191,000, with a range of $83,000 to $287,000. For those who have suffered a knee, leg or ankle injury on a motorcycle, it is significant to remember that juries tend to be biased against motorcyclists. That is why you should retain a very experienced and effective personal injury attorney in such a case.

For ankle and foot injuries, Verdict Search has found the average verdict amount is $700,000, with a median amount of $100,000. Experts note that ankle and foot injuries are complicated because of the amount of weight that is placed on that part of the body. It is common for insurance adjusters and juries to not understand the severity of such injuries. Thus, it is incumbent upon your attorney to make them understand the degree of your injury and disability.

Leg Injury Settlement Calculator:

Do you think you may be entitled to a broken leg compensation payout? Find out how much financial compensation you may be legally entitled to in just minutes with our free online Auto Accident Settlement Calculator.

A Final Look at Leg Injuries After a Collision

It is common in a serious car accident for the insurance company and defense attorney to argue that your x-rays and various medical tests only reveal ‘minor’ leg, ankle and knee injuries. Some of these injuries may look relatively minor, but a good personal injury attorney will be able to clearly illustrate with medical proof for the jury or insurance company that you have suffered a substantial injury. Experienced attorneys will collect medical records, medical test results and strong evidence to show that your injuries have given you a serious disability. Just be aware that lawyers and insurance companies want to discount your leg injuries and pay out as little as possible. It is important to get a good leg injury attorney on your side.

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