What You Should Know About Car Accidents and a Torn Meniscus?
According to the Mayo Clinic website, “any activity that involves twisting or twisting your knee forcibly, especially putting your full weight on it, can result in a meniscus tear.” Car and trucking accidents forcefully twist and turn your knees. This applies in particular to drivers whose vehicles are hit by another negligent or reckless driver.
Think about your natural reaction as you prepare for an impact. You will step on the brakes. A straight knee will twist unnaturally as the rest of your body pulls back from the blow of the other vehicle.
The problem with meniscal tears
Many of my personal injury clients in Columbus, Ohio come to me with torn meniscus, in addition to the other injuries they have sustained in accidents caused by someone else. While the knee injury may not be the most serious problem they have, it makes it difficult to resume and enjoy their normal activities.
The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons lists the symptoms of a meniscal tear as
- Locking the joint
- The feeling that the injured knee gives way, and
- Limited freedom of movement.
A meniscus tear rarely heals on its own because the meniscus is and what it does. Each knee joint contains two menisci. These are cartilage pads that prevent the thighbones, kneecap and tibia (the larger shinbone) from rubbing against each other. Each meniscus also acts as a shock absorber, allowing you to walk, run, and pivot without damaging the heads of the bones that meet at the knee.
Once a meniscus tears, using the knee prevents healing and can make the condition worse. As a result, symptoms of a torn meniscus usually worsen over time. Sometimes surgical repair or a full knee replacement is required.
Until a permanent solution is achieved, a victim of a car or truck accident with a ruptured meniscus will experience pain while walking. Your injured knee can jam if you sit too long. They may need to stop exercising or even find a new job that requires less standing and moving.
What to Do If a Crash caused by someone else tears your meniscus
If someone bumps into you and inflicts injury, you clearly have reasons to file an insurance claim or pursue a personal injury lawsuit. At the same time, you will likely never hear of anyone who gets their “Ohio Autiscus Meniscus Settlement” or “wins their Ohio meniscus lawsuit”.
First, knee injuries from automobile accidents just don’t deserve the headline trauma brain injury. Second, as mentioned above, the meniscus tear is usually just one of the damages suffered by the victim of a negligent or reckless driver. An insurance purchase or an award from a lawsuit includes financial compensation for any injuries.
None of these facts mean that a person who suffers a meniscus tear in a car or truck accident should exclude the knee injury from their claims against the culpable driver. However, a victim needs to understand that guilty driver insurance or a defense attorney will work hard to disqualify a meniscal tear.
Every meniscus in a person’s knee wears out over time, and the natural weakening and fraying of the cartilage increases with use. Athletes and people with physically demanding jobs are prone to torn meniscus. So is everyone who is middle-aged or older. Because of this, insurance agents and defense lawyers will argue that a knee injury was a pre-existing condition that did not occur in the accident.
The only way to disprove such an argument is to provide convincing medical evidence that conclusively shows that the meniscus tore as a result of the collision. Working with an experienced personal injury attorney can also help obtain expert testimony that disproves statements made by the insurance company or defense attorney.
Cory Heit of Heit Law of Westerville is a personal injury attorney serving accident victims in Columbus and throughout Franklin County. You can schedule a free online consultation or call Corey at (614) 898-5300.