Every year vehicle manufacturers release their cars with tons of innovative safety features, which as a Bellevue wrongful death attorney and Redmond auto crash lawyer I am always happy to see. Airbags are constantly being revamped, the structure and dynamics of the car are changed to make them sturdier and able to withstand high speed crashes, and seats are modified to protect the neck and body. All of these innovative features strive to reduce the number of auto accidents and serious brain injury by protecting the head and upper body, they fail, however, to protect the lower half, which can also experience severe trauma in an auto accident.
One of the most vulnerable lower-body parts in a serious auto accident are the knees. Not only are knees fragile they prove to be very vulnerable in an auto accident due to being close to the hard steering wheel, door and dashboard. The knee serves as a connector between the thigh (femur) and the lower leg (tibia and fibula). The knee is filled with ligaments, soft cartilage and the knee cap which allow the knee to bend, but with all of these different soft parts it is very difficult to damage the knee, particularly in an auto accident when a hard object, such as the steering wheel, smashes into your soft knee.
As with all auto accident injuries, the injuries become more serious due to the drivers natural response to tense up, when stressed and tense the bones, tendons and ligaments are forced to deal with all the pressure from the accident rather than allowing your muscles to take the shock.
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Most knee injuries are to the ligaments in the knee the ACL, MCL and PCL. The ACL is the most commonly injured part of the knee, with 70% of all knee injuries occurring with the ACL. A head-on auto accident can cause an ACL injury as it twists the knee into an odd position or if the knee hits the steering wheel or dashboard at high speeds. The PCL is often injured in head on collisions when the knee hits the dashboard. These injuries vary from a minor tear which has slight pain to a complete ligament rupture which will be very painful and may prevent you from putting weight on your leg.
Surgery is almost always required for knee injuries in order to ensure the ligaments heal properly. Knee injuries take at least 6 months to recover, in this time period a cast and then a brace are warn to make sure the ligaments are able to reform.
If you have suffered a serious knee injury in an auto accident contact our personal injury law firm in Bellevue, Washington to schedule a free consultation to review your case.