The knee is the largest joint in the human body. It’s also one of the joints that is most easily injured.
The knee is made up of bone, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons:
- Bones: three bones make up the knee: the femur (thighbone), tibia (shinbone), and patella (kneecap)
- Cartilage, which is the slippery substance that coats the bones, making it easier to bend and straighten the knee
- Meniscal cartilage: the meniscus are wedge-shaped pieces of cartilage that act as cushions to stabilize the joint
- Ligaments, which act like ropes to hold the bones together
- Tendons, which connect the muscles to the bones and provide stability in the joint
Damage to any part of the knee can make life difficult. You might quickly find that you’re limited in the activities you can enjoy. You might even have trouble simply standing up from a chair.
What Are the Different Types of Knee Injury?
Any type of knee injury can prove serious. If you’ve damaged any part of the knee joint, your life can be impacted in ways you never expected.
Some of the most common knee injuries are fractures, dislocation, torn meniscus, and ACL injuries.
The patella is the most commonly broken bone in the knee. Fractures and bruises in the patella are usually caused by a direct impact to the knee, such as in a car crash, sports accident, or slip and fall.
Surgery is often required to correct a fractured patella.
A dislocation happens when the knee bones are knocked out of place. The tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels around the knee can be damaged during dislocation.
Most knee dislocations are caused by high-energy trauma, including auto accidents and falls from heights. Dislocation can be extremely serious. Without proper treatment, a dislocated knee can even lead to amputation in extreme cases.
Meniscus tears usually happen when the knee is quickly forced to move in the wrong direction. A sudden twisting of the knee can cause damage to the tough cartilage that cushions the knee.
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) connects the femur to the tibia and prevents the tibia from sliding in front of the femur. ACL injuries are common in sports, but can be caused by any type of traumatic accident.
Most ACL injuries are caused by:
- An abrupt stop
- Changing direction rapidly
- Landing incorrectly
- Hyperextension of the joint
ACL injuries can be serious in themselves and often require surgery. Additionally, almost 50% of all ACL injuries are accompanied by damage to other parts of the knee.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Knee Injuries?
The signs and symptoms of a knee injury will depend upon the nature of the injury itself.
Some of the most common signals that you’ve suffered a knee injury include:
- Pain and swelling
- Pain or discomfort while walking
- A visible dislocation in the joint
- An audible popping or snapping sound at the moment of injury
It’s always important to seek competent medical care after an accident. That way, your doctor can identify all potential injuries and make sure you get the treatment you deserve.
What are the Long-Term Consequences of Knee Injuries?
Joint damage can have particularly severe long-term consequences. The knee bears the weight of the entire body. Chronic knee pain can make it difficult to complete even the most basic tasks.
Frequent knee pain impacts nearly 25% of all adults. Chronic pain is by far the most common long-term consequence of a knee injury. Of course, pain impacts victims during their initial recovery. However, cartilage does not regenerate, so pain related to a knee injury can be a permanent problem.
Some of the potential long-term consequences of a knee injury include:
- Increased use of pain medications
- Early development of knee arthritis or osteoarthritis
- Accelerated knee degeneration
- Reduced mobility
- Knee replacement surgery
- Amputation in extreme cases
Many knee injuries heal with treatment. However, the consequences of knee and shoulder injuries can impact you forever.
What Causes Most Knee Injuries?
Knee injuries can happen in any type of accident. For example, workplace accidents are a frequent source of knee injuries.
Some of the most common causes of knee injuries include:
- Car accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Sports and recreation accidents
- ATV accidents
- Boating accidents
- Construction accidents
- Dog bites
- Defective products
- Nursing home abuse
- Assault and violence
If someone else’s negligent or reckless acts caused your knee injury, you may have the right to compensation.
What Compensation Can I Recover for Knee Injuries?
A knee injury can come back to haunt you when you least expect it. If someone caused your knee injury, it’s important to get the full compensation you deserve so that you’re protected in the future.
Personal injury victims in Florida are entitled to recover economic damages and non-economic damages, including:
- Medical bills, such as ER costs, hospitalization, surgeries, medication, etc.
- Lost wages and income while you recover
- Future medical expenses
- Diminished future earning capacity
- Physical therapy
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of your ability to enjoy life
- Depression and mental health issues
In rare cases, you may be entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages may be available if the defendant’s acts were intentional or amounted to gross negligence.
How Long Do I Have to File a Knee Injury Lawsuit in Florida?
In Florida, the statute of limitations in personal injury cases is four years. That means you have four years after an accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. The deadline doesn’t apply to insurance claims. Most insurance companies will require you to file a claim even sooner.
If you were hurt on the job, you must notify your employer within 30 days of the accident to preserve your right to workers’ compensation.
If you don’t file a lawsuit or take legal action before the deadline, you’ll lose your right to compensation. That’s why it’s important to get in touch with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible after an accident.
Contact a Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Are you struggling with a knee injury after an accident in Tampa? Our Tampa personal injury lawyers can help you understand all of your legal options for recovering compensation.
Our legal team at Catania & Catania, P.A. has over 28 years of experience helping clients secure the compensation they deserve. We’ve recovered over $500 million in compensation for injured clients. We’re prepared to fight for you.