If someone’s negligence caused your knee injury, you may be entitled to compensation.
The knee is one of the biggest and most complex joints in our body. A person who hurts his or her knee in an accident needs to have a complete understanding of the knee in order to get the insurance company to paid fair compensation for the case.
Bones That Make Up The Knee
The knee joint moves due to the tendons that join the knee bones to the leg muscles.
Ligaments in the Knee
Ligaments connect the knee bones and make the knee more stable. The ligaments that make up the knee are the:
- Medial and lateral collateral ligaments (MCL and LCL)
- Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)
- Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
The medial and lateral menisci are shock absorbers between the tibia and the femur. The menisci have a C-shape.
There are many different causes of knee pain. Here, I focus on knee injuries that can be caused by an accident (trauma).
Typical Knee Injuries From Accidents
- Tibial plateau fracture
- Fractures of the Proximal Tibia (Shinbone)
- Femur (thigh bone) fracture where break is closer (proximal) to the knee
- Kneecap (patella) fracture
- Fibula fracture
The femur and tibia may be pushed out of alignment. The patella may also slide out of location.
Dislocations can be caused by car, truck and motorcycle accidents.
ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) strain or tear
The ACL helps make the knee stable. An ACL tear can cause the knee to give out.” It may require surgery to fix it.
PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) strain or tear
A posterior cruciate ligament may be injured from an impact to the front of your knee while its bent. This frequently happens from car accidents.
PCL tears can cause pain, swelling, and knee instability. A PCL tear happens less often than an ACL tears.
Physical therapy if frequently the most effective treatment for a PCL tear.
MCL (medial collateral ligament) tear or strain
Injuries to the MCL are usually caused by a direct impact to the outside of the knee. This injury can cause pain and possible instability to the inner part of the knee.
Damage to a meniscus, the cartilage that cushions the knee, often occurs with twisting or pivoting of the knee. Big tears can cause the knee to lock.
You can stretch or tear your quadriceps tendon or tear your patellar tendon from a direct blow to the front of your knee, falling or landing improperly.
Other knee injuries that you may get from an accident are:
- Plica in the Knee
- Knee effusion: Fluid buildup inside the knee, usually from inflammation. Any form of arthritis or injury may cause a knee effusion.
- Knee bursitis: Pain, swelling, and heat in any of the bursae of the knee. Bursitis frequently happens from overuse or injury.
Let’s look at some past settlements for knee injuries in Florida auto accident cases.
I wrote a separate article on knee injury claims from slip, trip and falls in Florida and on cruises.
This article applies to the personal injury portion of your claim if you are hurt while working and you also have a personal injury claim. Some of this article does not apply if you only have a Florida workers compensation claim.
The settlements, verdicts, and settlement values that I discuss below involve cases where someone’s negligence caused a knee injury to another.
There are over 87 Important factors that affect the value of a settlement for a knee injury. Therefore, there is a chance that you may not get any money for your case.
As a starting point, I estimate the full value for the pain and suffering component for settlement purposes of a personal injury claim from a Florida auto accident.
We use the following numbers as a starting point for the full value of various knee injuries which were caused by someone’s negligence in a Florida accident.
- a broken knee (patella) without surgery: between $50,000 and $75,000.
- torn meniscus without surgery is between $15,000 and $30,000, but could be more.
- surgery to repair a meniscus tear in your knee is between $35,000 and $80,000 or so.
- partial patellectomy for $100,000 to $200,000. You could argue that the full value of pain and suffering for open reduction internal fixation (ORIF) surgery on a patella fracture is also $100,000 to $200,000.
First, I will discuss some broken knee settlements/verdicts and then I will talk about settlements/verdicts involving a torn meniscus.
All of my settlements are before deduction for attorney’s fees and expenses. Most cases result in a lower recovery. It should not be assumed that your case will have as beneficial a result.
My Knee Injury Settlements
All of my settlements in this article are before deduction for attorney’s fees and expenses. Most cases result in a lower recovery. It should not be assumed that your case will have as beneficial a result.
My actual case: $75,000 Settlement for woman who had arthroscopic surgery on a plica in her knee. A car made a left hand turn in front of the car that she was driving and crashed into her.
The at-fault car was cited for failing to yield the right of way.
Progressive insured the at fault driver.
Therefore, our client was an insured under the UM policy.
She also had epidural injections to a bulging disc in her lower back. Our client lived in Miami, Florida.
Our client owned a car. State Farm insured it.
Scooter Rider Gets $52,000 for Knee Pain and other injuries
The crash happened in North Miami Beach, Florida. Crawford & Company handled the claim for the company that owned the pickup truck.
We settled for $52,000. My client’s eye injury was his worst injury.
My actual case. My client claimed that a car crash caused his knee pain.
The careless driver was uninsured. My client had $25,000 in uninsured motorist (UM) coverage with USAA.
USAA paid $25,000. The accident happened in South Florida.
My actual case: $8,000 Settlement
Our client was standing in a car dealership parking lot in Miami-Dade County, Florida. A mini van backed up. It hit him at an idle speed.
Our client’s knees buckled and he fell to the ground. He complained of lower back pain.
A few months prior to this accident, he had knee surgery. Immediately after this accident, he complained of knee pain. He did not have any swelling in his knee.
Miami-Dade Fire rescue came to the scene. Our client walked to the ambulance stretcher. He was put on a backboard.
The paramedics put a neck collar on our client. They transported him to Homestead Hospital.
State Farm Insurance insured the driver.
The driver said that he barely hit our client. He said that if contact was made, it was at a very low-speed.
Our client received therapy for several months after the accident. The final diagnosis was:
- Lumbar sprain/strain
- Cervical sprain/strain (Resolved).
- Sprain/strain of the knee
- Contusion to the knee
- Residual Lumbalgia
- Knee injury complicated by prior injury and surgery
- Patellar Dysfunction
Online Settlement Calculators for Knee Injuries in Florida Auto Accidents
If you have a serious knee injury from a Florida auto accident, I strongly suggest that you do not value your case based on an online settlement calculator. There are many reasons why settlement calculators do not work for Florida injury cases. This is true whether you are looking at my Florida injury settlement calculator or one that someone else made.
Did someone’s carelessness cause your knee injury in an accident in a Florida auto accident? Were you hurt in another type of accident?
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We want to represent you if you were injured in an accident in Florida.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2013 and has been completely revamped and updated.