Foot and Lower Leg Injuries Following a Car Accident
Most people would consider that being involved in a serious traffic accident would be bad from the standpoint of receiving some kind of head trauma, neck or spinal cord injury, or maybe some kind of internal organ damage. But there are numerous other kinds of bodily injuries that can occur due to a bad traffic accident. One area that tends to go unrecognized, until it happens to someone close, is injury to a crash victim’s lower leg or foot.
As Baltimore personal injury lawyers, the legal staff at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, is all too aware of the many and various personal injury claims that make their way through the Maryland court system every year. Whether a person is hurt in a high-speed beltway or interstate collision, a low-speed impact between a city bus and a family sedan, or a single-vehicle wreck on a rural road, the odds of receiving some kind of significant bodily injury can be quite high.
Not surprisingly, there are many car or truck accidents in which the driver and passengers can literally walk away. However, there are many instances in which one or more occupants of a motor vehicle have to be hospitalized because of one or more bodily injuries sustained in a car wreck. Unfortunately, roadway accidents are fairly common, especially in highly traveled areas, such as Annapolis, Gaithersburg, Columbia and the Washington, D.C., area.
In cases that involve a front-end collision or other crash where the driver and passengers are thrown forward in their seats, such as when decelerating quickly due to a frontal collision, not only a person’s upper body can sustain injury, but the lower extremities are also vulnerable. As automobile injury lawyers, the staff at Lebowitz & Mzhen understand how a leg or foot fracture or injury received in a car accident can cause an individual extreme pain, as well as possibly limiting that person’s ability to work or generate a living for himself and his family.
Sometimes it’s simply a matter of luck whether an occupant of a vehicle involved in a bad traffic wreck will be injured severely or not. Injuries to a person’s thigh, knee, shin or foot as a result of a bad vehicle collision may require multiple surgeries with weeks or months in the hospital or rehab center. Being personal injury lawyers, we have seen the human toll from car accidents throughout this state. We also understand that the pain of surgery and the ongoing discomfort during the healing process can almost pale in comparison to the incredible expense of medical treatment and rehabilitation and physical therapy sessions.Knee Injuries
In the case of lower leg injuries, the knee can be a particular source of trouble depending on the extent of a person’s injuries. Knee injuries are known to be exceptionally painful, if only because the knee joint itself is so complex. As such, the healing process can take a very long time, if at all; more times than not, complete recovery may not even be possible due to complications. Some of the more typical injuries that can involve an accident victim’s knee include the following:
- Damage to the posterior collateral ligament or PCL with associated pain, swelling and frequent buckling of the knee while walking
- Dislocation of the knee joint
- Ruptured tendons
- Bone fractures
- Hyperextension of the ligaments surrounding the knee (usually caused by extreme twisting of the joint during impact)
- Damage to the anterior cruciate ligament(ACL) due to stretching or tearing
Injuries to a car accident victim’s thigh quite often involve a fracture caused by contact with the vehicle’s dashboard or steering wheel. The force of a traffic accident can literally crush the large bone (femur) that runs from the hip down to the knee. Fractured femurs will quite often need surgery. In many cases, pins are used to hold the broken pieces together so that the entire bone can heal correctly. The success of a well-set femur is crucial in terms the proper hip-thigh-knee alignment; if not addressed quickly, there could be permanent damage and long-term problems with walking.Hip Injuries
Injuries to vehicle occupants’ hips are fairly common during front-end traffic collisions. In accidents like these, trauma to the victim’s hips can come in many forms, though all are especially painful. From an injury claim standpoint, it is important to remember that there are multiple treatments and medical procedures that a patient might need to undergo following a hip-related injury; these can be time consuming and expensive. Some of the more common hip injuries include: Dislocation of the hip joint, requiring insertion of surgical plates/screws to insure the bone mends correctly Fractures, which can require full or partial hip replacement typically followed by an extended hospital stay, restricted mobility, and long-term rehabilitation Bruised, fractured or dislocated pelvis, all of which can result in severe pain and an uncomfortable recovery periodAnkle Injuries
As one of the important load-bearing parts of the body, the ankle combines flexibility, stability and strength to do its job correctly. During a traffic accident, the force of impact can cause extreme and sudden stress to an occupant’s ankle. In turn, a violent automobile crash can impart terrible damage to this joint.
Since the ankle must support the entire weight of a car accident victim’s body while also being flexible enough to twist and move to maintain balance and ambulation, any injury can be catastrophic to a person’s ability to function on a daily basis. In a car accident, the natural reaction of a driver or passenger is to brace himself with one or both feet; however, in doing so the victim’s ankle can experience a severe compression injury similar in force to landing on hard concrete after falling off a 12-foot-tall ladder.
If sufficient force is imparted to the ankle, a fracture can easily occur, as well as damage to the various ligaments surrounding the joint. The result in many of these cases will usually be extreme swelling and pain. It’s important to mention that in the case of the ankle, it is often considered better to break a bone in the joint than it is to tear a ligament. This is because the healing process itself may be much longer and more difficult for a torn ligament than for a broken bone.
As Maryland auto injury lawyers, Lebowitz & Mzhen understand that injuries of this type can seriously impact a victim’s quality of life, which can include the basic ability to perform normal, everyday functions. Following ankle-related surgery, a long cast is typically required, which will later be replaced by a shorter one and then, eventually, a soft cast employing Velcro and plastic. This is all meant to help the patient through the long recovery process, which can often entail a lengthy course of physical therapy. As personal injury attorneys, we can help victims of automobile and commercial trucking collisions by determining the negligent party(s) involved in an injury or wrongful death case. In doing so, we must consider who is ultimately responsible for the accident that caused the injuries to the victim. In most instances, the responsible party is usually the negligent driver that struck the victim’s vehicle or caused the victim’s car or truck to crash.
The attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen are always ready to offer assistance to victims of roadway accidents involving cars, motorcycles, public transportation and commercial trucks. As skilled legal professionals, we offer our years of experience and training to victims and their families. In preparing our clients’ personal injury claims cases, we ensure that current, as well as past and future medical costs and expenses will be included in any lawsuit precipitated by a serious traffic accident.
For a free no-obligation consultation, please contact us to arrange a meeting to discuss the details of your injury accident. Our staff is always happy to speak with you regarding your rights under Maryland’s personal injury and insurance statutes. Call our law firm toll-free at (800) 654-1949, or email either Jack Lebowitz or Vadim Mzhen to set up an appointment.