Serious Lower Extremity Injuries in Car Accidents
Getting the Support You Need
Victims of lower extremity injuries can seek financial compensation for their losses through an insurance claim or a personal injury claim. If you have been injured, please contact an experienced California personal injury lawyer who will file a claim on your behalf and negotiate with the insurance company to get a fair settlement to cover all your expenses and losses. Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation for damages including medical bills, surgery, hospitalization, rehabilitation, cost of medical devices and medication and pain and suffering.
The experienced car accident lawyers at BISNAR CHASE have a long and successful track record of representing victims who have suffered severe or catastrophic injuries in car accidents. Whether your injury was caused by driver negligence, a defective auto or a dangerous roadway, we will fight hard to ensure that you receive fair and full compensation for all your losses. Please contact us at 949-203-3814 for a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation.
Sustaining a lower extremity injury in a car accident can have an immediate and long-term impact on your quality of life. You will likely require emergency medical attention, an extended hospital stay, surgery, months of physical therapy and rest. In addition to the medical bills and lost wages, you may need medical devices such as a wheelchair or crutches. You will also need support from friends and family as you heal. As the costs begin to add up, you may begin to worry about how you will pay mounting medical bills and other expenses.
Lower extremity injuries resulting from car accidents have become even more common as more occupants of vehicles that have newer seat restraint systems and airbags survive high-energy crashes. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), during the last decade or so, there have been great improvements in vehicular occupant safety systems. This means that more occupants survive high-energy crashes due to the lower incidence of head, thoracic and abdominal injuries. However, they still suffer debilitating lower extremity injuries, which in the past, were often overlooked in the light of more life-threatening injuries.
Common Types of Lower-Extremity Injuries
Some of the most common types of injuries to the leg include fractures or broken bones, nerve injuries, crush injuries and amputations. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's National Accident Sampling System shows that lower extremity injuries account for 32 percent of all injuries suffered below the head for belted passengers and 24 percent for unbelted passengers. Ankle and foot injuries are the most prevalent lower extremity injury. Among all patients admitted to trauma centers for motor vehicle accidents, 20 percent of drivers had at least one lower extremity fracture. About 8 to 12 percent of all head-on collisions result in foot and ankle injuries.
Long Term Effects of Lower Extremity Injuries
For many who suffer lower extremity injuries, the recovery process is lengthy and costly. The University of Maryland conducted a study on persons hospitalized with motor vehicle injuries and found that lower extremity injuries accounted for 40 percent of the one-year motor vehicle trauma treatment charges in the state. For many of the victims of these types of injuries it can be challenging to regain strength and mobility.
Lower extremity injuries involve weight-bearing joints and surfaces such as the knee and ankle, so they typically result in a prolonged reduction in mobility. These types of injuries can make it difficult to return to work. A patient may need extended physical therapy or rehabilitation to regain lost strength and mobility. Even with rehabilitative therapy, a patient may not return to his or her pre-accident condition. Some of the common symptoms of lower extremity injuries include:
- Instability of the leg
- Pain at the injury site
- Inability to walk on the injured leg
- Numbness or paralysis of the extremity
- Deformity of the affected area
Diagnosis and Treatment
In order to diagnose a lower extremity injury, x-rays may be taken of the affected areas. Most fractures can be easily spotted on x-ray film. If a fracture is suspected, but not spotted on x-ray, a CT scan or MRI scan can help determine if there are any fractures. An MRI can also show any soft tissue damage or clots that were caused by the injury.
If a nerve injury is suspected, an electromyogram can be done to help diagnose such injuries. A Doppler ultrasound can help evaluate whether or not the blood flow to the heart has been affected as a result of injury to the arteries. If that is the case, emergency surgery will be required to restore circulation to the leg that has been affected. There are several complications that can arise from extremity fractures because not all broken bones heal perfectly. Some of the common complications include permanent deformity of the extremity, lack of nerve function, lack of complete function of the extremity and amputation if there is a severe crush injury.