Updated August 3, 2021
Knee Injury Claim Value
Suffering a knee injury during a car accident is common because the knee can hit the dashboard when you are rear-ended.
In this article you will learn:
♦ How much you should settle for a knee injury
♦ Average knee injury settlement amounts
♦ What knee injuries are commonly suffered in an accident
♦ Treatment and recovery for knee injuries
If you have suffered a knee injury and have any questions about what to expect from your knee injury claim value, read on to learn more.
Table of Contents
Knee Injury Settlement Medical Topics
1 – Knee Injuries
General Settlement Information
8 – About the Author
Common Knee Injuries
The knee is made up of many parts and each one is capable of becoming badly damaged with any level of trauma. The major parts of the knee that are commonly damaged are:
♦ Lateral collateral ligament
♦ Patella Medial Ligament
♦ Medial meniscus patellar ligament
♦ Lateral Meniscus
♦ Fibula, Tibia and Femur that connect to the knee
These different parts of the knee can be injured in different manners. The ligaments can tear partially or completely, while the bones can break or shatter in an accident.
Many of these injuries will require extensive reconstructive surgery, physical therapy and downtime while there is recovery.
Symptoms that you have a knee injury are almost instantaneous and include pain, swelling and inability to put weight on the affected area.
Compensation for knee injury car accident cases are impacted by the kind of injury that you initially suffer from. Some injuries cause more damage and therefore result in longer recovery and therefore higher knee injury settlement amounts.
The level of treatment is also highly relevant to your compensation amounts as you can see below.
Knee Injury Treatments
Treatment for your knee injury will depend on which part of your knee was damaged. Ligaments in the knees require surgery in order to recover as they rarely are able to return to normal functionality without surgical intervention.
In the case of broken bones, depending on the intensity of the break, there can be a combination of treatments used such as surgery, casts and braces to allow time for the bone(s) to heal.
Rare cases where the knee is shattered and multiple tears occur in the ligaments, total reconstruction of the knee through multiple surgeries may be needed.
In the most extreme cases, when not even surgery is able to help an individual recover, amputations are done above the knee in order to save the rest of the leg.
Compensation for knee injury car accident cases where the injury is less serious will be dealt with through less invasive operations. When this is the case, there will be shorter recovery times which in turn will result in potentially smaller settlement values.
Cases where multiple intensive surgeries are needed, or where amputations are required, recovery times as long as 9-12 months will be needed as well as months of rehabilitation which result in higher settlement values.
Sometimes your initial knee injury will have consequences that present at a later time.
The recovery process therefore can be never-ending as conditions like arthritis which can develop after a knee injury, will mean even further rehabilitation and medical care.
Knee injuries in fact often results in the development of osteoarthritis which itself can come in 4 stages.
The most severe case creating diminished quality of life and chronic pain.
Chances of developing this can also increase future pain and suffering values in your settlement for knee injury.
How Much Should I Settle For A Knee Injury?
Average Knee Injury Settlement Amounts
The average settlement value for knee injuries floats between $75,000-$120,000 but the amounts can vary wildly from this average. The factors that impact your knee injury claim value are:
♦ The severity of your knee injury
♦ Whether or not you had a prior knee injury
♦ The type of treatment that your knee injury requires
♦ The length of your recovery period
♦ How much your injury affects your quality of life and normal activities
Knee injury settlement amounts are lower in cases where your knee injury is not serious, or you do not require intensive surgical intervention, or if you have previous knee injuries to the knee that has been damaged.
Knee injuries generally are not hard to prove with the assistance of an attorney as the injuries can be seen clearly in imaging tests like MRIs and x-rays. The difficulty comes from having factors present that can lower your overall value amount.
Pre-Existing Knee Injury Hurts Settlement Value
Degenerative knee problems or advanced age can work against you and ensure a lower claim value, while having an active job or hobbies/ lifestyle that will be diminished by a knee injury can result in higher claim values.
Knee injury settlement amounts vary greatly and will be affected when insurance companies attempt to argue that your knee injury is not that serious or that your knee was already damaged before the accident and was not damaged because of your present accident.
There are ways to beat those arguments, which most of the time require legal and medical analysis.
Sample Knee Injury Settlements & Verdicts
VERDICT: $2,229,472.00. A minor was struck in an intersection by a vehicle while he was riding his bike. The impact was severe and there was massive damage to the knee which required an amputation. Plaintiff stated that the driver was negligent in how they were driving, that they were speeding and that the driver was not paying attention to the road. The driver was also uninsured at the time of the accident. The severity of the injury and the rehabilitation caused great pain and suffering settlement in the case.
VERDICT: $13,500.00. While driving his vehicle on a business highway, the plaintiff was driving when he collided with a vehicle that was making a left turn into a fast food restaurant. Plaintiff stated that the accident took place because the left turn the defendant made was done right in front of the plaintiff which caused the collision. Injuries that were caused by the accident included injury and pain to the left knee which needed medical care. Plaintiff was awarded settlement for emotional distress, pain and suffering and medical expenses.
VERDICT: $150,000.00. Plaintiff was headed west on a local street when her car collided with another car that was attempting to make a left turn. Plaintiff stated that failure to maintain a safe distance caused the accident and the fact that the plaintiff failed to maintain a safe speed which together caused the inability in time to avoid the collision which was inevitable. The impact and the claims were made for multiple permanent injuries including injury to the knee which needed multiple surgeries and resulted in 20% permanent disability.
VERDICT: $48,534.00. A car that the plaintiff was in was hit by another driver who was intoxicated and uninsured while the plaintiff was sitting in the back seat as the car was headed northbound on a local street. The defendant ignored a flashing red light and went through the intersection to hit the car that the plaintiff was riding in. Amongst the injuries sustained, the plaintiff had a strained left knee that required medical care and rehabilitation.
VERDICT: $65,500.00. Plaintiff was stopped at a red light when she was struck by behind by a defendant who had not been paying attention to the road and cars in front of them. Multiple injuries to both knees led to the need for lost wages to be recovered for, as well as medical expenses and pain and suffering.
Knee Injury Settlement Q&A
What is the most common treatment for a knee injury?
The most common treatment for a knee injury is hard to pin down because the best knee injury treatment is disputed by doctors who frequently disagree as to what the best treatment option is. Some doctors believe that surgery is the best way forward for many strains, sprains, tears and breaks.
However, other doctors believe that surgery is too invasive and that the best treatment is rest ,icing an area and using methods that are less invasive like steroid shots and inflammation medications.
Can my knee injury develop into a more serious condition later on in life?
Yes, a knee injury now can later on develop into more serious conditions. Part of the reason for this is that the knee has many connective tissue, muscles, ligaments and bones and when one part is hurt, it leaves the other parts more susceptible to injury as well which often present later on after the initial knee injury.
How much should I settle for a knee injury?
Knee injuries can vary in range depending on your specific level of damage, what part of the knee was hurt and whether or not you will need surgery and long post-recovery periods.
Lost wages and diminished quality of life from inability to place any pressure on the knee can mean larger pain and suffering compensation.
Average cases on the higher end tend to by close to $250,000-$350,000. The median verdict tends to be closer to approximately $100,000 while on the lower end some cases only of or about $10,000-$20,000. In some cases, verdicts have gone as high as $1,000,000 or more.
Is it common for a knee injury to result in osteoarthritis of the knee?
Sadly, it is common for your knee injury to make you more prone to developing serious knee problems long after the initial injury. One serious injury that tends to occur post-knee trauma for example is the development of osteoarthritis which can be a lifelong and debilitating medical concern that you will have to live with.
What are the main factors in determining my knee injury case value?
There are 2 main factors that determine how much your specific knee injury case value will be worth. The first of these is the level or seriousness of your injury. This severity of the knee injury is going to play a very large role in your knee injury claim value.
A second factor in determining your Knee injury settlement amount will be what kinds of knee problems or injuries you had before this accident. Past trauma to the same knee will mean possible lower settlement values.
How can I calculate the value of my knee injury claim value?
Calculating what your knee injury claim value may be involves considering how the different variables affect your case. This will mean looking into variable such as whether or not you have had a prior injury, how severe your injury was, whether or not you need surgery, and what your total recovery time is for your injury.
Our Los Angeles Lawyers are Here to Help
With Your Knee Injury Settlement
Insurance companies often do what they can to offer a low amount if your knee injury has any of the factors that can lower a payout, or flat out refuse to pay anything more than the bare minimum settlement value.
Getting a professional lawyer who battles insurance companies and their settlement tactics is how you get an edge and maximize your net recovery. Not only can a lawyer help you get a bigger settlement, we can help you negotiate your medical liens to help you pocket more money on the back-end, too.
Contact us at the IAG team any time of the day or night for your free consultation.
Supporting Citations, Literature & Resources:
Buechel Sr, F. F. (2002). Knee arthroplasty in post-traumatic arthritis. The Journal of arthroplasty, 17(4), 63-68.
Bodkin, S. G., Werner, B. C., Slater, L. V., & Hart, J. M. (2020). Post-traumatic osteoarthritis diagnosed within 5 years following ACL reconstruction. Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy, 28(3), 790-796.
Nouraei, M. H., Hosseini, A., Zarezadeh, A., & Zahiri, M. (2013). Floating knee injuries: Results of treatment and outcomes. Journal of research in medical sciences: the official journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, 18(12), 1087.
Teresiński, G., & Mądro, R. (2001). Knee joint injuries as a reconstructive factors in car-to-pedestrian accidents. Forensic science international, 124(1), 74-82.
Otte, D., & Haasper, C. (2005). Technical parameters and mechanisms for the injury risk of the knee joint of vulnerable road users impacted by cars in road traffic accidents. In Int’l IRCOBI Conf Biomech Impact (pp. 281-297).
Wascher, D. C. (2000). High-velocity knee dislocation with vascular injury: treatment principles. Clinics in sports medicine, 19(3), 457-477.
About the Author
Article Author: This law article was written by attorney Ray Benyamin, Esquire. Mr. Benyamin received his Juris Doctor degree from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and his license to practice law from the State Bar of California. His law license number is 277263. He has been practicing law for 10 years. Mr. Benyamin is a registered member of the following legal organizations: Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA), the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA), the State Bar of California, the American Bar Association (ABA), and the American Association for Justice (AAJ). Mr. Benyamin has personally helped his clients recover over $10,000,000 in vehicle accident insurance claims in the State of California.
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