One of the most common parts of the body that sustains an injury in a car accident are the legs. In fact, according to the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), more than 40 percent of all accident victims involved in a front-end crash suffer some type of leg injury. This often happens because of how little leg room there is in vehicles. Victims in car crashes have little room and hardly any time to react in a crash, leaving the legs particularly vulnerable to injury.
Car accident victims can sustain a variety of injuries to the legs, including bruises, scrapes, and fractures, affecting bones, tendons, and ligaments. A frequent injury that many of our clients suffer in crashes is leg nerve damage.
There are several different ways that leg nerves can injured in an accident. Lacerations to the leg can result in nerve damage. For instance, a shard of glass from a shattered windshield can slice the leg, deep enough so it also slices a nerve. Leg nerves can also be damaged by a fractured tibia or femur, with fragments of the bone causing the cutting of nerves. Regardless of how nerves are damaged, it is critical to seek out medical treatment right away in order to prevent potentially permanent damage.
Leg Nerve Damage Treatment
Treatment and recovery for traumatic leg nerve damage depend on how severe the injury to the nerve is. If the injury is just compression of the nerve, then it should correct itself once the swelling of the area goes down. Victims will likely have discomfort and need to say off the injured leg until the healing is complete.
If the nerve has been sliced, however, then there is a strong possibility that the damage to the nerve will be permanent. Symptoms of nerve damage include:
- Limited and painful motor function in the leg
- Sensory changes
- Sudden numbness
- Unable to detect changes in temperature
If the nerve damage is caught early, there is a chance that surgery can repair the nerve and possibly reverse the symptoms. However, there are many nerve damage injuries that cannot be repaired, leaving the victim with permanent leg nerve damage.
Other Leg Injuries
In addition to nerve damage and fractures, car accident victims are also at risk of other leg injuries. An anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury is an injury often suffered by athletes, however, car accidents can also cause severe ACL injuries. The ACL is the connective tissue between the thighbone and the shinbone. Damage occurs when there is a sudden and violent force on the knee that causes the connective tissue to tear. Symptoms of a torn ACL include excessive swelling, a persistent popping sound in the joints, and an overall weakness in the knee. An injury to the ACL leaves the victim unable to move, twist or pivot their leg in any direction and requires surgery in order to repair the tear.
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Tearing of the meniscus is another frequent – and painful – car accident injury. The meniscus is cartilage that is located in the knee which acts as a shock absorber whenever the leg is moving. When the meniscus is torn in a crash, the victim experiences extreme pain and is unable to put any weight or pressure on their knee. In some cases, rest and physical therapy will repair the damage. If this treatment does not work, then surgery will be necessary.
Have You Been Injured?
While minor leg injuries may only require a few weeks of rehabilitation, more serious or severe injuries may mean months of surgeries, medical treatments, rehabilitation, and recovery. Not only does this mean high medical bills, but for many victims, it may also mean lost wages because they are unable to work while they go through their recovery process. If the leg injury leaves the victim with permanent damage that limits their ability to move their legs, issues with sensory perception, or suffering from chronic pain, the impact on the victim’s overall quality of life can be profound.
If you have suffered a serious leg injury in a car crash caused by another driver, contact a Virginia car accident attorney to find out how we can get you the financial compensation you may be entitled to. Contact Shapiro & Appleton today to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation and find out how we can help.