Knee, Foot & Ankle Injuries in Austin
Legal Help for Victims of Knee, Foot & Ankle Injuries
Knee, foot and ankle injuries are among the more common injuries in Texas car accidents. Depending on the type and severity of the injury, a victim may face multiple surgeries and a lifetime of pain and discomfort as a result of a knee, foot or ankle injury. Although an injury to the knee, ankle or foot is rarely life-threatening, it can significantly impact your mobility.
The knees, ankles and feet have over 60 bones and an intricate network of soft tissue – any one of which can be injured in a car accident.
Some of the smallest bones in the body are found in the feet. Each foot contains 26 bones, some of them extremely small and fragile. The largest and most complicated joint in the body is found in the knee. The knee connects the femur to the tibia (shin bone). There are numerous muscles, tendons and joints found in the leg. These help connect all of the parts and allow you to walk, run and jump.
Unless the occupant of a vehicle is a child, or a particularly short adult, the occupant likely sits in the vehicle with his or her legs stretched out to the point where they nearly touch the underside of the dash or the back of the front seat. The driver’s legs stretch out to meet the pedals. This puts the legs in the perfect position to suffer an injury if a collision occurs.
Because the legs are often stretched out and tensed when a crash happens, they may buckle, causing bones to break or tendons, muscles and ligaments to be strained, sprained or even torn. The foot bones are small and delicate, meaning they can fracture in even a low-speed collision.
Drivers are particularly susceptible to foot fractures because their feet are close to the dash and the pedals. The same is true for drivers’ knees, which often impact the steering wheel or dash. Although the bones in the rest of the leg are bigger and stronger, they are also under constant stress during daily life, making them more injury prone.
The muscles, tendons and ligaments in the leg will likely be tensed at the time of impact. This typically means they are already being flexed or stretched to near their maximum capacity. If the impact causes any additional flexion or stretching, they can easily become injured.
Types of Knee, Foot & Ankle Injuries in Car Accidents
Knee, foot and ankle injuries can be divided into three basic categories. Those categories include:
- Bones – Any of the bones in the legs can be fractured in a car accident. “Fracture” is simply the medical term used to refer to a break in the bone. Fractures come in many forms, and they range in severity. An open fracture is one where the skin was broken and the bone is visible, while a closed fracture occurs under the skin. A displaced fracture is one where the bone broke to the point where the pieces are no longer aligned, whereas a non-displaced fracture occurs when the pieces of the bone are still in alignment. An open, displaced fracture is among the most serious because of the risk of infection and the difficulty involved in setting the bone.
- Muscles, tendons and ligaments – A stretched or torn ligament causes a strain, while a stretched or torn muscle or tendon causes a sprain. The rapid flexing and contracting of the muscles, tendons and ligaments in a car crash often results in a sprain or strain.
- Knees – Because knees are so frequently injured in motor vehicle collisions as a result of impacting with the dashboard, the term “dashboard knee” has been coined to refer to any injury to the knee that is the result of a car accident. This may include a fracture, a sprain or strain, or injury to the knee joint.
Contact Our Austin Car Accident Lawyers Today
Texas has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases, including those involving knee, foot and ankle injuries in car accidents. Depending on the parties involved in the accident, the deadline for taking action may arrive even sooner. That’s why it’s important to contact a skilled and experienced Texas car accident attorney as soon as possible.
If you or a family member has suffered knee, foot or ankle injuries in a car accident in Austin, Waco or surrounding Texas communities, call The Bob Richardson Law Firm today toll-free at 800-880-5100 or use our online form to learn more about how we can help you.