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Meniscus Tear of the Knee

knee

One of the most common injuries of the knee is a torn meniscus. Any physical activity that requires a forceful twisting or rotating motion of the knee, particularly when putting full weight on it, may lead to a meniscus tear of the knee. The top reason for a tear in the knee's cartilage is trauma, such as is seen in a sports injury or traffic collision. Any meniscal tear case should be taken seriously, and medical treatment should be sought right away. Natural healing may be challenging, and life-changing complications may arise if the blood supply to the meniscus is cut off.

Any type of significant forceful twisting or rotating of the knee may result in a torn meniscus. If you have suffered a meniscal tear in an accident caused by another party, contact one of our personal injury lawyers in Sacramento for free, friendly case advice at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400.

Since 1982, our law firm has handled personal injury cases for those who have suffered traumatic injuries, like a torn meniscus, in an accident. When dealing with difficult insurance companies, we have the experience, skills, and resources necessary to obtain favorable case outcomes for our clients. Reach out to us today to learn how to help you recover fair compensation to get your life back on track after a crash.

Overview of a Meniscal Injury

The meniscus was once described as a component of the leg muscle that serves no function. However, extensive scientific studies throughout the years have indicated that the meniscus serves an integral role in the knee joint with emphasis on function, biomechanics, and anatomy.

The incidence of injury to the meniscus is increasing. It may be partially due to the easy availability of imaging technology like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and increased participation in sports. A knee presenting with a meniscal injury may be subject to excessive cartilage wear and even lead to early-onset osteoarthritis.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of a Torn Meniscus?

If a patient has experienced a cartilage tear in the knee, they may experience some of the following symptoms:

  • A sensation best described as popping in the knee
  • Pain that may accompany the rotation or twisting of the knee
  • Knee buckling in which may feel like the knee is giving out
  • Stiffness or swelling

Medical treatment should be sought immediately if the knee cannot be moved in a usual way or is swollen or painful.

How is a Torn Meniscus Treated?

Treatment of a meniscal injury generally involves conservative management based on the size and location of the cartilage tear. In the initial treatment, a physician may recommend rest, ice to reduce swelling and pain in the knee, and medication for pain management. Physical therapy may help in strengthening the muscles in the legs and in the knee to help support and stabilize the knee joint.

If rehabilitation is not successful and there is ongoing pain, surgical intervention may be necessary for repairing the tear. Surgical trimming of the meniscus may also be necessary. After surgery, the patient must exercise to increase and maintain stability and strength in the affected knee.

What Types of Evidence is Necessary for Proving Fault in an Accident?

When bringing a third-party insurance claim, strong evidence must be presented to establish that the other party was responsible for the incident and subsequent injuries, such as a torn meniscus. The types of evidence necessary in the case may vary upon the unique facts and circumstances of the accident. Working with an experienced personal injury lawyer may be useful in assessing the case through gathering and preserving evidence to establish a duty of care the other party owed to the claimant, breach of that duty, causation, and damages. Some of the types of evidence utilized in such cases may include:

  • Images of the Accident Scene: Photos taken at the crash site may be useful for an accident reconstruction expert evaluate and determine the sequence of events leading up to it. If an injured party was not taken by ambulance to a trauma center and can take photos, it is crucial to take images of the wreckage, any physical injuries that were suffered, markings in the road such as skid marks and traffic signage, and other details that may be in connection to the crash.
  • Traffic Incident Report: If the crash prompted the response of the California Highway Patrol (CHP) or other local law enforcement agencies, there might be an official report documenting the accident. A traffic incident report by CHP traffic officers or local police may be useful in establishing the details of the collision and including information regarding who was at fault.
  • Video Surveillance Footage: If the auto accident occurred in an area surrounded by commercial properties, there might be video surveillance footage of the incident. Time is of the essence when obtaining footage from surveillance cameras, as the recordings may be lost over time. That is why it is essential to retain legal counsel immediately, as an attorney may recover this footage before it disappears.
  • Eyewitness Statements: A statement from an eyewitness to a car accident may be essential in helping establish liability and serving as a corroboration of the claimant’s version of events. As such, taking down the contact information of anyone who witnessed the crash is crucial as an accident attorney may later want to interview the eyewitnesses to decide whether their testimony may help prove the facts of the case.
  • Black Box Data: In commercial truck accident cases, there is the possibility that the big rig has a black box in which is used for recording event data. Such devices are utilized to track a wide array of metrics like steering, airbag deployment, speed, acceleration, and braking in the moments before, during, and following a traffic accident. If data from the black box suggests that the truck driver failed to brake for slowed or stopped traffic, traveling above the posted speed limit, or any other reason, an injury attorney may utilize these metrics to demonstrate that the trucker caused the crash.

Watch this video for more details on the personal injury claims process following an accident.

What Types of Expert Witnesses are Involved in a Personal Injury Case?

An injury lawyer may call on a wide array of experts to provide testimony in a personal injury case. An expert witness may play a significant role in the case as they may provide an opinion on the traffic collision and the extent of injuries and damages incurred. Some of the expert witnesses an accident attorney may work with include:

  • Accident Reconstruction Expert: In any bodily injury claim for a motor vehicle collision, there may be the issue of establishing liability, particularly if it is contested by the insurance company and the at-fault party. When an accident reconstruction expert is called in the case, they may conduct an independent investigation of the incident, examine images of the wreck and other related evidence to determine who is responsible for the crash.
  • Biomechanical Engineer: In any case involving a traumatic injury, such as a torn meniscus, dealing with an insurance adjuster or defense attorney questioning the extent of the injury and whether the claimant can return to work is not uncommon. Calling on a biomedical or biomechanical engineer may be essential. They may provide testimony regarding human anatomy and whether the incident in question may have contributed to the movements that caused the injury being claimed. For instance, an expert may establish that the knee was injured from coming into contact with the dashboard.
  • Economist: A financial expert such as an economist may estimate the value of lost wages in connection to the torn meniscus. An economist may also estimate reduced earning potential if a permanent injury or disability is involved in the case.
  • Medical Professional: The opinion of a medical expert may make a considerable impact in the aspect that they may determine the costs of medical care received and will reasonably need in the future. A medical professional may also discuss the expected recovery timeline from an accident-related injury, like a meniscal tear. Having the input of a medical expert is essential as any damages, particularly those for future medical expenses, should not be overlooked in any case.
  • Vocational Expert: A valuable tool, in any case, is a life care plan. This serves the purpose of quantifying an injured party’s current and expenses for care reasonably expected to incur in the future. A qualified vocational expert with the proper credentials will provide testimony regarding the merits of a life care plan to the court and include a projection of future costs. These may include short-term or long-term care, accommodations to the injured party’s vehicle or home, medical appliances, loss of future earnings, anticipated future needs for medical treatment or surgical intervention, and more.

Calling on any of the experts previously mentioned is necessary for providing an opinion on how the medical condition has impacted the injured party’s life in all aspects. However, using an expert may be expensive and may not be justified in every personal injury case. An experienced injury lawyer may determine whether calling on an expert witness may be necessary in the case as a cost-effective strategy when seeking full and fair compensation on behalf of their client.

Contact a Knee Injury Attorney Today

If you have suffered a traumatic injury such as a torn meniscus or another type of knee trauma in an accident in California, contact our law firm to speak with one of our personal injury lawyers. We are available anytime to provide an evaluation of your potential case and offer free, friendly advice. Call us today at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400.

Photo Source: Pixabay User ~ "whitesession"

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