Injuries to the knee are common in a bicycle accident. They can happen from direct blows (such as getting struck by a car), falling after getting knocked off a bike, pulling or stretching ligaments and other types of trauma.
This complex joint in the leg is susceptible to an array of injuries. Below is an overview of a few knee injuries that cyclists may suffer in an accident as well as a brief overview of Arvada bicyclists’ rights to pursue a legal claim against a negligent driver responsible for the accident.
Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Injuries
The PCL helps connect the thighbone (femur) to the shinbone (tibia). For this type of knee injury to happen, there usually must be a significant amount of force, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). For instance, a motor vehicle going at a high rate of speed strikes your bike.
A PCL sprain can range from mild to severe. Partial tears, complete tears and instability of the knee joint are indications of a more serious injury. The good news is that partial tears may heal on their own. But when the tear is complete or the knee becomes unstable, it could require surgery.
With or without surgery, anyone who suffers a PCL injury will likely need some type of rehabilitation. The severity of the damage will determine the length of time it takes to recover, which could be several weeks or months.
Collateral Ligament Injuries
These ligaments are located on the sides of the knee. One is the medial collateral ligament (MCL), which is on the inside and connects the thighbone to the shinbone. And the other is the lateral collateral ligament (LCL), which is on the outside and connects the thighbone to the smaller bone in the lower leg (fibula).
Collateral ligament injuries may result in injuries similar to a PCL injury. Surgery is sometimes necessary but with any knee injury, doctors will usually try conservative forms of treatment first. Recovery will also depend on the severity of the injury.
Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injuries
The ACL runs through the middle of the knee. Conservative treatment is many times enough to treat ACL injuries. Even when surgery does become necessary, the doctor may wait until the inflammation has decreased, according to the AAOS. Rehabilitation may be necessary, especially after surgery. As with any other type of knee injury, recovery depends on the severity of the injury.
Seeking Help from an Attorney after a Bicycle Accident
Many injured cyclists opt to pursue legal action against a driver responsible for the accident because of the:
- potential to miss a lot of time from work;
- acquire a substantial amount of medical bills; and
- face long-term disability.
A bicyclist can file a liability claim with the motorist’s insurance company and may even pursue a lawsuit if the insurer fails to offer an adequate settlement. An attorney can help you collect evidence of your injuries as well as that to establish fault, like police reports or eyewitness testimony indicating the driver violated a law or acted negligently to cause the accident.
Set up your consultation with D.J. Banovitz today by calling 303-300-5060 or just fill out our online contact form. D.J. is an avid cyclist himself and is dedicated to helping bicyclists in and around Arvada exercise their rights to compensation.