After a car accident, we always strongly recommend that crash victims seek medical attention right away. However, some injuries may not be immediately apparent, even if the damage is serious. Learn why leg pain after a car accident may indicate something more serious than bruising.
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What Injuries Could Cause Leg Pain After a Car Accident?
The injuries causing your leg pain after a car accident may be minor, despite your discomfort. It is very common for crash victims to suffer from muscle aches, bruising and sometimes even some minor cuts.
Some of the most common, but less serious leg injuries may include:
Severe Lacerations and Widespread Bruising
Any deep gashes or widespread bruising should be seen by a medical doctor. While you should recover fully from these types of leg injuries, you may need stitches.
Many people, and insurance companies, may shrug off soft-tissue damages as being minor. However, they can occur in any part of the soft tissue in your legs, knees and hip. Sometimes soft-tissue injuries could include torn ligaments, cartilage or tendons. The pain can be excruciating and result in a long recovery, especially if the crash victim does not get treatment.
If you have a soft-tissue injury, you may notice swelling. You could also experience mild to severe pain, joint stiffness, weakness and a limited range of motion. Without treatment, your soft-tissue injury could become aggravated and may lead to more instability and pain.
Even if you “only” have gashes and/or soft-tissue injuries, it is important to seek medical treatment. Deep lacerations may not heal properly or could become severely infected. Soft-tissue injuries can also be serious, especially if you suffered something like a torn ligament or tendon. The most severe soft-tissue injuries may require surgery.
When Leg Pain After a Car Accident Could Be a Serious Injury
While lacerations and soft-tissue injuries to one or both legs may require medical attention and a lengthy recovery time, they are generally not life-threatening.
Other leg injuries from a car accident can be quite serious, however, including:
- Fractured bones – There are many bones in your leg that could suffer a fracture – more than 60, in fact. While not every fracture is severe, many are, and they are especially common in car crashes. Compound fractures may require surgery or implants that can help to support the bone and long-term physical therapy to strengthen the limb.
- Dislocated bones in the hip and/or leg: When a joint becomes dislocated, it is extremely painful. This type of injury is very common after a car accident and if not treated, long-term damage may occur. Additionally, the pain of a dislocated joint can make walking nearly impossible to do.
- Knee injuries: A crash victim’s knee could easily hit the dashboard or other objects in a car during a collision. The impact can result in severe knee injuries, such as a torn posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) or a shattered patella (kneecap). Other common knee injuries from car crashes may include a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or medial collateral ligament (MCL).
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT): A DVT can lead to a pulmonary embolism and become life-threatening if left untreated. It is a blood clot that often occurs after sustaining a leg injury. Sometimes, it may occur after a patient gets surgical intervention to repair the injury. There are several symptoms you should be aware of and seek immediate emergency treatment if you notice:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pains
- Rapid heartbeat
- Coughing up blood
- Feeling faint or lightheaded
- Onset of sudden and unexplained anxiety
When Leg Pain May Indicate a Severe Injury That is Not in Your Leg
Leg pain does not always indicate a leg injury. Sometimes, it may indicate a severe injury elsewhere, such as a herniated disc. The impact of a car crash often causes injuries to the back. One of the discs in your back could have been pushed out of place, and this could be causing severe nerve pain down your leg. Another back injury that can cause leg pain is sciatica. Just getting your back thrown out of alignment, which can easily happen in a car accident, could cause this very painful injury. You could experience shooting pain down one or even both legs as a result.
Can You Seek Compensation If Your Leg Pain is Due to a Collision?
If another person’s negligence led to the crash and your injuries, you may be able to seek compensation against his or her auto insurance. This is something you should definitely speak to a licensed attorney about. The liable insurance company will no doubt try to offer you a lowball settlement, but it is not likely to be even close to the value of your damages.
Protect the value of your claim by seeking immediate medical attention after your accident. Once the emergency room doctor examines you and your injuries are stabilized, it is important to follow his or her prescribed plan of care. For instance, if surgery is recommended, followed by physical therapy, be sure to follow your doctor’s orders. Not following through on treatment is one of the top ways that crash victims lose out on getting fully compensated for their damages.
Additionally, your doctor visits will be noted in your medical records, which helps to link your accident to the collision that caused your injuries.
What Steps Should You Take if You Have Leg Pain After a Car Accident?
In addition to seeking medical care, we recommend seeking legal help right away. Our experienced auto accident lawyers in Harrisburg can provide guidance throughout your case to help ensure you avoid making mistakes that could decrease the value of your claim.
Your attorney can also guide you on how to:
- Properly track all your medical expenses and other damages
- Keep a pain journal that helps track the progress of your injuries
- Document details about the accident while it is still fresh in your mind
- Avoid sharing too much information with the insurance company and others
- And more
Do You Have Serious Leg Pain From a Car Crash? Schmidt Kramer is Here to Help
If you suffered a serious leg injury in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence, you may be eligible to seek significant compensation.
Contact Schmidt Kramer to discuss your situation with an experienced attorney. Our firm has the staff and resources to fully investigate and manage your case. Our knowledgeable attorneys always seek the maximum possible compensation for our clients, as you can see by our history of proven results.
We charge zero upfront costs and zero fees to get started on your claim and throughout the legal process. Our firm does not get paid unless you do.
Schmidt Kramer. Experienced lawyers. Proven results. (717) 727-1403