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Could Leg Pain Following a Car Crash be a Sign of a Serious Injury?

healthcare worker assisting an injured manPeople often sustain leg injuries when they are involved in a motor vehicle accident. However, when it is not an obvious fracture, bruise or laceration, you may wonder what is causing the pain.

Jay Trucks talks about some of the most common reasons for leg pain after a car crash, including when your leg pain could indicate a serious injury.

If you are suffering from leg pain after an accident caused by a negligent driver, you should seek medical assistance immediately. Our experienced car accident attorneys in Grand Rapids are also prepared to help you with your no-fault claim and to determine whether you have additional options for recovering compensation. Call to schedule your free case review today. 

Common Leg Injuries After a Car Crash

Legs are prone to injury in car crashes, and the pain can exist in the bones, the nerves, muscle or other soft tissue. In some cases, an injury elsewhere in your body may be causing the pain in your leg.

These are some of the most common types of leg pain and injuries from car crashes:

Lacerations, Severe Bruising

Lacerations (deep cuts) and other type of surface injuries are easily seen and diagnosed. Most often, these injuries will heal well with time. However, if your cuts get infected or the bruising spreads and becomes worse, you should see your doctor immediately.

Soft Tissue Injuries

These are injuries that occur in the soft tissue around your bones, and may include muscle pain, torn ligaments, damaged cartilage, tendons and more.

Symptoms of a soft tissue injury may include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness in the joint
  • Limited range of motion
  • Weakness of the affected area
  • A popping sound around the affected joint
  • Inability to bear weight
  • Joint instability

Soft tissue injurie are very common in a car crash and range in severity, treatment and recovery time.

For example, a simple sprain may heal in a matter of a few weeks with ice, rest and maybe even some physical therapy. However, if you tear a ligament or muscle, you may need surgery, medication to manage inflammation as well as pain, physical therapy and a lot of rest.

Bone Injuries

Leg fractures are another common injury that accident victims may suffer. People think that if they broke a bone, they will be able to see it, but that is not always the case. There are more than 60 bones in your leg and more than 10 types of fractures, so the damages could be from mild to quite severe. 

For example, a closed fracture that is also stable (where the broken ends of the bone line up) is easier to treat and may also heal faster. An open fracture (one that punctures the skin) or a compression fracture (caused if bones are crushed) may require:

  • Surgery
  • Implants, such as pins or screws, to help support the bone
  • Extensive physical therapy
  • A much longer recovery time

Knee Injuries

If your knees slammed against something hard in your car during the crash, such as the dashboard, you could have suffered one of many types of knee injuries - from a ruptured ACL to a shattered patella (knee cap). In addition to being very painful, knee injuries can make it very difficult to walk. 

Dislocated Hip/Leg Bones

Sometimes the force of a car crash can cause a bone to become dislocated - or forced out of its joint. This type of injury is extremely painful - making walking difficult to impossible. Additionally, the impact of that bone becoming dislocated may have also caused damage to the surrounding soft tissue.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is essentially a blood clot that can occur as the result of either your initial leg injury or from the surgery required to repair that injury. Regardless of why DVT occurs, it is critical that you seek medical care for it immediately. A DVT can result in a pulmonary embolism - a life-threatening condition. 

If you have any type of pain, swelling or discoloration around the injured area, you should immediately seek emergency medical care. More obvious symptoms include:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing - or coughing up blood
  • Feeling lightheaded or faint
  • Sudden unexplained anxiety

Leg Pain That May Indicate a Serious Condition

While broken bones, knee injuries and other soft tissue injuries are both painful and severe, there are some types of leg pain that may not actually be caused by a leg injury. 

Leg pain that may indicate a more serious condition after a car crash could include:

  • Herniated Disc: If a spinal disc was pushed out of place during the accident, it could be putting pressure on a nerve that affects sensations in your leg. 
  • Sciatica: If the accident caused any kind of misalignment in your back, it can cause pinching or inflammation in the nerve that runs down both thighs. This could feel like a shooting pain, numbness or tingling down one or both legs. 

Treating Your Leg Pain After a Car Crash

Any condition or injury that causes you leg pain can have a serious impact on your mobility as well as your ability to enjoy life. To help ensure you get proper care and give yourself the best chance for a full recovery, we strongly recommend that you seek medical care immediately after any collision to determine the root cause of your leg pain. Once your doctor diagnoses and treats your injuries, it is really important that you continue to follow his or her instructions - and keep any follow-up appointments. 

After being diagnosed, your treatment could include one or more of the following, depending on the severity and location of your injuries:

  • Ice and rest to reduce swelling and give your injury a chance to heal
  • Physical therapy to help strengthen and rebuild the injured area
  • Corticosteroid injections to help with pain management
  • Surgery may be necessary for fractures and other serious injuries
  • Rehabilitation

Why Medical Care Matters

Getting a proper diagnosis helps you to get the treatment you need - without delay - to help your injuries to heal properly. Waiting to get treated or failing to see a doctor could make your injuries worse, cause permanent damage or in some cases, be fatal.

Additionally, seeking medical care creates an official record of how you were injured. This record becomes especially helpful for linking your injuries to the car crash, both for your insurance provider and if you need to pursue a liability claim. Without this evidence, your insurer could deny your claim with the argument that your injury could have happened anywhere.

Options for Recovering Compensation

Regardless of who may be liable for the incident, your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance will cover your medical costs and other benefits - up to the limits of your policy, including:

  • Diagnostic tests, such as MRIs and X-rays
  • Ambulance transportation 
  • Crutches or other mobility devices
  • Surgery
  • Lost wages
  • And more

Pursuing a liability claim

PIP may not provide sufficient coverage for all of your medical costs, especially if you have a lower insurance limit and your injuries are extensive. However, if your injuries are more severe and meet the state's injury threshold for impaired bodily function, you may be eligible to recover additional non-economic and excess damages, such as:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Disfigurement or scarring
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Loss of companionship

Contact Our Firm for Help With Your Claim Today

At Jay Trucks, we have been representing injured victims in Michigan for decades. We offer a free initial consultation, and there is never any obligation or pressure to hire our services. If we represent you, there are no upfront costs for us to start or work on your case. This means you can find out what legal options you may have at no risk to you.

If you suffered leg or other injuries in a serious car accident, our team of legal professionals is ready to help. Call our law offices anytime, night or day, to schedule your free case review.

Millions recovered. Call (800) 762-8623 today.