Do You Have Leg Pain From a Car Accident?
The cost of treating leg pain caused by an underlying injury can be high.
Some people can limp away from car accidents, while others can’t stand at all. Regardless of severity, a crash victim experiencing leg pain should immediately see a doctor.
Even if it’s days after the accident, getting a thorough medical examination to diagnose and document any potential injuries is worth it.
Leg pain often indicates a severe, even life-threatening, underlying injury. To protect your health after a car accident, see a doctor.
Then, contact an experienced Houston car accident attorney to protect your right to compensation.
The following are some injuries that may cause leg pain after a car accident.
Why does my leg hurt after a car accident?
Leg pain can be caused by a direct injury to the limb or may be a symptom of a spine, nerve, or brain injury.
Whether the pain is dull and achy, sharp and stabbing, tingling, or causing a different painful sensation, you should see a doctor as soon as possible after a crash.
Common underlying injuries that cause leg pain after a car accident include:
- Cuts and lacerations. Deep cuts may require stitches, staples, skin grafts, and a lot of rest to heal properly.
- Leg fracture. The three bones in the leg that may be fractured in a car accident are the femur (thigh bone), tibia (shin bone), and the smaller bone in your lower leg (fibula). Bone fractures vary in severity from hairline fractures to partial breaks and separations.
- Sprains, strains, and tears. Soft tissue damage like torn or overstretched muscles, inflamed tendons, and torn ligaments can cause severe pain, swelling, bruising, and decreased hip, knee, or ankle joint function. Such an injury may also cause muscle spasms and cramping.
- Deep vein thrombosis. DVT happens when a large blood clot, aka hematoma, develops and gets stuck in a leg vein. It can reduce blood flow, causing blood pressure to drop and shock. The damage can be life-threatening if a blood clot breaks loose and travels to the heart or lungs.
- Burns. Leg burns in a car accident are usually the result of fire, chemical exposure, or friction. In addition, they may be caused by defective car parts, airbag deployment, explosions within or near the vehicle, contact with dangerous chemicals released in the crash, electrocution, or road rash. There are three categories of burns. Third-degree burns are the most serious and can permanently damage your nerves and muscles.
- Compartment syndrome. When swelling, bruising, and inflammation in your leg increases, it can restrict blood flow to an area or “compartment” of the leg – usually somewhere between the knee and ankle. This can cause muscle and nerve damage.
- Dislocation. Connected to several major joints – hip, knee, ankle – leg bones can become dislocated when the body is destabilized in a car accident. Sometimes bones return to their proper position. Other times the bone comes to rest in a new location. Medical treatment, including surgery, may be necessary to reposition or rebuild a joint or relieve a pinched nerve.
- Spinal Cord Injuries (SCIs) and nerve damage. If the spinal cord nerves that control leg movement become frayed, torn, or sheared, a crash victim may experience intense pain, numbness, or loss of leg mobility. In the most severe incidents, a spinal cord injury may cause paralysis in one leg or paraplegia in both.
- Crushed. Car accidents can be incredibly violent, and legs can be crushed in a collision. This is excruciating and may lead to permanent nerve damage or amputation.
What are the symptoms of a car accident leg injury?
Symptoms of serious injuries that may cause leg pain after a car accident include:
- The leg looks distorted.
- Cannot stand or walk.
- The leg is black and blue.
- Rest, ice, and other self-care methods are not helping.
- Back pain.
Diagnosing an underlying injury causing leg pain will likely require a thorough medical examination and X-ray, CT scan, or other body image scan.
Sometimes, spinal injections help doctors diagnose and treat leg pain.
Injuries that cause leg pain may also be treated with a splint, traction device, reconstructive surgery, or replacement surgery.
In addition, an injured person may require temporary or permanent mobility assistance like a cane, walker, wheelchair, or crutches.
Finally, if amputation is necessary, a leg prosthetic may be helpful.
How much does it cost to fix leg pain after a car accident?
Estimating the average medical expenses for leg pain after a car accident is a complicated task. Incidents and injuries are often too unique to compare.
However, some clues can offer a glimpse into this immense expense. According to national statistics:
- The average medical expense to treat a moderate-to-severe car accident leg injury is anywhere from about $35,000 to $170,000.
- Fixing a broken leg can cost around $7,500 (not counting hospital stays or emergency treatment).
- A three-night stay in a hospital is about $30,000.
- Even for so-called “minor” injuries, the average lost wages for injured crash victims is more than $15,000, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Again, the above numbers are just averages and should not be used to assess the cost of your specific injury. An attorney can help you calculate the actual cost of your losses, including your current and future medical bills. Then, your lawyer can take steps to help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Leg pain compensation after a car accident
Treating a car accident leg injury can be expensive, but crash victims may have recourse through the civil justice system. In Texas, injured crash victims have the right to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and other losses.
As a result, settlement offers from the at-fault driver’s insurance company should be worth at least the cost of your medical bills. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen, and crash victims often lose out on the compensation they’re entitled to under the law.
Remember, knowing your claim’s value is critical. If you accept a lowball settlement, your compensation could run out before you are healed. And once you accept an insurance company’s settlement offer, there’s no going back. Your case is closed, and you can’t ask for more money down the road.
To find out how much your car accident injury claim is worth and how an attorney from our law firm can fight to get you maximum compensation, contact Smith & Hassler, Attorneys at Law, for a free case consultation.
At no cost to you, a member of our legal team can answer your questions, estimate your claim’s value, and explain your potential legal options.
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