A ligament is a bundle of fibrous connective tissue that holds bones and joints together. It is an elastic type of tissue that allows joints to move freely. For example, an ACL injury is a tear in the knee ligament, resulting in knee instability, reduced mobility, and intense pain. A sprained ankle is another example of a torn ligament.
The sudden, violent motion that can happen in a car accident can easily create rips and tears in these fibers. These painful injuries can take up to 10 weeks to heal, but usually are not life-altering.
Degrees of Ligament Injuries
Ligament injuries are classified in three separate grades. The classification of your ligament tear into one of these grades will depend on the following factors:
- The degree of the tear.
- The mechanism of the injury.
- The onset of the injury.
- The amount of weakness in the location of the tear.
- The amount of disability caused by the tear.
- The amount of muscle spasming the patient experiences.
- The amount of swelling.
- The loss of function.
Only a qualified medical professional may make this determination. At times, you will be required to undergo a certified medical evaluation to determine the extent of your ligament injuries, so that they may be properly classified.
Here are the three classifications of ligament injury.
Grade 1 Ligament Injuries
These are very mild stretches and tears. These injuries can often be healed with ice and rest. This is also known as a “sprain” or a “strain.”
Grade 2 Ligament Injuries
These tears are moderate. These injuries may require you to wear a brace, or may require surgery to correct. These injuries may also be called sprains, but they are still more severe than a Grade 1 ligament injury.
Grade 3 Ligament Injuries
A grade 3 ligament injury represents a complete rupture of the ligament. These injuries will definitely require surgery.
Accidents That Cause Torn Ligaments
The most common causes of ligament tears are from car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian accidents. We also see them in slip and fall cases. They happen in defective product cases too, though this is a bit rarer.
What Steps Should I Take after I Suffer from a Ligament Injury after an Accident?
You should take the same steps you’d take at any accident scene.
- Get yourself and your vehicle to safety, if possible.
- Call the police and get a police report.
- Collect insurance information from the other driver.
- Collect contact information from the other driver.
- Collect contact information from witnesses, if any.
- Take photos of both cars, the accident site, and your injuries.
- Get medical attention.
It’s important that you don’t try to diagnose torn ligaments yourself. Let a medical provider make that determination and follow all of their directions. Failing to do so can devalue a personal injury claim.
Remember, a torn ligament case may not be as expensive for the at-fault driver’s insurance company as other cases, but this doesn’t mean the insurance company isn’t perfectly willing to engage in some dirty tricks to ensure that they don’t have to pay.
How Much is a Torn Ligament Worth?
A torn ligament is considered to be a “soft tissue” injury. This means there is a cap on the pain and suffering portion of your settlement of $5,365. Your financial damages: medical bills, lost wages, and other bills, will be covered as normal. The total of both amounts will represent the sum total of your personal injury settlements. In addition, if you have additional injuries they may qualify you for monies over and above the cap amount.
Note that the full cap amount would tend to be reserved for Grade 3 ligament tears rather than more minor tears. Yet in any personal injury case, the amount of your pain and suffering settlement will depend, at least in part, on your lawyer’s negotiation skills. Pain and suffering awards are highly subjective and also hinge on the amount of impairment that your injuries have created for you.
For example, lawyers have successfully argued that the court should always consider what pain and suffering amount would have been available to accident victims prior to the setting of the cap. They can then argue that the pain and suffering award be pulled back to the cap amount, rather than arguing that pain and suffering damages should be set in relationship to the cap. In this way, it may become possible to maximize a pain and suffering claim even for a Grade 1 ligament tear.
Remember, even minor injuries qualify for personal injury compensation, and even in cases where the amounts aren’t headline worthy every successful personal injury case allows you to replace lost wages and to get your medical bills covered. This is especially useful when your ligament injuries require surgery or extensive physical therapy to correct.
How can a Red Deer Torn Ligament Injury Lawyer Help You?
Put savvy litigators and tough negotiators on your side. When you work with one of our team members you’ll put over 20 years of car accident injury case experience on your side.
Call (403) 269-7777 to get started today.