You were involved in a front end car accident, and during the crash your knee hit the dash or steering wheel. You didn't think much of it at first. When you got out of your car you couldn't put a lot of weight on your leg, however, you thought it was a bruise and it would go away. After the crash scene is cleared, you go home to take a nap. As soon as you get in bed, your knee begins to throb. You get out of bed and can hardly walk.
Your spouse says “enough is enough” and you go to the ER. The doctor takes a look at your knee, orders x-rays and tells you that you have an unhappy triad or terrible triad injury to your knee. The ER doc calls in an orthopedic surgeon who takes a look at your and makes you an appointment for surgery in a couple of days.
Now your home from the hospital, waiting for surgery and your mind is racing with a bunch of questions like:
- How am I going to pay for these medical expenses?
- How long am I going to be out of work?
- What the heck is a terrible triad injury?
- Will I be able to make a claim against the other driver?
Here are the answers to your questions:
Initially, the medical expenses are your responsibility. If you were on the job, your medical will be covered by worker's compensation. If not, the first place we look for medical coverage will your car insurance, if you purchased med-pay, then your med-pay will be your primary insurance until it is used up Once med-pay is exhausted, then your healthcare providers will have to bill your health insurance, Medicare or Medicaid if you have any of these insurances available. If you don't, the hospital will file a hospital lien because you were injured in an accident. You will get your medical care, but there may be issues getting your expenses paid initially.
How long am I going to out of work?
This is a question that is best addressed by your surgeon. Most folks will be out of work for four to six weeks but that really depends on the nature and extent of your injuries and how the surgery goes. If you have short term disability at work, you should apply for benefits as soon as possible.
Terrible triad injury in the knee
For this injury to occur, you foot must have been planted on the brake and there had to be a force striking your leg from the outside. Because you tore your medial collateral ligament, medial meniscus and anterior cruciate ligament. If there is complete disruption of the ligaments the surgeon is going to have to reconstruct them.
Making a claim against the other driver
If the other driver was at fault for the accident, you will be able to make a claim. In Indiana a driver owes you a duty of reasonable care so if he crossed over into your lane, blew a stop sign or did something else that was careless, you should be able to show that he is responsible for your the accident. Once you show responsibility, you have to show that the injuries were caused by the accident. Based on the facts of this accident that shouldn't be a problem.
The value of your claim will depend on the nature and extent of your injuries, your recover, lost wages and most of all how much insurance is available. If the other driver only had a $25,000 insurance policy (Indiana's minimum) and you don't have underinsured motorist coverage, you may only be able to collect the $25,000. On the other hand, if there is sufficient insurance, you should be able to collect the following damages:
A terrible triad injury can have devastating consequences. If you have experienced this type of injury, you should consider a lawyer who has the health care experience to advocate for you. If you have any questions about a knee injury following an accident, Call Guy DiMartino Law at (219) 690.8997