Most people who have never suffered any form of disability take their legs for granted. They walk, run, or even skip, knowing that their legs can handle the strain of those activities.
But that all changes if you suffer a serious leg injury. Suddenly, your ability to move becomes very limited. You may no longer be able to use stairs or even walk to the bathroom. The wrong type of leg injury could spell the end of your career, even if you don’t have a job that involves intense physical activity.
If you have suffered a leg injury, you should take it seriously. What may seem like minor damage today could result in lifelong disability a few years or decades down the road. The following will get you started so you can ask the right questions when speaking with doctors or lawyers.
What Types of Leg Injuries Can a Person Sustain?
The severity of your leg injury has a lot to do with where you are hurt. A hip injury, for example, is likely to have much more significant long-term consequences than a toe injury. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take any type of injury seriously.
There are two major causes of concern with hip injuries. The first concern involves your immediate ability to move around. A broken bone or torn soft tissue will likely require you to use a wheelchair until you heal, and you will probably need physical therapy to fully recover.
Furthermore, hip injuries will often result in arthritis later in life, even if they are treated. This could result in you being bedbound or wheelchair-bound during your final years.
Because the knee is a joint, knee injuries have similar consequences to hip injuries. Typically, you will maintain a little more mobility immediately after a knee injury than you have after a hip injury, and a good brace will usually allow you to walk, possibly with crutches or a cane.
However, you may require multiple surgeries later in life due to knee bursitis. While modern surgical techniques are relatively effective at treating knee damage, the surgery is quite expensive. And if you don’t get it, you are likely to lose the use of the leg later in life.
While your feet have joints, foot injuries usually don’t share many similarities to knee or hip injuries. Instead, serious injuries to the foot often involve broken bones or pressure damage.
Feet are highly susceptible to infection, which can result in serious conditions like osteomyelitis, an infection of the bone. If left untreated, this can eventually require amputation to avoid it spreading and becoming fatal.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Your legs are filled with muscles, tendons, and ligaments. This soft tissue does even more work than your bones in allowing you to walk, run, or jump. When soft tissue is damaged, walking becomes painful and slow. If it ruptures, you probably won’t be able to move without unbearable pain.
While surgery can repair a rupture, the recovery time from soft tissue damage is always long. Walking uses the damaged tissue, which slows its recovery. Many people never fully recover from soft tissue damage, even with treatment and physical therapy.
What Can Cause a Serious Leg Injury?
There are countless ways you can suffer a leg injury. Anyone who has ever stubbed a toe knows how easy it is to hurt their foot, for example — and that isn’t even a serious injury.
Some of the more common causes of severe injuries are:
- Sports or other physical activities
- Construction work
- Car accidents
- Stairs and escalators
- Slippery surfaces
While these causes may not seem to have a lot in common, there is one common thread. Most of these causes may be the result of another party’s negligence.
That could be important if you suffer a serious leg injury. If another party’s negligence caused your injury, you may be eligible to get compensation from their insurance company to pay for all your current and future medical bills.
How do you know if someone else was liable? The best way to be certain is to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer and let them determine for you. The following are some examples of how negligence can cause a leg injury.
Careless or Reckless Driving
Car accidents happen for many reasons. But if the other driver involved in your crash was being careless or reckless, they are likely responsible for the cost of your injuries.
The other driver was negligent if they were:
- Texting and driving
- Driving drunk
- Falling asleep at the wheel
- Driving without hands on the wheel
Most car accidents involve some sort of negligence.
Poor Property Maintenance
Have you ever seen a spill at a restaurant left unattended for an hour or more? That is the type of negligent behavior that can cause someone to slip and fall, potentially tearing a muscle or breaking a leg.
What Should I Do After Suffering a Leg Injury?
As previously noted, leg injuries should always be taken seriously. Even something as seemingly trivial as a stubbed toe can result in the loss of a leg if everything goes poorly.
If you suffer a leg injury and you can’t walk, you should contact 911 immediately. While your ability to walk may recover before you receive medical treatment, that initial situation is quite serious and could represent a more significant injury than you realize.
You may also want to contact a lawyer, but this should not be your priority. Only contact an attorney once you have taken all appropriate steps to protect your health. A lawyer can help you get money for medical bills from an at-fault party who caused your leg injury.
Less Serious Leg Injuries
What if your injury isn’t that serious? You can use your discretion, but you should probably schedule a doctor’s appointment for anything but the most trivial of injuries. In these situations, you can also contact a lawyer. That may prove unnecessary, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
If the injury is minor enough that you don’t think a doctor is needed, keep an eye on it for a few days. It may worsen unexpectedly. Should that happen, go to the emergency room immediately.
Getting Compensation For a Leg Injury Caused By Someone Else’s Actions
Leg injuries are tricky. Severe injuries may plague you for a year, seemingly go away, and then return when you are in your 50s and disable you for life. Jay Murray Personal Injury Lawyers understands the potential dangers and how much compensation you need in those situations.
Contact our Dallas personal injury attorney at (214) 855-1420 as soon as possible after a serious leg injury to protect your health and your finances. We can help you hold negligent parties responsible for your damages.