ACL Tears Can Result in a Permanent Loss of Function

Posted on February 10, 2016 by bermanstaff

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears happen on the soccer field, on the ski slopes, and in football. They also, however, happen in everyday scenarios to non-athletes--during accidents to construction workers, while in a car collision driving to get groceries, and during a slip and fall in a restaurant. No matter how the injury occurred, the result can be the same--long lasting or even permanent impairment, even after surgery. In most patients, the ACL never fully regains its previous strength and knee mobility and stability is, to some degree, lost forever. This is why seeking legal representation is so imperative for victims of ACL tears. It may not sound as catastrophic as a traumatic brain injury, a punctured lung, or a fractured hip, but ACL tears require an incredibly long time to heal and costly procedures, physical therapy, and sometimes a permanent impairment, all of which demand compensation. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney today to find out what your legal options may be.

What is the ACL?

There are four main ligaments in the knee, and one of which is the ACL. It provides 90 percent of the stability within the knee, which is why standing and walking with a fully torn ACL is impossible. It originates from a notch inside the distal femur and goes up to the tibia, which is why a sudden, jerking, or twisting motion (such as pivoting quickly or slipping on a wet floor) can sever it. The other two ways it can be ruptured is from a sudden impact from the bottom of the foot (such as falling or jumping from a high object) and a direct impact from a car crash or in a football game.

Auto Collisions and Slip and Falls

Aside from sports injuries, the predominant ways in which ACL tears happen are from slip and falls and car accidents. In a slip and fall, the ACL can be torn in two ways, the first being a twisting motion as the traction of the foot gives out and the person tries to compensate by throwing a leg out. This sudden motion can sever a tendon under the right (or wrong) circumstances. Secondly, if the person falls directly on the knee, the tendon can also be severed. This is also the most likely scenario of a torn ACL resulting from a car accident. While crumple zone technology saves countless lives every year, the front end of the car is actually designed to fold or compress inwards (to absorb the impact), which pushes the dashboard and front of the car into the two front-seat occupants’ knees. This direct impact can easily cause damage to the knee and ACL tear. Often, the meniscus cartilage is also torn when the ACL is torn, resulting in what is essentially two injuries.

In most cases, the victim of an ACL tear will undergo surgery to reattach the tendon. In some cases, if the patient does not have any athletic goals (possibly if they are at an advanced age and do not want the risks associated with surgery) or if the tendon suffered only a partial tear, they may not undergo surgery. This will likely greatly compromise the mobility and strength of the tendon. Either way, the healing process is long and the costs are very high. If you or a loved one have suffered an ACL tear through no fault of your own, you may be able to receive compensation. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney from the law offices of Berman & Riedel, LLP at 858-350-8855 today to learn about your legal options.

About Berman & Riedel, LLP firm managing partner attorney William M. Berman:

Attorney William M. Berman focuses his practice in the areas of catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death and elder abuse and neglect. Strictly a plaintiffs’ dedicated firm, he never represents insurance companies in the defense of claims. Mr. Berman’s firm remains staunchly committed to helping those who have suffered serious injury or loss due the negligence, intentional misconduct or wrongful acts of others. Mr. Berman has grown his firm to what is considered one of the largest and most successful elder abuse/neglect practices within California. Through his continued successes in handling claims involving nursing home and elder abuse and neglect, Mr. Berman remains a prominent figure in advocating on behalf of this vulnerable class of citizens.
View full biography

5 Star Rated Injury Lawyers In California

Bringing our injured clients unparalleled success
Settlement Won
Serious Personal Injury
Settlement Won
Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
Trial verdict
Automobile Accident
Settlement Won
Elder Neglect
Settlement Won
Elder Neglect
Settlement Won
Elder Neglect


Speak Directly With A Partner Now.

  • NOTE: All Fields Required

  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Real Injuries. Real Testimonials

Watch What Our Clients Have To Say

Elder Neglect by Healthcare Corporation
Jean’s mother was a victim of neglect while at a skilled nursing facility, resulting in surgery that she did not survive. Berman was there to listen and provide support that the client needed.
Wrongful Death at a California Nursing Home
Michele’s mother suffered a wrongful death at a California nursing home. William M. Berman and the attorneys at Berman & Riedel, LLP helped litigate the case with successful results.
Wrongful Death Legal Services
Ginny suffered a family loss, and Berman lawyers handled her legal needs with compassion and reassurance, allowing her to feel safe and at-ease through the entire process.
Serious Injury at Skilled Nursing Facility
Ira’s wife suffered a traumatic brain injury due to negligence at a skilled nursing facility, and our team of attorneys worked hard to ensure that Ira’s wife and his family received the compensation that they rightfully deserved.
See more client testimonials
Blog, Insights & News

In The News

June 15, 2023

Nursing Home Elopement – Dementia Wandering Behavior & Nursing Home Negligence

Elopement is one of many risks to older adults with dementia. Even in the early stages of dementia, wandering behavior can be dangerous as seniors […] Read More
February 15, 2023

Medication Errors in Nursing Homes – A Common and Dangerous Form of Nursing Home Negligence

Most nursing home residents rely on a careful treatment regimen and medication to maintain their health and quality of life. When nursing homes, physicians, nurses, […] Read More
January 15, 2023

Can You Get a Concussion Without Hitting Your Head? – Dispelling Common Concussion Myths

A concussion is a type of brain injury that’s common in all types of accidents, from car accidents to falls. Unfortunately, many concussions are not […] Read More

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to common questions people have about personal injury cases and working with a lawyer. During your initial consultation, we will be happy to answer questions that are particular to your case.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?

The attorneys at Berman & Riedel, LLP, accept cases on a contingency-fee basis. This type of agreement means you do not pay any attorneys’ fees out-of-pocket for legal representation. Attorneys’ fees are also contingent on the outcome of your case.

You benefit from legal representation in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of a settlement or jury award. We will only recover a fee if you recover compensation.

Can You Tell Me How Much My Case Is Worth?

There is no way to determine the exact value of a personal injury case, especially early in your case. However, an experienced attorney can give you an estimated range based on their experience with similar cases.

There are many factors that may influence the value of your case, such as:

  • Your total financial or economic damages
  • The severity of your injuries
  • The impact of your injuries on your daily life
  • The strength of your case
  • Whether you share fault for your accident
  • Insurance policy limits 

Some damages are easy to calculate, such as lost wages and medical bills. Calculating the value of diminished earnings for the rest of your life or future medical needs; however, may require the help of experts. Non-economic damages like pain and suffering have no intrinsic financial value. These damages are challenging to calculate. 

If your case goes before a jury, you may potentially be able to recover more than you could through a settlement. However, this introduces a new element of risk: the jury. The circumstances of your accident and even how sympathetic you or the defendant are can influence the outcome.

During your consultation, and throughout your case, we will help you understand how these factors influence your case. We will also work tirelessly to document the value of all your damages and pursue maximum compensation on your behalf.

Will My Case Go to Trial?

The vast majority of cases are resolved by reaching a settlement agreement outside of court. Very few personal injury cases actually go to trial, but it is more likely if the facts in your case are in dispute, a legal issue is being contested, or you have a high-value case.

An experienced lawyer will build your case as if it will go to trial from the beginning. The stronger your case and evidence, the more likely a fair settlement will be reached.

How Do I Know If I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?

If your case involves mostly property damage or minor injuries, you likely do not need a lawyer to handle a claim with the insurance company. The more serious your injuries, or the more complex your case, the more important it becomes to seek experienced legal counsel.

Remember that the insurance company is not on your side, even if the insurance adjuster seems sympathetic and you receive a settlement offer. If you are being blamed for your accident or sustained serious injury, a lawyer will help you protect your rights and build the strongest case possible. This includes calculating the full value of your current and future losses.

Legal representation is also vital if your case involves a complex area of law such as elder abuse or neglect, premises liability, commercial vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, or serious work-related accidents. Determining liability, navigating decades of legal precedence, and interpreting specific statutes in these cases is best done with years of relevant legal experience.

Do You Accept Cases Outside of San Diego?

While our law office is located in San Diego, Berman & Riedel, LLP, accepts cases throughout the state of California.


Speak Directly With A Partner Now.

  • NOTE: All Fields Required

  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Call Us
Free Consultation
To Top