Facial injuries may be less talked about, but they happen more often than you may think. Injuries to the face can be mild or extremely severe, requiring extensive medical treatment and a lengthy recovery. For some crash victims, a facial injury could even cause permanent damages.
Learn about the common types of facial injuries crash victims may sustain, the treatment available and when you may be eligible to seek compensation.
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Are Facial Injuries After a Car Crash Common?
Facial injuries are extremely common after a crash. According to a study conducted by surgeons, as many as 51 percent of crash victims may sustain some type of facial trauma. Damages may vary, but could include:
- Loss of eyesight
- Permanent disfigurement or scarring
- Airway damage, making it difficult to breathe or smell
- Inability to chew, close teeth together or talk
- Facial swelling and inflammation
- Secondary infections or inflammation
- Severe pain and suffering throughout the recovery time
- Concussion or other head trauma
What Types of Facial Injuries Do Victims Suffer in a Crash?
The types of facial injuries a crash victim may sustain in a crash may vary. From lacerations or bruising to fractured bones and dislocated jaws, the damages can range from minor to quite severe.
Facial injuries after a crash that involve more than bruising could include:
It is rare for a vehicle to explode after a crash, but if it does, it could lead to facial burns. That said, a deployed airbag is a common cause of thermal burns to the face, as well as the arms, chest or hands. Depending on the severity of the burn sustained, victims could require skin grafts. For the most serious burns, victims could suffer permanent scarring or disfigurement.
Gashes, Lacerations and Other Open Facial Wounds
Even more minor lacerations can leave scarring or cause infection if not properly treated. Deeper gashes, which could be the result of glass, metal or any hard jagged object in the car. These injuries may often be severe enough to require plastic surgery and a longer recovery time.
A soft-tissue injury or deep gash could result in temporary or permanent nerve damage to the face. These damages could affect how a person smiles or blinks. It could also impact their vision, ability to focus and more.
Facial fractures are not only painful, but they can take a long time to heal. The most severe fractures may require surgery. Some victims may be left with permanent disfigurement as a result. Severe facial fractures could cause the cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds the brain to leak. Facial fractures after a crash may involve any part of the face, but most commonly include:
- Cracked or broken teeth: While these damages may seem less severe, it can have a profound impact on how a person feels about themself. Tooth restoration and repair is very costly, and victims may have a hard time recovering compensation for these damages.
- A broken or dislocated jaw: Victims with this injury have difficulty with chewing, eating, talking or even swallowing. A fractured or dislocated jaw may require costly surgery and also a long recovery.
- Orbital bone fracture (broken eye socket): Depending on where the fracture occurs around the eye socket (a rim fracture or a fracture in the orbital floor), there could be multiple ongoing issues. For instance, if a crash victim suffers an orbital floor fracture, it could cause entrapped nerves, resulting in ongoing eye pain and vision problems.
- Maxillary fractures (bones broken in the middle of the face): Victims with this injury may notice a flatness in the cheek area. Victims may also experience vision difficulties, jaw pain and an altered sensation on the side that was injured.
How Are Facial Injuries Diagnosed and Treated After a Car Crash?
While some facial injuries, like lacerations and burns, may be immediately noticeable, others may not. However, it is critical to determine what injuries you may have suffered after a crash. The sooner you get treated, the more optimal chance you have for a full recovery. This is why it is critical to get a medical examination immediately after a crash.
Crash victims need to help doctors by not downplaying their injuries and describing where their face was hit during a crash. Describing other symptoms can also help your doctor to determine where you may be injured and what types of diagnostic testing you may need. This could include, for instance, describing your inability to close your teeth or move your jaw.
Once you have described your injuries to your doctor and he or she does a preliminary examination, getting diagnostic testing is a critical step in ruling out or confirming your injuries. For facial injuries, computed tomography (CT scan) is often the right diagnostic tool. MRIs do not capture bones very well, and X-rays do not give doctors all the necessary details.
Treatments for Facial Injuries
The treatments for facial injuries after a crash can vary widely and lead to high medical costs. Victims may need, depending on their exact injury:
- Skin grafting
- Plastic surgery
- Bones reset
- Titanium or other implants to replace bone
- Jaw rewiring
Additionally, other medical specialists may be required. For instance, if you broke bones around your eye, you may also need an ophthalmologic specialist to examine and treat any nerve or vision damage.
Can You File a Claim for Facial Injuries After a Crash?
The definitive answer will vary from case to case. However, if your facial injuries were caused by a negligent driver’s actions, you would likely be eligible to seek compensation against that driver’s insurance. Even if you contributed to the crash in some way, you may still be able to recoup at least some of the damages.
To learn what legal options you may have after a crash we strongly recommend seeking legal help. You can speak with one of our experienced, car crash lawyers in Fort Worth at no cost to you. This is an excellent way to get answers to your legal questions while also finding out if you may have a valid case.
Contact our law offices anytime, night or day, to learn more or to schedule your free case review. We are here to help.
Experienced Lawyers. Proven Results. (817) 920-9000.