Suffering physical trauma to the face or jaw after a car accident is not only painful and frightening, but extremely difficult to cope with. Our face is the first thing people see when they look at us. If a victim sustains major lacerations, scarring, deformations, etc. on such a conspicuous place, it can greatly impact her self-confidence and overall happiness in life.
If you or your loved one suffered facial or jaw injuries in a car accident, have a lawyer review your claim before agreeing to a settlement. These types of claims are sensitive in nature and if handled correctly, victims can recover a substantial amount of damages. To speak to a car accident lawyer in Pennsylvania, contact Cordisco & Saile at 215-642-2335.
What are some common types of facial and jaw injuries?
Facial and jaw injuries are not uncommon. Roughly three million people sustain major facial or jaw injuries each year, and car accidents are the second leading cause (assaults are the leading), according to Cengage Learning’s Encyclopedia.com.
Below are some of the types of facial and jaw injuries that can arise from a car accident.
- Bruising – Bruises, the least severe type of facial injury, occur when small blood vessels under the skin tear or rupture during the accident. They are unsightly, but are will generally not cause any lasting damage.
- Burns – Facial burns can occur if there was a fire involved in the wreck or if the victim came into contact with hot vehicle oil or metal. Burns, one of the most painful injuries, will be categorized by degree of severity and may require surgeries.
- Cuts and lacerations – These injuries can vary in severity; they may be superficial or far deeper – but there is always a risk of scarring.
- Punctures – In some situations, an object may puncture the victim’s face, while in other cases, the victim’s jaw or facial bone may break, protrude, and puncture the skin.
- Fractures – In a serious accident, the facial bones including the nose can sustain such great a force that they fracture or shatter. How the bones set as they heal and the potential for deformity is a huge factor in these types of injuries.
- Dislocated jaw – This occurs when the lower jawbone, the mandible, pulls apart from the joints that connect it to the base of the skull. Even if the jaw pops back into place, you can still experience problems in the future.
- Broken jaw – If the jaw, the largest bone in the lower part of the face, sustains a direct force or trauma in the accident, it may not only dislocate, but also fracture. It can be hard at first to distinguish between a dislocated jaw and a fractured jaw because both injuries are exceedingly painful. An emergency room doctor will be able to diagnosis your injury properly.
- Nasal and eye injuries – Damage to the eyes or nose can permanently a car accident victim’s vision or sense of smell, not to mention potentially cause disfigurement.
- Dental injuries – If the victim sustains a blunt force trauma or collides with an object, he may sustain mouth and dental injuries.
What are some of the symptoms and physical effects of a facial/jaw injury?
In addition to pain that can be intense, sharp, and lingering, facial and jaw injuries can cause multiple symptoms.
- Swelling and bruising
- Problems with vision
- Nasal bleeding or discharge
- Difficulty breathing
- Frequent nosebleeds
- Lingering pain in the jaw (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder)
- Loss of teeth
- An inability to bring your top and bottom teeth together
- Popping or clicking from the jaw joint when opening and closing your mouth
How might facial and jaw injuries affect my life?
Suffering injuries to your jaw or teeth will limit your ability to talk and eat for a while, which can be a huge inconvenience to say the least. You will also likely need to take time off from work to heal from your injuries, which may be an issue because of your substantial medical bills.
And as we already touched on, any facial injuries that lead to scarring or disfigurement can have a very detrimental effect on a person’s psyche. It can lead to copious amounts of emotional stress and psychological suffering. Car accident victims who sustain facial scarring may develop post-traumatic stress disorder, social disorders, and other mental/emotional traumas, and will undoubtedly experience a reduced quality of life.
What types of compensation can I recover for facial and jaw injuries?
If you qualify to file a claim or lawsuit after your car accident, you can recover both economic and non-economic damages related to your facial and jaw injuries. You can recover for not only your current and future medical bills, psychological treatments, lost wages, and other financial losses, but also compensation for your emotional damages.
It is not easy to put a dollar sign on the amount of pain and suffering you have had to endure as a result of the accident, but make no mistake – you deserve restitution for mental, emotional, and psychological harms. Pain, mental anguish, and psychological trauma are all compensable in a car accident lawsuit.
This is why it is critical to enlist in the help of a lawyer that handles facial injury cases. Your attorney will know exactly how to address these types of intangible losses and fight for recovery for them on your behalf.
How do I obtain a settlement for my facial and jaw injuries?
The best way to ensure that you win your case and that your settlement is fair and fully accounts for the effects of your facial and jaw injuries is to have a reputable attorney represent you and oversee your case. Only a skilled attorney will know how to create a comprehensive list of your compensable damages and then tirelessly pursue them.