How often do car accidents cause facial injuries?
According to studies, facial injuries are common in collisions. One study, conducted by the Medical College of Pennsylvania’s Department of Surgery in 1994, reported that 237 out of 461 patients treated for crash-related injuries had some type of facial injury. Among those, the most common injury types were:
- Major soft tissue injuries — 78 percent
- Facial bone fractures — 22 percent
Forty-two of the 237 patients (18 percent) were reportedly wearing seatbelts at the time of their crashes. Another study in 2016 found that seatbelts and airbags mitigate the risk of facial bone fractures. Other facial injuries can still occur, however.
Complications caused by facial trauma?
If you have sustained a facial injury in a crash, it’s critical that you get prompt medical attention. According to Medline Plus, the jaw, nose, cheeks, eye sockets, and forehead can be affected by facial trauma.
Injuries to the face can result in:
- Nerve damage in the face — loss of feeling or prolonged pain
- Facial disfiguration due to broken bones that don’t heal properly
- Difficulty breathing due to blocked nasal passages
- Double vision and possibly permanent blindness
- Blocked vision due to swelling around the eyes
- Loss of teeth or broken jaw
- Bacterial infections — especially with cuts, burns, and dental damage
- Issues with the brain and nervous system
- Numbness, and/or weakness
Aside from these health complications, crash-related facial injuries can result in life-long emotional trauma, loss of enjoyment, inability to perform certain tasks, and prolonged suffering.
How are facial injuries treated?
Complications caused by serious facial trauma may be corrected with surgery. Your doctor may restore normal functioning of facial features by:
- Fixing dislodged or broken bones
- Prevent long-term double vision caused by sunken cheeks or eye bones
- Clear up blocked airways
- Prevent scarring
Long-term treatments may include:
- Wearing a metal brace (fastened to teeth) to heal a broken jaw
- Dentures or specially-fitted splints for lost teeth
- Microvascular reconstructive surgery for severe lacerations (rebuilds facial tissue using tissue from other parts of the body)
- Wiring and plating to hold broken bones together
How can I obtain compensation for my facial injury?
- Medical costs
- Future medical care
- Lost wages
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Total or partial disability relating to your crash
- Punitive damages, if your crash was caused by someone’s reckless behavior
Our attorneys have seen the physical, emotional, and financial devastation caused by crash-related facial injuries. We have real courtroom experience advocating for crash victims who have sustained facial trauma.