Face Injuries in Car Accidents
One of the most troubling and emotionally difficult types of injury resulting from a car accident is harm to a person’s face. Our face is our identity. We take considerable care of it by using products to maintain its youth. We get braces to straighten our teeth, and we whiten our teeth to further improve our smiles. We wear make up to highlight our best features. We shave or grow out beards depending on what we find most attractive. Our face is how people recognize us, and no one can deny its importance.
Unfortunately, cars can cause numerous injuries to the face that can permanently change a person’s appearance and cause disfigurement. If you suffered a facial injury in a car accident, don’t wait to call a Chicago personal injury attorney. A lawyer will negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company to ensure you receive a fair settlement. If that’s not possible, a lawyer will tenaciously fight for your right to recover in court.
Many people think of broken bones when they consider common car accident injuries, and they would be right. When someone is slammed forward or sideways, they can collide with the airbag, the steering wheel, the dashboard, or the door resulting in a broken nose, broken jaw, or another fractured facial bone. There are 14 bones in the face, and they can all be injured in a car accident.
Serious signs of broken facial bones are nosebleeds, clear nasal discharge, hearing issues, vision problems, difficulty breathing, pain in the jaw or an inability to close the jaw fully, decreased sensation in the face, and open wounds. These signs mean a person should seek medical attention immediately and may need a more serious intervention.
Some broken facial bones can be treated with rest and care, but others will require surgery and a lengthy hospital stay.
Friction or chemical-based burns can occur when the airbag is deployed. Airbags save many lives, but they are also associated with injuries, including burns from the chemicals that allow it to be released when there’s an impact or sudden deceleration.
Many car accidents are associated with fires, which can cause severe burns across the body. Burn injuries generally need painful skin grafting to treat and heal, which can leave a victim with permanent facial scaring.
Lacerations, or cuts on a person’s face, may seem like a more minor injury to come from a car accident. However, lacerations can be deep, long, and produce unattractive scars. When a person’s face is lacerated during a car accident, it’s not the same a physician cutting a straight, clean line. The laceration may be jagged or more like a tear. Also, sutures to repair the cut can be painful, and may not be able to produce a small scar. Facial wounds like cuts may require additional medical attention to reduce scarring.
Facial injuries often correspond with dental issues, including lost or broken teeth. Many people will need to see their dentist or an oral surgeon following a car accident to get veneers, a bridge, dental implants, or dentures.
Unfortunately, most people’s health insurance doesn’t cover dental. If you’re injured, but you don’t have your own dental insurance, you’re facing a mountain of bills before your third-party insurance claim can be approved. Even if you have dental insurance, depending on the injury, an insurer may argue the damage requires cosmetic procedures and not cover them. If you don’t have the money for the care prior to a settlement, you may have to live without the treatment you need.
Living without teeth is more than a cosmetic issue. It can make it difficult to eat and cause you to hold your jaw in an unnatural position, leading to pain and other injuries.
People can damage or lose an eye due to colliding with a part of the car or from glass and other debris flying through the air. Injuries to eyes include corneal abrasions, lacerations to the eyelid, retinal detachment, harm to the retina and its blood supply, harm to the optic nerve, chemical burns, and blood in the eyeball.
Damage to the eye may be treatable, but it can also lead to serious, short- and long-term vision problems, and blindness. Injuries could require surgery or other treatments, which may not return the person to their previous level of sight.
Losing an eye is a dramatic injury, but it happens. It might require surgery to repair broken ocular bones and prepare the person for a prosthetic. While someone may be able to have a prosthetic eye, this only helps with aesthetics, not with sight. Their vision will be altered forever.
Permanent Changes in Appearance
No matter the specific facial injury, there’s a chance that it will change a person’s appearance forever. In some cases, it may not just be an alteration, but a disfigurement. Following an accident, a person may not feel attractive or confident in their appearance. They may not feel comfortable going out in public or spending time with friends and family.
The emotional and psychological effects of a facial injury are serious and need to be treated along with the physical harm.
Contact a Lawyer
Many facial injuries from auto accidents require immediate medical attention and then ongoing medical care. A person may require multiple cosmetic surgeries to try and return to their previous appearance or remove a disfigurement. Dental injuries that call for bridges and eye injuries that require prosthetics will both need updates multiple times over a person’s life. These devices don’t last forever.
You need an attorney who will fight for you and ensure you can cover the financial consequences of the collision and your injuries. Call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. at (312) 236-2900.