Quick Guide to Car Accident Face Injuries and Your Personal Injury Claim
Facial trauma is an all-too-common yet often overlooked injury in San Antonio auto collisions. The head, face, and neck are all incredibly vulnerable in high-impact motor vehicle collisions. Whether from the initial impact, shattered glass, deployment of airbags, or being thrust into the interior of the vehicle, drivers and passengers frequently sustain painful and serious injuries to their face, head, and neck regions.
If you or a loved one suffered facial injuries from a car accident, it’s time to take quick action. Facial injuries often come with significant pain, require extensive medical treatment and recovery time, and may leave permanent scars and damage. Seeking immediate medical treatment and contacting a car accident attorney as soon as possible will not only aid your recovery, but also put you in a much better position to negotiate a fair personal injury settlement from the insurance company.
Common Facial Injuries After Car Accidents
Some of the most common facial injuries sustained in car accident include:
- Lacerations. Broken glass from a window or windshield can gouge deep lacerations (cuts) or tears in the skin.
- Facial burns. Burn injuries can occur for any number of reasons, including hot liquid spills, friction, or chemical burns from defective airbags.
- Other soft tissue injuries. Soft tissue injuries include damage to muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and other connective tissues. They’re often associated with swelling, bruising, and reduced range of motion.
- Dental injuries. Teeth can break, crack, or be knocked out, for example if your head makes contact with the steering wheel.
- Facial bone fractures. Your head contains 22 separate bones, including 14 facial bones. Potential facial fractures after a serious car accident include a broken jaw, broken cheekbone, or fractured eye socket.
- Eye injuries. Eyes are extremely vulnerable in crashes. More severe eye injuries include eye lacerations, detached retinas, or blood pooling in the eye (hyphema).
Serious facial injuries often have lasting consequences, including permanent scarring, disfigurement, and vision loss. In the short term, they can also cause significant pain, and may require extensive surgical repair.
It’s also important to understand that traumatic brain injuries are also very common among car accident victims who also suffered facial trauma. If, in the days after your injury, you experience symptoms like headaches, feeling confused or disoriented, dizziness, nausea, sensory problems, or sleep issues, see a neurologist as soon as possible.
What to Do After Suffering Car Accident Facial Injuries
If you have suffered any kind of facial injury in a car accident, here are some important steps to take:
- Call 911. Request a police officer and, if necessary, emergency medical services.
- Seek medical attention immediately. Facial trauma can involve serious damage like fractures, lacerations, dental injuries, or head trauma that requires emergency diagnosis and treatment. Don’t assume minor cuts or bruises will be ok.
- Document your injuries. Take photos of visible cuts, bleeding, swelling or bruising on your head or face. Get medical records and imaging scans like X-rays or CT scans to determine the extent of internal facial injuries, too.
- Gather evidence at the scene. Get the name, contact info, and insurance info from the other involved driver. Get contact info for any eyewitnesses. If you can do so safely, try to get photos of the accident scene, including vehicle damage and debris and road conditions.
- Consult an attorney. Facial injuries from even minor car accidents often have long term impacts and expenses. An attorney experienced in auto injury claims can help you recover full compensation for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering when the accident was not your fault. The sooner you call, the better—insurance companies will start trying to take advantage of your situation soon after the crash. Also, we work with crash scene investigators who are available 24/7 and can get out to the scene right away to collect evidence before it disappears.
- Focus on healing. Follow all doctor-prescribed recovery instructions, including medications, facial surgeries, dental work and therapy. Be patient during the rehab process and stay realistic about residual issues like scarring or chronic discomfort.
Taking prompt legal and medical action can alleviate additional stress. But avoiding permanent disfigurement or loss of functions depends heavily on urgent diagnosis and treatment of facial trauma after any car crash. Protect yourself now.
Facial Injuries and Your Personal Injury Claim: Common Considerations
If you’ve suffered a facial injury after a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you deserve fair compensation. But what does that really mean?
In basic terms, you can seek compensation for three main categories of damages:
- Economic damages. This includes all medical costs related to the injury, lost wages from being unable to work, lost earning capacity in the future—really, anything you can put a direct price tag on.
- Non-economic damages. This includes physical pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, emotional trauma—or in other words, subjective losses that impact your life but don’t have an obvious price tag.
- Punitive damages. If the at-fault driver acted with excessive recklessness or disregard for your safety, you might get punitive damages as well. But they’re relatively rare.
One thing to note about facial injuries is that, compared to many other types of car accident injuries, they are more likely to result in higher non-economic damage claims.
For example, let’s say you develop permanent scars on your face due to severe lacerations. Permanent scarring typically falls under “disfigurement” in a personal injury claim. But the location of the scar makes a big difference. Scars on your face are impossible to hide. They will be visible to everyone you interact with every day. They are more likely to cause a loss in your self-confidence and affect your reputation and relationships. A jury is likely going to award higher damages for facial scars than scarring on your upper leg or lower back.
Even when they don’t cause permanent disfigurement or damage, facial injuries are often intensely painful. Recovery can be long and difficult, especially if you need multiple surgeries. While, for example, a broken leg is obviously a major life disruption, a broken jaw could significantly affect your ability to eat, speak, even breathe for weeks.
If you’ve suffered facial injuries after a motor vehicle accident, working with an experienced car accident attorney can help you calculate your damages accurately and fairly. Because damages are so subjective, most car accident victims truly have no idea what their case is truly worth. Insurance companies know this, and usually undervalue your injuries and try to get you to settle your case for less. A good car accident lawyer can stop you from being taken advantage of and aggressively defend your legal rights.
Contact a San Antonio Car Accident Lawyer Today
At Crosley Law, we get to work right away on all aspects of your personal injury claim, including:
- Proving liability and that injuries were caused by the accident. Quite often, the other driver’s insurance company will argue that you were at least partly at fault for the crash. They even might twist your statements and use them against you. We can help prove the truth of what really happened.
- Making sure the full extent of treatment needed is documented. We’ll gather your medical records and get statements from medical experts. We can even help you figure out which doctors you need to see to get the medical treatment you need.
- Maximizing compensation for medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. We do more than just total up medical bills and lost wages. We’ll talk to family, friends, loved ones, colleagues and others to paint a clear picture of how your facial injuries have impacted your life.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.
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