Facial Injuries and Disfigurement in a Car Accident

Facial trauma (or maxillofacial trauma as it is also known) is one of the more common injuries reported after car accidents, accounting for the injuries of more than half of the people involved in car accidents. Physical trauma to the facial area can be devastating — whether the injuries are temporary ones that heal quickly or more serious ones that leave permanent scars or disfigurement. Some injuries can affect how a person can see, hear, talk, breathe or can change the way they look, car accident law firms have learned.

There are many ways a person can injure their face in a car accident, but one of the highest risk factors contributing to facial injuries is crashing into stationary objects such as light poles, trees and parked cars.

“Some of the most tragic accidents I’ve handled at Seegmiller Law Firm are those where the driver veered off the road and hit a tree,” said West Seegmiller, founder of the Orange County law firm. “Those with serious injuries must undergo extensive treatment including reconstructive surgery so that they can move on with their lives.”

Fortunately, improvements such as air bags and other safety features have led to a decline in the number of injuries over the past decade, car accident law firm research shows.

Types and Causes of Facial injuries: Traffic accidents are one of the main causes of facial injuries, second only to violence between people, car accident law firms report. Tragically many people involved in a car crash have painful, life-changing injuries to their face. The most common types of injuries resulting from car accidents include cuts, bruises, broken jaw, broken nose, broken teeth skull fracture, sinus cavity fracture, burns, nerve damage, broken teeth and loss of nose, eye and ear disfigurement and blindness.

Serious facial injuries can be caused by car accidents. Many victims of car accidents are ejected from the car through the windshield sustaining cuts, bruises and fractures. Side impact crashes are associated with greater risk of facial injury because there are fewer safety features created to protect occupants in this area. Head-on and rear-end collisions are also contributors to facial injuries.

Air bags can help reduce facial injuries when passengers are also using seatbelts, but by themselves they offer no protection, car accident law firms have learned. Air bags can also cause minor injuries such as bruises, small lacerations and abrasions and rarely more serious eye injuries or fractures to hands and arms.

Victims of car accidents can also be burned on their face requiring painful and expensive treatment. Facial burns are considered serious because the skin is thinner and more difficult to treat. Eyes are particularly difficult to treat. Burns are classified by a number system starting with minor burns as first degree and ranging up to fourth degree burns, the most serious. The milder burns can be treated with antibiotics or ointments to keep the skin moist, but more serious burns may require surgery or skin grafting.

The size of the vehicle — whether it’s small or large — did not increase or reduce the likelihood of these types of injuries. However, the larger the vehicle you hit the more likely you are to have serious injury to the face.

Treatment: Depending on the severity of the facial injuries, treatment after a car crash can be minimal or extremely expensive. Emergency crews on the scene of an accident will likely bandage wounds, apply ice packs and check to make sure the injured person can breathe if the wounds are in the nasal or mouth area.

Those injured in a car accident may require a few stitches for smaller cuts or may need complete reconstructive surgery for more serious lacerations. For example, reconstructive surgery may be needed to rebuild a broken nose, cheek bones or jaw.

A cosmetic dentist may be required to repair broken or missing teeth. Burn treatments can last for months. The cost of repairing a facial wound through plastic surgery can be expensive and in some cases can take weeks or months of recovery. Other factors include the possibility of permanent disfigurement, psychological issues, social anxiety, pain and suffering and loss of quality of life.

Dog bites: Serious facial injuries are also associated with victims of dog bites. Children are more susceptible to these types of injuries than are adults. Roughly 4.5 million people in the United States are bitten by dogs annually with roughly 20% or 885,000 of those cases requiring medical treatment. Those who are most at risk for being bitten by a dog include children, dog owners and males. Serious bites to faces can cause permanent scars and deformity from cuts and puncture wounds. Also, dog bites to faces can cause nerve damage and fractures as well as become infected and in some cases lead to death. Treatment includes cleaning the wounds to prevent infection, use of antibiotics and topical ointments as well as closing wounds with stitches and repairing them with reconstructive surgery.

Prognosis: If your face is injured in a car accident or by a dog bite, hopefully the injuries are not severe. Minor or moderate injuries can be treated and it’s likely to heal with minimal scars. Advances in plastic surgery have been a great comfort for those whose faces have been injured in a car accident, law firm experts say. However, those with severe facial injuries may lose more than their appearance as they recover from the car accident. Many victims of car accidents whose faces have been scarred or disfigured may also lose social relationships. The injury may also affect the way they speak or hinder their eyesight. It may preclude them from performing duties in their job or from obtaining a job in the first place. Some victims may no longer enjoy their profession, for example, disfigurement could end or alter the career of a model or actor.

Prevention: Wearing a seatbelt combined with driving a car equipped with airbags is one of the best ways to prevent serious facial injuries in car accidents. Also, driving a newer vehicle with more advanced safety features such as specialized glass windshields has also been shown to reduce injuries to occupant’s faces. Most important, drivers who stay alert, follow traffic signs, avoid distractions can also help prevent accidents from taking place in the first place.

Settlement: For roughly 30 years, the legal experts at Seegmiller Law Firm have represented hundreds of clients with facial injuries in lawsuits resulting from traffic accidents. Indeed, the car accident law firm has a proven track record supported by settlements ranging from several thousand dollars to millions. As you can see there are many expenses associated with a facial injury besides medical bills including loss of wages during recovery, loss of one’s profession, pain and suffering. An experienced car accident law firm can help fight to get you a settlement to cover these costs whereas an insurance company representing the other motorist have their own best interests in mind.

The Seegmiller Law Firm will take you on as a client if our legal experts believe they can win you a settlement. There is no cost to clients until our car accident law firm wins your case. Finding the best car accident attorney can mean you will get the settlement you need to get your life back on track. Compensation for your injuries, loss of wages and pain and suffering can’t take away the trauma of the accident, but it can help you rebuild your life.

Call us today at 1-949-225-3939 to speak with our car accident law firm. Seegmiller Law Firm has offices in California including its headquarters in Irvine, offices that can serve you in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and in Las Vegas, Nevada.