Trauma to the face resulting from a car accident can result in loss of function as well as severe disfigurement, leading to deep emotional scarring.
It’s estimated that 7 in 10 people injured in Boston car accidents suffer some sort of injury to their face.
At The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, we recognize these injuries are intensely personal and traumatic, and may range from minor abrasions and cuts to major injuries, such as lost teeth, a broken nose, burns, fractured eye sockets, torn retinas, a broken jaw or even skull fractures or loss of senses.
The most common causes of facial injury in a crash include:
- Face striking windshield
- Face striking steering wheel
- Airbag hitting face
- Contact with dashboard
- Contact with side window
- Contact with shattered glass
Resulting injuries can be devastating, ranging from temporary pain and discomfort to blindness or permanent loss of hearing, smell, sight or taste.
In some situations, death has been reported when trauma to the face causes excessive blood loss or when the facial injuries cause damage to the victim’s airway, restricting his or her ability to breathe adequately.
Additionally, any time foreign objects (i.e., glass, metal shards) pierce the skin, there is a high risk of infection. Staph infections in particular are a major concern for accident victims who suffer facial injuries.
Even in cases where victims survive, quality dental and facial reconstruction can be painful, time-consuming and expensive. A severe facial injury can also impact a person’s ability to socialize as they did before or to enjoy the daily activities they once did.
In situations where these injuries were sustained following the negligent or criminal actions of another person, those affected have the right to pursue damages through litigation.
Victims may be entitled to compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Lost Wages
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of Life Enjoyment
- Mental Anguish
- Punitive Damages
While facial injuries can occur in a wide range of situations, traffic accidents are a leading cause.
All occupants of a passenger vehicle are potentially at risk for facial injuries in the event of a crash, though some potentially more than others, depending on the type of vehicles involved, the nature of the crash and whether those involved were buckled in.
One of the greatest risk factors for head injuries is failure to wear a seat belt. The reason is because these victims may be ejected from their seat and through the windshield. This obviously results in a high potential for cuts, bruises and fractures.
While head-on collisions and rear-end collisions are a major contributor to facial injuries, those seated in the front may have a lower risk because technological improvements in recent years – most notably with airbag features – have helped to ensure these areas are the best protected.
Of course, airbags deployment in and of itself can cause injury, especially if the airbag is malfunctioning or defective. In recent years, airbag safety of millions of U.S. vehicles has been called into question when reports began to surface about “exploding” airbags that sent metal shrapnel flying into driver and front passenger faces, even in low-impact collisions.
However, side-impact crashes tend to be associated with the highest number of facial injuries because there are fewer manufacturer safety features designed to protect people in these areas.Scars and Disfigurement
Scarring and disfigurement – even when it does not result in functional deficits – may entitle victims to higher damage awards because the effects are deemed residual. That is, it’s permanent, and the individual may have to live with the emotional trauma of seeing the damage every time they look in the mirror.
Scars that are especially large or obvious will likely lead to larger compensation, both from the initial injury and also from ongoing medical repairs. Not only are scars unsightly, they can make the surrounding flesh less flexible, less functional.
Visible scars – i.e., those not routinely covered up by clothing – are also likely to garner higher damages.
One way to establish potential damages is to seek a consultation with a plastic surgeon to obtain a medical opinion regarding the likelihood and expense of having scars or disfigurement removed or repaired. That estimate can later be used in settlement negotiation or litigation.
Consult with an experienced injury attorney to determine the best way to protect your rights and help ensure your ability to recover from facial injuries in the wake of a serious traffic collision.
Contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman today for a free and confidential consultation.
Call (617) 367-2900 – NO FEE UNLESS SUCCESSFUL