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Facial Injuries Are Common in Serious Car Accidents

Our Philadelphia car accident lawyers explain

Car accidents often cause painful and serious injuries. Some of the most common – and most severe – types of injuries people suffer in motor vehicle accidents are facial injuries, according to a medical study conducted by surgeons and doctors in Philadelphia.

“Facial trauma was the single most common injury in these patients,” the authors of the medical study wrote.

Researchers noted facial injuries occur in car crashes for many reasons, including broken glass and other debris hitting or cutting the face. This is especially true if someone’s face hits the steering wheel, dashboard, windshield, or another unforgiving part of the vehicle.

How common are facial injuries?

The medical study about facial injuries was conducted by doctors and surgeons at the Medical College of Pennsylvania and the Frankford Hospital Trauma Center in Philadelphia. The study focused on car accident injuries during a 15-month period. During that time, 51% of people injured in a car accident sustained some form of facial trauma.

Such findings are supported by another medical study which found that 10% of all emergency room medical treatments involve soft tissue facial injuries, making injuries to the face some of the most common injuries overall.

Why does facial trauma happen so often in crashes?

The Philadelphia medical study identified several common causes of facial injuries due to car accidents. Not wearing a seat belt and driving under the influence of alcohol were two common contributing factors.

Specifically, 82% of people who sustained facial trauma in a car crash were not wearing a seatbelt. Meanwhile, 51% of people with facial trauma caused by a car accident tested positive for alcohol or other drugs. Along with suffering from facial trauma, injury victims also sustained more head injuries and blunt chest trauma injuries than people who were not under the influence of alcohol or drugs, according to the Philadelphia medical study.

In addition, the actions of other drivers often play a role in car accidents that result in serious facial injuries. Whether it’s speeding or texting while driving, drivers need to be attentive at all times. Otherwise, their reckless or negligent behavior can result in a bad car accident.

Common types of facial injuries

Facial injuries sustained in car accidents cover a wide range but generally fall into two broad categories, according to the Philadelphia medical study. The two categories are facial bone fractures and soft tissue facial injuries.

Facial bone fractures account for 22% of facial injuries sustained in car accidents, according to the study.

These types of injuries include:

  • Jaw fractures, which include two common types of broken jaw injuries:
    • Maxilla fracture, a medical term for an upper jaw fracture.
    • Mandible fracture, otherwise known as a lower jaw fracture.
  • Broken nose or nasal fracture, one of the most common facial fracture injuries. But just because such injuries are common doesn’t make them any less serious. Depending on the severity and location of the nasal fracture, injury victims might not be able to breathe normally, which can make such injuries life-threatening in such situations.
  • Orbital fracture, also known as an eye socket fracture. Such broken bone injuries also often involve bone fractures on other parts of the face or skull.
  • Zygomaticomaxillary fracture, also known as a broken cheekbone. Like many other facial fractures, this one often involves other broken bones in the skull and face.

As for soft tissue facial injuries, they account for 78% of facial injuries in car crashes.

Soft-tissue facial injuries include:

  • Cuts to the face, which are also referred to as facial lacerations. Such cuts can be very deep and may require stitches, surgery or other medical procedures.
  • Scrapes to the face, also known as facial abrasions. Such injuries often occur due to someone’s face scraping against the pavement (think road rash), which can occur when someone’s ejected from a vehicle in a car crash.
  • Facial burns, which are often the result of a car fire caused by a collision.

Many other types of facial injuries can occur as a result of a car accident. Whatever type of face injury you or a loved one sustained in a car crash, make sure you get the medical care you need. Then, talk to a lawyer as soon as possible to learn more about your legal options.

A car accident attorney can protect your interests

You might think you don’t need an attorney if you sustained a serious facial injury in a car accident caused by another driver. But the reality is these types of claims often turn out to be complicated legal cases. This is because claims involving severe injury are often significant. You might need emergency medical care or follow-up surgery, including facial reconstruction surgery or plastic surgery.

All of these expenses can quickly add up—and insurance companies know this. That’s why the insurance adjusters often do everything they can to reduce or even deny your claim.

At Villari, Brandes & Giannone, P.C., our team can help you every step of the way. We know how to deal with insurance companies and negotiate effectively with them. Most agree to cooperate and make a fair settlement offer. If they want to play hardball, we're not scared to take legal action on your behalf, including filing a lawsuit, if that's what it takes to help you recover the compensation you're entitled to.

Discover what our dedicated legal team can do for you. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation with a Philadelphia car accident attorney you can trust to fight for you. We have offices in downtown Philadelphia, Conshohocken, and Marlton, New Jersey, and represent injury victims throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

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