Facial injuries are among the most common types of injuries sustained in car accidents. Previous research has found that they happen in about half of all injurious collisions. In 1994, the Department of Surgery at the Medical College of Pennsylvania found that 237 out of 461 patients who were admitted to the hospital after a crash sustained facial injuries.
Major soft tissue injuries accounted for the majority of facial injuries. Only 22 percent of patients sustained facial bone fractures. Less than 20 percent of the patients in the study wore seat belts.
Traffic collisions are a leading cause of severe facial injuries
According to a study published in the International Journal of Surgery, crashes involving cars, motorcyclists, and pedestrians account for most severe facial injuries. Researchers in the study examined 409 patients who were treated for crash-related injuries over the course of 14 years.
The mid-face was injured the most in crashes, with most patients sustaining multiple facial injuries in a single crash. Approximately 368 patients suffered facial fractures — 77 percent of them needed corrective surgery. About half of the 409 patients needed intensive care with hospital stay time of more than five days.
What are the most common types of facial injuries?
The soft tissue of the face, such as the skin and cartilage, is usually the most affected part of the face. Injuries to soft tissue usually include:
- Burns caused by contact with the airbag
- Lacerations caused by glass and metal
- Bruises and contusions
- Swelling and inflammation
While facial fractures aren't as common as soft tissue injuries, they can be devastating and result in permanent facial disfigurement. Facial fractures may affect the nose, eye bones, cheek bones, and jaw. They may also result in:
- Loss of eyesight
- Inability to breathe or smell
- Inability to speak, eat, or move jaw
- Severe swelling, pain, bruising, and bleeding
Facial injuries may also be accompanied by:
- Traumatic brain injuries, such as a concussion, loss of memory, and/or permanent brain damage
- Bacterial infections due to bleeding, swelling, and inflammation
Medical treatment for facial injuries
Those who have sustained facial trauma in a crash will likely need emergency medical care. In minor cases, the injury may heal with ice, medication for pain and inflammation, rest, and possibly stitches.
Surgery is often required for facial fractures and severe trauma to the soft tissue. Sometimes, multiple surgeries are needed to correct facial disfigurement and restore functioning of the face.
Some people suffer permanent disfigurement and scarring, even after undergoing surgery. This can lead to life-long emotional suffering, inability to engage in social activities, and loss of life enjoyment. What's worse, the cost of surgery and other medical care can leave crash victims with a pile of medical bills. That's not right.
If you were hurt in a crash because of someone else's negligence, you can count on the Oklahoma car accident attorneys at Lawter & Associates Attorneys at Law PLLC to help you get the compensation you need. Our law offices are located in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Contact us online to schedule your no-obligation case evaluation with our legal team.