According to the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, many auto accident victims suffer facial injury. One regional trauma center reported that 51% of admitted motor vehicle accident victims sustained facial injuries. (Nakhgevany, Facial trauma in motor vehicle accidents: etiological factors, tracking admitted victims in a 15-month period).
Facial injuries can be devastating for a truck accident victim. They can cause trauma for several different reasons:
- Life-threatening injuries
- Interference with bodily function and major life activity
- Physical pain
- Disfigurement and scars
- Accompanying mental health injuries and emotional anguish
There are many causes of facial injury in a truck crash. Injuries may include broken bones, damage to the eyes and ears, burns and bruising. Treatment options may vary based on the nature of the injury.
A person who suffers a facial injury may receive compensation. Our attorneys explain truck accident face injuries and settlements.
What Causes Injury to the Face in a Truck Accident?
There are several vehicle components and other dangers that can cause injury to the face in a semi-truck crash, including:
Airbags play an important role in reducing the risk of severe injury and death in auto accidents. However, they can cause injuries themselves. Even crashes at relatively low speeds – as low as 10 miles per hour – can result in airbag deployment. (IIHS, Airbags).
If an airbag malfunctions, or if occupants are positioned incorrectly in the vehicle, injury may be more likely to occur. However, even without these complications, an airbag can still cause facial injuries. Because of its design, the airbag provides resistance to the sudden snapping of the head. This trauma, as well as contact with the airbag’s materials (typically woven fabric like nylon textiles), can cause facial injury.
The steering wheel is a hard, rigid structure. In a crash, it can cause bruising, fractures and lacerations. In one study, the most common steering wheel injuries were nasal fractures and cuts. (Rogers, Maxillofacial injuries following steering wheel contact). Higher forces contribute to more serious steering wheel injuries. (Yoganadan, Traumatic facial injuries with steering wheel loading).
A truck crash can send sharp glass shards flying around the other driver’s vehicle and striking the victim’s face. Glass may strike while the victim is moving, which can cause glass to lodge in the person’s body. Lacerations, contusions and risk of infection may occur.
Road rash/Road contact
If a motorcycle rider is thrown from their vehicle in a truck crash, the road itself can cause facial injury. Road rash is caused by friction when an accident victim is pulled against the ground. It may feel like a cut or a burn. Not only is it disfiguring, but it can cause significant pain.
A seat in a vehicle may cause facial injury in an accident. For passengers in the back seat, they may strike the seat in front of them, especially if they are not wearing a seatbelt. In a crash, the front seat may collapse. Injuries may include bruising, fractures and lacerations. (CBS, Alleged car seatback failures).
Contributing Factors to Facial Injuries in a Truck Accident
There are several factors that may contribute to facial injuries in semi-truck crashes, including:
- No seat belt use: While facial injuries can occur with and without seatbelt use, seat belt use may reduce the risk of trauma. (Nakhgevany, supra).
- Force of the collision: At higher speeds, especially when involving highway traffic, traumatic facial injury is more likely to occur.
- Types of vehicles involved: Both vehicle size and weight impact the likelihood of injury to the face in a crash. In general, larger, heavier vehicles offer more crash protection for occupants. (IIHS, Vehicle size and weight). Conversely, semi-trucks deal harsher impacts to smaller vehicles.
- Seating position in the vehicle: Contact with the steering wheel may cause facial trauma. However, victims sitting in the back seat also suffer facial injury at a high rate. (Fonseca, Seating position, seat belt wearing, and the consequences of facial fractures).
Types of Facial Injuries in a Crash With a Truck
Some types of facial injuries that may occur from a truck collision are:
- Fractures: There are 14 bones in the face. The nasal bone, vomer, inferior nasal concha, palatine, upper and lower jaws (mandible, maxilla and zygomatic), cheekbones and lacrimal are all facial bones that may be fractured. (National Cancer Institute, Axial Skeleton).
- Bruises: When damage occurs without breaking the skin, a bruise may become apparent. In the face, bruising may be serious and even life-threatening.
- Lacerations: Cuts may be caused by sharp objects that strike the face. Lacerations can cause disfigurement and permanent injury.
- Burns: Burns to the face can be extremely painful. Scars may occur.
- Eye injury: Eye injuries can cause blindness and vision damage. Trauma to the eye can occur with or without penetration of the eye itself.
- Hearing damage: Airbag deployment can cause hearing damage. Airbags deploy with such intensity that they create a wave of intense pressure. It can cause hearing loss and tinnitus. (Ohki, Sensorineural hearing loss due to airbag deployment).
Treatment Options for Truck Accident Facial Injuries
Treatment for a truck accident facial injury depends on the nature of the injury. For example, a broken jaw bone often requires surgery followed by teeth wiring while the jaw heals. Ocular surgery may prevent blindness and infection. Facial wounds should be washed and sterilized without scrubbing. (Boston’s Children’s Hospital, Facial cuts and wounds).
In all cases, facial injuries must be taken seriously. Facial injury may be a sign of serious, life-threatening injury. The victim should be carefully monitored for additional signs of trauma. Careful and attentive care may minimize scarring.
How Do You Get Compensation for Facial Injuries in a Truck Accident?
A victim may receive compensation for facial injuries following a truck accident. The victim may claim economic damages including the cost of medical expenses and care arising from the legal fault of another. These expenses may include the diagnosis and treatment of facial injury.
In addition, the victim may claim compensation for pain, suffering, physical impairment and disfigurement. Certainly, these non-economic damages may result from a facial injury. The damages that may be claimed are in proportion to the severity of injury and harm.
To receive compensation, the victim must identify their injuries, determine the party that is legally responsible and bring a claim. Bringing a claim may involve filing a formal legal case and proving the right to compensation. It may also involve identifying and making claims through one or more insurance policies.
How our attorneys can help
Claiming financial compensation for a facial injury can be complex. You must identify the injuries, the prognosis for healing, the cost of treatment and the amount of non-economic damages. The claims process can be complex, and you must prove your right to compensation.
At Bringardner Injury Law Firm, we are an experienced team of truck accident attorneys. We understand the importance of you getting fair compensation when you’re the victim of a semi-truck crash. We also know how challenging it can be to claim compensation for a facial injury.
Our team has the training, experience and personalized approach that gets results. It is our goal to exceed your expectations. Contact us today to talk about your case.