Millions of people in the United States are hurt in car accidents every year. In Massachusetts, there are well over one hundred thousand car crashes every year that leave thousands of people seriously injured and cause hundreds of deaths. Generally, car crashes are associated with serious injuries. We usually hear about broken bones, knee and shoulder injuries, and even death from the news reporting crashes. But, seldom talked about injuries, such as mouth and dental injuries, are very common occurrences in car accidents. It doesn’t take a serious car accident to cause mouth and dental injuries. Sometimes, accident victims suffer injuries to their mouth or teeth in relatively minor car accidents, such as rear-end collisions.
Common Types of Dental Injuries
The most common dental injuries sustained from a car crash are took luxation, fractured teeth, and an avulsed tooth. Dental injuries can be caused by either direct impact or indirect impact. Direct impact injuries occur when the mouth hits another object. For example, if the victim strikes his or her face on the steering wheel, they are at risk of suffering a dental injury. Indirect impact injuries occur when the mouth is forced closed. Quick and forced slamming of your mouth commonly causes the lower jaw to crush the upper teeth. Treatment for a dental injury can vary depending on the extent, or severity, of the injury.
Tooth luxation is a dental injury that involved a loosened tooth. This type of dental injury does not include a tooth that has been completely separated from the gums. However, a luxate tooth may be able to move backward, forward, and/or sideways. Treatment for this type of injury can include a dentist pushing the tooth back to its original position.
A chipped tooth, also identified as a cracked or fractured tooth, occurs after acute trauma to the mouth. Generally, there are three kinds of chipped teeth: Ellis I, Ellis II, and Ellis III.
- Ellis I chipped teeth is a fracture of the tooth crown through the enamel. Ellis I injuries don’t usually change in color.
- Ellis II fractures involve both the enamel and dentin layer. An Ellis II fracture causes pain and a yellow discoloration.
- Ellis III fractures are the most severe and painful. Ellis III injuries refer to the enamel, dentin, and pulp layers. The center of the tooth commonly turn red, pink, and/or bloody.
A fracture can also occur in the root of a tooth. This type of injury could result in complete loss of a tooth. The treatment of a root fracture could be as serious as artificial tooth implantation.
An avulsed tooth means a tooth that has completely fallen out. An avulsed tooth is an serious injury and needs immediate medical attention. If a tooth has completely fallen out due to impact, like a car accident, victims only have a two-hour window of time to ensure the tooth can be put back in the mouth. If the victim waits too long before seeking medical attention, or cannot save the dislodged tooth, he or she will have to replace it with an artificial tooth.
Take Legal Action
While these dental injuries don’t sound serious to some, as opposed to hearing about a broken leg or arm, they can cause very expensive medical and dental bills to pile up. When someone is hurt in a car accident that was caused by another driver, the injured person has a right to file a legal claim for bodily injury. The claim will seek damages to reimburse and accident victim for the money they have had to pay for medical and dental treatment, compensate them for any lost wages for missed time at work, and compensate them for the pain and suffering the accident and injuries caused.
As with any personal injury claim, liability and damages are the important factors to consider when pursuing a claim for bodily injury. A driver will be held liable for an accident and injuries if they are found to have caused the car accident. Liability is determined by a driver’s failure to execute reasonable care in the operation of their vehicle. This is also known as negligence. For example, a driver will be considered negligent if he or she failed to properly yield to traffic and consequently struck a vehicle and injured its occupants. The negligent driver will be held liable for the injuries they caused to others.
The damages in an accident case are the injuries an accident victim suffered and the monetary loss they incurred because of the injuries. The damages establish the amount the victim is compensated for their medical bills, expenses, and pain and suffering that accumulated after the accident.
Get Expert Help
Sure, the claim process sounds easy, but the truth is that claims for bodily injury are thoroughly scrutinized by insurance companies. Insurance adjusters are trained to examine the details of an accident and the injuries suffered. They hope to find or create some support to either deny a claim or try to shift some blame for the accident on the injured party to reduce the amount they may have to pay out in a settlement.
If you have been injured in a car accident in Massachusetts, you should discuss your accident and injury with an experienced personal injury attorney. It is recommended to speak with an accident lawyer before talking to the other driver’s insurance company or giving them a statement. This is one of the Three Important Things to do Immediately After a Car Accident that we recommend. An injury lawyer can help protect your rights and counsel you through the claim process to ensure you get what you deserve for the injuries you suffered.
Chuck Pappas and Joe Mahaney are experienced and skilled personal injury lawyers, who understand the stress of being injured and the injury claim process. If you, or someone you know, have been injured in a car crash, please contact us online or call (508) 879-3500 to schedule a free meeting and case evaluation. Let us deal with your claim so you can focus on healing.