Mandibular Fracture in Auto Accidents
I’m Ed Smith, a Car Accident Attorney in Sacramento. There are inherent risks that come with driving a motor vehicle and one of these involves a car accident. Those who have been in car accidents in the past understand that there is always a risk of injury regardless of the severity of the crash. One of the many different injuries that somebody could sustain is a mandibular fracture in auto accidents.
Mechanism of Injury: Mandibular Fracture
When someone is hurt in an auto accident, there are many different traumatic injuries that they could sustain. One of the most common type of injuries that people suffer is a bone fracture. There are hundreds of bone in the human body and each one of these has a chance of fracturing in a car crash; some of these are more severe than others. One of the most severe fractures is the mandible fracture. The mandible is another name for the lower jaw. This jaw is a hinge joint and helps people to speak, talk, and swallow. When somebody is involved in an auto accident, their head swings back and forth because, unlike the body, it is not restrained by a seat belt. As the head swings, there is always the potential that the head could collide with a steering wheel, window, or dashboard. If the impact is to the side of the head, there is the risk of facial fractures, a fractured skull, and even a mandible fracture. Symptoms of a mandible fracture that someone could notice include pain over the injury site, pain that gets worse with talking or eating, and a feeling of clicking in the mouth with movement of the jaw. With particularly severe fractures, the mandible could be completely disconnected from the upper jaw and people might be unable to close their mouth completely. This can be extremely alarming for individuals and they may have significant quality of life issues moving forward.
Quality of Life Issues with a Mandible Fracture
As someone recovers from a serious injury such as this, there are numerous quality of life issues that might start to appear. For example, an inability to eat can deprive people of one of their simplest joys. As the bones start to heal, people will first have to start eating and drinking through a straw first. This will allow people to get their nutrition without having to stress their jaw. With the jaw wired shut to heal, people may also have difficulty speaking. This can inhibit someone’s ability to work as well. One of the biggest concerns that people have is that when the jaw heals, people’s faces could look significantly different. This can be an aesthetic issue that could be troubling for some people that they might need help with.
Treatment Concerns: A Long Process
The treatment process of a mandible fracture is long and drawn out. The injury starts with an initial evaluation of how the injury occurred and whether or not the injury needs surgery. Significant fractures will require surgery to repair the bones and ensure the joint will still function in a proper manner. Once the surgery has been completed, the jaw will need to be wired shut as the bones heal in their normal anatomical position. It is normal for families to have questions about this process as it unfolds. Families could have difficulty getting insurance to cover the costs of these treatments, let alone the additional doctor visits and equipment that happen with the rehab process. Those who have questions or concerns may find it helpful to speak with an experienced lawyer about the options in front of them. A legal provider can help a family make decisions that are in their best interests.
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Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney in Sacramento
I’m Ed Smith, a Car Accident Attorney in Sacramento. The jaw is an often overlooked yet very important bone in the body. Those who have questions or concerns about their jaw fracture may contact our office using (916) 921-6400 to receive friendly, free advice from our team or by dialing our toll-free line: (800) 404-5400.
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