Dental injuries are a common injury seen in motor vehicle crashes, but one of the lesser talked about injury types. Injuries in a car accident can vary from minor lacerations to life-threatening internal bleeding. While these are often cared for first, dental injuries are usually taken care of later and often come with an equally high price to correct.
Anyone who has been to a dentist knows just how much these services can cost. Most health insurance plans do not cover dental work. Therefore, you could find yourself facing thousands of dollars in dental care costs. If you need reconstructive services or implants to replace missing or permanently damaged teeth, the price is even higher.
When you did not cause the accident, you have the right to seek compensation from the party at fault. However, it is best to consult with an attorney that has experience in injury claims – especially involving dental injuries.
Most Common Type of Dental Injuries Seen in New Orleans Accident Cases
Dental injuries come in two main categories: direct and indirect. Direct injuries mean that an object physically struck the mouth or the mouth strikes an object. The indirect injury can occur from the force in the accident – such as shutting your mouth violently in the impact and causing cracks in your teeth.
In those categories, there are five types of injuries seen more often from car accidents than other types of trauma. These five include:
- Fractured Teeth – Teeth can fracture just like bones. Fractures come in four classes, and each class involves the layer of the tooth affected. Fractured teeth need care right away because the fracture itself opens the tooth up to bacterial infection and further damage.
- Luxated Teeth – Teeth might become loose but remain in place. In this case, they are luxated. Sometimes it takes pushing the tooth back into its position and allowing it to heal on its own. Other times, the tooth may need to be replaced.
- Avulsed Teeth – Avulsed teeth are teeth that have been knocked out entirely from the mouth. If you can, place your tooth in a clean container filled with milk until you can see your dentist. Your dentist may be able to save the tooth – saving you thousands. However, if the tooth is out of your mouth for longer than two hours, there is not much your dentist can do.
- Root Fractures – Root fractures mean that the root of the tooth is destroyed. In this case, the tooth cannot be saved, even if you have preserved it. Instead, your dental professional will need to replace the tooth with an implant, or you may need partial dentures.
- Chipped Teeth – Chipped teeth are like fractured teeth, but a portion of the tooth is missing while the remainder is intact. Sometimes a chipped tooth can be repaired with bonding, while other times the chip reveals the root and pulp, requiring a root canal.
What Causes Dental Injuries in Auto Accidents?
When you are in an accident, you have hazards inside and outside of your vehicle. Any one of these hazards could lead to serious dental trauma. Drivers are more likely to suffer dental injuries than passengers, while passengers of a car are less likely to suffer dental injuries compared to motorcycle riders, cyclists, and pedestrians.
Some of the hazards that could lead to dental trauma include:
- Steering Wheel
- Broken Glass
Not being appropriately positioned in the seat or not using the proper restraint increases the chances that you will experience a dental injury in a motor vehicle accident.
How Much Compensation Could You Receive for a Dental Injury?
Whether you broke, chipped, or lost several of your teeth, you may be eligible for compensation. There are unique factors at play when determining the value of your tooth damage, which is in addition to your other physical injuries and losses.
How Does the Insurance Company Estimate My Claim’s Value?
Insurance claims adjusters must evaluate your injuries. To evaluate an injury, adjusters must consider what a jury or judge may give you in an injury case, the likelihood they are to lose in court, and the amount of damages your attorney has presented to them.
Some factors that they may consider include:
- The severity of the accident. The more severe the accident, the more likely you are to suffer catastrophic injuries to your body and your mouth. The more severe the accident, the higher the settlement value will be.
- The longevity of the dental injuries. They will also consider how long you have to suffer from your dental injuries. For example, injuries that require multiple reconstructive procedures to correct a person’s mouth entirely would yield a higher settlement than someone who had just one tooth replaced or needed a root canal.
- How the dental injuries impact your quality of life. Can you chew? Are you permanently disfigured? The way in which your injuries affect your physical, mental, and emotional well-being play a substantial role in determining your settlement value.
- The total of your other damages. Naturally, you will have other costs you request compensation for. These include medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. They will review these costs in addition to your dental injuries to come up with a settlement value.
Suffering from Dental Injuries after a Car Accident? Contact an Attorney
Dental injuries can be severe, and they also can be overlooked when you settle with an insurance company. Therefore, speak with an injury attorney and make sure the compensation you receive covers not only your physical injuries but dental injuries as well.
You can schedule a free consultation with Shlosman Law Firm. At Shlosman Law Firm, we have helped victims just like you receive the compensation they need for medical costs, time off work, and more.
Schedule your no-obligation case evaluation now at 504-826-9427 or request more information online.