A wide variety of accidents can cause dental injuries. Personal injury attorneys often find that motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians suffer these injuries when they come into contact with a motor vehicle. Because these victims have little to no protection — possibly only a helmet — injuries to the face and teeth are possible.
Helmets for bicyclists and motorcyclists are designed with good intentions. By protecting the side and top of the head, helmets significantly decrease the likelihood of a brain injury (TBI) in an accident. But most helmets offer little protection to the face and mouth, resulting in serious dental issues.
Types of Dental Injuries
There are a wide variety of injuries that may occur in a motorcycle accident. Motorcyclists that fall off their bikes may hit their head or face on the ground, a traffic barrier, or motor vehicle, suffering injuries to their face.
Dental injuries are painful and the work to repair them is expensive and time consuming. The most common dental injuries include:
- Chipped teeth: Even a low-impact accident can cause teeth to chip or crack. In a motorcycle accident, the head may jar or bump up against anything, and the teeth are often damaged. While some chipped or cracked teeth can be salvaged (by buffing them), in most cases the teeth will need to be repaired with a composite material or covered with veneers.
- Avulsed teeth: This is the technical term for teeth that have been completely knocked out. If teeth can be recovered at the crash scene, it may be possible for them to but saved. But in most accident cases with avulsed teeth, prosthetics must replace the originals.
- Dislodged teeth: It’s not uncommon for teeth to be twisted, pushed or become loose. Not completely avulsed, these teeth may be compromised and usually require a dentist’s help to correct. If not addressed, dislodged teeth may affect the victim’s ability to bite, chew, speak and swallow.
- Root fractures: Serious accidents may damage the root of the teeth — the portion of the teeth that is beneath the gums. Fractured roots may lead to infection and the eventual loss of the tooth.
How to Protect Your Recovery
As stated above, dental injuries are almost always expensive and usually involved a great deal of pain for the victim. Therefore it is important that victims protect themselves and follow the right steps:
- See a dentist: The most important thing you should do is seek medical attention for your dental injuries. Follow their orders, and seek additional treatment if necessary.
- Document the accident: Take pictures of your dental injuries and collect all relevant information from that crash scene (pictures, names, addresses, etc.).
- Be cautious with the insurance company: Insurance adjusters may seem friendly and helpful, but their main goal is to pay you as little as possible for your injuries. Make sure you get the full value for your case.
- Contact an attorney: An experienced personal injury attorney with a track record handling cases involving dental work and other motorcycle injuries can help you get back on your feet and move on with your life.
Compensation for Dental Injuries
If you have been involved in an accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation. This compensation will include money to pay for any necessary dental treatment, as well as medical care and other damages associated with the accident.
As your accident lawyer, the attorneys at Davis Law Group, P.S., can make sure you see a qualified cosmetic dentist for an evaluation of your dental injuries and a cost estimate of the necessary treatment. We will then fight aggressively to secure the necessary compensation in or out of court as your case may require.
For a free case evaluation, contact our Seattle-based law firm today. Call (206) 727-4000, use the chat feature below or fill out the form on this page.