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Study: Seatbelts Significantly Reduce Facial Injuries in Car Accidents

Dazed woman with head wound sitting in car after accident

A car accident lawyer in Hidalgo County explains what Texas drivers should know

A new study that looks into the ability of seatbelts to prevent facial trauma supports what safety advocates have been saying for years: Seatbelts reduce the number and severity of car accident injuries.

In Texas, seatbelt usage is far above the national average. About 96% of drivers and front-seat passengers wear their safety belts, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That means in McAllen and the rest of the Rio Grande Valley, when there's a car accident on I-2, Bicentennial Boulevard, Ware Road or another street, chances are the people involved are wearing seatbelts.

Facial injuries: More common than you might think

You've probably heard that car accidents can lead to whiplash, back injuries, concussions, and broken bones. But one of the most common and least talked about injuries from car accidents is facial trauma. It's hard to overstate how shocking it is to have a significantly different looking face after a bad accident. It's often viewed as a critical part of your identity and is something people remember most about you.

About half of all car accidents result in facial injuries, the study says. Of those with significant injuries to the face, around 80% of people with facial trauma were not wearing seatbelts.

What is facial trauma?

Facial trauma is a medical term that describes most serious damage to the face. This can include facial fractures, swelling, bruising, bumps, scrapes, burns, cuts, lacerations, etc. Car, truck, and motorcycle accidents are frequently the cause of facial injuries, but they can also stem from sports activities, work-related projects, falls, and fights.

Specifically, facial injuries include things like:

  • Fractured nose
  • Mouth puncture
  • Broken jaw bone
  • Dislocated jaw
  • Fractured eye socket
  • Missing or broken teeth
  • Blood vessel ruptures
  • Ripped skin
  • Permanent scarring/disfigurement

Injuries to the face can pose larger health risks to certain groups of people including babies, older adults, and those with preexisting conditions like diabetes, HIV, cancer, or heart disease. If you recently had surgery or are on medications like blood thinners, you may have a more difficult time recovering from facial wounds.

Legal help is available for crash victims

Facial injuries can change your look as well as your ability to speak, hear, and breathe. They are often accompanied by painful eye, spine, and/or head injuries that cost a lot of money to treat. That's why pursuing compensation to cover your past, current, and future medical expenses is so key.

If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident, you have recourse through the civil justice system. People who suffer facial injuries due to someone else's negligence deserve compensation—and a car accident attorney can help you fight for it.

At the Karam Law Firm, we have the knowledge, experience, and resources to help you maximize the value of your claim. See what we can do for you and contact us today to schedule a free consultation. We have offices conveniently located in McAllen and Edinburg and proudly serve clients throughout the Rio Grande Valley.

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