Your face is an important part of the person you are. After all, your loved ones and friends recognize you by your facial features. You also use your face to smile, eat, blink and speak. Regrettably, even if your car has airbags, a serious car accident may leave you with catastrophic facial injuries.
There are 14 bones, 43 muscles and 12 pairs of cranial nerves in your face. In a car accident, you may fracture bones, tear muscles or damage nerves. Therefore, even if you think your face is fine after a collision, it is imperative to seek a full medical evaluation.
Facial fractures can be difficult to treat. For a minor fracture, doctors may be able to reset the bone without operating on your face. If you have a moderate fracture, though, a surgeon may cut through your skin to set or reshape the bone. Unfortunately, for severe facial fractures, reconstructive surgery may be your only option.
Muscle damage may heal on its own. Still, if you have a serious muscle tear, you may develop scar tissue during your recovery. This tissue is likely to be denser and harder than your other facial muscles. It may also cause unsightly and painful deformities. Either way, if you have complications from torn muscles, you may be in store for at least one surgery.
Facial nerve injuries may improve over time. Nevertheless, if you injure your cranial nerve, you may develop permanent facial paralysis. Sadly, while rehabilitation may help you cope with your paralysis, you may have limited prospects for treatment.
Even if you spend a fortune on medical care, your face may never be the same after a serious car accident. Ultimately, pursuing financial compensation from the responsible driver may give you the resources you need to cope with life after your facial injury.