The vulnerability of a bicyclist who falls off his or her bike can result in all kinds of injuries. Mouth (oral) injuries can cause significant pain, disfigurement and may necessitate invasive procedures. When someone else is at fault for the accident (like a driver, for example), compensation for the physical and/or emotional harm suffered may be recoverable.
Mouth Injuries a Bicyclist May Sustain: Dislocated or Broken Jaw
A dislocation occurs when the lower jaw bone or the joints that connect it to the skull are moved out of place. Sometimes a doctor may be able to manipulate it back into place, but it usually needs to be stabilized so that the patient doesn’t open his or her mouth too wide.
When the upper and/or lower jaw is broken, treatment depends on the severity of the fracture. Minor ones can usually heal on their own. But again, it may require bandages to keep it stabilized. If it’s a serious fracture, surgery is usually necessary and the jaw may be wired shut.
Mouth Injuries a Bicyclist May Sustain: Tooth or Teeth
Injuries to the teeth can vary. They can be knocked out of their sockets, for example. Sometimes they can be re-implanted but other times may necessitate a bridge or dentures.
Teeth can also crack or chip. The force of striking one’s face on something can cause a tooth to be rammed into the gum or moved out of position. An orthodontist would have to repair these injuries.
Mouth Injuries a Bicyclist May Sustain: Other Oral Injuries
Cuts, punctures and other types of injury can be suffered on the:
- roof of the mouth; and
- inside of cheeks.
There is the risk of infection any time you have an open wound, so prompt treatment is necessary. Some lacerations inside the mouth may require stitches, such as cuts on the lip, while others will heal on their own.
If the bicyclist has dental work in place at the time of the accident (such as braces), the metal inside his/her mouth can contribute to injuries. Wires may pierce or slice or a dental appliance could be broken or become loose.
How Mouth Injuries May Impact a Bicycle Accident Claim
Oftentimes oral injuries are accompanied by other facial trauma. For instance, there could be fractures of the cheekbone or eye socket. A head injury could also be involved. It’s important to address all the physical harm suffered in an accident when evaluating the worth of a bicycle accident claim.
The financial aspect is not the only one to consider – the medical bills from a dentist, orthodontist and other specialists – a claim should also address the noneconomic damages. Someone who has a severely broken jaw will have to eat a soft diet for several weeks. Oral injuries usually cause significant pain and can be disfiguring. These are important issues that should factor into the compensation a claim is seeking.
It’s important to talk with an attorney who can help injured bicycle victims in Denver better understand their rights. Call D.J. Banovitz at (303) 300-5060 or contact us online to set up a free initial consultation to discuss the details of your injuries and the accident.