What To Do If You’ve Suffered Dental Injuries in a SeaTac Truck Accident

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Semi-truck accidents are anything but rare. Each year, tractor-trailer collisions injure thousands of Washingtonians. For many of these victims, the costs of recovery can seem insurmountable. Even with a positive prognosis and a comprehensive insurance plan, some injuries have life-changing repercussions. 

For instance, dental injuries in Washington semi-truck accidents can be both physically painful and emotionally unbearable, leaving survivors disfigured, disabled, and incapable of enjoying everyday life. If you or a loved one have these difficulties, contact a truck accident attorney with the expertise to secure a proper financial recovery. Dental Injuries in Washington Semi-Truck Accidents

Dental Injuries in Washington Semi-Truck Accidents 

A fully-loaded tractor-trailer can weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds. Even at low speeds, the forces involved in a semi-truck accident are often sufficient to shatter glass, bend steel, and break bone.

While dental injuries may seem less serious than other common semi-truck-related injuries—including severe lacerations, internal injuries, and lost limbs—they can nonetheless be life-threatening. They might also be part of more significant facial trauma, often requiring months of painful recovery. 

Dental injuries are classified as either of the following: 

  • Direct dental injuries. These occur when an external object—such as flying debris, an airbag, or a steering wheel—impacts the head or mouth. 
  • Indirect dental injuries. These frequently happen when an open mouth is forced closed, pushing the jaws together and potentially breaking or crushing the teeth. 

Here are some of the typical dental injuries caused by semi-truck accidents. 

Avulsed Teeth 

An avulsion is a medical emergency because teeth are completely dislodged from their sockets. Left untreated, an avulsed tooth could develop critical complications, increasing a victim’s risk of infection. 

Tooth Luxation 

This occurs when the tissues, ligaments, or bone supporting the teeth are damaged. These injuries are usually associated with traumatic accidents and can cause teeth to loosen or be displaced. A luxated tooth is painful or visibly deformed. In semi-truck accidents, luxation is often a result of an accident victim’s head or mouth striking the steering wheel or dashboard. 

Fractured Teeth 

Dental fractures are formally categorized by varying degrees of trauma:

  • Ellis I injury. This is a fracture to or in the crown of the affected tooth. These injuries are largely cosmetic and don’t usually extend beyond the enamel. 
  • Ellis II injury. There’s damage to the enamel as well as the dentin layer. Fractured teeth are at high risk for infection and may be sensitive to the touch. 
  • Ellis III injury. This is a complex condition that damages the enamel, dentin layer, and pulp layer.  

While many dental fractures can be corrected with surgery, they typically require immediate medical intervention. 

Protecting Your Teeth After a Washington Semi-Truck Accident

Some dental injuries can be reversed or mitigated with the proper treatment. However, dental procedures—especially surgery—are prohibitively expensive. While Washington state law affords semi-truck accident victims the right to file a claim for compensation against a negligent truck driver, logistics company, or automobile manufacturer, your decisions in the immediate aftermath of a collision affect your recovery. 

After a serious Seattle-area semi-truck collision, you should always: 

  • Call 911. The Evergreen State requires that any accident involving personal injury, death, or significant property damage be reported to law enforcement. 
  • Request prompt medical attention. Many dental injuries are mitigated through immediate medical intervention and professionally-guided treatment. Additionally, seeing a physician or dentist right after the crash demonstrates to the semi-truck company’s insurer that you have legitimate concerns about your well-being and aren’t simply trying to attribute a pre-existing dental injury to an unfortunate accident. 
  • Collect evidence. If you don’t need to be immediately hospitalized, try to collect evidence from the crash site. Relevant evidence may include pictures of your physical injuries, photographs of the dangerous condition that caused the crash, or an audio recording recounting the circumstances leading up to the accident. 
  • Speak to eyewitnesses. Eyewitness testimony can make or break a semi-truck accident claim. If another motorist or bystander saw your accident, ask for their full name, phone number, and other contact information.
  • Contact an attorney. You likely stand your best chance of recovery with an experienced attorney on your side. The legal team at Max Meyers Law has spent years aggressively defending the rights of semi-truck accident victims across the Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area. We'll help you construct the compelling, evidence-based claim necessary to secure the compensation you need and the justice you deserve.
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Max is a Kirkland personal injury attorney handling cases in Seattle, King County & surrounding in WA State.