Being involved in a bike accident (especially if someone else caused the bicycle accident) can be an extremely traumatizing experience, and may leave the victim with severe facial and mouth injuries, whether or not the rider was wearing a helmet.
A 2001 article in American Family Physician reports that some of the most common injuries, after those to the upper extremities, are those to the head and face, which may range from contusions and lacerations, to more serious fractures and dislocations.
Unfortunately, riders who sustain injuries to their face may also experience short-term or lasting damage to their mouths as well. The following provides a list of possible oral injuries, as well as what an injured party can do to recover compensation:
Soft Tissue Mouth Injuries
A 1996 study published in the Medical Journal of Australia surveyed 813 children who visited the emergency department for bicycle-accident related injuries, and found that, of the 321 who suffered damage to their mouth, 30.9 percent sustained soft tissue injuries to the mouth.
Soft tissue injuries in the mouth may be a result of:
- foreign objects entering the mouth and causing damage;
- teeth becoming lodged into the soft tissue; or
- the rider biting down on parts of tissue within.
The treatment required depends on the severity of the injury, although stitches are generally necessary to repair the wound.
Another unfortunately common type of oral injury sustained in bicycle accidents is bone fractures. Of the injured individuals in the study above, 15 sustained facial fractures, some of which involved the bones of the mouth.
Upon impact with the ground, a rider may fracture his or her mandible, commonly referred to as the “jawbone”; a fractured mandible can cause significant pain and inconvenience, often requiring the jaw to be wired shut so that the injury can heal (during this time the injured rider may only be able to eat liquefied food through a straw).
Even if a bicycle rider’s teeth do not come into direct contact with the ground or another surface, there is still a chance that they will be cracked or knocked loose in the event of an accident. Impact can indirectly shatter teeth, or loosen them in their position in the gums.
Furthermore, significant damage can occur if a rider’s teeth are directly struck by another surface. This may lead to chipped or broken teeth, which, through dental procedures, can be replaced with manufactured implants. As mentioned before, an avulsed (knocked out) tooth may also become lodged into the interior of the cheek or other soft tissue within the mouth, in which case immediate medical aid should be rendered to prevent from further complications.
Contact a Redmond Attorney for Help
In the event of a bicycle accident, the first and most important step to take is to seek medical help immediately. Medical professionals can tend to mouth injuries and inform you the proper course of rehabilitation.
If you have sustained mouth injuries in a bicycle accident because of someone else’s negligence, contact the bicycle accident attorneys at Max Meyers Law, PLLC as soon as you are able. We can help you file a claim to acquire compensation in order to help you recover. Call us today at 425-399-7000.