If you drive a vehicle made after 1998, there is a good chance your car, truck or SUV has frontal airbags. Along with the other safety features on your vehicle, these airbags reduce your risk of suffering a serious injury or dying in a car accident. Still, airbags are far from perfect.
To do their job effectively, airbags must deploy with great force in well under one second. When inflated, airbags also feel rock-hard. Consequently, your car’s airbag may cause you to suffer catastrophic facial injuries during a crash. Here are three things you should know about these injuries.
1. They can be excruciatingly painful
Even though your face is a comparatively small part of your body, it includes a jaw, forehead, nose, eye sockets, muscles and skin. It also has hundreds of nerve endings that transmit pain signals directly to your brain. If you break a bone in your face or suffer a deep laceration during a car accident, you are likely to experience a tremendous amount of pain.
2. They can be difficult to treat
According to Penn Medicine, facial injuries can be life-threatening, as they often restrict airflow through the nose and into the lungs. While the emergency may be over when paramedics stabilize you, your facial injuries may be difficult to treat. Often, those with serious injuries to their faces require surgery and extensive rehabilitation. Setbacks are frequently common during the recovery process.
3. They can lead to long-term psychological harm
Depending on the nature and severity of your injuries, you may develop scarring or other facial deformities. Even when the pain subsides and your functionality returns, you may have to deal with the psychological trauma that comes with looking differently. This may include depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder or body-image issues.
Ultimately, both to obtain the medical treatment you need to recover and to cope with life after a facial injury, it may be necessary to seek financial compensation from the driver who caused the accident that injured your face.