Are Head Injuries (TMJ) Covered After A Car Accident? Everything You Need To Know

April 29, 2021


Are Head Injuries (TMJ) Covered After A Car Accident? Everything You Need To Know
Emergency medical service
Defibrilator on Patient

There are often things that we need to face in life that aren't pleasant, but the reality is that these hurdles will need to be faced from time to time. Were you ever on your way to a destination but never got there on time because of a small accident on the way? Well, accidents can either be small or they can be devastating. They can be especially dangerous if you're traveling at a high speed. Every time you sit behind that steering wheel driving carelessly, you don't just put yourself in jeopardy but also the lives of other people on the road are at risk. Every time you're on the road it's a matter of life and death. Severe injuries can sometimes be caused by even the most minor accidents. The most dangerous of those injuries are head injuries. Some of the injuries caused to the head are as below.

 


1. Concussion

 

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury. It is caused when the brain strikes the skull from the inside due to split-second sudden movements. This mainly happens during a car crash. Concussions are not to be taken lightly; they can have severe permanent repercussions. The symptoms of a concussion are as below:


• Confusion
• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Fatigue
• Dizziness
• Temporary loss of consciousness


2. Contusion

 

A contusion is a bruise on the brain. It occurs when an object hits the head. In a car accident, it can occur due to direct impact on any of the stationary objects inside the vehicle such as the steering wheel or dashboard. The symptoms of a contusion are:


• Difficulty in balancing
• Slurred Speech
• Difficulty in forming sentences
• Poor concentration
• Difficulty in forming form new memories


3. Penetration

 

Penetration injuries can be deadly. They are caused by sharp projectiles inside of the vehicle which can penetrate your head or skull. They can be extremely fatal and have lifelong effects. They are extremely dangerous and can cause the following:


• Heavy blood loss
• Loss of consciousness
• Loss of sensation in the lower torso
• Seizure
• Difficulty in Breathing
• Paralysis


4. Diffuse Axonal

 

A diffuse axonal injury occurs due to severe rotation or shaking of the skull. If you observe car accidents this usually happens when the vehicle stops abruptly. This injury is mostly caused by high-speed accidents. This is because in such a scenario the brain isn't moving at the same speed as the skull. The difference in speed causes this injury upon the stopping of the car. This injury mostly tears brain structures and its symptoms are:


• Headache
• Vomiting
• Loss of Consciousness
• Nausea
• Fatigue
• Dizziness


5. Coup-Contrecoup

 

A coup-contrecoup injury occurs when your brain is violently shaken inside the skull. This is a very dangerous injury and it usually occurs in accidents of great force such as a rollover accident. The sudden impact causes the brain to hit both sides of the skull which results in the brain getting damaged from both sides. A few of the most common symptoms are as below:


• Bleeding in the brain
• Swelling in the brain
• Skull fracture
• Loss of Consciousness
• Seizure


6. Whiplash

 

Whiplash isn't a direct head injury. It's mostly related to the neck and is considered a neck injury. The head in this injury jerks forwards and backward with great speed and curses whiplash. This is a TMJ injury and a few of its symptoms are:


• Severe headache
• Nausea
• Trouble speaking
• Nosebleed
• Unable to concentrate
• Vomiting


7. TMJ

 

TMJ injuries after a car accident aren't exactly rare. A lot of cases float by suffering from TMJ after a car accident. It is an injury to the temporomandibular joints. These are located where the jaw meets the skull. They are very sensitive and are located on both sides of the skull. Their primary function is to help people talk, chew, and even help them yawn. If a person faces this injury it affects their entire face because the joints with the help of muscles and ligaments are responsible for almost all functioning of the face. If a TMJ goes untreated it can result in chronic pain to the jaw. Joint pains in the shoulders or ears could also be a sign of an untreated TMJ. For some people, the injury may be temporary, but for some, it may last a lifetime.

 

Causes

 

TMJ can be caused by a lot of incidents. Usually, it is one of the many car accident head injuries caused. Specifically, a person suffers from whiplash during a car accident. Whiplash is actually caused by the rocking of the head back and forth suddenly. This sudden movement may harm the entire head and is termed whiplash. When this happens it could also pull the jaw causing it to open. This results in adding more pressure to the joints on both sides of the head. Whiplash isn't the only cause of TMJ. People can also suffer from TMJ when they hit their jaw violently with the dashboard or steering wheel when brakes are suddenly applied. Not just that this injury can also be caused by the sudden opening of an airbag when the jaw hits the inflated bag.


Symptoms of TMJ

 

There are a number of symptoms of TMJ. In case of any of these, the victim must contact their doctor immediately because TMJ isn't something to be taken lightly. A few of those symptoms are listed below.


• The inability to open the mouth wide or pain in case of doing so.
• Jaw that locks
• Difficulty in chewing or biting
• Hearing loss
• Ear-aches
• Facial swelling especially on sides of the face where the jaws are.
• Popping noises in the jaw


Treatment

 

No disease or injury is totally incurable. Like other injuries, TMJ has a lot of possible treatments. If you're diagnosed with TMJ, don't be alarmed. Contact a physician and start your treatment. One of the possible treatments is the massaging of the jaw and face. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation is one of the best treatments of TMJ. Mouthguards are also used as a way of treating TMJ. Your doctor must be the one to prescribe any of these treatments. If none of them seem to work, surgery is also an option but it should be kept as a last resort. It's up to the doctor to decide.


Insurance Claims After Car Injury

 

In most cases, the at-fault driver's insurance company is responsible to pay for the damages and injuries caused by the accident. However, this isn’t the case in every state. The rules for car insurance coverage differ, and it is important you know if your insurance company will cover all the expenses for car, property, and health damages. If you live in a state where your insurance coverage laws state that accountability for the accident has to be proven, then the damage compensation for the accident depends on proving who’s at fault.

 

At times, it's pretty easy to tell who's at fault in an accident, while other times it might not be so clear. Nonetheless, whoever is at fault will have to deal with the damages and injuries caused. If it's a shared fault, where the injured person shares the blame for a car accident, the damage and injury compensation may be negatively affected. In some cases, if the injured person is equally to blame for a car accident, they may even not be eligible for any sort of compensation.
If you reside in a no-fault state, where the fault for an accident doesn’t have to be proven, the compensation for your car damage and injuries will be taken care of by your insurance company, no matter who's at fault.


In Case Multiple Passengers are Injured

 

In case of multiple passengers being injured in a car accident, the driver at fault, whether driving the same car the passengers were in or a different one, will have to face the insurance claims from all the injured passengers. If the driver's insurance doesn’t have enough to cover all expenses for injury compensation of multiple passengers, the claimants will have to settle for whatever amount they can get.


Similarly, if a pedestrian or a person riding a bicycle gets injured due to a car collision. The driver at fault will have to compensate for the medical expenses of all of their sustained injuries.


Insurance Coverage for Car Accidents

 

You need to know what kind of damage and injuries your insurance company can compensate for. There are general types of coverages usually offered by car insurance companies, some of which are as follows.


1.   Property Damage Liability (PDL)

 

This covers the damage you may have caused to another driver's car. This type of coverage only offers compensation for vehicle damage and does not include any sort of injury compensation.


2.   Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

 

Personal injury protection coverage is essential for drivers, it covers about 80% of your medical expenses due to the accident, and about 60% of your car damage expenses. However, if you suffer a major injury such as soft tissue damage, this type of coverage would not be able to compensate for the treatment expenses.


3.   Bodily Injury Liability (BIL)

 

This type of coverage turns out to be the best option in case of an accident. It will cover the expenses for the bodily injuries caused by a car accident, where you are at fault. Similarly, if someone else causes your injuries due to a car crash, they will be liable to pay for your expenses. In case you do not have this type of coverage and cause an accident, you will have to personally compensate for the injured person's medical expenses.


4.   Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist (UM)

 

This type of insurance coverage comes in handy if the driver at fault doesn’t have enough insurance or financial means to cover your expenses. This includes car and property damage, and injury compensations.


5.   Collision versus Comprehensive

 

Collision and comprehensive coverage take care of expenses due to accidents or natural disasters that can cause damage to your vehicle.


What Medical Expenses Does your Car Insurance Cover

 

Almost every car insurance policy covers medical expenses after a car accident. However, you should make sure that your car insurance covers all possible types of injuries that can take place during or after a car accident. These may include long-term and short-term injuries. Usually, the following types of medical expenses are compensated by car insurance.


• EMT and Ambulance fees
• Hospital stays
• Doctor's fees
• X-rays and other tests
• Surgery
• Nursing services
• Prosthetic limbs
• Dental expenses (If damage is caused by accident)
• Funeral cost

 

You need to make sure that you gather enough proof to claim compensation for your sustained injuries. This is why you should go to the hospital as soon as you can, after an accident. Make sure you keep the hospital bills and doctor's recommendations safe, as you will be needing them when making a claim.

 

A car accident may result in one or more injuries which can range in severity. You must be aware of exactly what type of injuries you have sustained in a car accident so you can make sure you get proper compensation for each of them. TMJ is a major injury caused by an accident. Most insurance companies will try to ignore this condition, and neglect compensation for it. However, its treatments may require surgery and hence, this condition must be brought to attention, and full compensation is given for it.

 

We do our best to avoid turmoil and awful circumstances, but unfortunately, we are faced with such challenges in our lives. Car accidents cannot be predicted under any circumstances, therefore, you must have the proper insurance coverages. Moreover, you should be aware of what your insurance covers and what it doesn’t cover. So that in case of a car accident, you don’t have to deal with the stress of financial losses as well as the medical losses. The trauma caused by an accident is already enough to deal with and you shouldn’t have to worry about dealing with financial matters. So, make sure you're always prepared for the worst.

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