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Broken Nose from Automobile Collisions


Facial trauma such as a broken nose is a common injury sustained in car accidents. There are many ways this can occur in an accident. For example, when an airbag deploys or the driver hits his or her head on the steering wheel. It’s important to treat nasal fractures immediately to stop excessive bleeding and ultimately prevent future complications.

Symptoms of a Broken Nose

Trauma to the face can be incredibly painful, and in some cases you might even hear a cracking sound. In order to determine if your nose is truly broken, look for the following symptoms:

  • Swelling
  • Pain and tenderness at the injury site
  • Bleeding
  • Bruising of the nose and under the eyes (some victims may appear to have two “black eyes”)
  • Change in the appearance of the nose (lopsided or crooked)
  • Difficultly breathing through one or both nasal passages
  • Mucus discharge from the nose

In some cases, symptoms don’t arise until days after the accident.

Diagnosing a Broken Nose

After an accident, you should seek medical attention, even if your injuries don’t appear to be life-threatening. Only a doctor can properly assess your injuries and diagnose you with a broken nose.

To do so, your doctor will put gentle pressure on the outside of your nose and visually examine the nose and surrounding areas. In extreme cases, your doctor may request an X-ray to confirm the presence of other injuries.

Treatment of a Broken Nose

Once diagnosed, a doctor will advise you to use ice and ibuprofen to manage the swelling and pain. When icing your nose, wrap an ice pack in a towel and gently apply to the wound for 10 minutes at a time.

In some cases, your doctor will manually realign the broken bones and cartilage back into their original place. If you allow the bones to heal on their own, they will likely repair themselves in the wrong location.

Generally, broken noses do not require immediate surgery. If you sought proper medical attention shortly after your injury, you likely will not need surgery. This is because having a doctor’s oversight will judge the best time to move the broken bones back into place. Once the healing process has begun, it is much more difficult to relocate the bones.

Much of the treatment of a broken nose involves waiting. Often, you’ll have to wait a week for the swelling to go down and the realignment to take place. However, you should seek immediate attention if you experience any of the following:

  • Difficultly breathing
  • Profuse bleeding
  • Signs of a neck injury
  • Signs of a traumatic brain injury (loss of consciousness, vomiting or changes in vision)
  • Clear fluid from the nose

A victim also should seek prompt care if there appears to be a significant change in the nose’s appearance that does not seem to be caused by swelling.

Representation for Broken Noses 

If you’ve suffered a broken nose from a North Carolina automobile collision caused by another driver’s negligence, you are entitled to compensation for the damages you’ve incurred. Maginnis Howard’s lead personal injury attorney, T. Shawn Howard has experience handling complex personal injury cases and has recovered millions.

All personal injury matters are handled on a contingency basis – meaning that you do not pay any attorneys’ fee unless and until we make a recovery on your behalf. You can contact us at 919.526.0450. Email inquiries may be sent to utilizing our contact page.