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Deviated Septum after a Car Accident

ambulence in front of a car accident

An often overlooked (and vulnerable) area of the body injured in car accidents is the nose. Made of small bones and delicate cartilage, the nose is especially sensitive to the powerful force applied by a car’s airbags. One of the most common nasal injuries sustained in a car accident is a deviated septum. 

What is the nasal septum?

The septum is a piece of cartilage and bone that divides the nose into two sides. You’ll feel it on the top of your nose running down to the nostrils. While the septum divides the nose, it does not always create equal sides. Many people have some degree of an uneven septum from birth, and, generally, they will never experience issues because of it.

What is a deviated septum?

A person’s lifelong (slightly) deviated septum on its own might not be cause for alarm. However, when the sudden impact of a car accident pushes the cartilage out of place, you should seek immediate medical attention.

How do I know I have a deviated septum?

You may be able to identify your injury by watching for the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing on one or both sides of the nose
  • Swelling of the nose
  • Headaches
  • Nosebleeds
  • Nasal congestion
  • Noisy breathing
  • Sleep apnea
  • Snoring

However, the only way to definitively determine your injuries is to seek emergency medical attention at the time of the crash.

How is a deviated septum diagnosed?

A healthcare provider will likely perform a physical exam of your nose. He or she may look at the outside of your nose and shine a light into your nostril to check for damage. In some cases, you’ll need to visit an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist or even a plastic surgeon.

How is a deviated septum treated?

As stated earlier, many people have deviated septums without having had an injury. If your symptoms are severe, however, a doctor may recommend a nasal surgery called a septoplasty. A septoplasty is a one to two hour procedure after which the patient can go home. A surgeon uses general anesthesia before repairing the damaged cartilage and bone. 

What compensation can I get for a deviated septum as a result of a car accident?

After an accident, a victim can sue for compensatory damages (monetary compensation for your losses) of different types.

  • Medical Bills: Perhaps the most common form of damages, medical expenses are frequently a large financial strain on the victim. Medical damages will cover the cost of the immediate treatment. In some cases, an experienced personal Injury attorney can obtain future expenses for continuing and lifelong treatment.
  • Lost Wages: Accident victims who need time off to recover from their injuries entirely can sue for lost wages. For the more extreme cases, such as long term disability, or being forced to change careers entirely, you may be entitled to the loss of future income as a result of your injuries.
  • Pain and Suffering: Damages that compensate victims for emotional distress. These are non-economic results of an accident that leave victims with long-lasting trauma.
  • Punitive Damages: A form of compensation awarded to the victim of personal injury assessed solely to punish the defendant. These damages are uncommon, as the victim must prove the offender’s intent or willful misconduct. 

How do I file a personal injury claim?

Navigating the legal system after a crash should be the last thing on your mind. Hiring an attorney will ensure you get the best settlement possible. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Maginnis Howard offer free consultations for personal injury cases. In preparation for a meeting with a lawyer, you should prepare to share details of the case and potential documents such as bills, medical records, and evidence relevant to your claim. 

If we are able to help, your attorney will guide you through the process of filing a claim, reaching a settlement or in some cases, even going to trial. You can contact our lead personal injury attorney Shawn Howard by calling our office at (919) 526-0450 or submit an email request through our contact page.