A negligent driver collided with you not long ago here in San Diego, and now you’re dealing with the consequences. Perhaps one of the injuries you incurred was to the temporomandibular joint, the joint that connects your jaw to the skull. TMJ disorders can be severe and cost you a lot in treatment, but fortunately, you have the right to seek compensation from the other driver’s insurance company.

When TMJ injuries are caused by crashes

Car accidents are not the only way that TMJ disorders arise. Among crash-related causes, though, the most common would be whiplash. This is a neck condition that arises in rear-end collisions, where the force of impact causes the neck to violently snap back and forth. This same impact can cause the jaw to open and can put more pressure on the TMJ on both sides, injuring one or both joints.

Others may develop a TMJ disorder after striking their jaw on the dashboard or steering wheel. Still others may suffer after having their jaw hit by the airbag.

Symptoms and treatment options

Those who suffer a TMJ injury may experience difficulty eating and chewing. Even opening their mouth widely can become impossible without pain. They may notice that the side of their face where the TMJ is affected may swell. Their pain may even spread to the face, neck and shoulders. In other cases, victims will have earaches, become dizzy or lose their hearing.

One may need to visit the dentist or an ear, nose and throat specialist to have a TMJ disorder diagnosed. Doctors may recommend a diverse range of treatments, such as:

• Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
• Orthodontic work
• Facial massages
• Heat and ice treatments
• Surgery when all else fails

Legal assistance for injury victims

If you were not responsible for the accident, then you may file a personal injury claim and seek compensation for your past and future medical expenses, lost wages and other losses. An attorney may help you with every crucial step, including the gathering of evidence against the defendant and the negotiating of a settlement with the insurance company.