Can TMJ Be Caused by an Accident?
Car accidents are a common cause of a TMJ injury, but any accident that results in jarring or knocking your head can cause a TMJ injury. The TMJ can be injured by other causes, but a TMJ lawyer knows that trauma from an accident is a common cause of TMJ injury.
Insurance claim reps often try to claim that a TMJ injury was caused by other causes.
What is TMJ?
The Temporomandibular joint is also referred to as the TMJ or the TM joint. There are two TM joints in your jaw that allow your jaw to open and close.
TMJ is often used to refer to the disorder, dysfunction, or malfunction of the TMJ or TM Joint.
Injury to the TMJ is usually called Temporomandibular joint syndrome, temporomandibular joint dysfunction, or temporomandibular joint disorder.
What Type of Doctor Do I Need for TMJ Treatment?
TMJ disorder is usually treated by a dentist or oral surgeon. TMJ disorder is intricate, and It is important to find a highly experienced specialist in TMJ disorder.
As TMJ injury lawyers, we have often used a nationally recognized TMJ specialist in Long Island, as well as TMJ specialists in New York City.
Is TMJ Treatment Covered By Insurance?
TMJ treatment is fully covered by New York No-Fault insurance if you have a TMJ injury due to a car accident.
If you have a TMJ disorder from another type of accident, your insurance may cover TMJ treatment.
Does Arthritis Mean My TMJ Was Not Caused By an Accident?
No. Insurance company claims representatives love to argue that the claimant or plaintiff has arthritis and that the:
- TMJ injury is worth less money because of arthritis, or the
- TMJ injury was caused by arthritis, not the accident.
TMJ lawyers know this is false. Insurance claim reps point to the fact that arthritis is mentioned on radiological and other medical records. But arthritis begins at a rather early age, and trauma from an accident will cause arthritis or cause existing arthritis to get worse.
A TMJ lawyer can easily dispute this argument using your medical records that can answer two questions:
- Did the accident victim make any complaints, prior to the accident, to any other dentist or doctor about TMJ pain or symptoms?
- Did the accident victim make any complaints, after the accident, to any other dentist or doctor about TMJ pain or symptoms?
A doctor who is a TMJ specialist will write a narrative report and testify at trial if necessary, that your TMJ injury was caused by the accident and how the TMJ specialist determined that.
TMJ Symptoms That Cause Pain
One or more of the following symptoms can indicate the presence of a TMJ a/k/a Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction or Disorder:
- Pain, tenderness, or a dull, aching of the jaw or side of your face or around your ear
- Pain, difficulty, or discomfort when you chew, speak, or yawn
- Swelling on the side of the face
- Sore, stiff muscles around your jaws
- Feeling as if the upper and lower teeth do not match together properly
- Difficulty or pain while opening or closing the mouth
- Limited ability to open your mouth normally
- Locking of the jaw while either opening or closing
- Grinding or clenching your teeth
- Clicking, popping, or grating sound when opening or closing your mouth
- Headaches (frequent)
- Ringing in your ear (tinnitus)
- Toothaches which are undiagnosed
- Neck pain
- Upper shoulder pain
If you had an accident and experience any of these symptoms, call for a free consultation with no obligation, and we can help you obtain a diagnosis from a TMJ specialist. Call the the 1-800-HURT-911® TMJ Lawyers on the Personal Injury Dream Team™ in New York right now 7 days/nights at 1-800-HURT-911 >> 1-800-487-8911
Video Explaining TMJ Injury and Treatment Options (9:22)
When Your TMJ Injury Doesn’t Go Away Soon after an Accident
A TMJ injury is very serious because the two joints are connected and control the matching of teeth in the upper jaw with the teeth and the lower jaw. When the two joints are damaged or out of alignment, wear-and-tear is accelerated causing an increased intensity of the symptoms.
When a TMJ injury occurs after an accident, it is important to get immediate treatment with a TMJ specialist to prevent further injury from continuous wearing on the TM joints.
Imagine a car being out of alignment causing the tires to wear out. If not corrected, the tires continue to wear until they are dangerous and unusable. When the TM joints start wearing, they get out of alignment. Both the wear on the joint and the misalignment combine to increase pain.
A TMJ injury can cause many symptoms, all of which are quite serious. Just imagine going through a lifetime with these injuries and the knowledge that they will likely increase over time. Even if a TMJ injury is corrected with surgery, traumatic arthritis will result and additional surgery may be required years later.
Neck Pain, Headaches, and Other Injuries May Be Misdiagnosed and May Be a TMJ Injury
When the TMJ is injured, symptoms are often misdiagnosed and mistaken for other injuries.
Early recognition of TMJ symptoms and early diagnosis is crucial to prevent a much more serious TMJ injury. Failure to timely diagnose TMJ symptoms as a TMJ injury can lead to the injury getting worse and the necessity of open joint surgery for TMJ, when maybe arthroscopic TMJ surgery would have been sufficient or maybe just therapeutic treatment.
Even if properly diagnosed soon after an accident, a TMJ injury is very serious and may eventually need to be treated with arthroscopic surgery. In very serious TMJ cases, even if diagnosed early, open joint surgery may become necessary.
We have had clients who came to the 1-800-HURT-911® TMJ Lawyers in New York after being represented by other personal injury lawyers where the clients’ TMJ symptoms were misdiagnosed as a neck injury and treated over an extended period of time for neck pain by a neurologist.
We correctly suspected that the neck pain was actually a symptom of a TMJ injury that needed to be treated by an oral surgeon specializing in TMJ. We referred our clients to a dentist who specializes in TMJ. In only one of these cases were we wrong and the TMJ specialist said it was a neck injury.
What Type of Lawyer Do I Need for a TMJ Injury?
If you were injured in an accident and know that you have a TMJ injury or have any of the TMJ symptoms listed on this page, you should call a personal injury lawyer / TMJ lawyer. You’re in the right place. We have represented many people who have a TMJ injury from an accident.
How Much is a TMJ Injury Settlement Worth?
Because a TMJ injury is serious, these are valuable injuries. Following are 3 examples of clients the 1-800-HURT-911® TMJ Lawyers in New York represented for a TMJ injury:
$1.3 Million Verdict for Bilateral TMJ Surgery
Our client had bilateral arthroscopic TMJ surgery and subsequently underwent open joint surgery on one side, we turned down an offer of $200,000, and at trial, a Nassau County jury returned a verdict of $1.3 million which was reduced to $567,000. The insurance defense lawyer for State Farm unsuccessfully tried to argue that the TMJ injury was caused by a lifetime of poor dental care.
$135,000 Settlement for Arthroscopic TMJ Surgery
Our client was represented for two years by another attorney. Her no-fault benefits were denied early on, and she could not afford to get arthroscopic surgery. But her dentist who was treating her for her TMJ injury said she urgently needed arthroscopic surgery on one side to prevent the injury from getting worse.
Her personal injury attorney wrote numerous letters, without success, to the no-fault insurance company trying to get them to reverse their no-fault denial and approve the TMJ surgery. Unfortunately, her personal injury attorney was unfamiliar with a TMJ injury and how to get no-fault insurance to reverse a denial.
Her friend recommended that she call us. We were able to re-open her no-fault file, and within two months we got the no-fault insurance company to approve her TMJ surgery. We then settled her TMJ case for $135,000.
$225,000 Settlement for Arthroscopic TMJ Surgery
Our client was injured in a car accident by a car that was insured for $250,000, and he underwent arthroscopic surgery for TMJ. We settled the TMJ case for $225,000.
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What Type of Accidents Cause a TMJ Injury?
We most commonly see TMJ injuries caused by car accidents. A TMJ injury can be caused in a car accident when a person’s head is knocked against the window or steering wheel, but it can also be caused only by whiplash.
TMJ injuries are also often caused by Motorcycle accidents, Bicycle accidents, Pedestrian accidents, Slip and Fall accidents, Trip and Fall Accidents, and just about any other type of accident where you hit your head or suffer whiplash.
How Do I Know If Should I See a TMJ Specialist?
If you have any of the TMJ symptoms listed above, you may have a TMJ injury.
If you neck pain together with any of the TMJ symptoms listed above, consider seeing a TMJ specialist.
If you have been treated for neck pain for a long time without any relief, you may want to confirm whether or not you have a TMJ injury, especially before you consider neck surgery.
What Type of Doctor Should I See for a TMJ Injury?
If you think you have a TMJ Injury, you should see a dentist or oral surgeon specializing in TMJ. If you do not have a TMJ Injury, the dentist or oral surgeon specializing in TMJ will tell you to see a doctor for another injury, probably a neck injury.
Where Can I Find Information About TMJ Injuries?
See TMJ Injuries at the HURT911.org® library.
What Should I Do if I Think I Have a TMJ Injury?
Call the 1-800-HURT-911® TMJ Lawyers in New York and the Personal Injury Dream Team™ right now 7 days/nights for a free consultation with no obligation at 1-800-HURT-911 >> 1-800-487-8911
Phil Franckel is well-known in New York and has been a personal injury lawyer since 1989. He is a Founding Partner of 1-800-HURT-911, LLP®, the Personal Injury Dream Team™, and a former Member Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. He has an Avvo Top 10 Rating, Avvo Client’s Choice Award with all 5-star reviews, Avvo Top Contributor Award, Multi-Million Dollar Trial Lawyers Award, and others. See Mr. Franckel’s bio for areas of expertise.
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