Jaw Pain After A Car Accident

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Legally reviewed by Eric Feldman on May 30, 2022 Eric Feldman is a member of the 1-800-Injured network.

One of the most common injuries following a car accident is jaw pain. The sudden impact can cause the muscles and ligaments in the jaw to stretch or tear, resulting in pain and swelling. In some cases, the TMJ (temporomandibular joint) may be dislocated or fractured.

Common Causes of Jaw Pain

There are several different causes of jaw pain following a car accident, including:


Whiplash is a neck injury that occurs when the head is suddenly jerked forward or backward. This can damage the muscles, ligaments, and nerves in the neck and cause pain and stiffness. Whiplash is a common injury in car accidents, particularly in rear-end collisions.

Muscle Strain

The muscles in the jaw can be strained or torn during a car accident, even if the victim does not experience whiplash at the same time. This can lead to pain, stiffness, and swelling that will have a significant impact on a victim’s ability to eat, communicate, or sleep comfortably, among many other effects. Car accident impacts cause many different forces to act on the body, and depending on a seemingly infinite number of variables, each passenger in the vehicle can suffer from remarkably different symptoms and injuries.

TMJ Injury

The TMJ, or Temporomandibular Joint, is the joint that connects the lower jaw to the skull. It can be dislocated or fractured during a car accident. A TMJ injury is characterized by pain, clicking or popping sounds when the jaw is moved, difficulty opening or closing the mouth, and trouble sleeping or concentrating.

Dental Injury

A dental injury is any damage to the teeth, gums, or jaws. Car accidents can cause cracked, chipped, or broken teeth. In severe cases, the teeth may be knocked out entirely. Dental injuries can be extremely painful and require extensive treatment, which is often exceptionally costly. If someone else caused your accident, you should not be financially responsible for the cost of your dental care — or any of your other damages.


A concussion is a type of brain injury that occurs when the head is violently shaken. This can damage the brain and cause symptoms like headache, dizziness, and confusion. A concussion can also cause jaw pain, whether directly related to the same head trauma that caused the concussion or not.

Stress and Anxiety

The physical and emotional stress of a car accident can lead to jaw pain. This is often due to clenching or grinding of the teeth, which can worsen preexisting TMJ disorders. Stress and anxiety can also make existing muscle pain and stiffness worse, which in turn can cause an ongoing cycle of pain.

What To Do If You Experience Jaw Pain After an Accident

If you experience jaw pain following a car accident, it is important to seek medical attention right away. Your doctor will be able to diagnose the cause of your pain and recommend the appropriate treatment. In most cases, jaw pain from a car accident will resolve with time and rest. However, in some cases, more aggressive treatment may be necessary.

Calculating Damages Pertaining to Jaw Pain After a Car Accident

If you have been involved in a car accident and are suffering from jaw pain, there are a few things you can do to calculate the damages you may be owed. First, you will need to get a medical diagnosis of your condition and the extent of your injuries. This will usually involve getting x-rays or an MRI. Once you have a diagnosis, you can begin to calculate your damages.

Medical Bills

You will be able to recover the cost of any medical treatment you have received as a result of your injuries. This includes the cost of doctor’s visits, hospital stays, surgeries, prescription medications, and any other medical expenses.

Lost Wages

If your injuries have prevented you from working, you can recover the cost of lost wages. This includes both the wages you have already lost and any future wages you may lose because of your injuries.

Pain and Suffering

You can also recover damages for the physical pain and emotional suffering caused by your injuries. This is usually calculated as a multiple of your medical bills. 

Punitive Damages

In some cases, you may also be awarded punitive damages. These are designed to punish the at-fault party for their negligence and deter them from future negligent behavior. Punitive damages are usually only awarded in cases of severe injury or death, and your personal injury attorney will not be able to seek these damages — they are awarded by a judge or jury at the resolution of a trial.

If your lawyer believes that you are a strong candidate for punitive damages, they may encourage you to take your case to trial in order to seek this type of compensation.

Working With an Attorney After a Car Accident

An insurance company has the same goal as any other business: to make a profit. The problem is that this profit typically comes at your expense by the adjuster aggressively pushing you to settle your case for far less than what you are owed. Trying to work directly with an insurance company without legal representation can be difficult, frustrating, and often results in a lower settlement amount than you deserve.

If you have been injured in a car accident, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can help you understand your rights and options and ensure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries.

A personal injury attorney will also be able to investigate the accident and gather evidence to support your claim. In many cases, an attorney will be able to negotiate a higher settlement from the insurance company without having to go to court.

Looking For a Lawyer To Help With Your Case?

Contact 1-800-Injured as soon as possible to connect with an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area for a free consultation. During this consultation, the lawyer will review the facts of your case and help you understand your legal options. If you decide to hire a lawyer, they will work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you will not have to pay any upfront fees — the lawyer only gets paid if they recover compensation for you.

1-800-Injured is an attorney and medical referral service that can connect you with an attorney in your area. Call us today to request a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in your area who can help you make sense of your situation and get the money you rightfully deserve.