One of the most devastating effects of a personal injury is permanent scarring or disfigurement. This is much more than a physical injury, as victims may experience significant psychological and emotional trauma.
If you were injured by another’s negligence and have suffered permanent disfigurement or scarring, you may be eligible to recover compensation. Friedman, Domiano and Smith’s Cleveland personal injury lawyers help injured victims secure full compensation for their injuries and damages.
Hiring an experienced law firm can give you an advantage in the legal process, particularly when it comes to securing compensation for non-economic damages. Our firm has decades of experience and a successful track record.
Give us a call. We are ready to assist you with the legal process: 216-621-0070.
Personal Injury Accidents That May Result in Disfigurement or Scarring
There are numerous ways personal injury incidents can scar victims or cause permanent disfigurement:
- Car or commercial truck collisions – These accidents can cause vehicle occupants to suffer lacerations from jagged metal or glass. Surgery to repair these injuries may also leave scars. Scarring or disfigurement may also result from limbs getting pinned under something and being crushed, which may be more likely in a head-on collision.
- Motorcycle crashes – A collision could cause severe road rash, as riders may get dragged along the pavement. Riders could also suffer scarring if they hit the pavement at high speed.
- Pedestrian accidents – While motorcyclists may have some limited protection from physical harm if they wear a helmet or protective clothing, pedestrians have none of that. Getting hit by a car often results in catastrophic injuries that may be accompanied by scarring or disfigurement.
- Dog bites – Dog bites can permanently scar the body. Some dogs’ claws can also leave significant damage.
- Explosions or fires – These may result from car accidents or fires that break out on another’s property. Third-degree burns may require skin grafts, leaving the area severely disfigured.
- Slip and fall incidents – Falls from staircases or other areas that are high off the ground could result in various injuries. Even falling while walking could result in a serious scar if you hit something sharp on the way down.
- Defective product injuries – Some products could cut users or cause serious burns, even though the products are being used as directed.
3 Types of Permanent Scarring From a Personal Injury
Scars to the body can be divided into three main categories:
- Keloid – A keloid often develops because of rapid healing. The scar expands beyond the site of the injury and may inhibit movement of the affected body part or limb. Doctors may be able to use liquid nitrogen to freeze the scar to make It fall off. Others may need surgery to try to remove or minimize scarring. People who have a darker complexion may be more likely to develop keloids.
- Contracture – Contractures usually happen with a burn injury. As the affected skin heals, a scar may form and tighten the skin so much that it limits mobility. In some cases, contractures damage muscles and nerves.
- Hypertrophic – Thick, red scars that rise above the skin are known as hypertrophic scars. These tend to be easier to treat than keloids.
What Are the Types of Disfigurement?
Disfigurement refers to any scar or deformity that affects your appearance. Disfigurement includes significant scarring, severe burn injuries, amputations and facial injuries (damage to eyes, ears, mouth, and teeth, such as broken bones) that significantly change your appearance.
How Do I Document Scarring or Disfigurement?
The challenge with recovering compensation for scarring and disfigurement is these are non-economic damages. You can document the cost of damages like medical care and lost wages, but the damages from scarring or disfigurement are psychological and emotional. There is no objective measurement for this kind of trauma, the value of these damages is highly subjective and based on the victim’s experiences.
Some of the psychological/emotional side effects of scarring or disfigurement include:
- Social isolation
- Low self-esteem
These issues can make it difficult to maintain relationships, go to work, get married and enjoy the activities you enjoyed before your injury. This could include recreational activities like playing sports, going to concerts or other events with crowds, or even going shopping with friends.
Victims need to document the emotional challenges they face to help establish their value in a claim for compensation. An experienced lawyer can explain how to do that, including by maintaining a journal with daily entries about your pain and suffering.
It is important to tell your doctors about the challenges you are dealing with. Your doctors will take note of this in your medical records. Treatment notes from appointments with mental health professionals can also support your claim for compensation.
It is important to note some damages from scarring and disfigurement may be easier to document. For example, a scar around a joint can inhibit your range of motion. This can make it harder to do certain jobs. A similar point can be made about issues like nerve damage.
It may be easier to document damages from the loss of a limb, as it is tough for insurance companies to deny physical limitations from this type of injury.
Evaluating a Scarring or Disfigurement Claim
The value of a scarring and disfigurement claim is based on numerous factors. Insurance companies and juries tend to place a higher value on claims for scarring that is visible even when the victim is wearing clothes. Women and younger people may also be more likely to recover more compensation. This is because it is assumed these two groups suffer greater damage from disfigurement or permanent scarring.
Another factor is the location of the injury, as injuries to the face or hands may have a higher value than injuries to other body parts. This is not just because of appearance, as injuries to the hands could affect the ability to work.
Claimants whose jobs rely on their physical appearance may also be eligible to recover more compensation, such as models.
Call Friedman, Domiano and Smith For Legal Assistance After a Personal Injury
Personal injuries can impact various aspects of your life besides your physical health. For example, scars and permanent disfigurement from a personal injury can cause devastating emotional trauma.
Friedman, Domiano and Smith has been representing the injured in Ohio for over 40 years. We have the resources and legal experience to build a robust case to advocate for your interests throughout the legal process.
Free consultation and no upfront fees. Call us at: 216-621-0070.
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