Can You File a Personal Injury Lawsuit That Includes Damages For Scarring and Disfigurement?
Some personal injuries will affect victims for the rest of their lives. In addition to physical disabilities, victims may also be left with permanent scarring or disfigurement.
Having a permanent scar can cause depression, anxiety and other mental health issues as victims try to cope with their new physical appearance.
Disfigurement or scarring can also affect the victim’s willingness to enter social situations, which can affect quality of life.
If you or your loved one suffered permanent scarring or disfigurement because of another’s negligence, contact TSR Injury Law today. Our Minneapolis personal injury lawyers may be able to help you seek compensation. Our firm has a history of results, having secured more than $1 billion for our clients.
Have questions after an injury? Call us: (612) TSR-TIME.
What Types of Incidents Can Cause Scarring and Disfigurement?
There are many types of accidents that could result in permanent scarring or disfigurement.
Car and Truck Crashes
Broken glass and sharp metal can cause deep cuts called lacerations. Victims often have scars from the injury and usually from the surgery as well.
If the crash causes an explosion or a fire starts, victims could suffer severe burns. This tends to be more likely if the victim happens to get trapped in the vehicle during the accident. This could happen if your leg gets pinned under the dashboard or the damage to your vehicle is so severe you cannot open your door.
Permanent injuries are more likely to happen in a commercial truck crash. The force of impact during these collisions is so powerful, passenger vehicles don’t stand much of a chance. This could result in amputations and severe crush injuries.
Dog attacks can cause serious, even life-threatening injuries. While immediate treatment may prevent serious consequences, victims may be permanently scarred from a bite.
Fires and Explosions
If you are in another person’s property and a fire breaks out, you could be severely burned and need skin grafts. If it is possible the fire started due to the negligence of the property owner, you could be entitled to compensation.
Defective Product Incidents
We trust product designers and manufacturers to produce safe products that do not carry an unreasonable risk of injury. However, manufacturers and designers often fail to uphold this legal duty and consumers can suffer severe injuries as a result.
Falls and Other Accidents on Another’s Property
Slip and fall accidents are serious situations that often result in severe injuries. If you fall from high off the ground, you could suffer puncture wounds and severe fractures. As doctors treat the injury, permanent scarring may follow.
What are the Types of Scarring You Could Suffer in an Accident?
Scars develop when the skin is damaged, either from an injury or because of surgery. Minor scars may not leave a permanent mark, but anything more serious is sure to remain on your body for a long period of time.
There are three main types of scars that remain on the body after the underlying injury has healed.
These are dark, round scars that could inhibit movement in part of the body where they are located. It is sometimes possible to freeze the scar with liquid nitrogen and it will scab up and flake off. In more serious cases, surgery may be necessary. Doctors may also recommend steroids. Keloids commonly affect those who have a darker complexion.
These are scars that are usually associated with a burn injury. These scars form as the skin comes together and can affect your mobility. It is also possible for a contracture scar to affect muscle tissue and nerves.
These are red, thick scars that protrude above the skin. Keloids are often more difficult to treat than hypertrophic scars.
What is Disfigurement?
Scarring is just one aspect of disfigurement. Any scar, deformity or blemish that changes your appearance could be classified as a disfiguring injury. A severe burn injury, particularly to your face or another body part that is hard to cover up would be considered a disfiguring injury.
Disfigurement also includes the loss of a limb or an unusually shaped body part. While doctors can provide treatment to save the victim’s life, they may not be able to prevent the formation of scars and changes to the victim’s appearance.
Changes in your appearance that you cannot fix can lead to a variety of psychological and emotional troubles. People may develop a negative body image, develop low self-esteem, hide from other people, and suffer with depression and anxiety. These changes can also affect your ability to work.
Disfigurement creates a permanent physical reminder of the trauma you went through. This can cause prolonged emotional problems that can be difficult to manage.
Documenting Damages Caused by Scarring and Disfigurement
One of the challenges of recovering compensation for scarring and disfigurement is proving the value of your damages. Much of the damage from scarring and disfigurement is emotional and hard to place a value on.
Your attorney will need to work with you to gather strong evidence to prove your claim. Some of the evidence that may be used could include the following:
- Medical records and bills showing the extent of your injury and the cost of treating it
- Treatment notes from mental health professionals who have provided counseling
- Cosmetic surgery records, if you chose to get surgery to try to fix the damage
- Pictures of the injury
- Journal entries from the victim in which he or she explains the psychological toll of the injury
- Testimony from friends and family members about how you have changed since the injury
- And more
What is the Value of a Scarring and Disfigurement Claim?
Your lawyer may be able to seek compensation for the following damages:
- Cost of the initial treatment of your injury
- Pain and suffering
- Lost enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship
- Bills for cosmetic surgery
- Compensation for mental health counseling
- And more
The value of the case is going to depend on numerous factors, including:
- Location of the scar – A scar on your face, neck or hands is probably going to have a higher value than a scar on another body part.
- Documentation about the change in quality of life – If the scarring or disfigurement affects your mobility you may have more trouble completing daily tasks you used to do.
- Whether you are a man or woman – While each case is different, scarring may be viewed as a more significant injury for a woman than for a man.
- Visibility of the scar – If the scar can be easily hidden under clothing, it may be harder to claim significant compensation.
- Victim’s age – The younger you are, the more your claim for scarring and disfigurement is likely to be worth. Although the injury is still significant no matter how old you are, it is going to be harder to recover significant compensation if you are older. This is especially true if you are retired or close to retirement.
Were You Seriously Injured by Another’s Negligence? Call TSR
Our attorneys have been helping injured victims for decades, securing favorable compensation through settlement negotiations and in the courtroom. We know you probably have many questions, and we are here to help.
Our services are provided on contingency, which means there are no upfront fees. We do not get paid unless we recover compensation on your behalf.
TSR Injury Law. Experienced. Local. Lawyers. Call (612) TSR-TIME.