When your injuries have healed into scars, you assume you finished recovering. However, scarring can become an injury in its own right and even cause further complications and misery.
How does scarring after a car accident affect me?
Even with the best of care, some wounds will leave scars. The location and severity of the scars are two factors that contribute to the cause of further damages.
Scars located on body creases like elbow and knee joints can make movement painful if the scars are very thick. When scars form near the mouth or the eyes, they can impair vision, eating, or speech. The location of the scarring can also cause embarrassment if they are on a highly visible part of the body.
People whose faces have scarring from an accident may suffer the most emotional damages. Extra time with makeup or additional plastic surgery may be necessary to restore your previous looks. Burn victims are often on the receiving end of these types of scarring complications and associated mental trauma.
If the scars are embarrassing or make movement difficult, you may find yourself reluctant to go out in public or unable to enjoy your previous hobbies.
How does scarring affect my ability to collect damages from an accident?
The risk of scarring and disfigurement should be a consideration when estimating your accident damages. If your injuries heal and the scars have already formed, before you accept a settlement, you should work with your lawyer to determine the impact those scars can have on your life.
If your injuries are still healing, you need to discuss your recovery with your doctor. Ask your doctor if plastic surgery will be necessary to reduce the risk of scarring or correct disfigurement. Your lawyer will include these costs in your compensation. If the scarring cannot be corrected or reduced, you need to consider how the scars will change the rest of your life.
There are two types of damages scarring can create in addition to the rest of your injury settlement:
- Future medical care if corrective or plastic surgery is necessary to alleviate motion difficulty or disfigurement.
- Emotional damages if your scars are prominent and cause you emotional distress, including depression or becoming reclusive.
When calculating these damages, your lawyer looks at them in regard to the cost of the medical care as well as any therapy you may require for your mental health. Additionally, scarring might qualify you for pain and suffering damages, assessment of which occurs when an injury causes mental anguish and loss of enjoyment of life.
How can a lawyer help prove my scarring caused additional damages?
Max Meyers Law has seen firsthand how scarring can affect an accident victim's life in the long-term. From burns to deep lacerations, these injuries leave behind lifetime reminders of the accident and can add to your trauma. We help our clients document the impact the scars have had in their life, problems such as:
- Avoiding social events
- Buying new clothing or changing dress to cover scars
- More time/money spent on makeup/lotions
- Physical discomfort and limitations
Through your medical records, we can prove your injuries received proper treatment, and scarring was unavoidable. If you underwent plastic surgery to reduce scarring, we include that in your complaint for damages. Finally, we can bring in a medical expert to testify on how scarring of your degree can cause physical and emotional pain that lasts beyond the initial injuries.
Scarring can also impair your ability to work, especially if your appearance was a significant part of your career such as modeling. If the scars cause you to lose your job or take a lower paying position, they might factor into your wage loss and loss of earning capacity damages as well.
Schedule a free consultation with Max Meyers Law to review your situation and develop an estimate of how the scars will impact your long-term health and happiness. Contact Max Meyers Law online or by calling 425-399-7000.