Following a car or truck accident, any sort of catastrophic or permanent injury will increase the value of a claim. After all, the costs of treating a person with a life-long condition or permanent disability are significantly higher than treating and curing a less serious injury. A person with a permanent physical disability may need care and assistance for a lifetime.
However, when a car, truck, or motorcycle crash results in permanent scarring or disfigurement which doesn't technically affect the victim’s abilities, will he or she be entitled to a higher settlement? Probably, but will need strong legal representation.
How Vehicle Accidents Can Cause Disfigurement
Occupants of cars and motorcycles are at risk of suffering various catastrophic injuries in a collision. Broken bones, traumatic brain injury, and spinal cord damage can all have serious and permanent consequences for the victim.
Vehicle crashes can also result in facial trauma and disfiguring scars in the following ways:
- Burns. Violent crashes, especially those involving a truck transporting flammable materials, can result in explosions and fires. A person trapped in a burning car is likely to suffer burns to his face will that require skin grafts. While some damage can be repaired, the victim may carry disfiguring scars for a lifetime.
- Bone fractures. There are more than 14 bones in the face, and fractures are a common result of a collision. When facial bones are broken, reconstructive surgery is often required. While victims may successfully regain function, their appearances are usually changed permanently—and not for the better.
- Lacerations. Shattered glass or road debris can impact a face, causing multiple deep cuts, some requiring stitches. Lacerations can cause significant scarring that will never completely go away, creating a changed appearance.
- Eye injuries. It's possible for a projectile to penetrate the eye in a collision. A victim may lose that eye, resulting in partial blindness and lifelong disfigurement. Fractures of the eye sockets can also cause a dramatic change in appearance.
- Soft tissue injuries. Damage to facial ligaments, cartilage, tendons, or muscles are the most common craniofacial injuries suffered in car crashes. These types of injury can impair facial features and function and may be irreparable.
Because a person’s face is always visible, it's impossible to completely conceal facial scars and injuries. Even when these injuries don’t affect facial function such as speech, blinking, chewing, smiling, yawning, tear and saliva production, and more, the physical disfigurement can be life-altering.
What Facial Scarring Can Cost the Victim
Craniofacial injuries often result in loss of important facial functions, which can be documented and submitted as part of an injury claim. However, when no permanent loss of function occurs, it can be more difficult to calculate damages. Facial disfigurement and scarring can cause significant pain and suffering, affecting the victim in the following ways:
- Poor self-image
- Loss of confidence
- Loss of job or inability to find employment
- Constant reminder of car crash trauma
- Decrease in social interaction
- Stares and comments from strangers
It's not easy to calculate non-economic damages such as these and, without qualified legal representation, victims are often cheated out of the compensation they deserve.
How to Recover Fair Damages
If you or a loved one has suffered disfiguring facial injuries in a car crash, you'll need the assistance of a legal team experienced in calculating and negotiating for non-economic damages. Your attorney will consult with your doctors and plastic surgeons in order to understand and quantify the extent of your physical injuries. He'll also arrange for you to be evaluated by a therapist who can assess the emotional and psychological effects the injuries have had on you. An economic expert can determine the potential losses you face in your career field because of scars. Another factor your legal team will consider is the loss of potential relationships and social interactions you could suffer because of the changes to your appearance.
The insurance adjuster for the at-fault driver in your accident won't be sympathetic to your potential non-economic losses. Don't accept a settlement offer without talking to an attorney. You deserve more—don’t settle for less. Contact us online or call us directly at 888.348.2616.