Yes, you can recover compensation for disfigurement from an accident. You may be entitled to compensation for both your financial and emotional losses.
What Can I Recover for My Disfigurement?
Determining how much you can claim in damages for your disfigurement depends on a few factors. Those factors include the nature of your accident and the type of injuries you incur. Disfiguring injuries can leave permanent scarring, physical limitations, or both. Common car accident disfigurements include:
- Facial fractures: Broken jaws, noses, and more
- Burn injuries and road rash: Road rash is more common in motorcycle accidents, but both motorcyclists and drivers are at risk for these injuries. Road rash is especially common on the arms, legs, and face.
- Soft tissue injuries: Ligaments, cartilage, tendons, muscles, and more can sustain injuries considered to be disfiguring depending on the severity.
Medical damages factor heavily into your compensation, which is understandable because medical care represents a significant expense if you were involved in a disfiguring Atlanta accident. And receiving treatment and obtaining pertinent documentation of your injuries and medical records is essential to collecting damages owed to you.
The following are among the damages you can claim:
- Ambulance fees
- Hospital bills
- Appointments with specialists
- Necessary medical equipment (crutches, neck braces, wheelchairs)
Of course, the costs of disfigurement do not end when you exit a hospital. Many disfiguring accidents require surgery or physical therapy. This plays a role in how much your scars and disfigurement are worth in an injury claim. For example, if you suffered severe burns, the cost of plastic surgery, skin grafts, etc. would be a large part of your claim. The same applies for amputees who require prosthetics. Maintaining documents listing these costs in your medical expenses is essential.
While reimbursing lost wages is important in any car accident, it is particularly important after a disfiguring accident. Lost wage compensation usually covers victims in two respects:
- Lost short-term income: This covers the immediate losses victims suffer. It is a basic calculation of your hourly wage and time missed at work.
- Lost earning potential: Accidents leave many victims unable to work or require career changes. If your injury forces you to stop working, reimbursing lost wages covers your current salary, expected career trajectory, and the amount of time you expected to continue working. If your injuries require a career change, lost earning potential could cover the cost of training for a new job. And if that new job pays less than your current job, you could be due the long-term salary difference as well.
Disfigurement is a life-changing event. And a person’s career often represents a significant portion of his identity. But disfigurement does not only have finite financial impacts. A disfiguring Atlanta accident leaves deep emotional scars as well.
The economic losses associated with car accident disfigurement are significant. In many cases, victims receive more for their noneconomic damages than they do for their economic. These losses include the psychological effect of your injuries on yourself and your family members.
Noneconomic damages you can claim in a disfigurement claim might include:
- Pain and suffering: Recovering from significant injuries is a physically and emotionally taxing process. And you deserve compensation for it. Pain and suffering is not a straightforward damage to quantify and varies depending on the length of your recovery and the extent of your injuries. For example, if your disfigurement limits your ability to walk without pain, you will likely receive more in pain and suffering than someone whose disfigurement left them with a slight limp.
- Loss of self-confidence, social anxiety: A disfiguring injury can have detrimental effects on a person’s self-confidence. If the disfiguring injury is one that is especially apparent (e.g., facial disfigurement), it can cause the accident victim to suffer from anxiety in social situations or feel humiliation due to how their injury has affected their appearance.
- Loss of consortium: Disfigurement often leads to more than medical expenses and inability to work. In many case, it leaves victims unable to interact with friends and family as they did prior to their accident. For example, if you are unable to show your spouse or your children affection because of your disfiguring injuries, you can recover compensation for loss of consortium on their behalf.
Call an Atlanta Accident Attorney Today
Every accident is a traumatic event. But accidents resulting in disfigurement take the trauma to another level. If you or someone you love was involved in an accident recently, we hope you reach out to S. Burke Law. Serving you is our only goal, and we hope we can provide the legal guidance you need. Call us at 404-842-7838.