Yes, you can get compensation for a permanent scar from a car accident. Scarring is not something people commonly associate with vehicle accidents, but it occurs more often than we realize, particularly in motorcycle accidents. While all accidents are expensive and traumatic, permanent scars often place even more stress and anxiety on victims.
One of the issues victims with permanent scarring face is that treatment is not as simple as visiting a doctor and undergoing rehabilitation. It involves living with a life-altering feature. You deserve compensation for the financial burden and emotional toll your scarring has placed on you.
Collecting Medical Damages for a Permanent Scar
Medical bills and other related damages are typically the first things people consider after an accident. As with every car accident, you may be entitled to all of the following:
- Hospital bills
- Ambulance costs
- Appointments with specialists
- Rehabilitation and chiropractors
However, the difference between permanent scars and most car accident injuries is that your needs are not simply met with simple doctor’s visits and rehabilitation. Permanent scarring often requires extensive surgeries, skin grafts, and more. These procedures are as important for helping return your life to normalcy as the previously mentioned medical costs are. But these cosmetic procedures are often more expensive than your initial treatments and rehabilitation.
Collecting Lost Wages
A permanent scar can also lead you to miss work. Some of this missed time may be part of your initial recovery. Some of the lost wages may be due to doctor’s and rehab appointments you needed to attend.
You are entitled to compensation for any effect your injuries have had on your ability to make a living.
These damages reimburse you for your immediate lost income. It is essentially a calculation of your hourly wages and time missed at work.
Lost Earning Capacity
This is a bit more complex to calculate. In some cases, your injuries and scarring may require a career change or prevent you from working at all, depending on your profession.
For example, a model with a permanent facial scar will likely need to find a new line of work. A carpenter with contractures (i.e., a rigid scar that limits mobility) on his hands might need to consider a new trade.
Lost long-term income is essentially a calculation of your lost earning potential. If you must change careers, you would be due the cost of training for your new career and the difference in salaries between each job.
Collecting Noneconomic Damages
Unlike many car accident injuries, scarring is life-altering. In some cases, you may be due some noneconomic damages due to the lifestyle changes associated with permanent scarring. Unlike the previously mentioned damages, these damages are not easily quantifiable.
- Pain and suffering: If you suffered permanent scarring, you likely experienced a great deal of pain at the time of injury and throughout the recovery process. Depending on the type of scar, you might feel pain for years to come.
- Loss of confidence, social anxiety, and depression: Permanent scarring causes many people to feel self-conscious or even humiliated when engaging in previously routine social activities.
- Loss of consortium: Your injuries may leave you unable to interact with your spouse and loved ones in the same ways you did previously.
How to Determine the Value of Permanent Scars
Determining the value of permanent scarring is usually not as simple as it is with other injuries. There are a variety of factors to consider when determining how much they are worth.
Insurance adjusters are in the business of controlling costs. This means the way you value your scars often differs greatly from how they value your scars. And the way they value permanent scars varies from person to person.
The insurance company might value a permanent scar on a 22-year-old differently than the same permanent scar on a 75-year-old. In addition, permanent scars on your face tend to have more value than they would on your leg, for example.
Other factors which influence the value of your scars include:
- The size, visibility, and coloring of the scarring
- The location of the scar
- The victim’s marital status
- The victim’s gender
For example, a 25-year-old single woman with a permanent facial scar will likely receive more than a 60-year-old married man with a permanent facial scar. We can help you determine what a claim for permanent scarring might be worth.