Can You Get Compensation for a Scar?

March 14, 2024 / RP Legal

If you have suffered any kind of personal injury, you are legally entitled to be fully paid for all the types of harm that you have suffered and will continue to endure in the future. You will suffer a variety of effects from your injury, including potential changes to your appearance because of scarring.

The Columbia personal injury attorneys at Rikard & Protopapas can estimate the value of your scarring and disfigurement claim, with the full knowledge of everything that would entitle you to payment. Call us today to discuss your personal injury case.

Can a Personal Injury Settlement Cover Scarring?

If you are able to prove legal responsibility of another party for the accident that led to your injury, you can receive compensation for all of the damages that you suffered. Scarring is a major part of those damages.

It is up to you to ensure that you receive adequate compensation, and you can better your chances by hiring a lawyer who fights for you to receive every dollar that you deserve in the face of the insurance company’s resistance.

How Scars Develop After a Personal Injury

A personal injury victim can develop scarring in a number of ways after an accident.

The impact of the accident may cause severe lacerations. Doctors may stitch these wounds, but the skin may not fully recover and the wound would still be visible.

Someone may need one or more surgical procedures after the accident, which could have a similar effect. Doctors may need to make an incision if they are not able to perform non-invasive surgery. As a result, they may be left with scarring from intensive surgery.

It’s also possible that the personal injury was a severe burn, which can cause the most serious scarring.

The impact of a scar

Scarring can affect you in a number of ways. The most obvious way is by making you more embarrassed and self-conscious about your personal appearance. Scarring will change how you go through life, and it can even impact your personal relationships. There are both emotional and financial costs associated with the scarring.

How Scarring Can Cause You Monetary Damages

In any personal injury case, you are entitled to be paid for both your economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages represent your actual financial losses from the injury. Non-economic damages compensate you for the experience related to your accident.

Scarring can be compensated under both types of damages.

Permanent scarring is a part of your non-economic damages in a personal injury case. It is often included in the pain and suffering damages that you would receive.

Scarring could also lower your earnings capacity, especially when the scar is in a very visible place. Even though employers are not allowed to discriminate, your appearance could make the difference in whether you are hired for a particular job. In addition, you may be promoted less often, and your job duties could be curtailed, resulting in lower compensation.

Factors that Can Affect Your Compensation for a Scar

The main factor that determines how much compensation you may receive for a scar is the placement on your body. Scars that are on your face are compensated the most because they are the most visible. You may also receive more compensation when the scar is on another visible place of your body that is not covered by clothing.

Scars may also be painful. They can affect how your skin feels, especially when you try to move a joint or limb. The more painful the scar, the more money you may get in pain and suffering.

The following types of scars can carry even more physical effects:

  • Hypertrophic burn scars develop in the area of a burn injury, and they can impact your movement if they are located around joints
  • Contractures are when a scar causes a fixed tightening of muscle, tendons, ligaments, or skin, and they can cause you difficulty sitting or walking.

Further, you could be entitled to more compensation for a scar based on your age. If you are younger, you would have to live with the scar for more years, entitling you to more money.

Finally, you may need multiple medical procedures for a scar in the future. You could require skin grafts in the hopes of improving your appearance and minimizing the appearance of the scar. Each skin graft may cost more than $10,000, and you could have several surgeries. Not only would you need to pay the associated medical costs, but you would also be in physical pain.

How to Quantify Your Damages from a Scar

Your attorney may need to consult with a number of experts before they know how much to seek in compensation for your scarring. However, you are the foremost expert that your lawyer needs to talk to in the process.

You can describe how you feel about the scarring and how it has impacted your life. Your story would counteract the one that the insurance company is telling when they try to offer you less.

Your attorney may consult with medical and vocational experts to understand the costs involved with your scarring. A vocational expert can explain how much less you may be able to make because of your changed appearance.

The insurance company is always going to tell a different story to a jury, which makes your injury seem less momentous and serious. It is up to you to fight back and ensure that they understand what you are going through after your accident. Only an experienced lawyer can effectively do that on your behalf.

Contact a Columbia Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you suffered scarring in the aftermath of an accident, you could have a legal right to a settlement check if someone else was to blame for what happened. The attorneys at Rikard & Protopapas are on your side when you need experience and advocacy in your corner. We are standing by and ready to work with you as soon as you reach out to us for a free consultation.

You can send us a message online, or you can call us today at 803-978-6111 to get the legal help you need.

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