Can I Sue for a Scar?
That scar reminds you daily of the physical and mental trauma endured because of another party’s negligence. It is possible to file a personal injury lawsuit because of serious scarring and the resulting physical and emotional distress.
Many types of personal injury can cause scarring or disfigurement. While motor vehicle accidents account for the majority of such cases, dog bites, slips and falls, defective products, assaults, and other situations can also leave a victim disfigured permanently.
One of the experienced personal injury lawyers at Ellis Injury Law will hold the party responsible for your disfigurement accountable so you may receive the compensation you deserve. Over the past 25 years, our dedicated attorneys have recovered over $350 million for clients in settlements and verdicts.
Scarring and disfigurement examples
Examples of disfiguring injuries include not only scarring per se, but also:
- Broken facial bones
- Ear or eye damage
- Fractured or lost teeth
- Nerve damage
What to do after a personal injury
The key to winning any personal injury case is documentation. Right after an injury, collecting evidence is probably not the first thing that comes to mind, but try to do so after calling 911. Take photos of the scene and your injury.
During treatment, take photos of the injury as the healing process starts. Keep a record of all medical bills relating to the injury, including those made out-of-pocket.
Keep a journal describing how the injury and subsequent scarring is affecting you physically and mentally.
Compensation for scarring depends on its severity, size, and location. A scar on the face, neck, hands or other normally visible areas is considered more severe than one usually covered by clothing. The same holds true for a scar interfering with mobility, such as on an ankle, making flexion difficult. Some disfigurements may affect a person’s ability to see, hear, or speak.
If surgery was involved, it should increase the claim’s value. It is still possible to receive compensation for relatively small scars.
Scar severity also applies to the injury’s emotional aspects. Never underestimate the deep psychological repercussions of scarring or disfigurement. The person’s life has changed completely, and they may require many plastic surgery procedures to modify the injury’s effects if that is possible. The disfigurement causes extreme embarrassment and humiliation. Some people may find that they cannot partake in their normal activities because they are stared at or bullied.
Severe scars affecting children usually receive the highest compensation. While the age of the victim plays a role in the amount of money awarded, that does not mean an older disfigured person should avoid filing a claim. People who make their living based on appearance may also receive higher compensation. That would include anyone in the performing arts, beauty consultants, models, and the like.
However, anyone with a severe scar, especially on the face, may find their ability to get a job impacted. A lawyer will argue that the scar is likely to decrease the client’s overall earning capacity.
Keep in mind that under California law, there is no cap on damages, with the exception of medical malpractice. For the latter, the damage cap is $250,000.
Other potential damages
If you were seriously injured because of another party’s actions, damages for scarring is only part of the compensation. Whether your injuries resulted from a car crash, a slip and fall on broken pavement, or a dog attack, you may receive compensation for:
- Medical expenses, present and future
- Lost wages
- Property damage – usually pertaining to car accidents
- Lost future earnings
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
As for medical expenses, these may take into account the cost of future plastic surgeries, psychological counseling, and other rehabilitation therapy relating to the scarring and disfigurement.
Contact a Los Angeles personal injury attorney
If you were badly scarred because of the actions of another party, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer at Ellis Injury Law. Submit our online form or call or text 24/7 to arrange a free consultation.
After evaluating your case and viewing the disfigurement or photos, we can determine whether you have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. Since we work on a contingency basis, there is no fee unless we win.