Compensation for Disfigurement | Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C.
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How to Get Compensation for Disfigurement and Scarring From an Accident in Illinois

Written by Jared Staver

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Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Auto Accidents, Personal Injury

Car accidents can leave behind both obvious and invisible wounds. Initial injuries like lacerations and broken bones heal but can leave scars, marks, discolorations, and other disfigurements.

These are constant reminders to victims of car accidents of the pain and suffering they experienced. They are also visible flaws to others. A disfigurement can affect a person’s daily life and future, in work, romantic relationships, to self-confidence. Compensation is available for scarring or disfigurement from an accident.

Types of Scars or Disfigurements Accidents Can Cause

Injury accident victims commonly experience lacerations, abrasions, or fractured bones. As a result, they often have some kind of disfigurement or scarring. Scars are part of the body’s natural healing process for replacing lost or damaged skin comprised of fibrous tissue. Bones need reset to help them heal after a fracture.

Not every injury heals the same. Each is on a case-by-case basis. Not every scratch will scar, and not every broken bone will set in a different shape when it heals.

Examples of injury-caused disfigurements include:

  • Adhesions: these scars are bands of tissue connecting two surfaces of the body that are usually separated. Adhesions form as part of the body’s repair mechanism. They occur after surgeries, infections, injuries, or radiation. Efforts to remove adhesions can cause more adhesions to form.
  • Contractures: these scars result in the tightening of an area of skin. They are usually caused when a large amount of skin is damaged and lost. Skin loss can affect muscles, joints, or tendons. Contractures can limit movement.
  • Hypertrophic scars: these scars are irregular clusters of tissue confined to the area of the wound. They are not the same color as the skin in the area and are thick and raised. They can heal on their own, but the process can take a year or more.
  • Keloid: like hypertrophic scars, these scars are irregular clusters of raised tissue that are a different color than the surrounding skin. These scars can expand beyond the area of the wound.
  • Malunion fractures: broken bones have to be reset to heal. However, when a bone heals abnormally, it could be bent, twisted, or both. Mobility could be affected, or the bones may be shaped unusually.
  • Nonunion fractures: when a bone doesn’t heal over time, it’s referred a nonunion fracture. These fractures may require extensive corrective surgery, such as using pins or rods.
  • Nerve damage: some injuries can damage nerves throughout the victim’s body. When nerves can’t properly function, the victim may be unable to control functions like facial expressions.

Along with any physical impairment, scars and disfigurement can cause emotional damages for injury accident victims.

You Can Financially Recover for Disfigurement

You may know you can ask for your medical expenses and pain and suffering to be covered through a personal injury claim. You can also seek damages for mental anguish.

When you seek compensation after an injury accident, you can ask for damages to reimburse and compensate you for various physical, mental, and financial injuries. These include any observable malformations caused by the collision.

The Importance of an Experienced Lawyer

The first barrier to recovering from a disfigurement is proving you suffer from a permanent, visible malformation. This may not be difficult, depending on your appearance after the accident. Your injuries may be visible to the judge or jury. Your attorney can provide video and picture evidence.

However, an insurance company or defendant will want to fight for a lower settlement or jury award, so they may try to argue you do not have a disfigurement or it is not a serious flaw.

Once you and your attorney have demonstrated that you have a disfigurement from the collision, you will need to argue for the amount you are owed. Like your recovery for pain and suffering, compensation for disfigurement is not a clear and objective amount.

No one can simply look at receipts and come up with a figure. Calculating damages for disfigurement is highly subjective. Having an experienced lawyer by your side is that much more crucial.

You and your attorney must argue for an amount that is fair to you, given your experiences and what you must endure due to your appearance.

Factors Within a Disfigurement Damages Claim

When you are negotiating an amount to compensate you for your disfigurement, many factors may call for a higher or lower amount, including:

  • Whether the disfigurement is permanent, long-term, or temporary
  • The location of the scarring or disfigurement
  • The size and extent of the disfigurement
  • The effect on your professional, social, and romantic relationships
  • The impact on your mental state, including resulting anxiety and depression
  • Loss of mobility or flexibility
  • Medical costs associated with disfigurement
  • Medical aids and devices made necessary by the disfigurement

The more the disfigurement affects your life, the more damages you can request. Scarring and burns on your hands may greatly affect your mobility. You may need to undergo physical therapy, use medical aids in everyday life, have live-in assistance, or alter your career. Your overall earning potential could be deeply impacted. Your attorney will consider all these factors and more to seek a fair amount for you.

Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. Can Help

When you deserve to be compensated for a disfigurement caused by a car accident, you need an experienced no-win, no-fee attorney willing to fight for your recovery. The other side of your case will work hard to pay you a lower figure. They will always look out for themselves, not for what is fair and just.

At Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., we will aggressively advocate on your behalf with insurance companies and in court. We will negotiate a beneficial settlement that compensates you for your disfigurement. If needed, we will seek an advantageous jury award.

Our Chicago car accident attorneys serve clients throughout the Chicago area, including Aurora, Elgin, Hinsdale, Joliet, Naperville, and Waukegan. Call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. at (312) 236-2900 immediately.

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(312) 236-2900
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