Tragic accidents that leave behind severe scarring and disfigurement can be very traumatic for victims. Not only do disfiguring injuries require extensive medical treatments, but they can also result in emotional pain and suffering. Individuals who suffer from traumatic accidents that leave them scarred and disfigured often struggle with self-esteem and depression and may develop PTSD.
While the physical injuries themselves may be painful, they will heal with time. However, the emotional pain and suffering one suffers from a tragic accident can last for years or even for the rest of their life. Those who experience disfiguring facial injuries, burn victims, and amputees can have an especially hard time ever feeling like themselves again.
Though no amount of money can ever wholly make up for the physical and emotional pain and suffering these victims experience, it can help alleviate some of the burdens they may experience. Working with an experienced attorney to pursue a personal injury claim or even a lawsuit can ensure the victims and their loved ones get the compensation they deserve to recover and move on with their lives as best they can.
At Zirkin & Schmerling Law, we have years of experience helping victims suffering from scarring and disfigurement after a tragic accident. We understand how devastating the physical and emotional suffering can be and are here to help you receive the compassionate care and service you need to win your case and get the benefits you deserve.
What is Considered a Disfiguring Injury?
A disfiguring injury is that which leaves a person’s appearance physically altered. Disfigurement will likely have a change in appearance, but they may suffer a disability or impairment as a result of the injury as well.
The most common disfigurements people talk about are severe scarring, burns, and amputation, but many other types of injuries can leave a person disfigured. In some cases, the disfigurement may not have resulted from an accident but a birth defect or a chronic illness or disease.
Incidents That Cause Disfigurement and Scarring in Maryland
Though car accidents are one of the leading causes of injuries resulting in scarring and disfigurement, there are many other ways someone can become disfigured. At Zirkin & Schmerling Law, we have handled many personal injury cases for victims who have been disfigured. The below causes of disfiguring injuries include some of the reasons our clients have come to us for help:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Semi-truck accidents
- Dog attacks
- Workplace accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Birth defects
- Exposure to chemical substances
- Physical assaults
- Disease and illness
The severity of the scarring and disfigurement that someone will suffer from depends on the individual circumstances and how the injury occurred. Furthermore, not everyone heals in the same way—some individuals may experience more severe scarring than others— it just depends on the healing properties of their skin and other parts of their body. Infections can also cause healing to be delayed and cause more severe scarring to occur.
Additionally, the emotional reaction someone has to their disfigurement and scarring can vary from person to person. What one person finds embarrassing and traumatizing, another person might not. However, no matter the severity or the individual perspective, no one should suffer without fair compensation. If you suffer from any of the disfiguring injuries below, be sure to contact your local personal injury attorney to see how they can help.
Common disfiguring injuries include:
- Thermal, chemical, and electrical burns
- Broken and fractured bones
- Facial injuries and deformities
- Severe lacerations and puncture wounds that leave behind scarring
- Eye injuries
- Spinal injuries and deformities
- Bone and muscle diseases and deformities
Types of Scars
There are a few different kinds of scars that can develop due to the injuries listed above. Generally, scarring occurs as a result of wound trauma on the skin, such as burns, lacerations, abrasions, and puncture wounds. In addition, if a wound becomes infected, it can hinder the healing process and cause even more noticeable scarring.
The three most common types of scars include the following:
- Contracture scars: These types of scars typically develop after a victim suffers from thermal, chemical, or electrical burns. When contracture scars form, the skin often becomes tight and difficult to move. There is also typically underlying nerve and muscle damage that accompanies these types of scars.
- Keloid scars: These scars are thick and appear as irregular bumps or clusters of tissue that extend beyond the edges of a wound. Keloid scars also tend to be darker and redder than other scars and may form due to improper healing and may not go away naturally. People with keloid scars may require treatments to get rid of them.
- Hypertrophic scars: These scars are similar to keloid scars in that they may be dark, red, raised, and thick, but they stay within the borders of the wound area. While keloid scars are more challenging to get rid of, hypertrophic scars tend to improve naturally on their own or may require minimal treatments to fade their appearance.
Treatment and Recovery For Disfiguring Injuries
Treatments and recovery time for disfiguring injuries will depend on the specific type of injury and its severity. However, while the physical injury itself may only take weeks or months to heal, the emotional trauma one suffers due to these tragic injuries may take years to overcome. Some individuals may even suffer from emotional anguish or symptoms of PTSD for the rest of their lives following a tragic accident and disfiguring injury.
Treatments for the physical injury can include:
- Reconstructive surgery
- Skin grafts
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Prosthetics to replace amputated limbs
Emotional Pain and Suffering
Recovery can be a long and challenging process for those who develop emotional anguish or PTSD following an accident that results in a disfiguring injury. Signs that you or a loved one may be experiencing emotional pain and suffering as a result of an accident and subsequent injury include:
- Avoiding talking about the injury or the accident
- Mood swings
- Loss of interest in activities or being social
- Excessive fear, anger, or shame
- Negative and intrusive thoughts
- Violent outbursts
- Destructive or reckless behavior
- Difficulty sleeping
If someone is experiencing severe emotional anguish or symptoms of PTSD, they may require therapy to overcome their pain and suffering. Therapy can help victims improve their symptoms, teach them skills to deal with what they are experiencing, and restore their self-confidence and self-esteem. In some situations, the victims may even require medications to alter their brain chemistry to help them deal with the emotional symptoms they are experiencing.
Pursuing Compensation for Scarring and Disfigurement
After an accident, victims have a right to file a personal injury claim or even a lawsuit to receive compensation for physical and emotional pain and suffering as well as any other damages related to the incident. Medical expenses for disfiguring injuries, including surgeries and therapy, for example, can be costly but can be covered by the compensation you are awarded. To ensure you get the full amount you deserve, you should keep records of everything relating to the accident and your injuries and contact an experienced personal injury attorney.
Types of Damages Awarded to Victims of Scarring and Disfigurement
Following an accident, you can be awarded compensation for monetary damages, such as medical bills, and non-monetary damages, such as emotional distress. However, collecting these damages can sometimes be tricky as it involves proving the fault of the guilty party and proving the extent of your injuries and your pain and suffering.
Damages an attorney can help you receive compensation for include:
- Medical bills
- Loss of current and future wages
- Physical therapy
- Emotional therapy
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
- Physical impairment or disability
Pursuing A Lawsuit For Scarring and Disfigurement
If you feel the compensation being offered is not fair then you can always file a lawsuit. When judges or juries try to come up with a monetary amount for disfigured victims, they will they will often consider:
- How severe are the pain and suffering?
- How long will the suffering, both physical and emotional, last?
- How has the suffering impacted your life thus far?
- Will the suffering impact your future?
- Has the disfigurement left you impaired or disabled?
- If so, how will the impairment or disability affect your life?
Contact an Experienced Maryland Scarring and Disfigurement Attorney
Whether you are pursuing a car accident, dog bite, or personal injury claim, proving how scarring and disfigurement have affected your life and may continue to affect your life can be challenging. It is not always easy to place a monetary amount on this type of pain and suffering and thus requires extensive documentation and evidence to convince the court. At Zirkin & Schmerling Law, we will fight our hardest to win you the compensation you deserve. We understand how drastically a victim’s life can be altered by a tragic accident that results in severe scarring and other disfiguring injuries.
Contact us or call us at 410-753-4611 to set up an appointment with one of our personal injury attorneys today.