When a person suffers severe scarring an disfigurement, numerous intangible hardships may follow. For example, disfigurement can negatively impact marriage possibilities and friendships, resulting in lifelong emotional pain. Scarring and disfigurement can cause a loss in the quality of life, can decrease self-esteem, result in psychological damage, and may prevent a person from enjoying sports, recreational activities, and even simple daily errands.
If a court awards money for injuries that caused scarring and disfigurement, it is called "damages." Scarring and disfigurement can result in several kinds of damages.
Special damages cover calculable economic losses, such as lost wages, lost future earning capacity, career diminishment, and medical expenses. These are actual losses that a scarring victim can suffer, because of the bias that exists out in the "real world" against disfigured people.
General damages are things that cannot be easily calculated, including emotional distress, pain and suffering, loss of the companionship of a family member or loved one, loss of consortium, and more. This is the time when a jury can use their emotions to judge the emotional worth of the plaintiff’s suffering – no legal principle can prescribe exactly what emotional suffering is worth.
Punitive damages are damages mean purely to punish the defendant. They are awarded in particularly egregious cases. For example, if a product was designed so dangerously, that the manufacturer knew it would cause someone to be scarred and disfigured, but went ahead and sold the product anyway.
Do I Need an Attorney?
If you or a loved one have been injured, you should speak with an accomplished personal injury attorney to learn more about seeking legal remedies. A lawyer can tell you whether your injury may be part of a class action lawsuit or if you are likely to recover based on the facts of your case.