Scarring and Disfigurement Lawsuit

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 What Is Scarring and Disfigurement?

Among the serious injuries that a person can suffer in an incident caused by another person’s negligence are scarring and disfigurement.

Scars form when a person’s skin or other tissue has been cut or damaged. New tissue grows to heal the wound, and this new tissue is what forms a scar. Scar tissue is mostly made up of a protein called “collagen.”

Scarring can leave a visible mark on a person’s skin or within body tissue. Scarring can have deep psychological effects on a person, and these, in turn, can lead to social difficulties for the scarred person.

Scarring can permanently change a person’s physical appearance and negatively affect the person’s confidence in their own body image. Society places a great premium on physical appearance and beauty, and the change in a person’s appearance caused by visible scarring may be stigmatized in society.

A person suffers disfigurement when their physical appearance is significantly changed because of a disease, injuries suffered in an accident, a birth defect, or permanent scarring from a wound.

Often, the heavies and bad guys in stories, horror movies, and TV shows are disfigured and/or scarred. So, the people who are afflicted with disfigurement and scars report feeling devalued and may even be ostracized.

Scars may also have actual negative physical consequences. Internal scars caused by surgeries or repairs of internal injuries can have medical consequences. They may even compel a person to change their career or otherwise modify their lifestyle, so internal scarring can have a financial impact on a person’s life.

What Are Common Damages for Scarring and Disfigurement Lawsuits?

Scarring and disfigurement are often the result of personal injuries that a person suffers in an accident caused by the negligence of another person. The victim may be able to file a civil lawsuit based on that negligent behavior. Negligence cases commonly involve the following types of incidents:

A person can also suffer scarring and disfigurement in workplace accidents. For example, chemical burns caused by industrial accidents can cause scarring and disfigurement.

Severe scarring and/or disfigurement can negatively affect several different areas of a victim’s life, resulting in lifelong emotional pain. Scarring and disfigurement may lead to the following:

  • Loss in the quality of life;
  • Decreased self-esteem;
  • Psychological damage.

They may prevent a person from enjoying sports or other recreational activities and doing simple daily errands.
Scarring and disfigurement can result in several kinds of damages, similar to those previously discussed for personal injuries in general.

A victim may be able to recover compensatory damages. Compensatory damages compensate a victim for the economic losses they suffer because of their injuries. These are losses that can be translated into a specific dollar amount. As such, they are calculated according to fair market values at the time of the injury. A common example of compensatory damages would be an award for lost wages or the cost of necessary medical treatment.

They are usually placed in contrast to non-economic damages, which are awarded for intangible losses that may be difficult to calculate. Once again, examples include:

Both economic and non-economic damages in personal injury cases are included under the broader category of compensatory damages, which, again, are intended to compensate the victim for their provable losses.

Punitive damages are damages meant purely to punish the defendant, and they are generally only awarded in particularly egregious cases. An example of this would be if a product was designed so dangerously that the manufacturer knew that it would cause someone to be scarred and disfigured but sold the product anyway.

What Are the Legal Remedies for Scarring and Disfigurement Lawsuits?

As noted above, the standard remedies in scarring and disfigurement lawsuits are an award of money damages. The damage would compensate the victim for their economic and non-economic losses. A victim might also recover an award of punitive damages, which are awarded to punish a defendant who did something especially blameworthy or egregious in causing injury to the victim.

If a person is injured in an accident in their workplace, they will turn to their state’s workers’ compensation system for their remedy. In the workers’ compensation system, unfortunately, a person is only able to recover compensatory damages for economic losses. They are not able to recover damages for pain and suffering and other kinds of mental anguish and emotional distress.

How Much Compensation Will I Get for Permanent Scarring or Disfigurement?

It is impossible to state how much compensation a person can recover for permanent scarring or disfigurement injury. As noted above, compensatory damages reimburse a person for economic and non-economic losses. So, the amount awarded depends on the facts in each case.

The amount of damages for economic losses would depend on the cost of any medical treatment that was necessary for treating the injury. Also, the amount of time a victim lost from work would be reimbursed. Any future treatment that a person would require or future time lost from work would be reimbursed. And if the scarring or disfigurement affected a victim’s earning capacity, again, the damages would reimburse them for this loss.

So, a person may be able to estimate their economic losses, which might help them estimate damages to reimburse economic losses, but it would be an estimate only.

As for non-economic losses, in many states, the amount of money that can be awarded for losses of this type is limited by law. For example, in Massachusetts, awards for pain and suffering in medical malpractice cases are limited to $500,000.

There can be limits or caps on non-economic damages in the state in which a person files their lawsuit. In this case, they can at least know the maximum amount of damages for non-economic losses they would be able to recover.

What Else Should I Know About Personal Injury In General?

Personal injuries can result from the intentional conduct of a person. There are cases in which one person deliberately injures a victim. If a victim files a civil lawsuit against a person who intentionally harmed them, the intentional misconduct of the person sued is called an “intentional tort” in legal terminology.

It is certainly possible for a victim to sue the person who has committed an intentional tort against them and caused them injuries, such as scarring and disfigurement. The damages a person could recover in such a case would be the same as those that may be recovered in a lawsuit for negligence, i.e., compensatory damages that reimburse the person for economic and non-economic losses.

Then, again, in the rare case in which such damages are justified, the victim might win an award of punitive damages.

Do I Need an Attorney For Scarring and Disfigurement Lawsuits?

If you have been involved in an accident in which you have suffered scarring and disfigurement, you want to consult with a personal injury attorney immediately. LegalMatch.com can connect you to a personal injury lawyer who can help you understand your legal rights and options according to your state’s specific laws. Your lawyer can determine whether you want to file a lawsuit for negligence or for an intentional tort.

You also want to consult a personal injury attorney if you have been the victim of medical malpractice.

Your lawyer would be able to try to negotiate a settlement of your claim, or if that is not possible, they can represent you as you pursue your remedy in a court of law.

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