Scars and disfigurements from accidents aren't uncommon. As a Fort Worth personal injury attorney, I've seen serious facial disfigurements from dog bites, scars from car wrecks, lost limbs from motorcycle accidents, and more.
If you've been in an accident, it's possible that your wounds will heal over time. However, if you're left with lifelong scars or disfigurements as a result of the incident, this can cause additional mental and emotional anguish above and beyond the physical pain and suffering you've already endured.
In the state of Texas, you - the accident victim - have a right to recover money to compensate you for your scars. (This is in addition to money for your medical bills).
Insurance Payout for Scars and Disfigurements
How much money can you recover to compensate you for your scars? Typically, if the scars are large and visible, or if they're on your face, then they'll be "worth" more. If the scars are minor and can be easily hidden under clothing, then they're "worth" less.
Disfigurements, like lost limbs, are "worth" more than scars to an insurance company. Disfigurements can be worth thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars, especially if the disfigurement forced you to quit your job or hurt your earning power.
If you want a closer estimate to how much your scars are worth, contact a personal injury attorney. The consultation should be free and they will be able to examine your specific case and give you a more accurate estimation.
Scarring is a natural part of the body's healing process, although the severity of the injury can affect the significance of the resulting scar. If the cut to the skin is only slight, for example, then the scar will likely be rather insignificant. When the wound is deeper and the thick inner layer of skin called the dermis is damaged, then more pronounced scarring is common.
Scars caused by lacerations of the skin are extremely common in traffic collisions and dog bite attacks, but they can occur in a variety of different accidents. Burns and scalds can result in scarring, for example, and industrial dermatitis is a common work-related injury where employees exposed to hazardous chemicals suffer residual scarring or pock marks as a result of these abrasive liquids.
Medical Treatment and Compensation for Scarring
In addition to the money from the insurance company to pay for your scars and disfigurements, you can also recover compensation to pay for the medical bills used to fix those scars.
While most scars might never entirely heal, there are medical procedures that might be appropriate depending on your unique situation. Skin grafts are very common treatments in burn injury cases, for example, but other treatments include laser therapy or other plastic therapy procedures. Such options are best disused with a medical professional.
This is important to know before you settle your case - don't accept an offer from the insurance company too soon. If you think you might undergo plastic surgery in the future to help heal your scars, you'll want to make sure this is included in the settlement.
I can tell you that at my firm, I typically delay settling a case until the full scope of injuries (and any resultant scarring) can be properly assessed by a medical professional. Only then can the true value of your case - including any potential future medical expenses - be accurately determined.
How to Know If You Need a Lawyer
Here's what I tell people who call my office with this question: if you're not that hurt or you could pay your own medical expenses out of your pocket if you had to, then you can probably handle your case on your own.
However, if you've been seriously hurt in an accident and you don't want to risk (or can't afford to risk) the insurance company lowballing you and paying you less than you deserve, then it's in your best interest to consult a personal injury attorney.
Set up a consultation with a lawyer - it should be free - and talk to them about your specific case. They will come up with a plan to help you move forward and take your case out of your hands.
ALSO: How Do I Know If I Need a Lawyer?
For a free, no obligation consultation on your personal injury case in Fort Worth, call us at 817-294-1900 or fill out the form below.
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