Disfigurement is the marring of one’s physical appearance and can have a severe impact on a person’s life. There are many ways in which this can occur, but in car accidents it is the result of lacerations and burns, crushed or fractured facial bones, and the loss of a body part such as a limb or an eye. These types of injuries are caused by fires or mechanical trauma from impact with objects and glass inside the car or from ejection out of the car.
Disfigurement can be life altering because it has a detrimental effect on a person’s ability to find work, socialize, have relationships, and can adversely affect self-esteem. Disfigurement on visible parts of the body such as the face, hands, and arms as well as injury that covers large areas, present the greatest adjustment difficulty for individuals.
Because there are many forms of disfigurement, treatment will vary. The loss of a body part will require an artificial replacement. Burns may require skin grafts. Damage to facial bones may necessitate reconstructive surgery. Severe scarring may be treated with laser treatment or dermabrasion.
Compensation can include medical expenses such as surgeries, treatments, medication, dental work for damaged teeth, physical therapy, consultations, wheelchairs, permanent disability, and ambulance costs.
Lost wages can be claimed if treatment of the disfigurement prevents one from earning his or her normal wages. Lost wages can also be claimed if the disfigurement affects a person’s future ability to earn his normal wages. For example, a roofer who loses his leg will no longer be able to work at his trade.
When the disfigurement causes physical, emotional, or mental distress, one can be compensated for “pain and suffering.” Pain and suffering will depend on the severity and location of the disfigurement as well as other considerations. For example, a scar on a man’s arm does not result in the same pain and suffering as a scar on the face of a woman.
If you have been disfigured in a Riverside car accident, you should contact Silverthorne Attorneys to determine if you are entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost wages. Contact us today for a free consultation and let us put our experience to work for you.