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How Much is a Scar Worth in a Lawsuit?

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(September 28, 2020)--According to a study published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), each year, more than 100 million people develop scars, and 70 percent of all scars occur in children. Scars can cause considerable problems, and each year they are the cause of 25 million operations after a trauma. Scars are also the reason for 55 million elective operations each year. 


Scars can not only cause unpleasant symptoms. They can also be distressing and disfiguring. They can also lead to psychological issues and be disabling. After you have been injured, you may be able to seek additional compensation in a lawsuit if you have been left with scarring from an accident. 


According to Houston attorney Darren A. Miller, to have a successful claim, you must be able to prove that the other party was at fault and the extent of your scarring. Visit this link to read more about fault in settlement claims. 


Scars and Disfigurement

After an accident, one of the most common permanent injuries is scarring. This may be scarring from an initial injury or it could also be from treatment for a different injury. For example, if you suffered a compound fracture in your accident, you may have required surgery to repair the bone which added additional scars in the area of your injury. 


Extensive scarring may increase the compensation you are entitled to in a lawsuit. Scars are a problem for some due to cosmetic reasons but they also make the area of flesh surrounding the scar less flexible. If the scar is at a joint, you could suffer loss of mobility as well.

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Location of the Scar

The location of the scar can have an impact on what it may be worth in a lawsuit. If the scar can easily be covered by clothing, it may not be viewed as severely as a scar on the face, hands or neck, which cannot be covered as easily. 


In some cases, a woman who suffers a scar may be viewed as more affected than a man who has a similar scar despite the fact that scars can adversely affect body image in men. The same is true should the injured person be a young, single woman as opposed to an older, married woman.


Medical Opinions are Critical

One of the best ways to demonstrate to an insurance company how damaging your scar may be is to seek a medical opinion. A doctor can provide you with details on how the scar impacts you physically as well as what the costs would be to have the scar removed or repaired. 


If the scar is causing you psychological issues, seek assistance from a psychiatrist or psychologist who can document that the scar is causing a problem mentally. You may end up needing this documentation during the settlement process or in court. 


In order to use your scar as part of your personal injury lawsuit, you will need to have it documented in your medical records. One question to ask your doctor is if the scar will cause any recurring or degenerative problems. If they believe you will suffer mobility issues or other problems related to the scar, ask them to note that information in any records sent to the insurance company.


Understanding Scars

It may be helpful to understand why your body scars after an injury. The NIH states that scarring occurs after the majority of dermal injuries. Although most scars are minor, scars can also be disfiguring. Some may cause itching, tenderness, pain, sleep disturbance, anxiety, and even disruption of daily life. 


There have been instances where people with severe scars have developed self-esteem issues, as well as post-traumatic stress. Some have a diminished quality of life, and deformities have developed as a result of severe scarring. Although there are methods available to minimize scars, they cannot be completely eliminated in most cases. 


Sometimes scarring can be reduced using compression therapy, splints, and silicone gel sheeting. There are surgeries that can be used to minimize scars as well. The more advanced treatment you need for your scars, the more likely an insurance company will be inclined to increase compensation in a lawsuit.


If you or a loved one have suffered a scar after an accident, whether the scar is minor or severe, you may be entitled to additional compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. The best way to find out if you have a valid case is to speak with an attorney directly. Most personal injury lawyers offer free consultations.