Any cuts, bruises, or broken bones you sustain in a personal injury accident will usually heal with time. But scars are different, lingering on long after your injury event happened.
They are a tangible and permanent reminder of an injury event that caused you physical pain and emotional turmoil. And depending on its size and location, a scar can continue to cause you to suffer for the remainder of your life.
You likely know that you can sue for compensation for other types of physical injuries, but you may wonder, “Can I sue for a scar?” The law in California does permit you to seek compensation for a scar, but calculating the damages you should seek can be trickier than for other types of injuries. To ensure you get the compensation you deserve, you may want to partner with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Causes and Formation of Scars
Your skin can be cut or torn open in an accident, such as if you are cut by glass or a broken bone protrudes through the skin. When this happens, your body works to heal that wound.
The broken skin tissue at the site of the wound releases a substance called collagen. This protein builds up over several months at the site of the injury, strengthening it and helping the wound heal.
As time passes, the collagen present at the injury site will begin to break down somewhat. Moreover, the supply of blood to the area will return to pre-injury levels. As a result, a fresh scar that appeared prominent and rough at first will become smoother and fade. After about two years, a scar will have changed its appearance as much as it is ever likely to do.
Scars can appear after a wide variety of personal injury accidents, including the following:
- Car, motorcycle, and bicycle accidents
- Slip and falls that cause broken bones
- Medical malpractice and surgical errors
- Chemical, electrical, or other types of burns
- Intentional assaults
A scar is permanent and can occur under numerous circumstances and in many areas throughout the body.
Damages Available for Scarring
“Can I sue for a scar?” you may ask. The answer is yes, and you do so in much the same manner as you would pursue compensation for other types of injuries. Compensation is available if another person’s carelessness led to an accident that left you with scars. Damages for scars would include any medical expenses or lost wages you incur because of the underlying injury. You could also receive damages for:
- Reduced range of motion or other physical limitations the scar tissue causes
- Lost present and future wages if the scarring prevents you from working
- Pain experienced while the injury healed
- Emotional and mental suffering caused by the appearance of the scar
When seeking damages for emotional and mental suffering, the more prominent and extensive the scar, the greater your potential compensation award will be. For example, a small one-inch scar on your upper arm is not likely to result in much compensation. But extensive scarring over your face due to burn injuries will lead to a far greater compensation award.
Make Sure You Are Fully Compensated for All Your Injuries
Scarring deserves compensation just like any other harm you sustain in a car wreck or other personal injury accident. The question is not, “Can I sue for a scar,” but instead, “How much are my scar injuries worth?”
The answer to this latter question depends primarily on where the scars are on your body, how extensive they are, and any physical limitations or pain they cause you.
Since 1992, our personal injury attorneys at the Pines Salomon Injury Lawyers, APC. have been fighting for the people of San Diego. Now, when those injured in automobile accidents – including car, truck, and motorcycle accidents – need financial help, or for the families that need to know that the loss of a loved one could have been prevented, there is a personal injury law firm in San Diego that is on their side. If you or a family member has been injured, call the lawyers at Pines Salomon Injury Lawyers, APC. There’s never been a better time than right now to speak to a personal injury attorney—FREE of charge. Call us at 858-551-2090 or request a free consultation online today!
SENIOR PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY & FIRM FOUNDER
Michael Pines is a former insurance company attorney who graduated from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1987. While he was an insurance attorney, he learned from behind the scenes how insurance companies work and how they decide how much to pay injured people. Now that he works against insurance companies, Michael’s inside knowledge has resulted in significant benefits to his clients injured in car accidents. Learn more about Michael Pines