Once injuries from a car accident heal, the scars from the accident often remain a daily reminder to the person who bears them. If you or your loved one has suffered permanent scarring due to car accident injuries, this is damage that you can be compensated for. Contact a car accident lawyer in Downey at The JLF Firm to discuss your case involving car accident scars.
Scar Tissue Can Develop After a Crash
When you suffer an injury that punctures the innermost layer of skin, your body begins to produce collagen which works to repair the skin. Collagen is less flexible than skin and it is thicker, this is what we recognize as scar tissue. The scar tissue can be the result of direct injuries suffered in the accident or it can be the result of surgical procedures that the car accident made necessary.
Accident injuries that commonly result in permanent scarring include severely broken bones, cuts and lacerations from broken glass, and burns. Scarring can occur anywhere on the body but can be especially damaging when it occurs where it is highly noticeable like the face, arms, and legs.
Types of Scars From Car Accidents
There are three types of scarring that you may encounter after a car accident.
A keloid scar is thick and it can grow beyond the boundaries of the injury site. This occurs when your body continues to produce collagen after the injury is healed. Though the scar tissue can be removed it will continue to grow back. These types of scars can be painful and can limit mobility depending on the location.
Similar to a keloid scar a hypertrophic scar is thick but its growth is limited to the injured area. They can impact mobility and grow back after removal as well.
A contracture scar occurs when a large area of skin has been injured like a burn. The edges of the scar begin to pull inward as the area heals. This can affect the joints, muscles, and tendons. These types of scars can seriously limit mobility and range of motion. Contractures can even cause deformity.
The effects of scars can last the rest of your life. The loss of mobility may be permanent and there may be pain or discomfort at the site of the scars. The impact the scars have emotionally and mentally can be the most devastating, this can include:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Loss of self-esteem
- Increased anxiety
- Increased self-consciousness
- Sleep disturbance
- Diminished quality of life
The severity of the scars does not determine the psychological effects the scars have nor the amount of compensation you may receive. The location of the scar may have an effect on the amount of compensation you could receive.
Compensation for a Scar
The amount of compensation that you can hope to receive due to permanent scarring after a car accident can be affected by a number of factors.
- Age: The younger the person is the longer they will have to live with the scars. A younger person can receive a higher amount of compensation for their injuries.
- Location: Where the scar is located can impact the amount of compensation if the scar is in a highly visible area like the face the amount of compensation can be higher.
- Characteristics: The size and color of the scarring can increase the amount of compensation if the scar is very large and highly discolored making it more noticeable.
- Unsuccessful reduction: If attempts to reduce the scar surgically have been unsuccessful the amount of compensation could be increased.
- Psychological impact: If the scar acts as a constant and painful reminder of the suffering you endured the amount of compensation could be higher.
Psychological Effects of Scar Injuries
Proving the psychological impact the scarring has had on your life can be a difficult task. Testimony from friends and family members regarding personality changes can be helpful. You can also allow the testimony of therapists or psychologists who can shed some light on the effects of the scarring.
Treatments for Reducing Post-Accident Scar Tissue
A keloid or hypertrophic scar can be removed or reduced surgically. This can be temporarily helpful but these two types of scars have been known to grow back repeatedly. Many scars have proven to be resistant to laser therapy and cryotherapy as well. Steroidal injections can be given at the site of the scar but this treatment also has seen limited success.
Other options can include creams and ointments to reduce inflammation and fade scar discoloration. Though the scar may be reduced the psychological effects of the scar will last a lifetime. Therapy and counseling can reduce some of the traumatic effects, but the psychological impact is as permanent as the scars.
Compensation Available for Car Accident Scars
The compensation you may receive for permanent scarring can include:
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning potential
- Medical care expenses
- Past and future care expenses
- Medication for scar treatment and for mental health treatment
- Counseling or therapy
- Physical therapy
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Contact a California Car Accident Lawyer
If you or your loved one have been injured due to the negligence of another driver and those injuries resulted in permanent scarring you need to seek the legal guidance of an experienced California car accident lawyer like the ones at The JLF Firm. Our California car accident lawyers will help you determine the steps you need to take to ensure you receive all of the compensation you are owed.
Permanent scarring that is the result of a car accident can serve as a daily reminder of what you went through and it can impact the rest of your life. The knowledgeable and compassionate legal team at The JLF Firm wants to help you get compensated so that you can find some sense of peace and begin to move forward with your life. Contact us today to begin your case.
Accident Scarring FAQs
Are scars permanent?
Scars can fade and become smoother over the first two years. After that, the scar that remains is unlikely to fade more.
Is scarring a permanent disability?
Because scars never truly heal they are considered to be a permanent partial disability (PPD) or a permanent total disability (PTD).