Facial scarring can be a traumatic injury. Even if the scar is not that deep, having a scar on your face can feel more serious because it might be very visible and obvious. If you received a facial scar in an accident someone else caused through careless or reckless behavior, you may be entitled to sue the at-fault parties for compensation. In many cases, facial scars are worth more than other scars and might even be worth more than some more traumatic injuries. Our Baltimore personal injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice discusses how damages are calculated in facial scarring injury cases and what kinds of damages you may be able to claim in a lawsuit like this.
Calculating Damages for a Facial Scar in Maryland
In a personal injury lawsuit, such as a lawsuit for car accident injuries, defective product injuries, burn injuries, or dog bites, you are typically entitled to sue the at-fault party for damages. The damages you can claim in your case will depend on what harms and costs you faced because of the accident. In most cases, these damages will include compensation for medical expenses to treat an injury, damages from wages you lost because of the injury and recovery period, and damages paid directly to you to pay for your pain and suffering.
Medical Expenses for Facial Scars
Treating a wound or injury to the face might require specialized care. In most cases where a victim has an injury in a highly visible place on their body, plastic surgeons will be called in to give stitches and other treatments so that the injury does not have as much scarring to begin with. Since plastic surgeons are specialists, this care might cost more even though other doctors might be able to use similar techniques.
If the care that you receive is not up to the standard of care and you suffer from medical mistakes and malpractice, you might also be entitled to claim damages for this harm. The original party who injured you might be responsible for these damages.
Lost Wages from Scar Injuries
Any injury might require time off of work to allow the injury to heal and to give you time to get the medical treatment you need. However, facial scars can be a bigger problem for people in certain industries. Models, actors, and public figures could face a greater challenge seeking employment if they have severe or obvious facial scars. In some cases, this could affect your livelihood, even outside of these fields. Talk to a lawyer about what damages you can claim because of the effect facial scars will have on your ability to find work.
Pain and Suffering Damages for Scars
Scars can cause significant pain and discomfort as well as mental and emotional suffering. With scar tissue, you often lose feeling in that area of skin. However, the area around it might be tender and painful. Moreover, the area where the injury is located could face decreased mobility. For a facial scar, this could make it difficult or painful to move your mouth or open and close your eyes – things you will do daily. Burn scars can be especially painful and cause decreased facial mobility.
The emotional suffering of a scar is often worse. For facial scars in particular, the damages for mental and emotional suffering are often the highest area of damages. Having a scar in a visible location or burns that cover your face can be a constant reminder of the accident and the injury, bringing up painful thoughts and feelings when you see yourself in the mirror. How other people treat you and react to the scar can also cause suffering and emotional distress.
Factors for Facial Scarring Damages in Maryland
As mentioned, there can be a high level of mental and emotional pain and suffering related to facial scars. To receive damages for this suffering, you will need to prove your damages in court. However, you cannot easily show a jury the pain and suffering you experienced, so they will look at other factors you can show them in court to make a judgment about how much your scar is worth.
To prove pain and suffering damages, you can testify to the jury about how the scar affects your life and your enjoyment of it. For some people, a facial scar might come with a reluctance to see friends or family or an instinct to hide the scar. For others, it may make activities like performing or socializing less enjoyable.
Courts will also look at who you are and how they think the scar will affect your life. In many situations, this might seem unfair, but if you fall into some of the following categories, a jury might award you additional damages because they see your scar as objectively “worse.”
First, juries often award women higher damages for facial scars than men. Scars can affect traditional notions of beauty, and society typically sees scars on women as “worse” than scars on men. Similarly, age might be a factor. As scars are typically permanent, young people will have to live with the scar longer than older people. Moreover, society sees youth as a factor in beauty, so younger people facial with scars might have more perceived harm.
Lastly, juries often award higher damages to unmarried people. The logic here is that it might be more difficult to make friends or find a spouse if you have a serious facial scar, so single people will often face additional hurdles because of their scars that married people will not face.
Call Our Maryland Facial Scar Injury Lawyer
If you were involved in an accident and received a serious facial scar, call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice today. Our Maryland personal injury attorneys represent injury victims and their families and fight to maximize the compensation our clients receive in injury lawsuits. For a free legal consultation and more information about what your claim might be worth, call us today at (410) 694-7291.