Permanent injuries such as scarring and disfigurement most often result arise from serious motor vehicle accidents. This type of injury often has a huge psychological impact on an injured person; clearly visible scars on the face and other areas of the body can be embarrassing and emotionally distressing. Disfigurement causes many victims to have difficulty throughout their lives and often hinders enjoyment of everyday public interactions and activities. Furthermore, it can hinder a person’s ability or likelihood of finding a partner, forming friendships, and even landing a job. Scarring and disfigurement certainly can affect a person’s self-esteem, particularly for children and teenagers. Severe scarring located at the joints can also cause a loss of mobility.
If someone is scarred or disfigured in a car accident or another incident that was caused by another person’s negligence, the injured person is entitled to make a claim for damages, for the losses they have suffered as a result of their injury. Scarring and disfigurement is generally deemed to be a catastrophic impairment, both serious and permanent, and as such, accident victims are entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, as well as any financial losses they have suffered. Scarring and disfigurement are life-altering circumstances. Initial and ongoing medical/rehabilitative treatment for these types of injuries can be substantial. Just as in any injury claims, a plaintiff needs to well-document their injury and losses, in the form of medical reports and receipts, loss of income documentation, and even by keeping a record or diary of situations and experiences that demonstrate the changes in their enjoyment in life.
Type of Injury
Catastrophic injury or impairment is considered the most severe type of injury a person may suffer, due to the permanent and significant impact on the life of an accident victim. An injury resulting in scars, disfigurement or the loss of a limb frequently has a long-term effect on one’s ability to earn an income, social interactions and emotional distress, and injuries may also be a source of ongoing pain. There are different types of injuries that may be associated with disfigurement in the aftermath of a tragic accident:
Fibrous or tough tissue replace the normal skin after an injury causing scarring. This is a part of the biological process in which the body tries to heal and repair the wound in the skin and other tissues of the body. Although this process is normal, the scar tissue is inferior to the normal alignment of collagen, and scar tissue is generally not as strong or supple.
In the aftermath of an accident, victims of disfigurement often suffer from poor body image, embarrassment, intolerance, and difficulty functioning normally in their social, professional, and sexual lives. A person who is disfigured often endure stares and alarming reactions from other people.
Burns are common injuries resulting from heat, light, chemicals, electricity, radiation, friction, and scalding. Burns are very painful and leave permanent scars. Widespread burns can leave large areas of the body marked and disfigured. A severe burns is dangerous and can be fatal. Burns can also lead to infection, respiratory distress and shock.
Amputations/Loss of Limb
Traumatic amputations can occur in which the limb is partially or in whole severed during an accident. Like disfigurement, a person who has lost a limb may have to endure awkward responses from other people in additon to substantial difficulties functioning without a limb throughout their life. In addition to emotional and psychosocial challenges, a person who lost a limb must deal with the substantial physical disadvantages and difficulties of functioning without one or more of their arms or legs.
The loss of a limb often requires re-learning or re-adjusting to normal, everyday activities that can no longer be completed as easily or in the same manner. Depending on the nature of their job, a person who has lost arms or legs may no longer be able to perform the work for which they were trained or educated. Further, many of the activities that were once enjoyed, whether it be sports, nature hikes, painting or travel, may no longer be possible.
Making an Injury Claim
It is difficult to come to terms with a permanent injury. Your first priority, of course, is to receive the best medical care and attention, and to optimize your recovery process. Although no compensation can make up for the kind of losses suffered in a catastrophic injury, financial compensation can at least allow an injured person to have access to needed rehabilitative care and not be financially burdened as a result of their injury. It is also a good idea to get legal advice on your rights, given your unique circumstances, from a trusted and respected legal counsel.
If you are considering making a personal injury claim, call the Injury Lawyers of Ontario (ILO) to discuss the facts of your case. The injury lawyers affiliated with ILO are knowledgeable and well-experienced in successfully representing seriously and catastrophically injured persons in accident claims. Our lawyers have close ties to the medical professionals in local communities and can offer expert and compassionate help in connecting our clients with the appropriate care workers and in obtaining required medical documentation to effectively substantiate your claim.
You probably have questions about the strength of your claim, the type and amount of compensation for which you are eligible, what’s involved in the process of seeking compensation, and how long it will likely take to achieve a favourable settlement. An ILO lawyer can answer all of these questions and more in a free, no-obligation consultation. Call our office today to find out how we can help.