You unfortunately suffered facial injuries and scarring in a recent car accident. Now, you are trying to heal and find compensation for your losses, like medical expenses.
Is there something accident victims should know to help with the situation?
Yes. There are four important pieces of information that car accident victims with facial scars should keep in mind. These are:
- settlement values for a facial scar claim will vary,
- injury victims can recover a payout for non-economic damages,
- there are different types of scars, and
- face scars can result from a host of different causes.
1. Is there an average settlement value for a facial scar case?
It is very difficult to try and estimate an average settlement value in motor vehicle accident cases that involve face scars.
This is because the facts of every case are different. Settlement amounts will usually vary depending on the:
- severity of your personal injury (settlement values are generally more for more severe scars – like those needing reconstructive surgery, plastic surgery, or cosmetic surgery),
- victim’s age (younger victims generally receive larger payouts than older victims),
- recovery time (permanent scarring usually results in greater settlement values),
- victim’s marital status (sometimes unmarried victims receive more money than married victims), and
- victim’s gender (female victims generally settle cases for more than male victims).1
Note as well that settlement values will usually increase as the amount of medical treatment involved increases.
Face scars requiring extensive treatment will generate expensive medical bills. Settlement amounts will rise to reflect these costs.
So, for example, a personal injury case involving a scar requiring a plastic surgeon or skin grafting will settle more for than a face injury that involves only one visit to the ER.
2. Can face scar victims receive non-economic damages?
Most often, yes. “Non-economic damages” is a term used to describe the subjective and nonmonetary losses involved in a personal injury claim.2
A serious injury that results in permanent facial scarring or disfigurement will usually generate a large award for non-economic damages.
This is because such car accident injuries cause:
- extended emotional harm, and
- injury victims feeling self-conscious when in public.
Note that you can also receive economic damages in face scar cases. These are losses that have a clear monetary value, like medical expenses and lost wages.
When trying to evaluate the full extent of your damages in face scar cases, it is usually a smart idea to seek legal advice from a personal injury lawyer or law firm.
Also, if you are negotiating a damage amount with a claims adjuster from the insurance company, you have the right to hire a personal injury attorney or law office to negotiate a claim on your behalf.
3. Are there different types of facial scars?
Yes. In general, there are three different types of facial scars that can occur from car accidents. These are:
- contracture scars – or scars that form when a large area of the skin is damaged and lost. The scar tends to pull the edges of your skin together and causes an area of tight skin. They can affect facial muscles and nerves.3
- keloid scars – or bumpy scars that appear after your face injury heals. They can extend beyond your original area of injury and often require surgical removal and steroid injections.4
- hypertrophic scars – or scars like keloid scars but ones that generally do not extend beyond the boundaries of your original injury or laceration. Sometimes these scars will go away on their own, but they also sometimes require steroid injections.5
Note that different types of facial injuries will result in different types of scars.
4. What can cause a face scar?
When it comes to auto accidents, there are several different causes of face scars. Some of the more common causes include:
- cuts from glass or flying debris,
- impact with a steering wheel or airbag,
- contact with a window,
- parts of the body hitting the windshield, and/or
- a slip and fall accident after exiting your car.
Note that you can also suffer from a facial scar after a doctor performs a surgical procedure to remedy a facial injury.
Further, you can suffer a face scar in literally any type of car accident, truck accident, or motorcycle accident, including: