There are very few things more devastating than an accident that causes severe facial injuries and scarring. Feeling confident about one’s appearance is so important for personal and professional success that many victims suffer from psychiatric problems in addition to their physical injuries. Facial scars can also have an actual impact on a person’s ability to be hired for a job. According to a study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, interviewers are so distracted by facial scarring that they don’t listen carefully to what the applicant is saying, and they’re often passed for jobs. That’s why facial injuries and scarring are considered one of the most catastrophic injuries a person can suffer due to an accident.
When a facial injury or scar is caused by the negligence or recklessness of another person, it’s possible to collect compensation for medical bills, lost earnings, pain, suffering, and mental anguish. An experienced Orange County disfigurement lawyer knows how to help you collect the largest amount of money damages possible to compensate you for your loss. Call the personal injury attorneys at Crockett Law Group today to schedule your free consultation and learn more.
Types of Facial Injuries
The face is the most cosmetically serious part of the body, making disfiguring injuries much more unfortunate for the victim. These are the most common facial injuries caused by accidents:
Wounds are classified based on their cause. Abrasions are caused when skin scrapes against a rough surface. “Road rash” is a severe abrasion typical of pedestrian, bicycle, and motorcycle accidents that can cause disfiguring facial scars. Puncture wounds are caused by objects that enter the skin, such as a piece of twisted metal during a car crash.
Lacerations are deep cuts that tear the skin. Accidents with tools, machinery, and knives can cause lacerations, as well as glass from a windshield. Avulsions are very serious open wounds that partially or completely tear away skin and the tissue underneath that usually require reconstruction surgery, especially when they occur on the face.
First, second, and third-degree burns can cause disfiguring scarring on the face. Friction burns are abrasions that not only rub off skin but also burn it. Flames, hot metals, scalding liquids, and steam, can cause thermal burns. Chemical burns can be caused by solvents, detergents, and strong acids.
The most common types of facial fractures are nasal bones, frontal bones (forehead,) cheekbones/upper jaw, orbital (eye socket,) midface, and mandible (lower jaw.) These fractures span the range from hairline fractures that heal on their own to complex compound fractures that require multiple surgeries. It is not unusual for facial fractures to require multiple surgeries over a period of years.
The most devastating aspect of facial injuries is the disfiguring scars that often result. Keloid scars can be raised and extend outside the boundaries of the original injury. They are not only unsightly but can also cause pain and restrict movement. Hypertrophic scars are raised red scars that are similar to keloids but stay within the bounds of the original injury. Contracture scars caused by burns can impact nerves and muscles.
How Long Does Facial Trauma Take to Heal?
The healing period will depend on the type, severity, and treatment of facial trauma. Facial fractures often require surgical procedures to “reduce” and “fix” the broken bones, sometimes requiring the use of plates, screws, and wires to hold the bones in place. After the surgery, the bruising and swelling usually takes only a few weeks to resolve, but further surgery to improve the cosmetic result and resolve ancillary issues.
In the most severe cases, it can take years of physical therapy to regain the ability to speak and chew properly. Plastic surgery sometimes has to be done gradually over a period of years to achieve the greatest possible level of improvement. Plates, screws, or other inserted appliances may need to be removed and replaced periodically, causing the amount of time for treatment to run into decades. In some cases, there will be a lifelong need for surgeries and rehabilitation to restore the cosmetic appearance and function of the face.
How Much Can I Claim for a Facial Scar?
Juries have tremendous sympathy for accident victims with facial scars, awarding some of the highest six and seven-figure verdicts for these types of cases. Insurance companies will offer settlements based on what they believe a jury might award, making it possible to get large amounts of money more quickly. The largest sums of money are usually awarded to young people, especially women, who will have to suffer from the stigma of facial scarring for a long period of time.
The amount of money for damages can be astronomical if somebody made a great deal of money from their looks prior to the accident, such as a model or actress. Awards can also be high for highly paid executives, college professors, or anybody that has a profession that involves public speaking. Even for regular people, the awards for the mental anguish of having a facial scar can be seven figures just for the psychological impact of the injury.
Let Our Orange County Disfigurement Lawyers Help
Our Orange County attorneys at the Crockett Law Group know how to maximize the amount of money you can collect to pay for your state-of-the-art medical treatment, reimburse you for your lost earnings, and compensate you for your pain, suffering, and mental anguish. We’ll investigate your case, leaving no stone unturned in order to get you the highest amount of compensation possible. We offer a free consultation to discuss your case and our legal strategy, ensuring that you have a complete understanding of all issues. Please call (800) 900-9393 today to make an appointment.