If you are seriously injured in a car accident or dog bite incident, scars may seem like the least of your problems. But as you recover from your injuries and return to your everyday life, a scar can feel more like a permanent reminder of the trauma than an emblem of resilience.
Permanent scarring is more than just a cosmetic issue. Scarring can cause deep emotional distress and affect a person’s ability to work, make friends, get married, and enjoy various activities. In other words, scars can reduce a person’s quality of life.
If you have developed scars due to the negligence of another, you have the legal right to seek legal compensation for your pain and suffering. Let one of the experienced personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC help you recover the financial compensation you rightfully deserve.
Contact a Chicago scarring lawyer today, call (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number), or fill in this online contact form to schedule a free consultation. Any personal information you provide will be protected under a confidential attorney-client relationship.
What Is Scarring?
Scarring occurs after an injury as a result of the skin healing itself. Collagen, a protein produced by the body, closes the wound. As the wound heals, the collagen breaks down and is continually replaced over months and years.
Mild injuries cause scars that become smoother and less visible over time. But more severe scars may be permanent and can interfere with mobility.
Here are the different types of scars related to injuries:
- Normal fine-line scars: A minor wound will usually leave a raised line on the skin upon healing, which should gradually flatten and fade within months or years. Fine-line scarring will not disappear completely.
- Keloid scars: A keloid scar occurs when too much collagen is in the wound site. Keloid scars are raised above the skin and are often darker than the surrounding skin. They may be itchy or painful and can restrict movement in some cases. A keloid scar usually forms on the shoulders, earlobes, cheeks, or chest.
- Acne scars: Large acne lesions formed through cysts.
- Hypertrophic scars: Like keloid scars, this type of scar results from the overproduction of collagen. However, unlike keloid scars, hypertrophic scars do not grow beyond the boundary of the original injury.
- Atrophic scars: Typically due to acne or chickenpox, atrophic scars are small and hollow. They can also be caused by surgery or trauma.
- Contracture scars: Scarring from second or third-degree burns, major surgery, or wounds often result in contracture scars, which cause a tightening of the skin. These scars also may be deeper than the surface and can cause mobility issues.
Contracture scars can become either flat or raised, depending on the source of the wound and the person’s skin type. The skin tissue of contracture may appear warped or constricted because the skin has pulled itself together tightly.
The type of scars that develop after your injury also determines the amount of compensation for the scarring. Any damage to the skin may cause a scar. Some common reasons are:
- Surgical incisions
- Dog bites
Effects Of Scarring
Though the effects of scarring can be different for everyone, particularly concerning emotional and psychological effects, the most common effects of scarring can include:
- Loss of self-worth
- Pain / discomfort
- Lost motor skills
Common Accidents Leading To Scarring
You may file a scarring claim regardless of the nature of the accident–as long as another person’s negligence caused it. Common examples of scarring accidents include:
- Car accidents: Car accident cases usually involve scarring claims. Aside from serious injury, many accident victims can suffer severe scarring from broken glass, twisted metal, and burned plastic. Miniscule pieces of broken glass can remain, covered by the scarring and removable only by surgery.
- Surgery: Plastic surgeons may also be subject to scarring claims if they accidentally cause a scar during a procedure. Moreover, they may also face medical malpractice claims if the accident was caused by negligence.
- Defective products: Skin lacerations leading to scarring can be caused by sharp edges effectively designed and manufactured or when defective products fail and break apart.
- Hair salon accidents: Hairstylists use extremely sharp tools on their clients, including hair shears and razor blades. Scarring from a hair salon accident could lead to permanent scarring or infection if the hairstylist used an unsanitary tool.
- Dog bites: In dog bite cases, an injured person can suffer permanent disfigurement on top of infection and severe pain. The owner will be held liable if it is proven that the dog bit the victim without reasonable cause.
- Slip and falls: Commercial establishments have a legal obligation to maintain the safety of their workers and customers. If you slip and fall due to the negligence of an establishment, they may be held liable for your injuries, including scarring.
Medical Treatment For Scarring
If an injury scar is causing a deformity or restricting movement, medical procedures can help minimize the scar’s appearance and increase the affected area’s flexibility. If scarring is minimal, it may be treated with non-surgical options such as corticosteroid creams or injections.
Severe scarring, on the other hand, may require surgery such as:
- Scar removal or scar revision surgery: The scar tissue is removed, and the wound is carefully healed to prevent further scarring. It can also involve only removing small portions of scarred tissue, allowing it to heal with less restriction to movement and appear less visible.
- Dermabrasion: Removal of the upper layer of skin. Such a procedure helps smooth and soften the scar tissue.
- Skin grafting: Using skin from other areas of the body to replace the scar tissue is used when there is extreme damage and loss of mobility. This procedure is generally more for function than appearance.
- Laser and other light treatments: Laser therapy can reduce the appearance of scarring and increase a person’s mobility when a scar limits movement. This treatment is popular among victims that don’t require surgery.
No injury scar can ever be removed entirely, even by revision surgery, although it can often be made pliable and less visible. Keloid scars have a 50-80% chance of reoccurring after surgery, although they may be less noticeable and detrimental to the movement.
The Role Of Your Chicago Scarring Lawyer
In scar injury cases involving a scar, the negligent party’s insurance company and insurance adjuster tend to lowball the value of a scar. In such cases, the injured person may not be able to obtain the maximum compensation that they are entitled to receive.
Hiring an experienced attorney helps ensure that you get fair compensation for the damages caused to you. Scar injury attorneys can help you:
- Estimate the potential cost of your scar
- Determine the cost of getting the scar removed
- Find ways to maximize the value of your claim
- Highlight the economic and non-economic damages of the scar
- Gather evidence to strengthen your claim
- Communicate with insurance companies on your behalf
- Seek financial compensation for other injuries
Contact our legal team for a free consultation and to review your scar injury claim.
Damages Affecting Your Settlement Value
Aside from the factors mentioned above, suing for certain damages can also help raise the value of a scar. Such damages include:
- Medical costs: You may include the cost of plastic surgery or scar removal surgery in your claim, especially for facial scars. It is also possible to recover the costs of other treatments, such as topical medication, dermabrasion, laser treatment, and any other procedure necessary to treat your scar.
- Pain and suffering: Similar to standard personal injury claims, you may also be able to sue for the non-economic damages caused by your scar. You can highlight its adverse effects on your relationships, self-esteem, work-life, and mental health.
- Further injury: If your scar caused nerve damage or mobility issues, you might also be able to sue for the complementary treatments that those conditions require.
- Loss of income: If you lost your source of income due to the scar (e.g., if you are a model or if the scar limits your movement, affecting your work performance), you could also sue for lost income, including wages, bonuses, and commissions.
Your lawyer can also try to maximize your settlement by arguing the effect of the scarring on your potential earning capacity in the future.
Hire An Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer To Resolve Your Compensation Claim
Scarring is often a minor cosmetic issue, but a scar can get in the way of a happy, fulfilling life in severe cases. More than that, no amount of scar revision can completely eliminate a scar.
If you have been a victim of negligence resulting in scarring and significant injuries, you can seek legal compensation from the party at fault. However, determining how much a scar is worth is not as easy as you think. Nevertheless, having an excellent scar injury lawyer to defend your case can help maximize your settlement’s value.
Call our Chicago, IL law offices and speak with a lawyer at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or fill out a contact form to schedule a free consultation. Let’s discuss the value of a scar caused by someone else’s negligence.
Any personal information you provide your attorney will remain confidential under an attorney-client relationship. We currently represent clients in numerous practice areas in the following localities: Cook County, Kane County, Will County, DuPage County, Lake County, and Winnebago County.