If you have been hurt in an accident that caused scarring, you may want to know how much your case is worth. This article is written to provide guidance to those people who have been injured in a personal injury accident. Determining how much a scar from an accident is worth is complicated because the dollar amount is subjective and is affected by numerous factors. I hope that this article helps.
The below statements are generalities – and each situation and case is unique and should be discussed with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney.
There is no formula or calculator that an insurance company uses to determine the value of a scar. If you search the internet, you may find calculators stating they can tell you what a scar is valued at, however, do not fall for these ploys and marketing scams. While there is no set calculation for the compensation value of any injury, here are a few common factors that are considered in any car accident injury scar.
Location of the Scar: The more visible a scar is, potentially, the more damage the injured person will suffer. If the scar is very noticeable on the face, the negative impact this can have on your life is greater than if the scar is somewhere not visible to everyone. If you work in a profession where appearance plays a role in your ability to perform your job duties, the damages are considered much greater. Therefore, it would be reasonable to expect to recover greater compensation for the scar. Additionally, it would be reasonable to expect compensation for loss of earnings.
Men vs. Women: Insurance companies generally pay greater compensation to a woman with scars than a man. There is no scientific or factual reason for this. It seems to be more of a societal bias in favor of women. Because a woman’s appearance is viewed differently than a man’s, the insurance company will pay more to a woman. This is directly influenced by juries who value a woman’s physical appearance differently.
Adults vs. Children: As you can easily guess, an injury to a child that results in a permanent scar will recover more compensation than the same scar on an adult will recover. Simply put, a child’s life expectancy is longer and the damage they will suffer will be longer. Additionally, there is also the element of sympathy when a child is injured in any way, resulting in insurance companies and juries paying out more in compensation.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life: Again, this area of damage is difficult to quantify and is left to the insurance adjuster’s or a jury’s decision. The biggest issue with a scar is how people view it and how it affects a person’s self image. If you are self conscious about the scar because it is in a visible area, then your claim is worth more.
To fully understand all of these components and how they may apply to your case, you should talk with a reputable, trusted attorney.
Florida Statutes section 627.737(2) says that in any action for personal injury from a car accident, the injured person may recover money for pain, suffering, mental anguish, and inconvenience if the injury resulted in
- Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function.
- Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement.
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement.
In Florida, it is up to a jury to decide whether a facial scar is a disfigurement. Cohen v. Pollack, 674 So. 2d. 805, 806 (Fla. 3rd DCA 1996). In a non-motor vehicle accident case, it is also up to the jury to decide the amount of money that your scarring and disfigurement are worth.
Insurance companies and defendants will frequently say that the scar is not a permanent injury or disfigurement, as a form of defense to avoid paying a settlement. The defendant is entitled to obtain a doctor, surgeon, or specialist to examine the injured party and make their determination of whether the scar is permanent within a reasonable degree of medical probability. When doctors do not agree on whether the scar is a permanent injury, the jurors will have to determine who they find more credible and what they choose to believe.
There are a few things you can do to help ensure you get the best results for your case. Because scars usually fade over time, it is important to consult an attorney as soon as possible after an accident or when the injury occurred. Take photos immediately and continue to take photos to record your progress to heal. And it is important to be able to clearly explain how the scar has affected you and your family. Keeping a journal or detailed notes is always useful for future interaction with claims adjusters and juries if your case goes to trial.
How to Increase the Value of Your Scar Claim
The only way to convince an insurance company to pay for your scar after an accident is to show them. That means that you need to take a lot of photos after the accident. Make sure that the lighting shows how bad the scar looks. Make sure that you can tell how large the scar is. Keep in mind that you want the insurance company to look at these photos and be affected by how bad it looks.
Here’s an example of a scar case after a personal injury accident that I handled. I had a young man get cut all along his back in an accident. The cut had to be about a foot long. He didn’t need stitches and it healed fairly well. But, there was still a visible scar. When I asked his mother to send me pictures, you couldn’t see anything. So, I had him come to the office and we took him outside in the natural light. The scar was obvious to see in those pictures. We wound up settling his case for the maximum amount of insurance money possible. And, it was all because the photo was taken properly in the right light.
CONTACT A PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY
Scars can be worth a lot of money. If you or a loved one has been injured and suffered a scar after an accident, then you should take the appropriate steps to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact a trusted, respectable personal injury attorney today.
For over 60 years our firm has been successfully helping people who have been injured due to someone else’s carelessness. We have been nationally ranked for decades by US News and World Reports as a Tier 1 law firm, which is the highest-ranking that can be received. Sean McQuaid and Jonathon Douglas have dedicated their careers to continuing the firm’s legacy of superior legal representation.
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