When we think about car wrecks, we often associate them with cuts and bruises, whiplash injuries, or maybe even broken bones. But deep lacerations, puncture wounds, burns, and the resulting scars and disfigurement are not uncommon in motor vehicle collisions. For example, did you realize that airbags cause a significant number of facial scars because of chemical burns and metal projectiles? All airbags have this potential but recalled ones such as the Takata airbags create a greater risk of severe wounds, scarring, and disfigurement.
For most of us, if we looked in the mirror and saw scars, we wouldn’t feel that it was ourselves looking back. Facial scarring, and scars or disfigurement on the visible parts of our bodies, can derail lives and even livelihoods. The financial costs of recovery can be devastating as well.
Burns and Other Scarring Injuries
Many scars arising from motor vehicle crashes are produced by the following types of injuries:
- A second- or third-degree burn frequently leaves a scar behind, and plastic surgery often cannot make someone look exactly the way they did before the injury. Any burn on the face, hands, or feet is significant and requires treatment to prevent potential scarring and loss of function. Fires due to motor vehicle crashes and chemical burns from airbag deployments are prime suspects.
- Almost any cut deeper than a nick will leave a scar, even with expert stitching and plastic surgery. Flying glass and metal shrapnel from airbags can leave behind significant damage. When scars appear on the face or other visible body part, the distress they cause can be substantial.
- Broken facial bones can create deformities that surgery cannot completely repair. Fractured eye sockets, cheekbones, noses, and jawbones can result in lasting disfigurements.
- Soft-tissue damage. Injuries to cartilage, muscles, tendons, and ligaments may need surgery to correct them, leaving behind impaired function and deformities.
Any injury serious enough to create a scar often brings with it severe pain, both physical and emotional. The suffering produced can be intense and difficult to bear, especially with burns.
Burn and Scar Care is Expensive
There is no such thing as “cheap” medical care, but burns and scarring injuries, especially on the face, usually cost much more than medical treatment for a broken arm or leg. With today’s insurance deductibles, a considerable amount of the costs may fall on your shoulders. If your injuries resulted from someone else’s negligent behavior, it is fitting and just that they should compensate you for your medical costs.
Some sources peg the costs of burn repair and its associated plastic surgery at nearly a quarter-million dollars for a moderate burn. Severe burns can easily cost much more, with their associated skin breakdown, infections, and psychological complications. Plastic surgery for facial scarring and disfigurement from lacerations and other causes often reaches five figures, with surgical aftercare and psychological and physical therapies adding greatly to the total costs.
When Defective Motor Vehicle Parts Create Injuries
The now-infamous Takata airbags have caused a lot of suffering, but if you purchased an older car that you believe is not affected, you might still be at risk. A Las Vegas woman who bought a rebuilt 2002 Honda Accord nearly died and was left with serious scarring after her replacement airbag, which had been recalled by Takata, shot shrapnel into her trachea.
A number of motor vehicle defects can cause scarring injuries. One example involves 38,000 recalled GM vehicles with defective generator control parts that could spark a fire. Just about any automotive part could create an accident resulting in grave physical injuries that produce scars, such as defective brakes, defective tires, or automotive parts responsible for unanticipated deceleration or acceleration.
Factors in Scar Settlements and Awards
Should you bring a suit involving scarring from a motor vehicle collision, a number of factors can influence the amount of your settlement or award. If you are the victim, some of these factors include:
- Your gender, age, and marital status
- The location, size, appearance, and permanence of the scarring
- Your occupation, if it involves interacting with the public or presenting a certain appearance, such as for a salesperson or media employee.
Every case is unique, so your attorney is best-equipped to help you through the legal process so that you can obtain justice.
Securing justice for hardworking people and families since 1959.
The Louthian Law Firm can help you navigate the complexities of suing the party or persons responsible for a motor vehicle crash so that you can recover damages for medical costs, property damage, lost wages, and for pain and suffering. If you or someone you love has been injured as a result of a motor vehicle crash due to someone else’s negligence, you could have a legal claim for compensation.
Our South Carolina personal injury attorneys represent the rights of accident victims and other injured South Carolinians. We are committed to providing personalized service to you while aggressively pursuing your claim. For a free evaluation of your South Carolina vehicular accident case, call the Louthian Law Firm today or, if you prefer, use our online contact form.