One of the most difficult injuries to cope with after a car accident or any other personal injury accident is scarring. While many wounds heal with time, deep cuts and lacerations often leave permanent scars. Burn injuries cause scars that also last for a lifetime. Scars are different than many other injuries because they cause psychological scars in addition to physical pain.
Scarring and disfigurement are especially hard to cope with when the victim’s face is scarred or when another visible part of the body is scarred. Plastic surgery can help some victims look a little better – but in most cases, plastic surgery, just reduces the size and depth of the scars – the surgery doesn’t eliminate the scars.
What types of accidents cause scarring?
Car and truck crashes often cause scars as the glass from the windshield and other parts of the car or truck fly into the faces and bodies of the drivers and passengers. Injuries that result in scars may also be due to the car occupant colliding with other parts of the vehicle, with other occupants, and with the ground if they are thrown from the car. Motorcycle accidents are often likely to cause scarring of a victim’s face or arms as he/she crashes into the asphalt and then slides along the ground.
Slip and fall accidents are another common cause of scarring. Victims of premises liability negligence can cut themselves as they fall on the floor or any object on the floor.
Dog bites almost always some type of scarring. Once the bite is treated for diseases and infections, most dog bite victims require some type of surgery to treat the bite wound.
What types of scars do accident victims suffer?
According to the prestigious Cleveland Clinic, scars form during the healing process as your body “builds tissue to repair damaged skin and close gaps due to an injury.” Scar tissue is composed of the protein collagen. While many scars fade with time, many scars require treatment for health and emotional reasons.
Some common types of scars that may be due to an accident include the following:
- Contracture. This type of scar is usually due to a burn injury. This type of scar causes the skin to contract/tighten. Contracture scars can make it hard to move.
- Flat scars. These scars start out slightly raised – and then flatten out as the wound heals. They may become “slightly lighter or darker than the surrounding skin.”
- Keloid scars. These are raised scars that “spread beyond the wounded area.” The scar tissue can become large and may make movement difficult.
- Raised (hypertrophic). These scars stay raised instead of flattening out. They generally don’t spread beyond the wounded area.
In addition to external scars on the skin, accidents can cause internal scarring – due to scar tissue from surgeries such as abdominal adhesions.
Most people know they have an external scar by touching the scar or looking at the scar tissue. Internal scars need to be diagnosed by a physician.
How are scars from Colorado accidents treated?
The treatments depend on a variety of factors including the location of the scar, the loss of movement, whether the scar is causing pain, and how unsightly the scar is.
A few of the common treatments, according to the Cleveland Clinic, to prevent scars from forming when your wound heals include:
- Dermabrasion. This treatment, often used for acne – but used for scars from accidents too – removes the skin’s top layer by “sanding” the skin.
- Injections. Your doctor injects medication (corticosteroids) into the scar to make the scar flatter and smaller.
- Laser treatments. Laser treatments “use a particular wavelength of light to cause a particular action in the skin.” Laser treatments are also used to help with itching, sensitivity, and pain.
- Pressure therapy. “An elastic bandage, dressing, or stocking puts pressure on a wound during the healing process. The pressure prevents a scar from forming or decreases its size. Massage therapy can also help break up scar tissue and allow it to remodel.”
- Scar-revision surgery. Different procedures can help remove a scar or improve its appearance. Skin grafts transplant skin from another area part of your body.
- Topical creams and ointments. Some lotions such as silicone ointments may help prevent the scar from forming or reduce its sign. Corticosteroid cream or a silicone gel sheet may be used.
In very severe cases, the scarring may require bone reconstruction.
Some scars can prevent a victim from working especially if the victim depends on their looks to earn a living. For example, even a minor scar can affect the ability of a model to earn a living.
Many people who have scars have a lot of emotional scarring too. Accident victims with scars:
- Wonder if people look/stare at them
- Worry if the scars affect their ability to keep current relationships or develop new ones
- Lose confidence in themselves
- Spend a lot of time trying to hide their scars
How does scarring affect your damage claim?
In all accident cases, victims are entitled to compensation for their physical pain and emotional suffering, payment for the medical bills, and compensation for the income they lose because of the injuries. All these factors apply to scars. Accident victims who have scars are entitled to compensation:
- To physically treat their scars. This includes treatment to affect the functional use of your body such as movement. It also includes skin grafts and plastic surgery to improve the appearance of the victim.
- To emotionally treat the scars. Many accident victims with scars benefit from sessions with psychologists and with support groups.
- For any income loss due to the scars including time off for treatment and lost compensation because their job depends on their appearance.
Some of the factors that affect the amount of compensation include:
- Whether the scar is permanent
- How disfiguring the scar is
- The location of the scar – scars on the face are worth the most
Make the call to an experienced Colorado personal lawyer today
Accidents change lives. For some victims, the change is temporary until the injuries heal. For other victims, the change is permanent. Their lives are altered forever. At the Law Office of Anna L. Burr, LLC, we hold drivers, property owners, dog owners, and other responsible parties liable for these life-altering changes. We work with your doctors to fully document your injuries including scarring, your treatments, and your pain and suffering. We demand compensation for all the economic and non-economic damages Colorado law permits. To discuss a car accident or any accident, call us today. You can contact me online or call 720-500-2076 for a free, no-obligation consultation. We represent personal injury clients on a contingency fee basis.