Any auto accident that results in injuries may pose the risk of permanent scarring. If the airbag deploys and strikes the driver in the face, there may be cuts or residual scars. A passenger may cut themselves on glass from a broken window or windshield. In the case of serious injuries that require surgery, there is almost certainly going to be some scarring. In non-auto accident related personal injury claims, dog bites often result in stitches that leave scars.
If you have a scar from an accident, does it add value to your claim for damages? How does someone determine the value of a scar in a personal injury claim?
Factors that Influence Scar Value
No two scars are worth the same, even if it’s the identical scar on two different people. There are individual factors that can affect the overall value of a scar. Some of these include:
- Location of the Scar — Where is the scar located? Obviously, a scar located on someone’s face is going to be worth more than one on their arm or back.
- Age of the Claimant — Your age makes a difference in the value as well. The younger you are, the more value it will carry.
- Permanency — How permanent is the scar? Can it be easily removed with plastic surgery, will it fade over time, or is it something that the claimant will have to live with forever?
- Profession — Profession can play a role in value as well. A scar on the face is going to be worth more if the person is a model as opposed to a truck driver.
The Type of Scar Can Impact Value
In addition to the subjective factors noted herein, the type of scar may also play a role in how much value the scar is given. Some different types of scars are:
- Hypertrophic — Red, thick, and usually elevated; can be painful or itch; growth is limited to the original wound; may disappear naturally but it can take a year or more.
- Atrophic — Typically small and depressed; often from acne or chickenpox, but can occur after surgery or trauma.
- Keloid — Common with darker skin; irregular, rounded, and thick; extends beyond the original wound; may not develop for months; may require treatment or surgery.
- Contracture — Can be common after burn injuries; scars that cross joints or hit skin creases may form a contracture.
Retaining a Personal Injury Attorney in South Carolina
It’s important to understand that scar value is very subjective. That’s why having the right South Carolina personal injury attorney can make all the difference. You need a lawyer who is aggressive and a skilled negotiator. The attorneys at Elrod Pope Law Firm have years of experience handling a variety of personal injury matters, including serious injury auto accidents. Contact our office at 803-599-3080 to schedule a consultation.
Thomas E. Pope is a Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, and Medical Malpractice Attorney who practices in Rock Hill, Lake Wylie, and Lancaster, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 31 years now. Thomas E. Pope believes in protecting the injured. Learn more about his experience here.