Dealing with Scars due to Personal Injury
Scars and limb loss are less common, but still frequent, types of injuries that can result from car accidents. Scarring or disfigurement may happen directly from injuries sustained in the collision or from surgery resulting from the accident. Limb loss and amputations of limbs tend to happen during the aftermath of an accident.
Ohio State Statistics
In 2019, the Ohio State Highway Patrol investigated 64,058 car crashes. Serious injuries were suspected only in 1,868 of those accidents. Common causes of car accidents are due to distracted drivers or drivers operating the vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Types of Scars and Treatments
Scars have different levels of severity.
Scarring is a common outcome from automobile accidents. Severe scars or disfigurement may be caused by burns, broken glass, or nerve damage. Certain scars may heal on their own quickly or be more severe and need medical intervention.
Different types of scars that are commonly seen from car accidents include keloid, hypertrophic, and contracture scars. Keloid scars extend beyond the original injury. They are an enlarged and raised area on top of the skin. They can range from minor pain and inflammation, to more severe disfigurement and cause cosmetic concern. They may instantly or gradually obstruct bodily movement depending on where the scar is located. Hypertrophic scars are similar to keloid, but they tend to be less invasive, and generally fade over time. Contracture scars are common with burns. They can be dangerously harmful when they affect muscles and hit nerves that impair body movement.
Special treatment may be needed to repair these types of injuries. Many minor scars may be able to be treated with over-the-counter ointments or creams, or a prescription if necessary. Steroids or laser treatment may be necessary for more severe keloid and hypertrophic scars. For more severe scars, surgery may be needed. When the scar has caused disfigurement, or has prevented muscle movement or daily functioning, reconstructive plastic surgery may be the answer.
Types of Limb Loss and Treatments
Limb loss is a less common injury resulting from automobile accidents. Arm loss is much more common than leg loss. Amputations happen after an accident when medical professionals have determined that the injured limb is too severely damaged to save.
Limb loss and severe disfigurement can cause someone to have a disability for the remainder of their life. Amputees will have to learn to live without the limb or with a prosthetic. This can add several negative impacts to the injured person altering their entire life physically, professionally, socially, and emotionally.
When a Child is Severely Injured
Severe injuries occurring in minors can be devastating.
Having a scar, especially a visible facial scar, can be very traumatizing for a child. Being teased and harassed at school may increase a child’s psychological development. Surgery may be used to decrease the visibility of a scar. However, it could take several procedures as the child grows. This can make the situation even more upsetting to the child and their family.
Limb loss to a child that occurs from a car accident is similar to an adult. The main difference being that children are still growing physically and developing emotionally. A traumatic event may cause the child psychological harm that will need to be treated and monitored by professionals. Physically, children will need continued modifications of their prosthetics.
Families of severely injured children may also be impacted by the injury. Families will have to care for their child in a new way. The child may be handicapped for the rest of their life and need to be taken care of indefinitely. A family might have to redo their entire home making it accessible to their child’s disability. Or, they might have to rearrange their entire living and work situation to be able to take care of their child. This can be costly and emotionally difficult.
Severe injury in children is a serious problem. Physical and emotional trauma require ongoing medical treatments. This will be taken into account when deciding how much noneconomic damages will be rewarded to the child and their family.
Severe Injuries and Ohio Law
Someone who is severely injured from a car accident is owed financial compensation. An injury, that is proven to be permanent and has caused substantial physical deformity, or loss of a limb, can qualify as a severe injury. Unlike other non-severe injuries, like bruises or lightly fractured bones, Ohio law has no limit on the amount of compensation due to noneconomic loss resulting from severe injury.
Damages for noneconomic loss takes into consideration intangible losses like pain and suffering; emotional distress; a permanent physical functional injury that permanently prevents the injured person from being able to independently care for themselves and perform life-sustaining activities. Facial disfigurements can lead to additional emotional stress that can decrease one’s quality of life. Both mental and physical pain are taken into consideration when deciding the amount of compensation rewarded.
A person who is severely injured can also qualify for damages due to economic loss. This would include compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, accommodations that result from the injury, and property damage that resulted from the car accident.
Treatment for scarring and limb loss can be very expensive, ranging from steroids to plastic surgery. To receive this compensation for economic and noneconomic loss, severity of the injury must be proven. Medical bills, that are a result of the accident, must be provided, as well as any documentation regarding future treatment related to the accident.
Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2315.18
If You are Severely Injured
It may not be possible to call a lawyer right after an accident that has caused severe injury. If your injuries are serious, it is advisable to call a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. They can help deal with your insurance company as well as the insurance company of the driver at fault. Speak to the personal injury attorneys at Kruger & Hodges today to make sure that you are able to pursue the compensation to which you are entitled.