Traffic accidents can cause incredibly serious or even fatal injuries, and some of the most tragic injuries include severe scarring and body disfiguring. Bodily disfigurement happens when someone suffers from permanent and visible injuries. In addition to being painful, disfigurement can cause a person to suffer from serious emotional and mental distress and ongoing problems.
If you suffered from severe car accident scars or disfigurement after a collision caused by another person’s negligence, you have every right to file a claim or lawsuit to obtain compensation. In addition to receiving compensation for your vehicle and medical bills, you may be able to recover lost wages, loss of future earnings, and pain and suffering as a direct result of your permanent injuries.
In Indiana, permanent body or face disfigurement is considered a serious bodily injury. These injuries often require incredibly expensive medical treatments. Victims of serious scarring and disfigurement also often require expensive ongoing care and surgeries as well as mental health treatments.
Tragically, the areas of the body that are most likely to become deformed in a car accident include the arms, hands, and face because they’re more exposed than other areas of the body.
Although any type of disfigurement can lead to serious emotional and mental problems, facial disfigurement is especially difficult to live with and can lead to serious psycho-social problems, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. This will also likely impact a victim’s quality of life and may even affect their ability to find employment.
A few common car accident-related injuries that can lead to permanent disfigurement include:
- Deep lacerations
- Nerve damage
- Blunt force trauma
- Burn injuries
Those with second-degree or third-degree burn injuries are especially at risk of suffering from permanent disfigurement. Second-degree burns often result in blisters, discoloration, and redness that may leave permanent scarring. Third-degree burns can cause one’s skin to appear white, leathery, and deformed and may cause permanent nerve and bone damage.
Any number of accidents can cause a victim to suffer from permanent scarring, but vehicular collisions are especially likely to cause disfigurement because of the high chance of severe lacerations, abrasions, and fractures.
Some situations that may cause disfigurement include:
- Road rash from a motorcycle accident or from a victim being ejected from a vehicle.
- Lacerations from a broken windshield or windows.
- Crusing injuries that result in an amputation.
- Burns from a vehicle catching fire or an explosion.
- Severe fractures from the force of a vehicle collision.
If you plan on filing a claim or lawsuit against a negligent driver for your injuries and disfigurement, you’ll need to prove that they were at fault for your accident and that you suffered damages as a direct result. To prove that the other driver was liable, you can collect evidence including:
- The police accident report: You can use the responding officer’s accident report as proof that the other driver made a mistake or engaged in deliberate negligent behavior behind the wheel and caused your collision, such as running a red light, driving while distracted, or driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Eyewitness testimony: If possible, track down anyone who saw the accident take place. Make sure to record their first-hand account and their contact information. You can also take statements from any passengers who were involved in the crash.
- Photographic and video evidence: Photographic and video evidence of a crash scene can reveal important details indicating who was at fault, including skid marks, traffic signals, and how each vehicle suffered damage. Surveillance footage, dashboard camera footage, and traffic camera footage also provide invaluable sources of evidence that can prove that the other driver was at fault, but obtaining these forms of evidence can be challenging. You’ll likely need to enlist the services of a car accident attorney to subpoena the video evidence.
- Accident reconstruction expert witness: Accident reconstruction experts recreate the scene of an accident with 3D technology and onsite investigation in order to prove that a driver was at fault.
In order to prove that you suffered from damages, you’ll need to draw a direct connection between the wreck and your disfiguring injuries. You’ll also need to show how your injuries have impacted you mentally and emotionally and how they have hindered your ability to work. Some forms of evidence you can use include:
- Medical bills: This should include all treatments, prescriptions, doctor’s visits, and ongoing care. You should also include bills from mental health professionals treating you for depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, or another mental or emotional affliction.
- Doctor’s notes: The doctor’s notes should explicitly state that you’ll likely suffer from permanent scarring or disfigurement as a direct result of your car accident injuries.
- Personal journal: Your journal should record how your injuries have impaired you and lowered your quality of life. You should also detail any new mental or emotional struggles, such as anxiety, depression, or PTSD that have resulted from the crash, your injuries, and the disfigurement.
- Proof of lost wages: You need to provide evidence that you took time away from work to recover from your injuries.
- Expert medical witnesses: Expert medical witnesses can attest that your car accident caused your injuries. If applicable, they can also provide proof that your injuries will directly impact your ability to work in the future.
Depending on your case, you may be able to recover damages for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of future earnings, and more. In order to recover the most compensation possible, you’ll need to contact a personal injury attorney who can present your case on your behalf.
For expert medical support in car accident disfigurement cases in Indianapolis, contact the lawyers at Poynter & Bucheri Accident Recovery Attorneys at Law. We’ll help you gather and present substantial proof that proves your case, and we’ll work to maximize the amount that you’ll receive in damages.
Call us today at 1-800-265-9881 or contact us online for a free case review.