What are my disfigurement injuries worth after a New Mexico crash?

What does it mean to heal completely from an accident? Does it just mean that you can do the physical things you did before the accident? What if you can do most things, but you still have pain or stiffness? Or, what if you can do what you did before, but you don’t look the same? Many motor vehicle accidents result in long-lasting or permanent changes that no amount of treatment will resolve. These effects are often referred to as “residual injuries,” and you should be compensated for them. An experienced New Mexico car accident attorney will know what your residual injuries are worth and will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

Scarring and Disfigurement Are Common Residual Injuries  

Disfigure Definition in a DictionaryLong after the broken bones have healed, the concussion has mended, and the whiplash has been resolved, you might still have physical reminders of a catastrophic car crash in the form of scarring and disfigurement. When these marks are in a visible area, such as your face, neck, arms, or legs, they can affect your mental state and impact your ability to interact with other people easily. Disfigurement injuries that are common in motor vehicle accidents include:

  • Scars. Cuts and lacerations caused by flying debris or glass can be stitched up but may never completely disappear. If you had to have surgery to repair a broken bone or internal injury, the scars from the incision might be visible for the rest of your life.
  • Burns. Burns caused by contact with hot auto parts or by actual flames after a violent collision can leave you permanently disfigured. Burn injuries are very common in motorcycle crashes, where road rash is another disfiguring condition.
  • Mobility problems. When scar tissue forms near a joint or area where the body flexes, you could lose mobility in that area. Loss of use in your knees, elbows, and hands could have a life-long impact on your activities.
  • Facial injuries. When burns, cuts, scrapes, and incisions happen on your face, there is no way to cover up the scars that result. This can impact your ability to get a job, have meaningful relationships, and return to an emotionally healthy state. These injuries are particularly devastating for young women.
  • Nerve damage. Road rash, cuts, and incisions that go deep can damage the nerves and cause you to lose feeling and control of certain areas. This could impact the work you can do and affect your confidence in other areas of your life.

These kinds of permanent injuries can occur in every kind of motor vehicle crash, including car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents. When someone else’s negligence caused your disfigurement, you should not be responsible for the life-long price you will have to pay.

Effects of Disfigurement Injuries on Quality of Life

A scar might not seem like a serious injury at first, but it can have a serious impact on your life and livelihood. Serious, visible scarring can cause:

  • Embarrassment and emotional distress. A change in your appearance or a belief that you are unattractive or even frightening-looking can cause extreme embarrassment and distress. Even if friends and family try to support and reassure you, you could suffer in new situations and with strangers. 
  • Loss of earning capacity. If you worked in a customer-facing field, you could lose your job—whether by your own choice or through an employer’s discrimination. This could result in an inability to earn the wages you earned prior to the accident.
  • Inability to form relationships. You might not want to risk putting yourself out there to meet friends or potential romantic partners, or you could be rejected by others based solely on your appearance.
  • Depression and isolation. Not wanting to show your scars in public could lead to a lonely, isolated life and, ultimately, to severe depression.

While monetary damages will not solve all of these problems, they can go a long way towards making up for some of your losses. Whether it supplements lost income or helps to pay for expensive cosmetic surgery that insurance won’t cover, compensation can make a difference.

Trust Keller & Keller to Get You What You Deserve

It is not easy to document the effects of a disfigurement injury, but with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney, you can make sure you get everything to which you are entitled after a New Mexico crash that was not your fault. Call our Albuquerque office at 800-253-5537 to find out how we can help maximize the value of your claim.

 

James R. Keller
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Partner at Keller & Keller