If you’ve been involved in a serious car accident, it is entirely possible that you may have scarring from the accident. Sometimes, the scarring is from a major laceration to the skin. Sometimes, the scarring is caused by abrasions, and in some cases, by the airbags deploying and burning the skin.
If you have scarring from an auto accident, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Also, make sure you take photos of your scar(s) from many different angles and in many different lighting situations. Sometimes, photos do not do justice to the scar and you should do your best to make sure your photos really convey just how pronounced the scarring is. Remember to take photos of your scarring every week to document the healing process (or in some cases the "lack" of healing). If you are unable to take photos, ask a friend or family member to do so. Take close up shots as well as shots from further away. Shots that are taken too closely may not fairly portray the extent of your scarring. Simply put, your job is to convey the extent of the scarring - not just that you have scarring.
Remember, the insurance company's job from the very beginning is to minimize your claim. If you tell them about scarring, they might assume you simply have a minor "scratch." You need to preserve the evidence and show them just how bad the scarring is. Also, the location of the scar is very important. If the the scar is on a highly visible part of your body like your face, that may affect the evaluation of your claim. Don’t assume that scarring is just is something benign. Don't feel embarrassed to raise the issue. When it comes to personal injury claims, you want to receive compensation for ALL injuries - not just a choice few. You should make it part of your overall claim.
If you have residual scarring, that may affect your case as well. If the scar doesn't completely heal after a few months, you might consider asking a plastic surgeon for an a valuation. The surgeon can tell you whether or not this is a permanent scar and how you could either repair the scar or minimize its appearance. In some cases, there may be nothing you can do about it. However, it might be good to get an evaluation nevertheless because the insurance adjuster may try to marginalize your claim of scarring. The extent of your residual scarring may affect the value of your case as well.
In short, do not ignore your scarring injuries after an accident. Scarring is an injury to you just like anything else. In some cases of permanent scarring, it can be a lifelong reminder of your car accident.
by Robert Mansour
Robert Mansour is a personal injury lawyer serving Santa Clarita, Valencia,