Scars consist of fibrous tissue that forms when the body heals from an injury and replaces lost or damaged skin. They may result from lacerations suffered by a victim in a passenger car struck by a truck. A victim also may suffer scars from burns in fires related to truck accidents, such as when punctured gas tanks or leaks result from a collision. Broken bones may cause scarring in some cases, depending on the nature of the fracture. Sometimes surgery to resolve other types of injuries leaves a scar. Notable types of scars include:
Hypertrophic scars: these usually develop within weeks of an injury and are limited to the area of the original wound
Keloid scars: these may develop up to a year after an injury and spread beyond the edges of the original wound
Contractures: these respond to the loss of a large area of skin by pulling the edges of the skin together, which may hamper movement due to the effect of decreased skin size on muscles, joints, and tendons in the area
In addition to the pain and potential mobility issues caused by scars, they may trigger emotional and psychological problems. Victims with scars may suffer from sleep disruptions, anxiety, or depression, even if a scar is not severe. They may encounter stigma and struggle to interact with others due to a lack of self-esteem. Scar revision procedures and other treatments may improve appearance and function, but scars cannot be removed entirely, and some scars are less responsive to treatment than others. Sometimes scars recur after treatment.
Compensation for Scarring and Disfigurement After Truck Accidents
Victims can pursue compensation for scarring and disfigurement arising from an accident caused by someone else, such as a truck crash. This might include reimbursement for scar revision procedures, as well as counseling, therapy, and medications for the emotional and psychological effects of the scar. If a victim needs to miss time from work while the scar heals, they can recover damages for this lost income. Sometimes a victim also can receive compensation for lost earning capacity if the scar affects their ability to work. Non-economic damages may include substantial awards for pain and suffering and emotional distress.
The harm caused by scars may be less obvious and tangible than with some types of injuries. However, a victim can present evidence from doctors, therapists, psychiatrists, and other specialists, as well as testimony from family members, friends, and coworkers.
Getting compensation usually requires proving that an accident resulted from a dangerous situation that could have been prevented. For example, a truck driver might have gotten behind the wheel while they were excessively fatigued or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A trucking company might have hired a driver with a history of DUIs or other safety violations, or it might have ignored a need to repair a truck. A truck manufacturer might have improperly assembled components like brakes or steering systems. Truck accidents tend to be complex and may have multiple causes, so a prompt investigation may be critical to understanding what happened. If possible, a victim should retain an attorney who is experienced in these cases and understands the distinctive rules governing the trucking industry. They can find out whether any regulations were violated.
Sometimes a trucking company or its insurer will offer a quick settlement to a victim in exchange for releasing their claims related to an accident. However, the scope of the damages in a case involving catastrophic injuries and scarring may not be immediately obvious. The first settlement offer does not fully compensate a victim in most situations. If they have hired an attorney, they can get advice about the value of their claim and the likelihood of getting a better offer as negotiations continue. Very few truck accident cases go all the way to trial, but a settlement may occur at any stage.