Does Disfigurement Contribute to Pain and Suffering?
After disfigurement resulting from trauma, many people endure endless pain and suffering. When trauma survivors experience physical changes due to an accident, they may undergo periods of isolation, depression, and anguish. Thus, they should receive compensation for injuries as well as pain and suffering. Those suffering disfiguring injuries must consult with a Personal Injury as quickly as possible following an accident.
When a victim suffers disfiguring injuries, they must pursue litigation against those responsible for their undue pain and suffering. Whether disfiguring injuries are the cause of burns, Medical Malpractice, car accident, or workplace injury, victims must consult a lawyer with experience.
Compassion, ethics, and credibility
Personal Injury lawyers see clients who suffer severe disfigurement every day. Top lawyers know it’s all about compassion, ethics, and credibility. All three can never be too understated. The reality of living with disfiguring injuries pushes top lawyers to seek maximum compensation for these clients. However, obtaining high dollar verdicts on behalf of their clients is only the beginning. These clients require the kind of justice only a lawyer with trial experience can provide.
What happens after an accident with disfigurement?
The fact is, disfiguring injuries destroy a victim’s entire life. The mental anguish from the physical changes they must come to terms with cause undue stress and feelings of isolation. Added physical pain resulting from disfigurement can drastically diminish quality of life. Continuing to work, study, pursue hobbies, or care for family gets lost in the wake of accidents that take victims’ sense of self.
What is mental anguish?
Next, we must establish the legal definition of mental anguish.
All Law defines mental anguish as follows:
[…]Mental anguish is an element of non-economic damages usually sought in personal injury cases, medical malpractice and sometimes defamation cases. Generally, “mental anguish” translates to certain types of suffering that may include distress, anxiety, fright, depression, grief, or trauma.
Reasons for mental anguish
What constitutes mental anguish, then? Let’s look at the following list of what Personal Injury lawyers say causes mental anguish:
- Distress. Awakening from surgery to a lost limb, or burns causing severe disfigurement to the face. These are two examples of distressing events that cause extreme mental anguish.
- Anxiety. Anxiousness that causes panic attacks when a disfigured victim thinks of life with permanent injury. Loss of quality of life causes both mental anguish and pain and suffering.
- Fright. Fear the event may occur again can leave the victim with extreme mental anguish. Worrying that they can’t go back to life as they know it causes panic, fear, and isolation.
- Depression. Following an accident that leaves a victim with disfiguring injuries, depression can delay the recovery process. Delaying recovery on the medical side further depletes quality of life. Victims who sustain disfiguring injuries suffer from long term depression. They may have feelings of hopelessness, and fear they lack a future. Mental anguish is life prohibiting, and isolating.
Why is disfigurement a life altering injury?
To answer this question, we should look at different types of life altering injuries. Life altering can mean disfiguring, debilitating, or permanent. It can also mean all three, and usually does.
What are catastrophic injuries?
Next, let’s define the term “catastrophic injury”:
Wikipedia defines Catastrophic Injury as follows:
[…]A catastrophic injury is a severe injury to the spine, spinal cord, or brain, and may also include skull or spinal fractures. This is a subset of the definition for the legal term catastrophic injury, which is based on the definition used by the American Medical Association.
What type of accidents cause injuries resulting in disfigurement?
- Car accidents that cause Traumatic Brain Injury; these head injuries can range from concussions to the most severe skull fractures, brain hemorrhaging, stroke, and permanent vegetative state. All of these can also be responsible for severe head and facial disfigurements.
- Falls from several stories up or more can cause severe spinal cord injuries, fractures, and ultimately paralyze the victim. Spending life in a wheelchair should the victim sustain a paralytic injury can be considered, depending on the victim’s level of mental anguish, disfiguring to them. Surgical scars to repair the victim’s fractured spine and other broken bones can also be severely disfiguring, therefore causing extreme stress and PTSD to the victim.
Other severe injuries that may result in disfigurement:
- Second and third degree burns a victim sustains in accidents involving fire
- Road rash and severe burns during motorcycle accidents
- Gunshot wounds due to negligent security resulting in facial disfigurement. Gunshot wounds are also the cause of other severe bodily injury.
Putting people, over profit
Remember, no dollar amount can restore full quality of life after amputation or disfiguring injury. A lawyer with Board Certification does not see a dollar sign. However, victims require compensation to restore a semblance of quality of life post trauma. The ethical, moral, and empathetic practice of law comes to the forefront when the reality of pain and suffering is evident.
A lawyer must uphold credibility. When it comes to reaching a verdict, the maximum compensation goes to the most credible cases. A lawyer who fails to have their client’s best interest at heart should not be the law firm of choice to represent victims of disfigurement and their families.