For most people, severe injuries are wounds that affect mobility and function. Amputation or spinal cord injuries may seem severe, while flesh wounds may not seem nearly so concerning. Modern trauma care has reached a point where people can survive truly horrific accidents that could have previously caused death due to blood loss, shock or infection.
Although disfiguring wounds to the face and other visible body parts may not seem as severe as injuries with catastrophic medical consequences, disfigurement can have significant financial consequences for the person affected.
Establishing the financial impact of an injury is often a necessary step if someone wants to file an insurance claim or a civil lawsuit against the responsible party. How can you put a financial value on suffering an injury that permanently alters your physical appearance?
Look at the current and future medical bills you must pay
Maybe you required surgery to help you heal from the trauma, or perhaps you will need reconstructive surgery once the tissue heals in a year or so. There could also be other medical expenses, ranging from therapy to pain management, that you will have to cover for years to come.
One of the most important parts of a disfigurement claim against the person or business who caused those injuries will be establishing the medical costs. Both what you have already paid and expenses you will likely incur in the future can influence the value of your claim.
Consider the impact on your job and life
Disfigurement will obviously affect many areas of your daily life. Some people experience changes in their closest relationships or even divorce after disfigurement. Others may experience career setbacks or, in extreme cases, may no longer be able to perform the same job they once did.
Attractive people on average can command between 7% and 13% more than the average person, which means that there is likely a similar reduction in the earning potential of those with disfiguring injuries. Especially if you worked in a service-based industry, entertainment or sales before getting hurt, the change in your appearance could have a permanent impact on what income you can earn.
Figuring out the long-term financial impact of your injuries can help you move forward with a personal injury claim against the party that caused your injuries.