By Matt Lalande in Personal Injury on November 07, 2018
With rare exceptions, all physical wounds leave scars. In our practice, we often see victims of serious injury end up with permanent scarring, whether from a car accident or motorcycle accident, of from the reconstruction or orthopedic intervention after the hospital admission. Scars can become a constant reminder of the trauma, injury and stress.Accident related scarring can no doubt adversely affect a victim’s emotional well-being in a variety of ways after a serious accident.
A victim who has experienced significant visible scarring after an accident can suffer emotionally, become introverted and suffer self-conscious issues, become unsociable, isolated, suffer problems with their communication skills, with their personal relationships, work life and interferance with their leisure activities. Significant scarring injuries can cause frustration and ongoing distress with having to be forced to re-live the accident.
Many accident victims will tell you that their repeated explanations about their scars are found to be exasperating, awkward and often forces them to recall bad memories. Many victims are permanently distraught about the visibility of scarring – whether it the ongoing stress of hiding scars in job interviews, swimming, playing at the beach, wearing a dress or or simply when looking in the mirror, day after day.
There are many, many psycho-social effects that can result from accident-related scarring:
Scar formation is always a consequence of the wound healing process that occurs when skin is damaged by a physical injury or surgery. Scarring often occurs by the trauma or the accident itself, or when the accident victim is required to undergo plastic, reconstructive or orthopedic surgery. Tissue repair under traumatic situations is not imperfect. The location, depth and size of the surgical wound, as well as the age, sex, and ethnicity of the victim make a difference.
What are the main different kinds of trauma related scars?
Scarring and disfigurement in motorcycle accidents are extremely common – mainly from amputations, burns, lacerations, road rash as well as plastic & orthopedic surgery. Plastic surgery is often necessary for riders that suffer injuries requiring reconstructive surgery. Many riders that are hurt in motorcycle accidents also suffer facial injuries involving lacerations or fractures to the nose, orbital bones, cheeks and jaw. Surgery related scarring to the face can no doubt leave a person with devastating emotional problems.
Scarring and disfigurement after a dog attack is often compounded by intrusive thoughts of the actual dog attack. The emotional pain that a dog bite victim suffers has been compared to an invisible world of permanent hurt. More often than not, dog attacks end up causing victims brutal and persistent anxiety, which in turn cause emotional distress, phobias, obsessional avoidance behaviors, and an intense fear of dogs. Psychological intervention, for some, is a life-long requirement after a dog attack.
Severe scarring can affect the victim’s social life and lead to depression and a loss of confidence. If your scarring is causing you emotional and psychological distress, impacting your ability to go about your daily living, or causing you to relive your accident you may be able to receive compensation. There may also be some associated costs and recovery associated with a scarring injury which are not covered by OHIP or your group insurance policy, such as cosmetic procedures or medication. Some of the costs can be reoccurring or last a lifetime – such as recent advances in treatment which are improving the outlook for patients with traumatic scarring.
If you were involved in a personal injury accident, a dog bite or motor vehicle accident and have visible scarring that is affecting your ability to engage in your regular activities, it’s important to have an experienced lawyer on your side. Our Hamilton personal injury lawyers can help guide you to the right medical and psychological care while working hard to get you the compensation you deserve. Give us a call today at 905-333-8888 or fill out the contact form below.