The Effects and Costs of Disfigurement from an Accident

Oftentimes, trauma from an accident is temporary, such as with injuries that can physically heal. However, sometimes, the trauma is permanent and can leave a victim permanently disfigured, causing substantial emotional and physical harm. If you or someone you care about suffered disfigurement from an accident, contact Jason R. Schultz at 404-474-0804 to discuss your legal options.

How does disfigurement affect someone’s life?

In a Georgia personal injury case arising from an accident, disfigurement can be any permanent injury that results in a change in a person's body. This can be due to scarring, loss of a limb or body part, or any other injury causing a permanent effect on a person's appearance.

Disfigurement can affect a victim's life by:

Affecting her social life

People who have visible scarring or other deformities may:

  • Withdraw from friends and family
  • Feel uncomfortable living their lives and going out in public, especially before learning how to handle reactions to their disfigurement  
  • May not feel able to participate in activities or hobbies they previously enjoyed

Preventing her from working or maintaining gainful employment

This may be due to her feelings of embarrassment due to her disfigurement or it may be due to physical limitations resulting from the injury or accident, e.g., a scar may result in limited movement, which could make certain professions difficult.

Creating psychological harm and emotional trauma

Again, for many people, their changed appearance makes the prospect of appearing in public painful and traumatic. This precludes them from enjoying the activities of daily living.

Aside from body image issues, some accident survivors must put up with a host of other conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, which can also make enjoying life difficult.

Requiring expensive long-term medical care or counseling

In addition to the medical costs victims incur immediately after the accident, disfigurement may require extensive future treatment for both physical and mental/emotional scars.

What types of disfigurement stem from accidents?

Accidents can result in a variety of disfigurements including:

Facial Trauma

Injuries to the face can include a broken nose, cheekbone, or jaw. Other types of disfiguring facial injuries include deep lacerations or broken teeth.

Although doctors are able to repair some of these injuries and may result only in temporary disfigurement, others will be permanent. Sometimes the surgeon will perform cosmetic procedures in order to enhance not only function but aesthetic appearance as well.

Traumatic Amputation

Any part of the body caught or pinned during the accident, can suffer a traumatic amputation. Crush injuries may necessitate a surgical amputation later. Alternatively, in some cases, severance of the body part occurs upon impact. Partial or total severance can occur to the fingers, hands, arms, toes, feet and legs.

Sometimes surgeons can reattach the severed body part. However, when that is not possible, the individual may have to learn how to live without it or learn to use a prosthetic device. Whatever the outcome, this type of disfiguring injury can be devastating, especially when it affects a limb.


Injuries to the skin can result in permanent scars which can affect an individual's appearance, especially when they are on visible areas of the body. Motorcyclists and bicyclists involved in accidents often suffer a type of scarring known as "road rash" which can be a severe burn-like wound. Any wound can also be an opportunity for infection, which can lead to a whole host of complications.

Can I receive compensation for my disfigurement?

In most cases, if the accident was the result of another person’s negligence, yes. While some of the effects and costs of a disfiguring injury from an accident are readily quantifiable, others are complicated and hard to determine. How do you value a victim's fear, pain, and suffering? How can you quantify the loss of being able to go out in public and enjoy life?

These questions are all very complicated and it is best if you leave them to a car accident attorney at the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. who can review your case, evaluate both economic and noneconomic damages, and advocate on your behalf.

Contact Jason today at 404-474-0804.