How Much is a Scar Worth? It Depends.

Oftentimes, a serious accident will cause major injuries, including lacerations, which result in permanent scarring.  A car accident can cause the driver or passenger to hit the steering wheel, dashboard, or windshield causing injuries that leave a scar.  A serious injury may require surgery, which will also leave a scar.  In other cases, a dog might attack or bite someone in the face, arm or leg, which may result in stitches and scarring.   In Massachusetts, an injury victim can seek compensation for a scar that was sustained in an accident.  A scar is another kind of personal injury.  But, how much are they worth?

Personal injury claims are made to compensate someone for the injuries they sustain in an accident caused by someone’s negligence.  Sometimes estimating the value of a personal injury case is easier than others.   In a lot of cases, however, determining a fair and reasonable amount of money to compensate someone for their injuries is more difficult and often disputed.  That is because damages for some injuries, like facial scars, are not so easily calculated.  The value of a scars is going to be different for every person.  Each insurance company and their adjusters will see the value much different than you do. The value of a scar on a 70 year-old man is going to different than the value of the same scar on a 25 year-old woman.  A large and obvious scar on someone’s face would be valued much higher than a small scar on someone’s leg.  This is because serious facial scars can be disfiguring and results in cosmetic embarrassment. 

There are a number of different factors that are considered in determining the value of scars.  For example:

  1. The age of the injured party;
  2. How permanent the scar is;
  3. The gender and marital status of the injured party;
  4. Where the scar is (face or body); and,
  5. The color, size and visibility of the scar.

One way to demonstrate to an insurance company how much your scarring is worth is to obtain a medical opinion about the cost of having the scar removed or repaired. A plastic surgeon can provide an opinion about whether a scar could be removed, and, if so, can provide the cost of such a procedure.  You can then include both the cost of the examination by the plastic surgeon and the potential cost of repair in the medical costs you use to figure how much your case is worth.

Since each case and injured person is different, it is not easy to place a dollar amount on a scar.  Jury awards for compensation for scar injuries vary.  Some juries have returned significant verdicts (from $100,000 to $1,000,000) for serious facial scars sustained in by a young female in a car accident or a child that was bitten in the face by a dog.  On the other hand, juries have returned lesser verdicts of $10,000 to $30,000 for older men who had surgery from an accident that left a scar on a knee or shoulder. 

As you can see, each case is different.  To understand what your scar may be worth, you should speak with an experience personal injury attorney.  Feel free to call us at (508) 879-3500.  It could be the difference between getting fair compensation and getting shortchanged.