Scarring and Disfigurement
If you or a family member has been involved in a serious accident in the Pembroke Pines area, you may need injury lawyers who can help you aggressively seek compensation from those responsible. The Pembroke Pines catastrophic injury attorneys at Cohn & Smith have years of experience assisting accident victims during some of the most difficult times of their lives. Some of the most devastating injuries include scarring and disfigurement, which can affect a person’s life far into the future. To present the harm that you have suffered in a compelling manner, it may be critical to enlist a knowledgeable legal professional.Pursuing Compensation for Scarring and Disfigurement
Scars can arise in many types of accidents, ranging from motor vehicle collisions to encounters with defective products or incidents of medical malpractice. While every situation is unique, most cases arising from these events unfold under the theory of negligence. This consists of a four-step inquiry:
- Did the defendant owe a duty of care to the victim?
- Did the defendant breach the duty by acting carelessly?
- Did the breach cause the accident in which the victim was hurt?
- Were there quantifiable damages that resulted from the accident?
Once the basic components of negligence have been established by a preponderance of the evidence, the next task is to determine the amount of damages to which the victim may be entitled. Multiple factors go into the calculation of this award, which can include both economic elements (such as lost wages, loss of future income, past and future medical expenses, and property damage) and non-economic elements. This category includes not only pain and suffering but also possibly compensation for scarring and disfigurement.
Non-economic elements of damages, while an important component in catastrophic injury cases, can be more difficult to calculate than objective items like hospital bills. In calculating these damages, the jury may consider the nature and extent of the victim’s injuries, any physical and mental suffering that the accident has caused, any limitations that the injuries have placed on the victim’s daily life, and other relevant factors.
Proving damages for scarring and disfigurement can be a complicated task. After a case is filed, the parties may engage in discovery of medical records and related documents, as well as depositions of physicians, therapists, and others familiar with the victim’s injuries. If the case is not settled, these witnesses may be called to testify on the plaintiff’s behalf at trial.
In particularly egregious cases, such as those involving recklessness or wanton and willful conduct, it may be possible for a plaintiff to recover not only compensatory damages but also punitive or exemplary damages.
Sometimes a defendant may argue that the plaintiff was partially at fault for an accident. For example, two drivers may have been involved in an accident in which the defendant ran a red light but the plaintiff was exceeding the speed limit. It is possible that the jury could allocate a portion of the fault to the plaintiff and reduce his or her award of damages in proportion to the level of fault assigned to him or her. Fortunately, Florida follows the rule of pure comparative fault, so the plaintiff would still be able to recover the percentage of damages allocated to the defendant.Seek Legal Guidance from a Pembroke Pines Attorney after a Devastating Accident
An experienced attorney at the Pembroke Pines firm of Cohn & Smith can advise car accident victims and other injured individuals seek compensation for scarring and disfigurement. To speak with one of our trial lawyers, call us today at (954) 431-8100 or contact us online and ask for a free initial consultation. We represent accident victims throughout South Florida, including in Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, and Aventura.