What do motor vehicle accidents, dog bites and fires have in common? All can result in painful and permanent superficial injuries. Victims of burns, lacerations, scarring and disfigurement face a lifetime of physical, emotional and financial recovery.
Burn injuries are all too common in car accidents. In a collision, a fuel tank may rupture or leak, resulting in a powerful blaze. If passengers are trapped inside the vehicle, it is likely that they will sustain burns, suffer from smoke inhalation and, in some tragic instances, may even die.
Burn injuries run the gamut from affecting only the skin to damaging an individual’s internal organs. Even superficial burns can lead to serious medical complications as the victim’s sweat gland and sense of touch can be damaged. If the victim loses too much blood, his or her kidneys can also suffer sustained damage.
Lacerations, Scarring or Disfigurement
Motor vehicle accidents, as well as dog bites or even instances of battery can result in other superficial injuries. Lacerations or other injuries that result in scarring or disfigurement can have a lasting effect on the victim. Recovery time, pain and even the victim’s post-accident quality of life vary depending on the location of the injury on the victim’s body. Visible scarring on the face, for example, may impact the victim’s self-esteem and cause irreparable emotional damage.
Among the most traumatic superficial injuries are degloving injuries, so named for the way that the skin becomes detached from the body, as though one were removing a glove. An open degloving injury occurs when the skin of the victim is torn off of an area of his body, severing the underlying tissue. In a closed degloving injury, the tissue is subjected to extreme force, which caused the blood vessels to break but allow the skin to remain in tact. The skin may die or become loose as it has been disconnected from the blood supply and underlying tissue. Motor vehicle accidents, dog bites, accidents involving pedestrians, bicyclists or heavy machinery can all result in degloving injuries.
Damages for Superficial Injuries
In a personal injury case involving superficial injuries, the plaintiff files suit to seek damages for medical bills, lost income, and—if applicable by the jurisdiction of the court—pain and suffering as a result of the emotional trauma of the accident. As with all personal injury cases, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant was at fault for the accident because of his or her negligent actions, and that the injuries sustained were a direct result of the accident in question.