man with facial scars from motorcycle crashWhen a motorcycle goes down, there is always a risk of injury. Even if you were wearing a helmet and Kevlar jacket and pants, you could still suffer fractured bones, lacerations, and road rash. While some injuries heal, others do not. Although you may be fortunate to walk away from a serious motorcycle accident alive, disfiguring injuries can have a profoundly negative impact on your quality of life.

If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault, you might be able to file a personal injury case to claim damages both for your injuries and the effect they have had on your mental health.

How Scarring and Disfigurement Happen

Motorcycle crashes can cause any number of injuries. However, some injuries are more likely to cause permanent disfigurement. They include:

  • Scarring. This is often caused by “road rash.” Road rash occurs when a motorcyclist’s skin scrapes against an abrasive surface, like concrete or asphalt. While road rash often heals on its own, severe cases can lead to scarring.
  • Facial injuries. A substantial percentage of motorcycle accidents involve some sort of facial injury. Although facial injuries are most common among riders who do not wear full-face helmets, anyone who goes down is at risk of damaging their face.
  • Amputation. In rare instances, a motorcycle injury may necessitate the amputation of one or more limbs.

Any form of disfigurement can not only prevent a motorcyclist from working, but it can impact their social life too.

The Different Forms of Scarring and Disfigurement

Scars come in many shapes and sizes. However, there are several common types of scars that can result from a motorcycle crash:

  • Keloid scars. These form when damaged skin cannot repair itself. These scars are often found on the upper body, including the shoulders, neck, and ears. Keloid scars often grow larger than the original wound.
  • Hypertrophic scars. While hypertrophic scars are very similar in appearance to keloid scars, they are often raised and can be found anywhere on the body.
  • Contracture scars. These form from burned skin.

Motorcycle accidents can also cause potentially life-changing facial injuries, such as:

  • Broken facial bones
  • Broken cranial bones, which may also cause brain damage
  • Eye injuries and wounds
  • Jaw fractures, breaks, and scrapes
  • Dental wounds

Sometimes, facial injuries that impact the brain can also cause cognitive, behavioral, and psychiatric problems.

Potential Recovery for Disfigurement

When you file a personal injury claim for motorcycle-related injuries, including scarring and disfigurement, you can claim:

  • Economic damages, like hospital bills, the cost of a motorcycle repair, and lost income from work; and
  • Non-economic damages, which provide compensation for more abstract injuries, such as disfigurement, emotional pain and suffering, and trauma.

If you were hurt by a particularly negligent or reckless driver, you might also claim punitive damages, which are meant to punish wrongdoing.

Since every motorcycle accident is different, an attorney cannot tell you the value of your damages without first assessing your case.

However, Missouri law does not cap damages in motorcycle crash claims. A lawyer can help you calculate your damages to ensure that you are compensated not only for your short- and long-term medical needs but the trauma and psychological stress your scars or other disfiguring injuries have caused.

Megan D. Andrews
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