A laceration occurs when the skin is torn as the result of an injury. Lacerations are one of the most common forms of injuries. If the laceration is relatively minor, it will heal and leave little damage. However, more severe lacerations can affect the tendons, muscles, nerves and even the bones. How deep a laceration is will determine the type of treatment that is required.
All lacerations will leave behind some scar tissue. It has been estimated that in the UK, 23 million adults will have some kind of scarring, ranging from scars which are barely visible to large disfiguring scars. A scar is part of the body’s process of healing. The depth and size of a wound will determine how large the scar is, and its appearance is also affected by a range of factors such as age, ethnicity, sex and heredity. Scars are not simply the result of lacerations as scalds and burns can also leave particularly serious scars. The skin may become puckered and in serious cases skin grafts may be necessary.
Scarring can occur as the result of work accidents, road accidents, criminal attacks or accidents in public places such as dog bites. When scarring is limited and barely noticeable it will have little impact on your life, but if the scarring is more pronounced you may feel that it is unsightly, leading to feelings of disfigurement. This in turn can result in anxiety and embarrassment, and you may be unwilling to engage in activities that would involve exposure of the body part such as swimming or sunbathing. In extreme cases, you may suffer from depression and be unable to leave the home.
If you have suffered scarring as a result of someone else’s negligence, it may be possible to make a claim for compensation. The amount of compensation that you could receive for scarring will depend on the severity and extent of scarring, as well as where on the body the scarring is. The face is how we recognise people and it forms an important part of our identity, so scarring to the face can be particularly distressing. The courts, in deciding compensation, will take this into account.
To make a claim, a report from a consultant plastic surgeon may be required. The surgeon will be able to assess the extent of the injuries and what future symptoms might be suffered. It is also important to consider the psychological impact of the accident. Suffering an injury caused by work machinery can be traumatic and any claim will take this into account. Financial losses incurred as a result of the injury will also be considered. You may require time off work to recover, or your future prospects may be marred by the injury. For example, a model who suffers scarring may find it difficult to secure work in the future.
If you have suffered scarring as a result of an accident that was not your fault, then Accident Advice Helpline may be able to help you get the compensation that you deserve. We have considerable experience of helping people with personal injury claims, so call us for free 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 0800 689 0500 and we may be able to help you in other ways, such as finding the appropriate treatment.
Date Published: October 11, 2013
Author: David Brown