The long-term consequences of a motorcycle accident can extend beyond the financial burden created by medical bills or even the physical pain and discomfort during the recovery process. For some victims, there is the psychological trauma of disfigurement. As a result, additional compensation may be recoverable for these damages if someone else was at fault for the crash.
Disfigurement from Burn Injuries
There are generally two ways that a motorcyclist can suffer burn injuries. Less common is when there has been a fiery crash. This can cause damage to the outside of the body (skin) and/or internally, such as to the lungs from smoke inhalation.
In many cases, riders suffer burns from road rash. This happens when the body makes contact with the asphalt, causing minor abrasions or severe tissue damage. It can occur when the motorcyclist slides with the bike across the ground or skids on the pavement after being tossed from it.
Whether it’s a fire or road rash, the degree of burn will determine the severity and likelihood of disfigurement. A first-degree burn typically doesn’t require medical attention, as there is just superficial damage to the skin. It may simply require a thorough cleansing.
With a second-degree burn, both layers of the skin are damaged. Scarring may occur and there may be a greater risk of infection. Riders who suffer second-degree burns should seek medical care to minimize their risk of infection and address any medical concerns.
A third-degree burn carries a much greater risk of permanent scarring and infection. That’s because not only are the layers of skin injured, but tissue underneath such as muscles, nerves and even bone, are injured as well.
Traumatic Amputation from a Motorcycle Accident
Another type of disfiguring injury that can happen in a motorcycle accident is the loss of a limb. This tends to happen when an arm or leg is crushed, such as getting pinned underneath the bike or in between objects such as a vehicle and fence or building.
Whether it’s a partial or complete severing, sometimes the limb can be reattached. It may take a long period of time to regain function. Sometimes function is never restored. Therefore, the individual either learns to live without the limb or could be fitted with a prosthetic limb.
How Disfigurement May Affect Damage Recovery in a Claim
People handle life-altering situations differently. Some are able to bounce back quickly after suffering a disfiguring injury, making necessary adjustments and maintaining a positive attitude rather quickly. But for others it can be completely devastating, leading to a reduction in quality of life.
Depending on the disfigurement, it might even prevent the patient from working. Or may prevent the patient from working in the same career field, necessitating a change of careers. It could force the individual to take a lower-paying job or to receive monthly benefits from Social Security.
Sometimes disfiguring injuries become an issue socially. The person might be embarrassed to go out in public. Relationships could become difficult to maintain. Some victims feel that the quality of their lives is reduced as they may no longer be able to partake in activities they once enjoyed.
All of these issues are important to consider when it comes to filing a claim after a motorcycle accident for which another party was at fault. Disfigurement can impact victims financially, physically and psychologically. So it’s important to make sure that all losses are adequately addressed when filing a claim.
It is important to get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible after a disfiguring motorcycle accident. To learn more about your rights and the options to recover damages, contact an attorney at the Miley Legal Group in Clarksburg today. Call 304-931-4088 or fill out our contact form.