Personal Injury: Scarring, Burns and Disfigurement

personal injury Scarring and burns
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Scars are areas of fibrous tissue that replace normal skin after injury. A scar results from the biologic process of wound repair in the skin and other tissues of the body. Thus, scarring is a natural part of the healing process. With the exception of very minor lesions, every wound after accident or surgery results in some degree of scarring. Scar tissue is composed of the same protein (collagen) as the tissue that it replaces, but instead of a random basket-weave formation of the collagen fibers found in normal tissue, the collagen cross-links and forms a pronounced alignment in a single direction. This collagen scar tissue alignment is usually of inferior functional quality to the normal collagen randomized alignment. For example, scars in the skin are less resistant to ultraviolet radiation, and sweat glands and hair follicles do not grow back within scar tissue.


A burn is a type of injury to flesh caused by:

  • Heat
  • Electricity
  • Chemicals
  • Light
  • Radiation
  • Friction
  • Scalding

Large burns can be fatal. The majority of these fatalities occur either at the scene of accident or enroute to hospital. Complications such as shock, infection, multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, electrolyte imbalance and respiratory distress may occur. Burns can be classified by mechanism of injury, depth, extent and associated injuries and comorbidities. Most burns only affect the skin (epidermal tissue and dermis). Rarely, deeper tissues, such as muscle, bone, and blood vessels can also be injured. Burns may be treated with first aid, in an out-of-hospital setting, or may require more specialized treatment such as those available at specialized burn centers. Managing burns is important because they are common, painful and can result in disfiguring and disabling scarring, amputation of affected parts or death in severe cases.


Disfigurement, caused by an accident, often leads to severe psychosocial problems such as negative body image; depression; difficulties in social, sexual, and professional lives; prejudice; and intolerance. The extent of the disfigurement rarely correlates with the degree of distress the sufferer feels. An additional factor which affects sufferers of a disfigurement is the reaction they get from other people. Studies have shown that the general population respond to people with a disfigurement with less trust, less respect and often try to avoid making contact or having to look at the disfigurement. Disfigurements affecting visible areas such as the face, arms and hands are thought to present greater difficulty for sufferers to cope with than do other disfigurements.


One of the most devastating types of severe accident injuries is loosing a limb or the limb was so badly damaged that an amputation was carried out. Loss of limb can result from:

  • Traumatic amputation
  • Medical negligence

Traumatic amputation usually occurs at the scene of accident, where the limb is partially or wholly severed. This would be the case of a trapped limb with no other way to extract without harm to other parts of the body. Loosing a limb is not only resulted in physical challenges. Often, people who lost a limb in an accident and suffering from disfigurement also experience psychological damage. The amputation of an arm or leg is devastating, forever altering the ways an injured person interacts with the world. Traumatic amputation of a limb can lead to the loss of work and expensive medical care, such as the need for a prosthetic device and rehabilitation. When these types of catastrophic injuries are caused by the negligence of others — the negligent parties should be held accountable for their actions. Medical or rehabilitation benefits shall pay for all reasonable and necessary expenses incurred by or on behalf of an insured person as a result of the accident.

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