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Scar Injury Compensation: Defective Products – Settlements

Scar Injury Compensation: Defective Products – Settlements

A woman with scars on her body

In this article, we’ll break down the following:

A scar is permanent. It is a daily reminder of the physical and emotional trauma you had to ensure because of someone else’s negligence. A reminder of a product you purchased and used, expecting it to be safe, only for it to end up harming you.

A scar not only reminds you of the unfortunate event that caused it but also hurts your self-esteem, especially if it is conspicuous.

People stare. Strangers walk up to you to ask what happened. Every time this happens, you’re forced to relive an experience you would rather forget.

If you or a loved one sustained injuries that caused scarring or permanent disfigurement, you can recover compensation from the responsible party. Here’s everything you need to know about scar injury settlements for defective product lawsuits.

Defective Products and Scar Injuries – Overview

A scar is a permanent mark left on the skin after an injury or wound has healed. It forms when the body builds new tissue to repair and fill in any open gaps in the skin caused by the injury. Scar tissue comprises collagen, a protein that provides strength, structure, and support to the skin, connective tissues, bones, and muscles.

A serious accident that causes deep lacerations always results in permanent scarring. The same applies if the victim requires stitches or surgery. The site of the procedure will leave a scar.

In Florida, victims of defective products who sustain severe injuries that cause scars or disfigurement can seek compensation from the at-fault party. The severity and location of your scar will determine the value of the non-economic damages you can claim for the pain, suffering, and emotional anguish associated with it.

For instance, the mean settlement jury award for bicycle injury claims is $319,628.

Types of Products That Can Cause Scar Injuries

Scar injuries can occur in various ways. Some common defective products that can cause scarring and disfigurement include:

  • Consumer electronics
  • Kitchen appliances
  • Personal care products
  • Tools and machinery
  • Toys

Scars occur when these products cause deep lacerations, abrasions, and contusions due to cuts, explosions, burns, or blunt trauma.

Examples of Scar Injuries Caused By Defective Products

  • A consumer was riding a bicycle they had purchased four weeks earlier. As they rode, their right foot slipped off the revolving pedal, gouging their shin to the bone. The deep laceration required 27 stitches and left permanent scars. Upon inspecting the bike, the victim noticed protruding spikes attached to the reflectors. These sharp protrusions were responsible for the scar injury.
  • A consumer was toasting bread on a skillet. Shortly after she turned on the stove to heat the pan, she heard what she described as a loud bang followed by a sharp pain in her jaw. One of the half-inch rivet caps on the skillet handle had shot off and hit her in the face. The accident left behind a permanent scar at the site of the injury.
  • A user sustained serious injuries after a Pyrex glass cup into which they were pouring boiling water from a tea kettle exploded, sending shards of glass flying to their lower torso. The explosion startled the victim, causing them to drop the kettle and spill hot water onto the tiled floor.

The user then slipped and fell on the water. In the process, their right arm came into contact with the kitchen countertop that still had razor-sharp pieces of broken Pyrex. The victim sustained a deep laceration on their arm that required 13 stitches and a burn injury on their left arm. The laceration left a permanent scar.

Overview of Scar Injury Lawsuits in Florida

The key to winning a scar injury lawsuit in Florida is documentation. While gathering evidence will likely be the last thing on your mind after a defective product injury, it’s important to document every bit of your scar injury. Immediately after you dial 911 or before you leave for the ER, take photos of your injury and the scene of the incident. If you can’t do it yourself, get someone to do it for you.

Take photos of the injury at different stages of the healing process right up to the point when the scarring forms. Keep a detailed record of your medical reports, hospital visits, and all out-of-pocket expenses you incur. Ensure that your doctor indicates in the report any residual or permanent effects your scarring may have on your day-to-day life. For instance, does the scar affect your mobility?

If you don’t usually journal, that’s as good a time as any to start. Describe how the injury and subsequent scarring or disfigurement has affected your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Are there any recreational or social activities you can no longer participate in? How has it affected your relationships, job, etc.?

Properly documenting your injuries and healing journey will strengthen your lawsuit and help you recover a fair settlement.

Florida Product Liability Laws and Regulations

If you have sustained injuries from a defective product, there are three types of product liability actions you can pursue. Under the legal theory of strict liability, you can sue the relevant at-fault party for a design, manufacturing, or failure-to-warn defect.

To prove a case, a victim will need to demonstrate that:

  1. There’s a relationship between the defendant and the injurious product;
  2. The product was defective;
  3. The defect made the product inherently dangerous for its intended use; and
  4. The defective product was the proximate cause of your scar injuries.

On the other hand, you can pursue a negligence action against the responsible party. To prove cause in a negligence lawsuit, you would need to demonstrate that the at-fault party owed a duty of care to you to act reasonably and that their actions constituted a breach of that duty, resulting in your injury.

Examples of Florida Court Cases on Scar Injury Lawsuits

Perez v. United Parcel Service, 725 So. 2d 423 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1999)

Plaintiff Miriam Perez appealed a trial court decision in which she was denied medical benefits for plastic surgery required to improve the appearance of a scar injury she sustained in a workplace accident.

The plaintiff sustained a deep laceration on her left knee while working for UPS. Although the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance covered the cost of treatment, it declined her claim for plastic surgery, stating that it was not a “medically necessary” procedure.

The Florida District Court of Appeal reversed the judgment. It remanded the case to the trial court, requiring it to enter an order compelling UPS and the insurance provider to cover the costs of the surgery she required.

Burkett v. Parker, 410 So. 2d 947 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1982)

Plaintiff Peggy Burkett appealed a summary judgment entered by the trial court that effectively dismissed her complaint for personal injuries. Burkett had filed a lawsuit against the defendant for injuries she sustained in a motor vehicle accident that resulted in permanent scarring.

The trial court dismissed her petition for compensation for “permanent injury,” citing that “scarring or disfigurement” failed to meet the legal threshold requirements to qualify as such.

The Florida District Court of Appeal reversed the judgment and remanded the case to the trial court.

Settlements in Scar Injury Lawsuits for Defective Products

The value of a scar injury varies widely from victim to victim. Some of the factors that would affect the settlement amount one would get for their scar or disfigurement include:

  • The victim‘s age: A scar on a 75-year-old man will be valued differently from that on a 25-year-old woman.
  • The permanency of the scar: A scar that will likely fade within a few years will be valued differently from one that is unlikely to ever improve in appearance.
  • The victim’s marital status: A scar or disfigurement on an unmarried individual will hurt their romantic prospects, unlike scarring on a married person.
  • The scar’s location on the body: A scar located somewhere conspicuous such as the victim’s face and neck, will be valued higher than one located on an area of the body that can be concealed by clothing.
  • The size and color of the scar: If the size and color of the scar against other parts of the skin make it appear more pronounced, the victim will be able to recover a higher amount.
  • The psychological impact of the scar: If the severity of the scar causes a significant degree of embarrassment and/or trauma response, they would be entitled to a higher settlement.

Examples of Recent Settlements in Scar Injury Lawsuits

$500,000 Settlement for Facial Scar Injury

A woman was at a friend’s house when she was involved in an incident that resulted in a large facial laceration caused by shards of broken glass. She went to the hospital immediately after the injury, where doctors removed the glass, cleaned the wound, and sutured the laceration.

The wound healed but left a permanent scar that caused her great embarrassment, especially when she began her freshman year in college. She, through her attorney, filed a lawsuit and recovered a significant $500,000 settlement for her scar injury.

$225,000 Settlement for Leg Scar Injury

A young woman was involved in a rollover accident and sustained a serious laceration to her leg. Once it healed, it left behind a large, visible scar at the site of the injury. The woman filed a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance, and they responded with a lowball offer which she declined.

She, through her lawyer, sued the insurance company for her leg scar, citing the pain and suffering she had endured and continued to endure since the accident. Her claim for damages also included the extensive medical procedures she required to improve the appearance of the scar. The insurance company opted to settle the claim for $225,000.

Why You Need an Experienced Lawyer for Your Scar Injury Lawsuit

Determining the precise value of the damages you’re eligible for can be difficult without help from an expert. An experienced personal injury or product liability attorney has the legal expertise to assess your economic and non-economic damages and come up with a fair settlement amount for your scar injury. Some of the damages you can recover include:

  • Past, present, and future medical costs: These include expenses associated with plastic surgery, scar removal treatment, reconstructive surgery, skin grafts, rehabilitation, etc.
  • Loss of quality of life: Scar injuries can affect your romantic prospects, recreational enjoyment, ability to secure employment, and more.
  • Pain and suffering: Severe scarring and disfigurement can have a devastating impact on your mental and psychological welfare.

An experienced lawyer would be able to quantify these damages and attach a dollar amount to each of them.

Sackrin & Tolchinsky: Background

Alan Sackrin and Larry Tolchinsky have over 60 years of combined courtroom experience. They have successfully represented hundreds of clients in civil litigation, appeals, mediation, and arbitration matters. The firm offers world-class legal services in a wide range of practice areas, including:

  • Catastrophic car accidents
  • Wrongful Death
  • Slip and Falls
  • Insurance claims/denials
  • All other serious personal injury claims

Our firm works relentlessly to provide our clients with the best possible legal representation for fast and fair resolutions to their legal issues. We have adopted the latest technology to offer personalized professional support and keep service delivery costs low.

Sackrin & Tolchinsky’s Experience as Injury Claims Lawyers

Alan Sackrin is a Board Certified civil trial attorney with 40+ years of experience in personal injury, product liability, slip-and-fall, and automobile collision claims. He has gone up against large corporations and recovered significant settlements for injury victims who went to him for help.

A case in point is the numerous settlement awards he secured against Walmart for victims injured at the retail giant’s premises.

In one particularly hard-to-win case that other firms would ordinarily turn down, Alan recovered a $171,000 settlement for a victim after a Walmart employee allegedly dropped a box on them, causing the victim to sustain a serious injury. Despite Walmart denying the incident in question, Alan was still able to secure a win for the victim.

Get Legal Help

If you or a loved one has suffered scar injuries or disfigurement from what you contend was a defective product, consult a product liability attorney as soon as possible.

Sackrin & Tolchinsky attorneys have extensive experience representing scar injury victims of defectively manufactured products. They have the knowledge and legal expertise to help you prove your case and get the settlement you deserve.

Don’t suffer in silence. Get in touch with us today for a free case evaluation to discuss the specifics of your claim.

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of damages can be claimed in a scar injury lawsuit?

Some of the damages you can recover in a scar injury lawsuit include the following:

  • Past, present, and future medical costs: These include expenses associated with plastic surgery, scar removal treatment, reconstructive surgery, skin grafts, rehabilitation, etc.
  • Loss of quality of life: Scar injuries can affect your romantic prospects, recreational enjoyment, ability to secure employment, and more.
  • Pain and suffering: Severe scarring and disfigurement can have a devastating impact on your mental and psychological welfare.

How long do I have to file a scar injury lawsuit in Florida?

The statute of limitation for product liability cases based on strict liability is 4 years. For product liability cases based on negligence, please call us to discuss, as a recent statutory change in the law has caused uncertainty to the limitations period.

What if I can’t afford a lawyer for my scar injury lawsuit?

If you can’t afford a lawyer for your scar injury lawsuit, it’s not the end of the road. Several Florida law firms would happily handle your case pro bono. An attorney would first have to evaluate the specifics of your case, and if they’re convinced you have a valid claim, they will represent you and recover their legal fees from the settlement.

How long do I have to wait to receive a settlement for my scar injury claim?

The time it takes to reach a settlement agreement with the at-fault party will depend on several factors, including:

  • The willingness of the defendant or insurance company to enter into settlement negotiations;
  • The dates by which certain filings should have been completed based on the rules and procedures of the litigation process;
  • The discovery and deposition duration; and
  • The victim’s recovery level to determine if they can participate in the legal proceedings.

With that in mind, getting a settlement for your scar injury claim can take anywhere from a few months to a year or more.

What is the settlement value of my scar injury?

There is no specific amount. The value of a scar injury varies widely from victim to victim. Some of the factors that would affect the settlement amount you’re entitled to include:

  • Your age
  • Whether or not the scar is permanent
  • Your marital status
  • The location of the scar on your body:
  • The size and color of the scar
  • The physical and psychological impact of the scar

Do You Have A Question? Call Alan Sackrin Today For a Free Case Evaluation

As a Board-Certified Civil Trial Expert for over 40+ years, Alan Sackrin has extensive experience with product liability lawsuits. He offers a free initial consultation (over the phone or in-person) to answer your questions. When you’re ready to speak with an expert civil trial lawyer about your product liability case, call Alan at 945-458-8655.