How much is scar worth in a personal injury case?
I answer this question in this article. I’ll share some of my settlements (with amounts) for scar cases. You’ll see photos of the actual scar. This will help you get a better idea of what it looked like.
You’ll get to learn how the scar specifically affected the settlement amount.
I won’t stop there.
As an added bonus, I’ll also share some settlements where the injury was discolored skin.
Yes, if someone was careless and caused your scar. This means that aren’t entitled to a penny for pain and suffering if you were 100% at fault for causing the accident.
Some states have car accident laws that require the scar to meet certain requirements in order for you to get money for pain and suffering. For example, in Florida, in many car accident cases, you need a permanent and significant scar in order to get compensation for pain and suffering associated with it. However, that law does not apply in every car accident case. A car accident lawyer knows the standard that you’ll need to meet to get a payout for scar.
But don’t be to worried about that standard. Car insurance companies may still offer compensation for pain and suffering even for small scar. In a moment, you’ll see this from my settlements below.
If you have a bad scar, it is worth more than if the scar is small.
Is there a calculator that can tell you how much compensation you’ll get for a scar?
No. Sure there are personal injury settlement calculators on the internet. Believe it or not, I just linked to one that I created.
However, there is not a calculator that can tell you how much a scar is worth. The reason is that a scars are very different. A scar could be very small (and thin), or it could be big and wide.
People put a significance on scars because scars tell us a story. Generally speaking, scars on a woman are worth more than on a man. This is because scars on a man can be associated with being tough. Some men consider it an honor to have a scar.
Insurer’s Offer May Be Based on Adjuster’s Background
Adjusters and jurors look at the value of a scar based upon their background.
An adjuster who is more of an outdoorsman (e.g. hiker, hunter, etc.) may assign less of a value to a scar than an adjuster who doesn’t engage in riskier activity.
With females, things are different. People don’t think that a woman will have had a better life if she had a scar. Usually, reporters or politicians do not have scars.
Yet the villains in movies, such as Tony Montana in Scarface or Scar in the Lion King, have scars. Scars can be associated with being evil.
An adjuster may not offer you the full value of the scar if you do not explain the significance of the scar and how it affects you.
If you have a significant scar, an economist can explain that someone without a scar is more likely to get a job than someone with a scar. This is because the interviewer may associate a story with the person with a scar.
Scar May Decrease Your Ability to Make Money in the Future
Thus, you can argue that having a scar can decrease your loss of earning capacity (ability to earn money in the future).
For example, let’s say that you are in a car accident and the shattered glass cuts you and causes you to have scars on both of your wrists.
When people look at you, they may think that you have tried to harm yourself or commit suicide even though this isn’t the case. This negative view by others may decrease your enjoyment of life.
If you have a surgery as a result of an incident, you should explain in your demand letter to the adjuster that the scar is a permanent reminder of the surgery.
Do this even if the outcome of your surgery was great. Do not be embarrassed when speaking with the claims adjuster about your scar.
Send the liability insurer pictures of how the scar first looked after the surgery, and let them know about the things people mentioned to you when they saw the scar.
Your chance to express your unhappiness with the scar is in your demand letter and on phone calls with the adjuster. Some people change the way they position their hair, or the clothes that they wear, if they have a scar.
This should be mentioned to the adjuster if you do this.
If you have other scars that weren’t caused by the accident, be realistic when you are expressing your complaints about the scar that was caused by the incident.
You can find many studies online that talk about the effect of scars on the enjoyment of life. Send these to the adjuster.
Facial Scars Are Worth More (Than Other Scars)
All things equal, if someone’s carelessness caused a facial scar, it is worth more than a scar on another part of the body. This is true regardless of whether you are an adult or a child. This is because people spend more time staring at your face than any part of your body.
When you are dressed up, for example, people may only be able to see your face. Scars on parts of your body that are not even visible while you are wearing a bathing suit are worth more than scars that are visible if you are wearing a skirt, shorts or a short sleeve shirt.
Scar Cases Usually Don’t Increase in Value (Through Time)
Most scars become less noticeable as time passes. Shortly after an accident, the injured person may have stitches and thus the cut is noticeable, but when we are ready to settle their case the scar is not even noticeable.
Scars On Kids Are Worth More (Than On Adults)
Since a child has longer life expectancy and is more insecure than an adult, the pain and suffering component of a scar on a child is generally worth more than on an adult if all facts of the case are equal.
$300K Settlement for Scar on Leg (and Fracture)
Ryan was a Georgia resident who was visiting Florida. While in Clearwater, Florida, another driver made a left hand turn and cut Ryan off. As a result, they crashed.
Ryan broke his leg (tibial plateau fracture). Not every broken leg (tibia or fibula fracture) is worth the same amount. For example, a tibial plateau fracture has a higher full settlement value than a tibia shaft fracture.
Doctors operated on Ryan’s leg. About 9 months after the surgery, here is what the scar (from the surgery) looked like.
The scar became less visible as time passed. Below is a photo of the scar taken 13 months after the crash.
The scar continued to improve. I got him a $300,000 settlement for a scar on his leg from a car accident. This is one of many many settlements for an out of state visitor who was injured in a Florida car accident.
$250K Settlement for Scars and Broken Arm (Slip and Fall)
On April 20, 2018, Angela was staying at the Legacy Vacation Resorts in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. This hotel is located near Orlando. It’s not too far from Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Orlando.
While getting into the bathtub, she slipped and fell. She claimed that the bathtub flooring was as slick as ice. As a result of the fall, she broke her arm. At Orlando Health hospital, Dr. Benjamin Service operated on it. That’s the same hospital that often treats people who are injured at Walt Disney World or Universal Studios Orlando.
Angela wanted to hire a slip and fall lawyer to represent her. In particular, she wanted an attorney who already had several hotel injury settlements. Moreover, she wanted someone who settled a bathtub slip and fall case. Angela read about my $197,500 settlement for a hotel bathtub slip and fall. Here is the settlement check:
Next, she completed the form on my website so that she could Get a Free Consultation to see if I could be her attorney. Within minutes of receiving her contact information, I personally reviewed her version of the events. I told her that I could represent her.
However, she wanted to take the night to decide whether to hire me. I told her that she shouldn’t give a statement to the hotel or its insurance company. Giving a statement to a hotel’s insurance company is one of 5 mistakes that can kill a personal injury case.
The next day, she hired me. Once I became her lawyer, I aggressively worked her case. I didn’t take No (from the hotel’s insurer) for an answer. Even after Philadelphia Insurance Company offered me just $12,500 to settle.
Many months after Angela’s surgery, she still had pain. Thus, the surgeon removed the hardware. Here is a photo after the hardware removal surgery.
Angela currently has two scars on his arm. Most of the $250,000 settlement was not for the two scars. All things equal, the value of a scar on an arm is worth less than the settlement value of a broken arm and surgery.
This is one of my many settlements with Philadelphia Insurance Company.
This hotel is not affiliated with Disney or Universal. However, people injured at Universal Studios Orlando need to know their rights.
$200K Settlement for Scar from Wrist Fracture and Surgery (Car Accident)
A woman was driving her car in Miami, Florida. A car ran a red light and hit her.
The injured driver broke her wrist. She had surgery to fix it. The surgery left her with a scar. You can see the scar in the above photo.
I settled her personal injury case for $200,000.
$170K Settlement for Scar from Broken Arm and Surgery
A rental car passenger broke his arm in a car accident. He hired me as his personal injury lawyer.
He had surgery to his upper arm bone (humerus). Here is the scar:
His scar was big. However, the scar wasn’t the biggest part of the claim. The most valuable part of the claim was that he had surgery to fix a fracture.
The full value of pain and suffering of a broken arm (with surgery) is usually worth much more than the settlement value of the scar (that isn’t on the face).
Within 8 months of the accident, ESIS (Ace) paid us $170,000 to settle Zach’s injury claim. Zach received about $113,000 in his pocket (after my attorney’s fees and costs).
You can read more about my $170,000 personal injury settlement.
Confidential Settlement for Leg Fracture, and Scar from Trip and Fall
A lady tripped over a curb at an apartment complex in Miami Beach. She broke her hip, and had surgery to fix it.
She was left with a scar from the surgery. You can see it in the photo above.
I settled her case for a confidential amount.
$87K Settlement for Scar and Nerve Damage (Dog Bite)
A man was employed as a meter reader in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. While at a customer’s house, he was given permission to go into the backyard to read the meter. The owner’s Pit Bull (dog) bit him on his forearm. Fortunately, the dog bit his arm and not his face.
He had some minor nerve damage in his arm along with a scar. He was doing well after he finished his medical treatment.
I told my client that he had the option of seeing a plastic surgeon. The purpose of the visit was for the plastic surgeon to tell him whether a scar revision (surgery) would improve the appearance of his scar.
The plastic surgeon was Dr. Bernabe Vazquez. I paid Dr. Vazquez to write a report which gave the costs of future surgery to revise (fix) the scar.
A believe that this report increased the settlement amount of this case.
State Farm insured the homeowner.
The good news?
State Farm paid $87,000 to settle the case. If the dog would have bitten his face instead of his arm, the settlement would have been bigger. This is because insurance companies usually pay more for facial scarring.
Throughout my blog, I consistently say that surgery increases the full value of a case. A scar revision is no exception.
If the doctor would’ve done a scar revision surgery, the settlement would’ve been higher.
Learn the average amount of a dog bite settlement.
Hotel Guest Gets $31,500 Settlement for Scar from Shattered Shower Glass
A man from another country was staying at the W hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (W hotels are part of Starwood Hotels). He was taking a shower in his hotel room’s bathroom.
When he opened the shower door, it shattered. It sliced his lower leg, slightly above his ankle.
He did not take pictures of the shattered glass. We argued that the hotel should’ve used tempered glass.
The pictures of his open wound were graphic. It looked like someone hit him in the leg with a small ax.
The scar was still noticeable about 18 months after the accident. However, it became less and less visible.
Liberty Mutual Insurance Company insured the hotel.
Liberty Mutual paid $31,500 to settle. Their first offer was $14,500.
At the time, Liberty Mutual had an above average reputation for paying Florida injury claims. They have since become worse.
Ace Insurance Company (now Chubb) insured the shower door installation company.
They offered an additional $10,000. ACE’s settlement release required him to hold them harmless from any claims brought by any parties.
My client didn’t want to sign ACE’S release. Thus, he didn’t settle with ACE.
$20K Settlement for Forearm Scar from Miami Car Accident
Lisa (not real name) was a passenger in an SUV. She was heading straight on NW 25 St in Miami, Florida. Jose was driving a Jeep. Jose ran a red light.
The front of Lisa’s SUV hit the right front side of Jose’s Jeep. This occurred in an intersection.
The diagram from the Florida crash report is below:
Police gave Jose got a ticket for running a red light.
The crash caused a scar on Lisa’s forearm. You can see the scar in the photo below.
Lisa also claimed that the accident caused or aggravated a herniated disc in her lower back. (A serious back injury that requires surgery is often worth more than a scar.)
Infinity Insurance company insured the Jeep driver who paid its $10,000 BI liability insurance limits.
Progressive was my client’s uninsured motorist insurer. Her uninsured motorist insurance limits were $10K non-stacking. Progressive wouldn’t pay the $10K limits.
I filed a civil remedy notice of insurer violation with the Florida Department of Insurance. Progressive paid the $10K underinsured motorist insurance limits. This is one of my many Progressive car accident settlements.
$20K Settlement for Scar on Finger, and Soft Tissue Injuries (Car Accident)
Tracy was driving a pickup truck in Homestead, Florida. Another driver crashed into the back of Tracy’s truck.
Tracy suffered a cut to his finger. He also complained of shoulder pain and bruising to his leg and spine.
The photo above shows a small, permanent scar to his finger, from the avulsion injury. He never regained sensation to the tip of his finger.
Progressive insured the other driver with $10,000 in bodily injury liability (BIL) insurance. Tracy had $10,000 in underinsured motorist (UIM) insurance with Progressive. We settled the UIM claim with Progressive for the $10,000 limits.
Progressive paid us $20,000 to settle the case.
$17K Settlement for Facial Scar (Trip and Fall)
A lady ate at a restaurant in South Miami, Florida. While leaving, she tripped over a landscape edging, and fell.
She landed on a parking bumper, which cut the skin below her eye. At the hospital, the doctor gave her stitches to close the gash.
She was left with a small scar, which can be seen in the photo above. When she wears makeup, you can’t see the scar.
Nautilus Insurance Company insured the company who owned the property where the restaurant was. Nautilus settled with us for $17,000.
They also paid $1,000 in Medpay coverage. I didn’t charge a fee on the Medpay portion of the settlement.
Because we settled without suing.
The injured person should only hire an attorney who doesn’t charge a fee on Medpay benefits recovered. The claimant should ask this question to the attorney before hiring him or her. It can prevent an issue from later arising.
I’m happy to report that I don’t charge attorney’s fees on Medpay unless I sue.
Bicyclist Hit By Car Gets $17,500 Settlement for Scar Below Chin, and on Abdomen
A bicyclist was riding against the flow of traffic, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. A car hit her. (The crash diagram is above.)
State Farm insured the driver. The State Farm adjuster said that they believed the bike rider was 30% responsible for causing the accident.
Thus, State Farm was only willing to pay 70% of the claim’s full value.
She suffered sustained lacerations (cuts) to her chin, and required several staples in her abdomen. She was left with small scars.
The police officer didn’t give anyone a ticket. He stated that the bike rider, and the other driver were both at fault.
I settled the case with State Farm for $17,500.
$14,300 Settlement for Burns to Hands (Air Bag)
Airbag burns can look nasty. At least initially.
I represented a lady who was driving her car in Venice, Sarasota County, Florida. Another driver crashed into her.
Her airbag deployed. It burned her hands. Initially, the burns looked bad.
AIG insured the careless driver. Shortly after the accident, she hired an attorney (me).
Through time, her hands healed. She saw a dermatologist. However, she didn’t want to have any plastic surgery to her hands.
AIG paid its $10,000 bodily injury liability (BIL) limits to settle. Next, I made a claim with my client’s underinsured motorist insurer, Allstate.
Allstate paid $4,300 to settle the case. (Learn about injury settlements with Allstate.)
The total settlement was for $14,300.
$10K Settlement for Small Scars, and Shoulder Pain (Truck Accident)
Dan (not real name) was driving a pickup truck in Palm Beach County, Florida. Another car ran a red light, and hit the truck that Dan was driving.
State Farm insured the at fault driver. Dan claimed that a crash caused cuts and scars on his body, as seen in the images above.
State Farm paid $10,000 to settle this case. I represented Dan.
$10K Settlement for Small Scar (Car Hit Pedestrian in Miami)
A pedestrian was walking in a crosswalk in Little Havana, Miami-Dade County, Florida. A driver of a car hit him.
An ambulance took him from the accident scene to the hospital. He was diagnosed with a head injury. A doctor gave him stitches to his head. He was left with a small scar.
United Auto Insurance Company insured the at fault driver with a $10,000 BIL insurance policy. United Auto paid us the $10,000 BIL limits to settle his personal injury claim.
Unfortunately, the driver wasn’t driving for Uber or Lyft that would have given him more insurance coverage. Our client didn’t own a car or live with relatives. Thus, he wasn’t entitled to uninsured motorist insurance.
$5K Settlement for 2 Small Scars on Knee (Car Accident)
Anthony was driving his car, heading east on SW 24th Street in Miami, Florida. A car ran a red light and hit Anthony.
United Automobile Insurance Company insured the driver who the officer said failed to stop at a flashing red light.
A photo of the damage to Anthony’s car is below.
We settled his personal injury case for $5,000. His scars can be seen above. The scars look much worse in the photo than they do in person.
Do Insurance Companies Pay Different Amounts for Scars in a Personal Injury Case?
Yes. This is no different than any other injury. Certain insurance companies pay more for scars than others. The better paying insurance companies are USAA, The Hartford, Travelers, and Chubb.
GEICO is one of the cheapest insurers when it comes to paying for scars.
Why Choosing the Right Plastic Surgeon Matters (in an Injury Cases)
I once heard an attorney say that the injured person’s doctor is more important to the case than his attorney. That may be true in some cases.
A plastic surgeon can have a big influence on the value of a scar case.
It’s important to know which plastic surgeons will be fair to the injured person. For one, it saves the injured person time from calling random plastic surgeons who have no interest in seeing a patient who has an injury claim.
Also, the injured person wants to get treatment from a plastic surgeon who will actually write a report. Insurance companies need documentation to justify settlement offers. When the claimed injury is a scar, documentation comes in three forms. They are: Photos, medical records and bills.
The claimant (or his attorney) should only hire a plastic surgeon who is willing to testify in court.
Fortunately, most cases settle before a lawsuit. However, the injured person wants to pick a doctor who will be willing to cooperate in the case. And by “cooperate”, I just mean testify to the truth.
Some cases wind up going to trial. You want a plastic surgeon who will go to bat for you.
Should you get an attorney if you have a scar from an accident?
Yes, if someone else caused your accident. Why should you hire an attorney after a car accident (or other incident)?
First, personal injury lawyers have years of experience handling claims. Second, hiring an attorney will save you several hours of time. You won’t have to send countless emails and make dozens of phone calls to the insurance company. If you think that you will get in contact with the insurance adjuster on the first try, I have bad news. You won’t.
Even a TPA Manager at Wal-Mart’s stores says that adjusters are overwhelmed. Specifically, he said that:
Surveys of … adjusters’ show that even at a caseload of 130 files adjusters consider themselves in a reactive mode being overwhelmed with phone calls data entry and email requests.Robert Bennett (TPA Manager Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.)
The insurance company (for the at fault party) wants to deny your claim or pay you as little as possible. The solution is easy.
Hire an attorney for your car accident or other incident.
Who Are the Best Plastic Surgeons for Accident Cases?
I recommend Dr. Thomas Zaydon. My office is in Miami so I am most familiar with Florida doctors.
Dr. Zaydon is located in Coconut Grove, Miami-Dade, Florida. Several accident lawyers have gotten good results where Dr. Thomas Zaydon was the plastic surgeon. He can testify in scar or burn cases.
A word of caution. When looking for a plastic surgeon or any doctor, check to make sure that they are actively licensed in the state where they’ll be giving treatment. Also, you may want to see if they have any disciplinary history with the state medical board.
Serious burn cases can have tremendous value.
Check out some of my other personal injury settlements.
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Sherrod Henderson says
How much compensation can a person get if they get a scar on their arm in a car accident
Justin Ziegler, Lawyer says
It’s always good to hear from you.
Thank you for your comment. My response only applies to accidents in Florida, which is where I’m licensed.
The amount of compensation that someone may be able to get for a scar depends on many factors. In a personal injury claim, two huge factors are liability and damages.
Liability is whether someone else (or a company) was negligent.
Damages are the extent of your injury.
While you’ve given me some information, I don’t know fully know the liability and damages aspects of your claim. An attorney cannot fully understand liability and damages by reading a sentence (or more) about the facts of an incident.
You should hire a lawyer who can:
1. Review your medical records, bills and other documents
2. Take photos of your injuries, damages to vehicle(s) and any other evidence.
3. Properly preserve evidence.
4. Speak with witnesses (and get statements).
5. Reduce the amount (if any) that you need to pay back your health insurer for bills that it paid.
6. Do much, much more.
Since I haven’t had a chance to speak with you and review your claim, I also don’t know if you have a workers’ compensation claim (or other claim).
Note: I wish you good luck. You should contact an attorney immediately. There is a time limit to sue. If you miss the time limit, you forever lose your right to sue. I am not expressing any opinion on your particular case.
My reply is written for general information only. Individual cases demand individual treatment. I am not your lawyer. My reply is not intended as legal advice or opinion.