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Can I Add Scarring or Disfigurement to My Harrisburg Car Crash Claim?

woman meeting with therapistScarring or disfigurement caused by a crash leaves victims with a lasting imprint of the trauma they experienced. These permanent reminders create difficult physical and emotional challenges for the victims.

In this blog, Schmidt Kramer explains how scarring or disfigurement could occur in a crash and your potential options for seeking compensation. We understand the profound impact of scars or disfiguring injuries and are committed to helping crash victims seek full compensation for these effects.

Our Harrisburg-based car accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, so there are no upfront costs. We do not get paid unless we secure a settlement or verdict that favors our client.

Give us a call to discuss compensation for your injuries and damages: (717) 727-2550.

How Does Scarring or Disfigurement Happen in a Crash?

Crash victims may suffer severe scarring or a disfiguring injury in any number of ways. For instance, a fire or explosion could cause third-degree burns, especially if damage to the vehicle traps the victim inside.

Scarring or disfigurement could also be a result of:

  • Contact with sharp objects: Broken glass or metal can cause deep cuts that form scars when they heal.
  • Getting thrust into the steering wheel or another part of your vehicle’s interior: The intense force of impact can throw you around the inside of your vehicle, causing cuts or lacerations from shattered glass or sharp metal. This injury may be more likely to occur in a commercial truck collision. The force of impact with these large and heavy vehicles could cause sections of your car to crumple inward and hit you.
  • Surgical scars: Sometimes treatment for an injury causes scarring or disfigurement, such as if you need surgery. As your injury heals, scars naturally form.
  • Amputation injuries: High-speed collisions and other types of severe crashes may result in amputations or damage to limbs that is so severe, doctors need to amputate.

What Is Scarring and What Are the Different Types?

Scarring is part of the healing process. Scars form as the body works to repair damaged tissue, leaving visible marks that vary in texture, size and color, depending on the severity of the injury and how it occurred.

Here are four of the main types of scars Pennsylvania crash victims may develop:

Hypertrophic Scars

These are thick, raised scars that form within the boundaries of the original injury. Typically, these scars respond favorably to treatment.


Keloids are sort of like hypertrophic scars, but they go beyond the injury site, which may restrict movement in the area, causing discomfort.

Atrophic Scars

Unlike keloids or hypertrophic scars, atrophic scars are not raised above the skin. The structure supporting the skin in the area has been lost, so the scars appear indented into the skin.

Contracture Scars

Contracture scars, which result from burns, cause the skin to tighten, potentially impairing movement.

Defining Disfigurement

Disfigurement means your appearance has been altered, sometimes permanently. For example, if you got hit in the face with a sharp object or you were severely burned, you will not look the same as you did before the crash.

An amputation injury is a traumatic and disfiguring injury because you no longer have that limb attached to your body. Sometimes only part of the limb needs to be amputated, leaving the victim with an unusually shaped body part.

Psychological and Emotional Challenges of Disfigurement or Scarring

The life-altering physical challenges caused by a permanent scar or disfiguring injury are clear, however, we should not overlook the psychological and emotional consequences victims suffer from these injuries. Some of the consequences may include:

  • Lower self-esteem
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Social withdrawal, including not going to work and isolating from loved ones
  • Lower quality of life
  • Physical inability to do your previous job because of an amputation or restricted movement

How Do I Seek Compensation for Disfigurement or Scarring in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania requires drivers to purchase a certain amount of first-party coverage for medical bills and other damages. That means your initial medical treatment after the crash should be covered by your own insurance. Your policy should also cover reasonable and necessary treatment during your recovery.

There is no time limit on coverage of these expenses, up to the limits of your policy. However, an assessment must be made when there is a reasonable medical probability that you may incur more medical expenses within 18 months of the injury.

What About the Psychological and Emotional Challenges of Your Injury?

These damages fall under pain and suffering, and they are not covered by the insurance in your own policy. You would need to step outside of the no-fault system to pursue these damages.

However, you can only do this if you suffered a serious injury as defined by Pennsylvania law, or if you purchased full tort coverage  Fortunately, severe disfigurement meets the definition of a serious injury.

An experienced lawyer can review your claim to determine all the damages you can pursue and their value. We are committed to seeking full compensation to help you move forward after this unexpected incident.

Have You Been Permanently Injured in a Crash? Call Schmidt Kramer

If you or a loved one were injured in a car crash in the Harrisburg area and are dealing with scarring or disfigurement, reach out to Schmidt Kramer. An initial legal consultation with an experienced lawyer is free of charge. There are also no upfront fees when you hire our firm.

Call today to discuss the next steps in the legal process: (717) 727-2550.