Sometimes victims suffer scarring and disfigurement as a result of an accident. While the law lets victims collect compensation for emotional, physical, or social pain caused by the disfigurement, it can be challenging getting a fair settlement or judgment, because plaintiffs must depend on other people's valuation of their pain and suffering. Here are two things you can do to show how much of a negative impact the disfigurement has had on you and your life, so you can get the compensation you're due.
Use Available Research
Sometimes judges or juries are unable to understand how great of an impact scarring and disfigurement can have on a person's life due to personal beliefs or ideas, particularly in cases where the scarring affects the individual's body in places that can't be hidden (e.g., the face). A judge or juror may feel the plaintiff is just being vain about his or her appearance or the disfigurement can't possibly have as much of a social or emotional impact as the plaintiff claims.
You can overcome this innate prejudice by introducing studies that support the idea a person's physical appearance does have a major impact on the individual's prospects in life. For example, research conducted by an economist found attractive people earned up to 4 percent more than people of average beauty. Attractive people are also hired and promoted at a faster rate than people who may not be as good-looking.
Introducing studies and research by experts can help provide the objective point of view judges or jurors need to overcome personal biases and reach a fair conclusion about your suffering.
Use Before and After Examples
Another way you can help the judge or jury understand how much you were harmed by the disfigurement is to provide examples of your life before and after the incident. For example, if you have a dating profile on a website where you were getting a lot of responses from potential partners, you should show you are now receiving fewer responses due to your disfigurement (if that's the case).
Reports from mental health practitioners can also provide judges and jurors with a glimpse into what your life has been like after you were scarred or disfigured. If you were an optimistic person before the incident but became severely depressed afterwards, a report from your therapist indicating the change can go a long way towards helping the court understand what you're going through.
For more strategies that can help you get the maximum amount of compensation in your personal injury case, contact legal professionals like Schey Piller Alspaugh & Wong Pc.Share