Disfigurement: Can I Be Compensated for Plastic Surgery?
Most people, when hearing the term “plastic surgery,” think of procedures like “nose jobs” and facelifts. Indeed, plastic surgery procedures are often elective, cosmetic treatments.
But not always.
Doctors often use plastic surgery techniques to repair a disfiguring injury. If you suffer a disfigurement from an injury caused by someone else’s carelessness, can you collect compensation for the expense of plastic surgery? In many cases, you may be able to do so.
The key elements for eligibility for compensation, for any personal injury claim, are as follows:
- Someone’s negligence must have caused your injuries. It’s not enough that someone was careless and you were injured—there must be a cause-effect relationship between the two.
- You must have suffered losses because of your injuries. Losses can include expenses, such as medical bills, as well as lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional anguish, and a loss of enjoyment of life.
A disfiguring injury is certain to cause emotional anguish and a reduction in your overall enjoyment of life, both of which are compensable losses. Although difficult to quantify, a life-changing disfigurement is an enormous loss, one that can often result in a large monetary award for damages.
Plastic Surgery to Correct Disfigurement
Surgical technology has advanced to a point where doctors can correct many disfiguring injuries with plastic surgery. Some examples include:
- Loss of a facial feature, such as an ear or nose
- Extensive scarring
A skilled surgeon can save a patient from a lifetime of disfigurement using skin grafts, facial reconstruction and other techniques. If your doctor recommends or performs plastic surgery in order to correct a disfiguring injury that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you deserve compensation for that expense.
Due to the large award you may be able to collect for the anguish of disfigurement, insurance companies are often quite willing to compensate you for plastic surgery to correct a disfiguring injury and vastly improve your quality of life. Working with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can skillfully present your case to the insurance company will help to ensure you get the maximum settlement to which you’re entitled for a disfiguring injury.