It is difficult to quantify the level of compensation that a court will award for a scarring injury. The Court can take a great variety of factors into consideration when assessing the amount of damages to award a Plaintiff and therefore the level of compensation in these cases varies. Factors such as the appearance of the scar, its location, and whether it is permanent are all obvious factors. However, other factors, such as the age of the injured person and the psychological consequences of the injury and scar may also be relevant in assessing the appropriate level of compensation.
Below are some examples of cases involving scarring injuries in which Lawlor Kiernan LLP have acted:
Case Study 1 – Accident at work
We represented a mechanic who was working under a car when it fell on his face because the machinery used to hold it up was defective. He suffered a cut to his forehead that left him with a two-inch scar. The report from a plastic surgeon we obtained advised that the scar would fade somewhat with time but was permanent. We settled the case on the morning in favour of our client together with payment of his legal costs.
Case Study 2 – Accident on a farm
We represented a client who was involved in an accident on the farm he was employed by. The farmer’s tractor broker down when the drive shaft connecting to the front wheels of the tractor malfunctioned. In order to drive the tractor up onto a tow truck, our client was instructed to use a pry bar to adjust the position of the drive shaft. While doing so, the engine collapsed and trapped our client’s hand. Our client sustained catastrophic injuries to his hand due to the weight of the engine. He also sustained significant burns as a result of the heat of the engine. Despite having a number of skin grafts he was left with a disfigured hand and significant scarring as a result of the accident. The case settled for €280,000.00 compensation plus legal costs.
Case Study 3 – Accident in a restaurant
We acted for a client who had a pot of boiling water spilt on her leg by a waiter in a restaurant. She suffered a scar to her leg that later faded. She was however left with permanent discolouration on her leg that became more visible in cold weather. Our client was happy with the award made by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board and the case settled by agreement of all parties before it was litigated.
Case Study 4 – Bitten by a dog
Our client, who was working as a technician to install and fix broadband and cable TV, was measuring a cable in front of a customer’s house when someone walking his two dogs approached him. One of the dogs jumped at our client and bit his face, leaving our client with cuts to his upper lip and nose. After the stitches to his lip by a plastic surgeon had fully healed, our client was left with a permanent scar. We brought proceedings under the Control of Dogs Act which does not require any fault on behalf the dog owner for them to be liable. The dog was insured under the owner’s house insurance, and we settled the case before it went to trial.