Last week someone hit me and I received a 2.5 inch VERY deep cut on my forehead. I could see my skull bone. I'm 25 and (was) pretty and now I feel hideous and embarrassed. I don't know if it's worth the stress of a long lawsuit to pursue if I don't know if it's "significant" enough to overcome LOL. I heard these cases take a long time to settle because they need the scar to mature to prove permanent and significant. Do I negotiate on my own or hire a lawyer? If I don't win, I will have to pay lawyer expenses. Please help.
I would take that case any day of the week. You would not have to pay anything because there is no payment required unless your attorney recovers money for you. If you try to negotiate yourself, the insurance company will certainly take advantage of you. You do not know what your case is worth and I cannot tell you unless I see the scar and get a little more information. However, it is a good case.
You should talk to a personal injury attorney in your area, he/she would be able to tell you if it is worth it to pursue the lawsuit. The attorneys usually take these cases on contingency basis and you would not have to pay attorney fees if you lose the case.
You are correct, generally these type of cases take 2 or more years to resolve. However it would not be much stress to you as your attorney would be handling all the work. You may have to attend a deposition and an arbitration unless the case goes to trial. If it does you would have to testify.
It is not likely that you would be able to negotiate something like this on your own. Your chances of recovering money improve dramatically if you hire an experienced attorney.
A 2 1/2 inch scar on the forehead of a young attractive female should certainly be considered "significant" to any rational judge and jury in New Jersey. However, no insurance company will offer you fair compensation for your injury until they're convinced you're serious about prosecuting your claim. The only way to convince them of this is to hire an experienced personal injury attorney who has been Certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as a Civil Trial Attorney. You won't have to pay anything out of your pocket, and the attorney only gets paid if you get paid.
A permanent scar on the face of a pretty, young female will overcome the limitation on lawsuit and provide to you a settlement.
Scar cases are difficult to value because no two scars are alike. Attorneys like myself, who handle auto accident injury cases on a regular basis, routinely settle cases with neck and back injuries, which are so common that we develop a feel, experience and certainty in assessing the settlement value of those cases. For scar cases that certainty is reduced.
In general, the following rules will apply. Scars on female are worth more than scars on males, scars on younger people are worth more than scars on older people, scars that are on the part of the body that are routinely visible to the public (arms, legs, hands, etc.) are worth more than scars that are not visible, of the scars that are visible, the scars on the face are worth the most, scars on attractive people are worth more than non-attractive people (as subjective as that is), and scars on people whose work depends on their appearance are worth the most of all (a model, actress, etc.).
Within all these categories, the bigger the scar is, the more it is worth. As you can see, you have a scar that leans heavily toward the more significant.
To help me with these cases, I routinely use a “round table” focus group of other attorneys – a group of 7 attorneys that I know within the legal community - consisting of (1) defense attorneys (those working for the insurance companies), (2) plaintiff attorneys (those working for the injured person), (3) attorneys that I often disagree with, (4) attorneys who I often agree with, and (5) some attorneys who mediate and arbitrate cases routinely. This helps me provide to my clients a more data driven assessment of a scar case.
Lastly, the amount of insurance coverage that us available will significantly impact the length of time that it takes to resolve your case, and when it can and should be resolved. Under some situations, which I, like other attorneys, can only assess in person, this type of case can be resolved fairly quickly, and if that is the case, there are some attorneys, like myself, who will represent you for a reduced contingency legal fee .
With all that said, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible so that the attorney can help you get a rental, get property damage resolved, get your medical bills paid, get your injuries documents, get a claim opened, and to start the process of resolving the case.. Under almost no situation should you ever represent yourself. As you can see, the evaluation and assessment of a scar case is very nuanced, and to try that on your own, means that the insurance company will likely take advantage of you
If the laceration heals such that the scar represents a permanent significant disfigurement, then you will satisfy the LOL. These cases are very fact specific. What did you hit your forehead on, the steering wheel? Were you wearing a seatbelt? Generally, facial scars on pretty women will induce the other insurance company to settle. The value of the cases is also a function of the other person's liability coverage and, if necessary, your own underinsured motorists coverage on your policy.
I recommend that you consult with an experienced Certified Civil Trial Attorney---fewer than 3% of attorney's in NJ are so certified.
Hire a lawyer on a contingency fee basis. You will not have to pay any expenses unless your attorney obtains a settlement or judgment. You will find an experienced personal injury attorney here on the Avvo site. As others have stated, we have successfully resolved cases involving scars , but we cannot assess the value at this time. Cases can settle without filing suit, but you should let an attorney negotiate for you due to our professional experience and the likelihood that we will obtain a better financial result than an unrepresented party.
Scars are difficult to evaluate, without seeing them. That said, taking your characterization of it as purely factual, it sounds like a case that is worth pursuing. A facial scar is almost always significant, more so on a woman and even more so on a pretty woman. THere are many good lawyers on this site who you can consult and you should.
You only need to overcome a serious injury threshold if it is an auto accident. If someone punched you in the head or struck you with an object, you are entitled to fair and just compensation. Generally, doctors want "scars" to heal about 1 year before declaring it permanent (or not), however; like the other attorneys said, no 2 scars are alike.
You can try to negotiate yourself, but you are not likely to receive fair and just compensation. Hire an attorney to get maximum compensation.
Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis (you don't pay a thing unless you win).
A significant issue will likely be whether or no the person who injured you is insured and/or has money to pay a Judgment.
Many attorneys, such as myself, also offer free 30 minute consultations.
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