A disfiguring injury is one of the most distressing and life-altering consequences of a serious motorcycle accident. Over time, an accident victim with a disfigurement often suffers more from social isolation and public intolerance than with his or her physical injury. Disfigurements affecting visible areas such as the face, arms, and hands are believed to be the most challenging to deal with.
Quick response to a serious motorcycle accident may be able to minimize the level of disfigurement in the crash victim. While healing the injuries and preserving the life of the victim must have precedence, medical personnel have a few options for reducing visible long-term scarring. Chemical treatments to inhibit collagen lattice contraction, for instance, may make scars less visible after healing.
Once the accident victim’s survival is no longer in question and healing has begun, the issue can turn to restoring a more conventional appearance for the person with disfigurement. In terms of what modern medical skill can reasonably accomplish, this is usually limited to reconstructive surgery (“plastic surgery”) and scar revision. In both cases, the motorcycle accident victim with disfiguring injuries will have to be realistic in his expectations. There is no way to remove scars completely; the best that can be done is to minimize a scar’s appearance, disguise it, or relocate it.
Prevention is key
Given the limited effectiveness of treatments for disfiguring injuries, the best approach is almost certainly to make those injuries as rare as possible. There is already significant state support for safe roads, but some people are not as committed to motorcycle safety as they should be. A rider should keep these two precepts in mind:
- Wear a helmet — a good one. Wisconsin doesn’t require adult motorcyclists to wear helmets, but it’s wise to do so. If a rider or passenger refuses to wear a helmet, his or her unprotected face may slide across the ground or collide with a stationary object in a crash. Estimates suggest that over one-third of all accidents involve a chin impact. A key study of trauma room patients reported in the medical journal Injury found that non-helmeted riders are four times more likely to sustain facial injuries than helmeted patients. Look for helmets that have been approved by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
- Avoid alcohol when biking. Some riders believe that having a drink or two will “loosen them up” and make them more likely to survive a serious motorcycle accident without injury. Those people are wrong. Studies have repeatedly demonstrated that alcohol makes traffic accidents more common and injuries more severe, even when the vehicle operator is not legally drunk. The same Injury study cited above found that almost 40 percent of the patients with facial trauma who had been in traffic accidents were legally intoxicated. If you are riding a motorcycle, don’t drink. If you’re a passenger and your driver has been drinking, don’t get on the bike.
Covering the medical bills — and recovering from the pain
When a victim of a Wisconsin motorcycle crash suffers a facial disfigurement, he deserves to recover from all the injuries done to him by someone else’s negligence. That means compensation for his suffering, for the costs and pain of medical care and surgeries, and the psychological effects of a changed appearance.
If you have been disabled or disfigured in a Wisconsin motorcycle crash that was the result of someone else’s negligence, you are urged to seek the aid of an Appleton motorcycle accident attorney from the firm of Hupy and Abraham. We are dedicated to recovering thorough compensation for your disfiguring injuries.
Your first consultation is free, with no obligation. Call us today, toll free, at (800) 800-5678. We will send you a FREE copy of our book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims, even if you choose not to hire our legal team to represent you.