I came across a sad story on the Huffington Post website that made me think about how damages are ultimately calculated in the Florida personal injury cases that we handle in our office — and particularly those involving scarring of the skin. The story involved a three-year-old girl named Victoria Wilcher, who suffered massive injuries, including very obvious facial scarring after being attacked by three pitbulls while playing at her grandfather’s home. After the attack, this precious little girl (disclosure: I have a daughter, too) was left with a badly disfigured face, as well as a damaged jaw and injured facial muscles. The reason this story stuck out to me, though, was what happened later. Apparently Victoria’s family took her to a KFC restaurant as one of her few journeys outside of her home. While int he restaurant, someone from KFC approached Victoria and her family and asked her to leave the restaurant because she was making other diners there feel uncomfortable. Of course, the story is now generating (seemingly well-deserved) outrage against KFC for allowing this to happen. However, as a Florida personal injury attorney who also represents people scarred in dog bites, car crashes, and other kinds of accidents, I was struck by something different. In most of our cases featuring scarring, insurance companies want to place a lot of emphasis on the medical bills generated by the initial medical treatment, or the medical bills associated with corrective revision surgery that the injury victim may require in the future. But Victoria’s story has reminded me that injuries like these can generate even deeper emotional scars. After all, can you imagine anything that cut a precious three-year-old girl closer to the bone than the looks on people’s’ faces when they see her, or a store manager asking her to leave a place because of the way she looks. I cannot imagine anything more traumatic. I also imagine that incidents like these are not isolated for people with significant scars. Our hearts certainly go out to Victoria, and we hope that something can be done to help her. In the meantime, our firm is going to use her story as an inspiration to make sure that we are doing everything we can to help our dog bite clients, and others who have suffered disfigurement. If you have any questions following a Florida dog bite, or how permanent scarring is valued in Florida personal injury cases, please call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at 407-254-4901....Read More »
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