Ms. C was only 17-years old when her life was changed forever. She suffered multiple severe lacerations to her face when a negligent driver caused a wreck. BBGA Attorney Michael Ruppersburg investigated the crash, filed suit against the negligent driver and secured a $1.25 million settlement before the case went to trial. The settlement was for the maximum available amount of the other driver’s insurance.

Unsafe U-Turn Causes Unavoidable Crash

It was the summer before Ms. C’s senior year in high school. She was riding with her brothers and sisters on the way to the grocery store. A driver going the other direction attempted to make a U-turn in front of them, causing an unavoidable crash. Even though Ms. C was wearing a seatbelt, the impact of the wreck was so significant that she was cut on her face in multiple places. Due to the severity of the crash and her injuries, she is unable to remember exactly what happened or how she suffered the lacerations.

Significant Cuts Leave Lifelong Scars

Ms. C was transported to a nearby hospital by ambulance from the scene of the crash. Emergency responders determined that although she was wearing her seatbelt, the impact caused her to strike her face on something, causing the lacerations. She suffered a one-inch tear to her left lip, a two-inch cut to her left eye, a three-inch cut to her left cheek, and a two-inch puncture to her forehead that was so deep her skull was visible.

At the hospital, Ms. C went through emergency surgery so doctors could clean and close her facial wounds. Following the surgery, when she attempted to walk, she fainted. Doctors diagnosed her at that time with acute blood loss from her injuries and gave her a blood transfusion. She spent two days in the hospital.

In 2019 Ms. C saw a surgeon to discuss scar revision surgery, which is surgery to minimize the appearance of the scars. The surgeon found that her scars had affected her smile and her facial movements on the left side of her face. The scar on her cheek was so deep that it left adhesions to the underlying muscle. Whenever Ms. C smiled, it increased the adhesion indentation. She also suffered similar issues to the left corner of her mouth. The surgeon was optimistic that the scar revision surgery would help Ms. C.

Effect of Injuries

Below is a portion of the settlement demand describing the effects of Ms. C’s injuries.


Ms. C’s facial scars are visible. Her mental and emotional injuries are not. Every time she looks in the mirror, her scars remind her of this wreck and how it has changed her appearance

Ms. C was 17 years old at the time of the wreck. The wreck happened the summer before Ms. C’s senior year of high school. Adolescence and high school are a trying time to begin with, but Ms. C was forced to go through her senior year with disfiguring facial scarring. Her first trip out of the house after the wreck was going back-to-school shopping at the mall. She felt extremely self-conscious walking into the mall and felt that everyone was looking at her and wondering what happened to her. She wanted to go home.

Ms. C’s scars also caused her to miss high school rites of passage. Ms. C was reluctant to take her senior photos because of her scars, but her mother made her do so. … She did not attend her high school’s homecoming dance or her senior prom because she was worried and self-conscious about her facial scars. She did not want to go through the process of getting dressed up and taking homecoming and prom photos which would show her scars.

Every time Ms. C goes into a new environment or meets a new person, she is self-conscious and apprehensive. She wonders whether people are looking at her scars and whether they will ask what happened to her. Whenever she starts a new class, starts a new job or meets a new person, she will wonder whether people are looking at her scars and whether they will ask what happened to her.


The Settlement

BBGA through Michael Ruppersburg was able to resolve the case for $1.25 million, the limits of the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. We are pleased to have helped Ms. C with her case and we wish her the best in her ongoing recovery.

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