Workers’ Compensation for Scars and DisfigurementOctober 2, 2019
Workplace accidents can lead to different types of injuries, some with long lasting aftereffects, such as scars and disfigurement. Employees that suffer these impairments may qualify for disability benefits from their company’s workers’ compensation insurance carriers. It depends on several factors, such as the type of injury, where it occurred, where the injury is located on the body, and the laws particular to the state where the employee lives.
To receive benefits, the employee must prove that the scar or disfigurement is related directly related to their work, and that it was caused by a job-related accident. To make a claim, it must also be determined what category the scar or disfigurement falls into. Some are a direct result of a work injury, while others are from necessary surgeries. Direct scars can be from large wounds, chemical burns, and lacerations.
Scars must be deemed as unsightly, which is also subject to certain parameters; it depends on its shape and form. Insurance companies also consider how long the scar has been there without any marked improvement, generally from six months to a year. The worker’s age can also influence the amount of compensation, since some judges decide that older workers are less impacted by scars than younger ones. In addition, the Workers’ Compensation Act of Pennsylvania specifies that the scar or disfigurement must be above the worker’s collarbone, or on their head, face, or neck.
Permanent and Temporary Disability
Many employees that experience these injuries receive permanent partial disability settlements. These individuals can usually return to work, although it may be in limited capacity. A worker that has lost a finger or toe may not be able to lift heavy items or walk for long periods. There are no specific work restrictions for the employee to receive benefits.
Permanent disability settlements are negotiated with ratings or percentages, which are handled through the insurance companies. The more serious the scar or disfigurement, the higher the percentage will be. This can determine if the employee is permanently disabled, and the numbers vary by state. Some workers also receive past-due temporary disability payments when providers neglect to provide the correct amount of benefits while the worker is unable to work.
Types of Settlements
Injured workers can strive to receive settlements to cover past and future medical bills incurred by the scars or disfigurement. Some can have stipulations where the insurance provider will pay for future treatments, while others choose lump-sum payments to cover this. Those who decide on the latter must carefully estimate what their future costs will be. Structuring a settlement to best meet the worker’s present and future needs can be handled by a qualified workers’ compensation lawyer.
The Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello is a Trusted Workers’ Compensation Law Firm in Media that Advocates for Injured Workers
If you have scars or disfigurement from a work-related injury, the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello is a trusted workers’ compensation law firm in Media that is ready to help. Call us at 610-892-4940 or complete an online form for a free case evaluation. Located in Media, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Delaware County, and Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Lancaster, Montgomery County, Norristown, Philadelphia, Reading, and West Chester.