What is a Workers’ Compensation Scar Award?
July 1, 2019
Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act (the Act), employees who are injured on the job are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, including compensation for reasonable medical expenses and lost wages. Additionally, workers with certain types of severe injuries such as scars and disfigurements may be eligible for specific loss benefits. The amount granted in a workers’ compensation scar award varies depending on the court’s evaluation of several subjective factors.
Requirements for a Scarring Injury Claim
Pennsylvania workers may be eligible for a scar award under Section 306(c) of the Act if their workplace injury led to a scar or permanent disfigurement. Generally, scars on the face will garner more benefits than those on the neck due to their high visibility. There are three main requirements a claimant must meet for a scarring or disfigurement claim to be compensable – the scar must be:
- Permanent – The permanence of a scar may be determined by a medical expert or is presumed when one year has passed, however a scar may be considered permanent if it has not disappeared or substantially faded after six months.
- Unsightly – A judge will decide whether the scar is unsightly based on his or her subjective determination as well as careful consideration of factors including the size of the scar and its location.
- On the face, head or neck – To be compensable, a scar must be either on the face, head or neck; injuries below the collarbone will not give rise to a workers’ compensation scar award.
Causes of Work-Related Scarring and Disfigurement
There are innumerable ways in which a worker may suffer a scarring or disfigurement injury. In Pennsylvania, workers may be able to collect benefits not only for scars resulting from work injuries, but also for surgical scars from surgeries performed on work injuries. Some of the most common causes of scarring and disfigurement injuries in the workplace include:
- Car accidents
- Chemical or electrical burns
- Falls from heights
- Meatpacking and slaughterhouse accidents
- Power tool accidents
Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Scar Injuries in Pennsylvania
Laws regarding scarring and workers’ compensation claims vary by state, therefore it is advisable for workers to seek the counsel of a qualified attorney in their local area. In Pennsylvania, claimants typically receive two-thirds of their average weekly wage prior to the injury. Depending on the location and severity of the scar, payments may continue for up to 275 weeks. The maximum weekly compensation rate for 2019 is $1,049; therefore, a worker whose average weekly wage is between $786.76 and $1,573.50 may receive a maximum of $1,049 per week in workers’ compensation.
Contact a Work Injury Lawyer in Philadelphia for Help With Scar and Disfigurement Claims
If you sustained a scar to your head, face, or neck as a result of a work injury, contact the work injury lawyers in Philadelphia at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. We can help evaluate your claim, explain your legal options, and fight to get you the compensation to which you are entitled. From our offices conveniently located in Philadelphia and throughout the state, our skilled attorneys have proudly served injured workers throughout the state for over 35 years. To discuss your case, please complete our online contact form or call us at 888-PITT-LAW today for a free consultation.
We are proud to represent clients in Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County, and throughout Pennsylvania, including those in the communities of Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Drexel Hill, Essington, Folcroft, Glenolden, Haverford, Havertown, Holmes, Kutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester, and Wynnewood.