Scarring and Disfigurement
A workplace accident that results in scarring and disfigurement is not only physically devastating for the injured individual but also often emotionally damaging. Illinois workers’ compensation laws are designed to protect workers who suffer injuries on the job. Disfigurement is a serious, permanent change to an appearance. Evaluating benefits for scarring and disfigurement requires assessing the extent of the disfigurement and whether a bodily function is impaired. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck and Bertuca, we provide client-centered legal representation for injured workers. For decades, our Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys have focused on their needs and helped them seek maximum compensation for their injuries.Pursuing Benefits Based on Scarring and Disfigurement
Section 8 (c) of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act states that workers who suffer serious and permanent disfigurement on certain places of their body, including on their hands, head, face, neck, legs below the knee, or chest above the axillary line, are entitled to compensation for their disfigurement. Scars that are above the knees or below the breast line may not qualify for compensation. However, an injured worker may be able to secure compensation for permanent partial disability if there is an injury in that non-covered area.
Workers’ compensation benefits available to workers suffering from disfigurement and scarring are typically allotted in the form of lump-sum payments. The employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company negotiates with the injured worker or their attorney after six months have passed since the date of the injury. This six-month time period helps both parties assess the long-term impact of the disfigurement or scarring, and it ensures that the worker has met the legal requirement that the scar be “permanent.”
Determining the amount of a permanent disability award for scarring and disfigurement requires evaluating a host of factors, such as the location and severity of the scar. Other factors that may be considered include whether the disfigurement or scarring impairs a worker’s ability to perform daily activities. When scarring has the potential to cause embarrassment, an injured worker may recover more compensation for this emotional suffering. Permanent scarring to the face is generally the most serious type of disfigurement, resulting in the highest compensation. Raised or keloid scars may be worth more than scars that are not raised.
Scarring and disfigurement suffered by injured workers may require long-term or even lifelong medical treatment. It is important for people suffering from these injuries to understand that they may not collect disability payments for the loss of use of a body part in addition to compensation for disfigurement of that same part of the body.Consult a Chicago Attorney About Your Benefits Options
At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck and Bertuca, our experienced job injury attorneys provide legal representation to injured workers throughout Illinois. If you have been hurt at work and suffer from disfigurement or scarring, contact us for a free assessment of your case by a skilled Chicago attorney. We can be reached by phone at (800) 444-1525 or online to schedule your consultation. We also assist injured workers and their families in Champaign, Aurora, Springfield, Quincy, Rockford, and other areas of Champaign, Kane, Adams, Winnebago, and Cook Counties.