If you work in construction, you know the risks involved. Miter boxes, drills, cranes and nail guns are the tools of the trade, each one of them powerful enough to cause serious damage if you’re not careful. However, even the most careful worker in the world can be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Even if you’re lucky enough to escape permanent disability, construction accidents often leave significant scars. Do these get special consideration in workers’ comp claim? And if so, what?
Disability Isn’t Required For Workers’ Comp
Many people think that only devastating, permanent injuries qualify for workers’ compensation, but that isn’t true. If you’re working on the clock and happen to get injured, you are probably eligible for workers’ compensation. Fault or blame doesn’t factor into it. If the injury happens in the course of your work, that’s all you need.
Scars Last A Lifetime
Even if you fully recover from your injuries, you may be left with a permanent scar or other disfigurement. Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation Act recognizes that these scars may make things difficult while you’re in public, even if they don’t hamper your mobility. In certain cases, you may be eligible for additional compensation because of it.
These are the factors that a workers’ compensation judge will consider:
- The location of the scar
Only scars on your head, neck or face are eligible.
- How “unsightly” the scar is
This is a subjective judgment based on how large and noticeable the scar is.
- The permanence of the scar
Some scars fade, while others don’ Scars that have persisted for 6-12 months are typically considered permanent.
- The psychological impact
Particularly serious scars can take a long-term emotional toll. If that’s the case, you may be eligible for additional compensation.
Whatever the situation, be sure to document it as much as you can. The more evidence you have that a scar has significantly changed how you look, the better your chances for receiving the compensation you deserve. As with all things related to workers’ comp, timelines and deadlines are important. An experienced attorney will be your greatest ally.