Workers’ Compensation Law Section 15 allows for a monetary award for a permanent facial scar or disfigurement above the neck or extending partially onto the neck area.
A medical report indicating that the scar is permanent must be produced before the case is ready for a formal award. Unfortunately, the maximum award for facial disfigurement is $20,000.00. This amount, in certain circumstances, is grossly inadequate.
The amount of the facial disfigurement award is entirely subjective. In theory, it is based on projected future lost earnings. The award is arrived at by the Law Judge simply viewing the scar and sometimes asking a few questions regarding the type of work the claimant has been engaged in and whether or not he or she deals with the public on a regular basis. From there the Law Judge makes an assessment as to what portion of the $20,000.00 maximum should be awarded.
It is not uncommon that facial disfigurement awards are appealed so that the adequacy of the award may be reviewed.
If you have sustained a work related injury and have a permanent scar on or above your neck, please feel free to contact our office for a consultation.