Burns, traumatizing injuries, and even surgical procedures can cause permanent scarring. Many scars fade over time, which makes them easier to conceal. However, others are permanent and noticeable marks that are severe enough to drastically alter the victim’s appearance. This type of permanent scarring is referred to as disfigurement, and it can negatively affect a victim’s body image, confidence, and quality of life.
If you have sustained a disfiguring work-related injury, you need to understand your right to workers’ compensation benefits.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits For Disfigurement
The workers’ compensation system does award benefits to workers who have suffered disfiguring injuries. The law states that the Workers’ Compensation Commission can award up to $50,000 to a worker who has suffered serious and permanent disfigurement as a result of a work-related injury. However, you will not receive these benefits immediately after the workplace accident. The Workers’ Compensation Commission is legally required to wait at least one year from the date the injury was sustained before awarding disfigurement benefits.
It’s important to note that the disfigurement compensation only covers the disfigurement, not the injury itself. For example, let’s say you sustain a severe facial injury at work that leaves you permanently disfigured. You can file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits for the facial injury right away, but the disfigurement benefits will not be paid until one year has passed.
How Permanent Partial Disability Benefits Affect Disfigurement Benefits
Most workers with permanent disfigurement are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. But, many workers are surprised to learn that receiving permanent partial disability benefits could affect their right to disfigurement benefits.
Using the same example from above, let’s say you were awarded permanent partial disability benefits for your facial injury. If you receive permanent partial disability benefits for your facial injury, you are no longer entitled to disfigurement benefits for your facial disfigurement. But, you still have the right to disfigurement benefits if you are only awarded temporary disability benefits for your facial injury. To put it simply, you will lose the right to disfigurement benefits if you are awarded permanent partial disability benefits for the same part of the body that is disfigured.
Have you been permanently disfigured as a result of a workplace injury? If so, seek legal representation from the attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. right away. Let us aggressively fight to maximize the workers’ compensation benefits you are awarded for your traumatic injuries. Call us at (918) 582-2500 or toll-free at (800) 722-8880 or complete the simple form below for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.