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February 10th, 2014

I was scarred in a work accident that happened in Philadelphia. Do I qualify for workers’ compensation benefits for the scar?

Answer: It is important to note that in situations when an employer fails to provide workers’ compensation coverage, an injured employee may bring a lawsuit against the employer directly. In this situation, if the employer did not maintain coverage, the employer may be sued directly. The following answer assumes that a workers’ compensation claim was made and accepted.

Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, workers who are injured in on the job accidents can receive specific benefits for disfigurement. However, it is well established in PA that the disfigurement must be serious, permanent and unsightly. In a nutshell, the scar must be significant, and if the employer disputes that the scar is serious, a workers’ compensation judge may ultimately examine the scar to make the final determination.

In general, most scars to the head, face or neck will be significant; however, Pennsylvania courts have held that not every blemish or change to the head, face or neck will qualify as a disfigurement for purposes of the Workers’ Compensation Act.  For example, a slightly crooked nose will probably not qualify as a disfigurement, whereas loss of teeth generally does qualify.

Related: Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Law – Benefits for Disfigurement

Even if a scar does not qualify as a disfigurement under the Act, other workers’ compensation benefits will likely be payable, such as medical benefits and lost wages, if the injuries which resulted in the scar caused either a short or long term disability. In addition, it is important to note that many injured workers overlook the possibility of filing claims against other parties whose actions may have contributed to the accident. In fact, many workers only file workers’ compensation claims.

A recent client of our law firm was injured when a trench he was disassembling caved in. He, like many injured workers, believed that the only remedy was filing a workers’ compensation claim. He ended up having a valid claim against the company which manufactured the trench, and he recovered financial compensation over and above workers’ compensation. Read more about this trench accident case.

Therefore, it is important to discuss the details of the accident, such as how it happened, what caused the accident, etc., with a work accident lawyer.

Philadelphia PA Workers’ Compensation & Accident Law Firm

Laffey Bucci D’Andrea Reich & Ryan represents workers who are injured on the job. Our work accident lawyers specialize in handling negligence cases against third parties and may handle workers’ compensation cases. Depending on the facts of a given case, the firm may refer the workers’ compensation case to another law firm. Free consultations available, call Click To Call.

Our lawyers are available for a free, no obligation legal consultation, and can obtain special admission in other states, such as New York or Delaware, on a case by case basis.

**This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is crucial to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.