Scars are often the result of serious injuries or burns. They don’t only cause financial losses from your medical treatment bills, but they can also cause emotional damage and change of lifestyle. If your injury and resulting-scarring happened while working, you may be covered by workers’ compensation for those losses and damages. Yet, the legal system is not always that straightforward.
You may be wondering, “does having permanent scarring make me eligible to receive workers’ comp in Massachusetts?” Our workers’ comp lawyers are here to help you learn more about your workers’ comp rights. Keep reading!
Scars and Workers’ Compensation
Some scars do have residual pain at the site, but many scars are a constant reminder of the pain and suffering that you went through after your workplace injury. Scars can also be a cause of embarrassment or self-conscious thoughts. Even though they may not cause physical pain, scars can still have a negative effect on a workers’ well-being long after the accident occurs.
Scarring is often considered as a factor in a workers’ compensation award. It can become part of your permanent disability rating and the benefits that you receive. However, there are limitations in some states.
In Massachusetts, for example, workers’ compensation will only cover scarring if it occurs on the neck, hands, or face. You may receive a one-time payment as a disfigurement benefit if you qualify. The amount of this payment will vary depending on the location and the severity of the scarring. Generally, the maximum lump sum that you can receive for scarring is $15,000.
On the other hand, Rhode Island does not have similar limitations regarding the location of the scar or other disfigurements.
Workplace Injuries That May Result in Scarring
Burns and lacerations are by far the most common cause of scarring in the workplace. Some falls can also result in injuries that scar. The following accidents are likely to result in scarring that may be compensable under workers’ compensation laws:
- Oil or gas explosions
- Power tool or machinery accidents
- Chemical or electrical burns
- Falls from significant height
- Equipment or supplies falling on a worker
- Packinghouse or slaughterhouse injuries (generally cuts or lacerations)
- Engine-related injuries (mechanics or factory workers)
Non-Scarring Disfigurements May Be Covered in Massachusetts
Even though Massachusetts has limited compensation to scars on the face, neck, and hands, they have not limited other types of non-scarring disfigurements. For example, if you are run over with a forklift causing severe injures to your leg, you may receive benefits for a chronic limp or other permanent effects. You may also, for example, receive benefits if your leg is visibly damaged.
Your Ally in the Fight for the Compensation You Deserve
A workers’ comp lawyer can give you the best chance at the maximum compensation for your workers’ comp injuries and scarring. Jim Glaser Law has years of experience supporting injured workers like you get the compensation they deserve.