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Can You Claim Compensation for Disfigurement from a Work Injury?

Posted on in Workers' Compensation

IL job lawyerAny type of injury that a person sustains has the possibility of temporarily affecting their life and their ability to work. However, some injuries can be more serious than others and can leave a person dealing with the effects of the injury for life. There are various types of benefits that are paid out by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC), both for injuries that are temporary and injuries that will last much longer. If an injury leaves a permanent scar or disfigures a person, they may be eligible for permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits from their employer. Disfigurement cases are notoriously subjective; what one person considers to be “disfigured,” another one may not. Having a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer on your side can be extremely beneficial to your case.

What Qualifies as Disfigurement?

Many different types of businesses see scarring and/or disfigurement injuries, however, manufacturing and other industrial jobs can be particularly prone to more serious injuries that may cause permanent scars or disfigurement. According to the Illinois Supreme Court, disfigurement comes into place when a healed scar “impairs or injures the beauty, symmetry or appearance of a person or thing; that which renders unsightly, misshapen or imperfect or deforms in some manner.”

If a person claims disfigurement, the scary must be both permanent and serious. However, these types of cases are very much subject to opinion. The location of the scar also matters. In general, Illinois allows for disfigurement claims to be paid out to individuals who suffer a serious and permanent scar to their head, neck, face, arm, hand, chest above the breast line or leg below the knee.

How is the Benefit Determined?

The IWCC handbook states that an award for disfigurement can be paid out at any time, or it can be determined through arbitration after at least six months has passed. For disfigurement payments, up to 162 weeks of benefits can be awarded. The amount is determined by using 60 percent of the employee’s average weekly wage (AWW) and is subject to both minimum and maximum amounts, which are redetermined every so often. The number of weeks the payments last will depend on the severity of the scar or disfigurement. For example, a scar on your face would qualify you for more payments than a scar on your leg.

Speak with a Wheaton, IL Workers’ Compensation Attorney About Your Case

There are various ways a person can become scarred or disfigured. If you have suffered a severe injury that has caused scarring or disfigurement, you should speak with a knowledgeable DuPage County worker’s compensation lawyer about the possibility of compensation. At the Law Offices of David W. Clark, P.C., we can help you understand what types of compensation you may be eligible for, as well as how to obtain them. Call our office today at 630-665-5678 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/iwcc/Documents/handbook.pdf

 

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