Being injured on the job can have a lasting effect on a person’s life, and in some instances, an injury leads to permanent disfigurement. In Florida, workers’ compensation rules stipulate that certain disfigurements and scars are eligible for compensation based on permanency, location, and appearance. Below are several things to know in these cases.
There Are Different Compensable Categories
There are two categories to consider: disfigurements caused by injuries and scars caused by surgeries needed to repair the injury-related damage. Both categories are compensable under the state’s Workers’ Compensation Act according to Workers Comp Lawyers in Melbourne, FL.
Scars Must be on the Client’s Face, Head, or Neck
A disfigurement must be visible to be compensable. According to the Workers’ Compensation Act, the scar must be above the client’s collarbone; scars on forearms, hands, and legs aren’t compensable.
Scars Have to be Considered Unsightly
A scar’s unsightliness is subjective, but certain indicators exist, such as size, shape, notice ability, and position. For instance, if a client has a jagged scar on his or her face, it’s likelily compensable under the Act. The worker’s age may affect the compensation they receive, as a judge may consider a younger person to be more severely affected by a disfigurement.
There’s a Limit on Compensation
The maximum weekly compensation rate is $995, and the maximum length of time is 275 weeks. Therefore, the worst-looking scar, compensated at the maximum rate, would get a worker $275,000 in compensation. Because awards are calculated on weekly terms, and the rate is determined by the worker’s average weekly wage before the injury, higher earners will receive more compensation.
Documentation is Crucial
The most effective way to prove a scar’s permanency and severity are to take pictures throughout the recovery process. If a worker can prove that the scar has remained unsightly and is permanent, they’re more likely to receive an award. Workers Comp Lawyers in Melbourne, FL can help clients get the documentation they need.
Injured Workers Aren’t Alone
Recovering from a work injury isn’t easy, and local lawyers are there to help at every step in the process. If someone has suffered a disfiguring work injury, they can call Matheson & Horowitz to schedule a consultation.