Susie was working in a fast food restaurant and was placing fries into super heated oil. For whatever reason, on this occasion she was splattered in the face with the oil causing severe burns. Despite receiving excellent medical care, Susie was left with scars on her cheek, forehead and chin.
ISSUE: While Susie only missed less than one week because of her injury, the issue arose as to whether or not she was entitled to any other benefits other than her medical bills being paid.
ANSWER: Yes. Susie incurred what is known as a “specific loss” under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. Specific losses encompass loss of use of limbs, eyesight, hearing, and scarring about the face, neck and head. A Judge will decide to what extent Susie’s scars have disfigured her. Susie can receive as an award anywhere from one to two hundred and seventy five weeks of what would normally be her compensation benefits per week. Many times these awards are substantial.
Judges tend to give greater awards to women than men in these scarring cases, especially when the scars are on the face. Even loss of teeth because of a work injury can lead to an award for disfigurement.
Disclaimer: The above article is for instructive purposes only and each case is fact sensitive. Consultation with an attorney should be obtained instead of reliance upon the legal issues discussed in this column.