Paddy worked for the Luck of the Irish Pallet Company for over twenty years. One day, Paddy was using a crow bar to remove nails from an old pallet. As Paddy was pulling the crow bar, it unexpectedly sprang back striking Paddy in the face. Paddy suffered a nasty cut to his upper lip and the loss of four of his front teeth. Paddy went to the hospital and several stitches were placed on his lip. He also visited the dentist and was fitted for a dental plate. As a result of this injury, Paddy only missed two days of work. The Workers’ Compensation insurance carrier paid for his dental bills. Since Paddy did not miss seven consecutive days of work, he was not entitled to any wage loss benefits for lost work time.
Question: Does Paddy have any other remedy?
Answer: Yes. The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act does provide for benefits when one suffers a disfiguring injury to the head, face or neck. In this case, Paddy lost four of his front teeth. While he was able to get a prosthesis that he wore to replace the teeth, it this still caused an alteration in his appearance that was noticeable, he may be entitled to benefit. In addition, the scarring on his lip from the stitches will come in to play if that scarrring was permanent and disfiguring.
Paddy may be entitled to anywhere from one week up to two-hundred seventy-five weeks of his compensation rate based upon what a Judge feels is an appropriate award. In a case such as Paddy’s, he may receive as much as 50 to 100 weeks of compensation depending on the severity of the disfigurement. The most common types of disfigurement awards are based upon scarring of the face, head or neck.
If you’ve suffered a work injury and have questions about your claim, contact me at email@example.com
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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.