Remedies Available in Workers Compensation Disfigurement Case

Date: September 9, 2010
Posted In: DLP Law

Bobby worked for the AAA Warehouse and Ladder Company for over twenty years without ever sustaining an injury. Bobby\’s luck ran out though, when he was struck in the mouth by a ladder causing Bobby to lose three of his front teeth. As a result of the injury, Bobby only missed several days of work and the Workers\’ Compensation carrier paid for his dental bills. Since Bobby did not miss seven consecutive days of work, he was not entitled to any loss time benefits.

ISSUE: Does Bobby have any other remedy?

YES: 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, Bobby lost three of his front teeth giving him somewhat of a pumpkin head appearance when he smiled. Bobby was able to get a prosthesis that he wore to replace the teeth, but nevertheless when he did not have that in his mouth and he smiled, his appearance was greatly affected.

Bobby will be entitled to anywhere from one 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 Bobby\’s, he may receive as much as 100 weeks of compensation because of the disfigurement. The most common types of disfigurement awards are based upon scarring of the face, head or neck.

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.

Tom Cummings
Thomas P. Cummings has been a Partner with Dougherty Leventhal & Price, LLP since 1996 and has been with the firm since 1991. He focuses his practice on workers’ compensation, Social Security Disability and personal injury cases.