Question: I have been employed in the construction field for more than 25 years and until a few weeks ago, I never had any injuries or accidents at work. Earlier this month, a scaffolding plank flipped and struck me in the face. Fortunately, I wasn’t hurt too bad but I did lose four front teeth and I have a nasty scar on my lip. I’m back to work now on light duty and I’m being paid the same amount as I was before the injury. The comp carrier is paying the medical and dental bills. Our HR guy tells that I will also be paid comp benefits for the time that I missed from work. Can I get any payments for the scar on my face? Anonymous, Dunmore, Pa.
Answer: Yes. The Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act provides for benefits for scarring or disfigurement of the head face or neck if that scarring is permanent, unsightly, not usually incident to the employment. In addition, you must also show that the scarring is the result of a work injury or work-related event. Also, depending on what dental repairs are performed, the loss of your teeth may also factor in to the level of your disfigurement. You may file a claim for disfigurement benefits. The claim will be assigned to a workers compensation judge who will view your appearance, describe it on the record, and then place a value of the claim based on your weekly earnings at the time of your injury, up to a maximum of 275 weeks of benefits. If you’ve suffered a work injury and have questions about your claim, contact me at email@example.com or call (570) 347-1011 for a free consultation. 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.