The Pennsylvania workers’ compensation Act allows for payment related to scars to the face, head or neck. That is, any scar that is above the neck line (think of anything that can be seen above a T-shirt collar). To have some value, the scar must be permanent and unsightly. That means that they must be noticeable even after the injury healed. Scars from surgery to your neck, whether in the front of your neck or the back, often have some value. Facial cuts that are permanent have value. Changes in skin or tone from a burn, injury or chemical exposure often have value. The value of a scar is paid in addition to any wage loss that may have resulted from an injury. Attorneys often assess and estimate the value of a scar based upon years of past experience with the values of scars.
If an agreement with the insurance company regarding the value of scar cannot be reached, the scar is valued by a workers’ compensation Judge who has discretion to award an amount that is paid out in weekly benefits after any regular wage loss benefits are paid. The amount of weekly benefits related to the scar can be converted to a lump sum payment by agreement of the parties.