Marszalek & Marszalek
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Several times, an injured employee receives scars or disfiguring marks on their body as a result of their work-related injuries. Under section 8(c) of the Illinois Worker's Compensation Act, such marks or scars can be compensable.
The disfigurement or scaring must be "serious and permanent."It must be to the hand, knee, face, neck, arm, leg below the knee or the chest above the axillary line. It is necessary that the disfigurement should have lasted for six months past the date of the injury. There is also a limit of a maximum 150 weeks times the applicable rate regarding the disfigurement.
If an employee is injured and suffers an injury to different parts of his body as a result of the same accident, it is not possible that one can collect for both disfigurement and specific loss to that part of the body. An example would be when one would sustain a broken arm and a cut to one's face as a result of a fall at work. The injured employee could collect as to a percentage of disability for the loss of use of his arm plus so many weeks of disfigurement to his face.
In my experience as an attorney throughout this State Of Illinois, I have had injured employees tell me that their personal manager has told them that because they worked at a certain type of employment, they cannot collect for disfigurement. This is totally false. The type of employment that one works in has no bearing on whether they can collect for disfigurement, so long as the other provisions of the Workers' Compensation Act are met. In one specific incident, a man who worked in a forge shop informed me that his personnel manager had told him that since he works in a forge shop, he cannot collect for scars or disfigurement. Again, this is totally false and any disfiguring scar by a worker in a forge shop can be compensable.
Disfigurement has been defined as "that which impairs or injurs the beauty, symmetry, or appearance of a person or thing; that which renders unslightly, misshapen or imperfect or deforms in some manner." These cases are generally diffucult to evaluate and the injured employee who suffers a disfigurement should seek the appropriate legal counsel to determine whether or not one has a case.