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PA Workers’ Compensation Disfigurement Benefits

  • Jon Koutcher
  • 06/14/2021

The Pennsylvania workers’ compensation act allows for work comp disfigurement benefits for scaring or other markings on the head, neck or face caused by a work accident or a surgical procedure related to a work injury. For instance, if you get cut on the face while working, you may be entitled to disfigurement benefits. Also, if you have surgery which leaves a scar, such as neck surgery, you have a claim for disfigurement benefits.

How much is disfigurement worth?

The typical value of disfigurement benefits in Pennsylvania can vary due to a variety of factors such as severity. At Pearson Koutcher Law we have successfully obtained work comp disfigurement benefits for fire fighters burnt while at a fire scene, police officers cut and scraped while apprehending suspects and injured workers who have undergone cervical spine surgeries that leave a scar. We recently obtained a significant award for disfigurement benefits for a construction worker struck by piping on the bridge of his nose. You do not have to go out of work or be out of work to make a claim for disfigurement benefits. Details of our settlements for disfigurement benefits are described below.

Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Eric Pearson and Jonathan Koutcher Settle Case of Injured Worker for $875,000!
Eric Pearson and Jonathan Koutcher, partners at the workers’ compensation only firm of Pearson Koutcher Law, settled the case of an injured worker for $875,000, which is believed to be the highest workers’ compensation settlement in Pennsylvania in 2015. The injured worker suffered burns to approximately 30% of his body and was receiving wage loss benefits. In addition to disfiguring injuries to the head and neck, the injured worker was also disabled by the scarring and the loss of use of a number of his extremities. Mr. Pearson and Mr. Koutcher filed several petitions to expand the scope of the injured workers’ injuries to maximize his benefit status and also to obtain specific loss benefits (disfigurement and loss of use) in addition to benefits for wage loss. Mr. Pearson and Mr. Koutcher, recognizing the significant medical attention the injured worker would require for his lifetime, had a life care plan prepared, which detailed recommended remodeling of the injured workers’ home, special transportation equipment and the required ongoing medical treatment. The parties to the case participated in an all-day Mediation, conducted by the Honorable Michael Snyder (ret.). In addition to receiving a lump sum settlement of $875,000, the workers’ compensation insurance company agreed to fund and administer a Medicare Set Aside account for the injured worker.

$375,000 Workmens’ Comp Settlement for Texas Resident Injured Working in PA
A Texas resident working in Pennsylvania in a gas well suffered severe and debilitating burns on a significant part of his body resulting in serious, permanent and unsightly scarring on his head, face and neck and also limiting the use of his upper extremities. The injured worker was paid workers’ compensation wage-loss benefits pursuant to the laws of the state of Texas. When benefits in Texas stopped, Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorney Jonathan Koutcher, of Pearson Koutcher Law, filed a claim petition in Pennsylvania. Mr. Koutcher litigated the case arguing the injured worker was disabled and in addition required ongoing medical care. Mr. Koutcher also pursued a claim for disfigurement benefits for the injured worker. Despite the insurance company alleging the injured worker could return to work based upon opinions of two physicians who performed independent medical evaluations, Mr. Koutcher was able to secure a significant settlement in the amount of $375,000. Part of the settlement to the injured worker was in the form of a structured annuity and as a result, the total settlement value exceeded $375,000.

$150,000 Lump Sum Settlement with Open Medical Benefits for Injured Philadelphia Mechanic with an Amputated Ear
Pearson Koutcher Law partner Jonathan B. Koutcher settled the case of a Philadelphia mechanic who had his ear severed in an industrial accident. After the ear could not be surgically reattached, the injured worker’s ear needed to be removed. The injured worker underwent multiple surgical procedures and was out of work for a period of time. The injured worker had a prosthetic ear made and returned to full duty employment. Mr. Koutcher filed a Review Petition, alleging the injured worker sustained a disfigurement that was serious, permanent, and unsightly. Mr. Koutcher presented the injured worker before the workers’ compensation judge for a description of the injured worker’s disfigurement, with and without the prosthetic ear. Mr. Koutcher made the argument to the judge that the injured worker, despite having a prosthetic ear, must remove the ear when showering, sleeping and at times when working. There is no set number of weeks of specific loss/disfigurement benefits an injured worker is to receive for the loss of an ear per Section 306© of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. The parties attended two mediation sessions and were able to agree on a settlement, including keeping the medical portion of the claim open so the injured worker can continue to receive appropriate care for the prosthetic and the original wound site.

Call Pearson Koutcher Law and learn what our workers’ comp lawyers can do for you to obtain work comp disfigurement benefits.

What Should I Do After A Work Injury?

If you have a scar, or other markings on your head, neck or face, caused by a work accident or a surgical procedure related to a work injury,

  1. Immediately report your injury or work-related illness to your employer or supervisor. Tell them you were hurt on the job as well as the date and location of the injury.

  2. Seek medical attention. You may need to see your employer’s doctor, which depends on if your employer maintains a panel physician list. Ask if your employer has such a list and, if they do, ask that it is provided to you immediately. If they do not have a list, you are free to treat with whichever doctor you choose.

  3. Call the Philadelphia Work Accident attorneys at Pearson Koutcher Law and speak with a lawyer with expertise in workplace injury law. Our attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience helping injured workers throughout Pennsylvania and will help you fully understand your rights as an injured employee and assist you in seeking the full Workers’ Compensation benefits you deserve under the law.

The Philadelphia Workers Compensation attorneys at Pearson Koutcher Law are dedicated to the singular goal of securing maximum compensation and full benefits entitled to injured employees under the laws of Pennsylvania. Their years of experience as seasoned, skillful trial lawyers and negotiators, along with their compassion and diligent understanding of the significant impact a workplace accident can have on an injured worker’s life, motivate the attorneys of Pearson Koutcher Law, to approach each new client individually, with meticulous consideration to their specific individual considerations and circumstances. Call our office today at 215-627-0700 or email us to discuss the particular facts of your Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation matter.