If you have been injured at work and your injury left permanent disfigurements, such as scarring, loss of a finger and/or a limb, you may be entitled to a disfigurement award as part of your workers’ compensation claim. Scars and disfigurements that are exposed to the public can be traumatic and can serve as a painful reminder of what you went through. Additionally, people often comment and remark on unusual things, no matter how rude it may be to point them out, and you may be forced to re-tell your story and explain your scars again and again.
If you’ve suffered an injury that left you scarred or disfigured, those injuries can last a lifetime. In Colorado, if your scars are still visible six months after a workplace injury, you are eligible to request workers’ compensation benefits for your disfigurement.
How Does It Work?
Under Article 41 of the Colorado Code, you can apply for workers’ compensation coverage following any on-the-job or work-related injury you sustain in an accident. This coverage helps pay for medical bills and any health-related expenses, and provides an income if you have to take time off from work to recuperate or heal.
For most minor injuries (scrape, broken leg, concussion, etc.), this is a fairly straightforward process — if the company is responsible for your wellbeing, they will handle the workers’ compensation you need after an accident. But with long-term or lifetime complications, the process becomes more complex.
Disfigurement is an injury from which you never fully recover. Any visible scar or physical anomaly resulting from an at-work accident can be considered a disfigurement. A good rule of thumb to use in considering your case is whether the scar can be seen while you are wearing a bathing suit. If it’s visible, you can work with a workers’ compensation attorney to negotiate a separate disfigurement award. When you file a disfigurement compensation claim, you may face an uphill battle from the insurance company and your employer.
According to the state’s laws, disfigurement benefits are typically awarded up to a maximum of $4,000 for any injuries sustained and $8,000 for extreme disfigurement cases. The injured employee contacts the insurance carrier to begin the process of filing a claim and he or she may be asked to submit photographs detailing the scar or disfigurement for determination.
Contact Your Attorney
If you have been injured in an on-the-job accident in Colorado, your only recourse for compensation is to file a workers’ compensation claim that covers the extent of your injuries. If you have suffered permanent scars or disfigurement of any other kind as a result of an accident, your compensation amount should cover the associated pain, trauma and damages. For more information on disfigurement claims and Colorado’s laws, contact the Denver workers’ compensation attorneys at Levine Law today.