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In Delaware, workers who are hurt on the job are typically eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits. These benefits cover medical expenses, lost wages, disability, as well as death benefits for dependents of a worker who is fatally injured on the job. In certain cases, Workers’ Compensation is also available to workers who suffer permanent scars and disfigurement as the result of a work accident.
Scars can be physically painful and have lasting effects. If scar tissue forms at a joint, it can limit mobility. Scarring can also result in nerve damage and decreased sensation. Scars also serve as a reminder of a traumatic experience long after the body has healed. The long-term mental effects often include psychological and emotional distress.
Incidents such as caught in/between accidents that happen when a worker is pulled into moving machinery parts often cause crushing injuries that require amputation. Industrial accidents involving explosions can result in burns that leave permanent scarring and disfigurement. These accidents happen across many types of industries, from manufacturing to construction, but the result is the same. Attempts to remove scars can require extensive medical treatment and is not always possible.
Per Delaware Workers’ Compensation law, compensable disfigurement injuries must be visible and offensive when the employee is normally clothed. This includes burns, scars, amputations, and injuries that leave a visible limp. There are exceptions for the stipulation that the injury be visible. For instance, although scarring on the arms can be covered, a worker may feel so uncomfortable about the scars that they may feel they can never wear short sleeves again. Scars to the face and neck area, and scars that are sizable in surface area are typically considered to be traumatic.
Workers have up to one year from the date of the accident or surgery for any burn, scar, or amputation related to the work accident. Compensation depends on the severity of the injury and can range from 22 to 66 percent of what the worker earned pre-injury. The amount and length of the benefit is directly related to the injury itself, and can be paid out for up to 150 weeks.
If a work injury has left you with permanent disfigurement or scars, the Delaware work injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow are here to help. We provide every client with personal attention and will fight to recover the maximum available compensation for your case. To schedule a free consultation, contact us today at 302-427-9500 or complete our online contact form. We have three convenient locations in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford representing injured workers across the state, including those in downstate Delaware.