Burns and Disfigurement

Have you been burned or scarred in a workplace accident?

Burns and scarring in work accidents can be either superficial or completely debilitating. Burns range from 1st degree (affecting only the outermost layer of skin) to 4th degree (which are almost always fatal) and often occur at workplaces where corrosive chemicals or electrical machinery are used. Scars are visible results of burns, but internal injuries are also possible. Other complications include shock, infection, and cardiac arrest (heart attack). These complications can make a workplace burn a huge medical expense. But Illinois workers’ compensation law has your back.

Can I get compensated for cases where the damage is only superficial?

You may receive payment for medical expenses and medications, but burns are unlikely to get you a large cash settlement. For example, in cases where a worker has developed severe scarring on their legs after third degree burns, payments might only be around $4,000. But compensation will depend on how severe the injury is and where it is on your body. A raised scar may be worth more than an unraised one, and damage to the face is generally seen as the most severe. So if your scars or burns can be seen when you’re in shorts and a tank top, you can likely be compensated more significantly.

If there is no additional disability, compensation is usually a lump sum settlement. But don’t just accept the damage without trying to get compensation. Even if the burn or scar doesn’t affect your ability to work, you may still be able to get compensation.

What about cases of facial disfigurement?

Getting compensation for burns or scars on your face is no different than getting compensation for burns on your leg (assuming the damage is solely to the skin). What does change, however, is how much you receive in settlement. As facial disfigurements are considered to be the most severe, you can expect to be compensated accordingly.

Due to severe burns, I lost an arm/leg/etc. Can I get compensated for the loss of limb as well as the scarring?

Unfortunately, no. Assuming the burns/scars are at the site where the amputation or loss of limb occurred, you will likely only receive compensation for the lost limb and not for the skin damage.

What if I can’t work now because of my burns?

With severe burns, you may no longer be able to work. If burns have resulted in a loss of wages, this may make you eligible to receive weekly wage supplement in the form of one of four payment plans. For more information on what type of payment you might be eligible for, contact Jack Epstein or call 773-522-7000.

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