The skin is part of the integumentary organ system and plays an important function in human physiology. Together with the hair, nails, and endocrine glands, the skin protects and cools the body. Additionally, the appearance of one’s skin can play an integral role in a person’s self confidence and emotional well being.
Many people who have suffered a work injury in South Jersey experience permanent scarring and disfigurement long after the initial wound has healed. Whether a worker has been burned or cut, he or she may be afflicted with a permanent reminder of the accident. Such scarring can cause both physical pain and emotional distress as well as limit range of motion. Because of this, New Jersey Workers’ Compensation law does allow for limited claims when disfigurement occurs because of a work accident.
What Factors Determine Whether Disfigurement is Covered under Workers’ Compensation?
When determining whether Workers’ Compensation coverage is extended to disfigurements of skin, the law considers several factors. Compensation for disfiguring work injuries in New Jersey are based on:
- Cause of the disfigurement: To qualify for Workers’ Compensation, the scar or disfigured area must be the result of a work-related injury. Some of the more common on-the-job injuries that cause scars include chemical or heat burns, electrocutions, cuts and amputations, compound fractures, and surgeries resulting from an injury.
- Location of the disfigurement: In New Jersey, Worker’s Compensation covers scarring to the hands, neck, face, or head because of the psychological component of the injury.
- Resulting limitations: Even if a scar is not visible, if it causes problems with mobility, such as an inability to properly grip items or turn the head naturally, it may be considered a qualifying condition for benefits. Any physical limits imposed by damaged skin may be covered.
- Appearance: Many victims of a work accident have concerns related to their appearance. Thus, certain scars and disfiguring injuries may be covered. Because some scars can be psychologically traumatic for an individual, the law may allow cosmetic surgery in some cases.
Skin is often considered a minor part of the body until it is injured in a serious accident. When surgeons must work on an injury, most are very careful to protect as much of this vital organ system as possible. Even the best surgeon cannot always ensure proper range-of-motion after repairs are made to other parts of the body. Additionally, with the millions of nerve endings throughout the skin, preventing terrible, life-long pain may not be possible. Such factors play a role in whether Workers’ Compensation will cover a disfiguring injury.
Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Work to Get Rightful Coverage for Disfigurements
Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation lawyers at DiTomaso Law fight for the rights of workers in New Jersey. If injured on-the-job and faced with disfiguring scars, we can help. Whether you live in South Jersey or Southeastern Pennsylvania, complete our online form or call 856-414-0010 to arrange a confidential consultation at our Cherry Hill, New Jersey office.