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Are work comp benefits available for disfiguring injuries? Part 1

We live in a society that is very concerned with appearances. Even supermodels and actresses renowned for their beauty have their faces airbrushed before appearing on magazine covers.

In addition, camera-enabled smartphones have only added to the tendency to focus on how people look. With pictures so easy to take and share, the concern about looking presentable is entirely understandable.

But what if you have become disfigured from a work injury? Are there any benefits available under workers’ compensation law to address scars or disfigurement? In this post, we will address that question.

The answer, in short, is yes.

Section 8-42-108 of the Colorado Statues specifically provides for additional compensation in certain cases where there has been a disfiguring injury. This compensation is above and beyond the regular workers’ compensation benefits that someone may receive due to their injury.

To be sure, there are certain criteria that must be met.

First of all, it must be a serious, permanent disfigurement.

The statute also gives criteria about where on the body the injury is. The scar, stump or other disfigurement must be “about the head, face, or parts of the body normally exposed to public view.”

The phrase “normally exposed to public view” requires a bit of elaboration. It doesn’t mean you have to keep a scar on your back or chest covered, even when you go swimming.

Of course, an insurance adjuster may try to tell you differently. That is one reason why it makes sense to discuss your case with an attorney knowledgeable about workers’ compensation law.

How much compensation is available for disfigurement? We will address that in part two of this post.

Source: WestLaw, Colorado Revised Statutes Annotated 8-42-108

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