Compensation for a Facial Scar

Do you think it will be worth my while claiming compensation for a facial scar? I am no longer in pain, but my self confidence has gone and I have been depressed due to being left with a large facial scar from my accident.

Without knowing the extent of scarring and its degree of visibility it is not possible to tell you how much facial scar compensation you would be entitled to claim. However, it is probable that your case will be worthwhile pursuing if your scar is severe enough to have caused you to suffer depression and a loss in self confidence.

It is often the psychological problems which develop after a facial injury has been sustained that can have the biggest impact on the quality of life of an accident victim, rather that the physical injuries which are sustained in an accident.

Psychological problems that develop as the result of secondary ‘injuries’ such as scarring can form the basis of a personal injury claim, provided the original physical injury was treated by a doctor. A claim for scars from an accident will also only be possible if the accident resulted from negligence of a third party and involved a breach in a duty of care. To confirm your right to claim compensation you should speak about your case with a personal injury solicitor and explain the circumstances under which your original injury was caused.

If a claim is possible, an application will need to be made to the Injuries Board to assess your claim for scars from an accident. It is important that your mental health problems are detailed on your claim form and supported by your Doctor on the Injuries Board Form B; otherwise the Injuries Board will only calculate compensation amounts for the physical injuries sustained.

If psychological injuries form a significant part of your claim for facial scar compensation, it is probable that the Injuries Board will decline your application for a claim assessment under Section 17 of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act (2003). Should this be the case, authorisation would be granted for you to take your claim for compensation for a facial scar to court to be decided. This does not mean that your case will necessarily have to be presented in court, as it may be possible for your solicitor to negotiate an appropriate level of compensation for a facial scar directly with the insurance company of the negligent third party responsible for the accident.

The reason why the Injuries Board declines to assess claims for compensation for mental health problems from facial scars is due to the difficult in assessing the extent of psychological problems, which can only be determined by professional medical opinion. Your solicitor will therefore need to arrange for you to visit a psychiatrist for an evaluation before compensation for mental health problems from facial scars can be calculated.

Provided your depression is diagnosed by the psychiatrist, compensation amounts will be calculated to take this into account. A solicitor would also arrange for you to see a specialist doctor or plastic surgeon to determine if a surgical procedure could reduce the appearance of your scar, and if so, it may be possible to claim the cost of this treatment under special damages.