Scarring is the body’s way of healing a skin injury. It is a natural and inevitable process that can be the result of many different accidents, such as slips, trips and falls, road traffic accidents, workplace accidents and criminal assaults.
If you have been left with a permanent scar due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to claim scar compensation. This will cover the physical and emotional harm and suffering caused by the injury, as well as any related financial losses and expenses.
If you feel you may have a valid scar injury claim, call 0800 678 1410 or request a call back to speak to an experienced solicitor and receive free legal advice. If you have a strong case, they will offer you a No Win No Fee service, making the claims process a lot less stressful by removing any financial risk.
What is scarring?
Scarring is the natural process of the body repairing and replacing lost or damaged skin. As part of the healing process, the body produces collagen, a fibrous protein that helps rebuild the damaged tissue. The formation of scar tissue can result in a visible mark or discoloured area on the skin, which is known as a scar.
Scars can vary in appearance, texture, and size depending on the severity of the initial injury, the individual’s healing process, and other factors. They can be flat, raised, sunken, or have a different texture compared to the surrounding skin. Scarring can occur due to various injuries, including cuts, burns, acne, surgery, or trauma.
While they are a natural part of healing, scars can have various detrimental effects, including:
- Cosmetic concerns: Scars, especially those on visible areas such as the face, neck, or hands, can impact your self-esteem and body image.
- Emotional impact: Scarring can have psychological effects, leading to feelings of embarrassment, frustration, or depression. It may affect social interactions and relationships.
- Physical discomfort: In some cases, scars can cause physical distress or sensations such as itching, tightness, or tenderness.
- Functional limitations: Depending on the location and severity of the scar, it may restrict the affected area’s normal functioning, movement or flexibility.
- Sensory changes: Scars may alter the sensation in the surrounding skin. It can lead to numbness, hypersensitivity, or changes in temperature or texture perception.
In cases where scarring is significant or affects your quality of life, you should consider claiming scar compensation if another person was at fault for your injury.
Am I eligible to make a claim for scar compensation?
If you have a permanent scar due to someone else’s actions or negligence, you might be able to make a scar injury claim. To assess your eligibility, your solicitor will verify that:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care
- They breached their duty and caused an accident or incident
- You suffered injuries that resulted in a scar
You do not have to worry too much about proving that a duty of care existed. Your solicitor will do this on your behalf by referring to relevant legislation such as the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957, the Road Traffic Act 1988 or the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
Evidence to support a scar injury claim
If you want to claim scar compensation, you will need evidence to show how you were injured, who might be to blame, and how the scarring has affected your life. Depending on the type of accident that caused your injury, this could include evidence such as:
- Medical records from the initial treatment of the injury, including any documentation of the wound, diagnosis, and treatment plans;
- Photographs of the accident scene, showing the cause of your permanent scar;
- Pictures of the scar taken from different angles and distances and over time to document its progression;
- Expert testimony from qualified medical professionals who can assess the nature of the scar, its permanence, and any potential impact on your physical or psychological well-being;
- A copy of an accident report form if your accident happened in a public place or at work;
- A police report and reference number if you were the victim of a criminal act;
- Statements from witnesses to your accident or injury to clarify how the events occurred;
- A detailed personal statement describing how the scar has affected your life, including physical discomfort, emotional distress, self-esteem issues, or any limitations or difficulties you now face;
- Financial evidence of any costs associated with the scar, such as plastic surgery or scar revision procedures you have had to pay for.
- Wage slips, bank statements or receipts for any other financial losses caused by your injury, such as loss of earnings if you had to take time off work.
If you have a valid personal injury claim, your solicitor will help you gather all the evidence you need to secure compensation for your pain, suffering and financial damages.
Common accidents leading to a scar injury compensation claim
Various accidents could result in a scar compensation claim. Some common examples include:
- Road traffic accidents: The force of impact during a collision, broken glass, sharp metal objects, or other debris can cause deep cuts and wounds that may result in scarring.
- Workplace accidents: Accidents on the job can cause scarring in various ways, depending on the nature of the incident and the specific hazards present in the work environment.
- Slips, trips and falls: Impact with sharp or rough objects during a fall can cause cuts or abrasions that can leave permanent marks on the skin.
- Medical negligence: Surgical errors, improper wound care, or other forms of medical negligence can cause avoidable scarring. Some medical procedures, such as cosmetic surgeries or laser treatments, can also result in scarring if not adequately performed.
- Product defects: Defective products, such as faulty machinery and equipment or consumer goods, can cause injuries that result in scars.
- Burns: Thermal burns, chemical burns, or electrical burns can cause severe damage to the skin, leading to permanent scars. The severity and extent of scarring can vary depending on the degree and depth of the burn.
- Dog bites: Severe bites from animals, such as dogs, can cause deep puncture wounds, tissue tearing and lacerations that may result in permanent marks.
- Criminal injuries: Physical assaults or acts of violence can cause injuries that result in scarring.
- Military injuries: Gunshot wounds, explosions and blasts, shrapnel injuries and other types of traumatic events that soldiers may experience can cause severe wounds that cause permanent disfigurement.
- Sports injuries: Sports involving physical contact or the use of equipment can result in cuts and lacerations that may require stitches or surgical repair. These wounds can leave scars as they heal.
Types of scars
Scarring is a natural part of the body’s healing process following a physical injury. Scars are generally considered permanent, although their appearance can fade and improve over time. There are different types of scars based on the nature and extent of the skin injury:
- Fine-line scars, also known as linear scars, are thin and narrow and typically appear as a straight line on the skin’s surface. They are usually less noticeable and can fade with time.
- Hypertrophic scars are raised, red, and thickened, usually forming within the boundaries of the original wound.
- Keloid scars are similar to hypertrophic ones, but they surpass the initial wound, extending beyond its borders. They can be thick and raised with a smooth and shiny appearance. After the initial injury has healed, these scars may continue growing and can be painful or itchy.
- Atrophic scars result in a depression or indentation in the skin. They can be due to conditions like acne or injuries that lead to loss of underlying fat or tissue.
- Contracture scars form when the skin tightens and restricts movement due to the healing process. These scars can occur after burn injuries or large areas of tissue loss and may limit mobility.
- Surgical scars result from medical procedures and can vary in size and appearance depending on the type of surgery.
If you suffered any type of scar on your body due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, you might be eligible to claim compensation. An experienced solicitor can let you know if you have a valid case and guide you through the claims process.
Time limits to claim scar injury compensation
Under the Limitation Act 1980, there is a three-year time limit to claim scar compensation, starting from either:
- The time when the primary injury or surgery took place
- The date your scarring became apparent
This is known as the claim limitation date, after which your case becomes statute-barred. If you claim outside of this period, the court will usually no longer accept your case, even if it has merit. Thus, it is essential to speak to a legal adviser as soon as possible to ensure they have plenty of time to gather evidence and prepare your scar injury claim within the time limit.
There are some exceptions to this time limit, such as:
- The three-year limitation date does not begin until the injured person’s 18th birthday when they become an adult. A parent or legal guardian could seek compensation for a child anytime during this period.
- The time limit does not apply if the claimant lacks the mental capacity to manage legal proceedings. A litigation friend could start a permanent scar claim on their behalf anytime.
- If the scar results from a criminal act, there is a two-year period to start a claim through the CICA scheme.
- Military personnel could seek compensation through the AFCS within seven years after suffering scarring in the line of duty.
How much compensation for scarring could I receive?
The amount of scar compensation you could receive depends on various factors, including:
- The severity of the scar
- Whether it is temporary or permanent
- Its location on the body
- The impact it has on your physical and emotional well-being
- Your age
- The financial losses you incurred related to the scar
Your solicitor will consider all the ways in which the injury has affected your life to work out a fair settlement on your behalf. Generally, personal injury claims are split into the following:
General damages compensate for the non-monetary impact of the injury, including physical and emotional suffering. In the context of a scar injury claim, general damages would typically account for:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Disfigurement and mutilation
- Emotional and psychological distress
- Loss of a unique career
- Loss of prospects and enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium and impacts on your social life
- Reduced quality of life
The award for general damages largely depends on the extent and location of the injury. For example, the amount of compensation you receive is likely to be higher if you suffer a facial injury that causes a permanent scar compared to a one that is less noticeable on your hip. It is calculated based on previous similar cases and the guidelines published by the Judicial College. According to these, you could receive:
- £1,710 to £3,530 for minor facial scarring
- £9,110 to £30,090 for significant facial scarring
- £29,780 to £97,320 for very severe facial scarring causing disfigurement
- £3,200 to £7,830 for one noticeable scar or several superficial scars on legs, arms or hands
- £6,680 to £19,390 for severe non-facial laceration scars
- Around £104,830 for significant burn scars covering more than 40% of the body
- Up to £54,830 for moderate psychiatric damage caused by the scarring
Special damages compensate for the specific financial losses and expenses incurred due to the scar injury and are calculated based on actual evidence such as receipts and invoices. Special damages may include:
- Costs related to medical treatments, consultations, surgeries and medications
- Expenses for physical therapy, scar management treatments or counselling
- Income lost due to the injury and subsequent scarring, including missed workdays, reduced earning capacity, or inability to pursue certain employment opportunities
- Travel costs incurred for medical appointments, treatments, or consultations
- Additional assistance or care needed as a result of the injury
- Any other reasonable expenses directly linked to the accident
An experienced personal injury solicitor can accurately assess and calculate the potential amount of scar compensation based on the specific details of your case. You can also use our compensation calculator to see compensation amounts for various injuries across all areas of the body.
No Win No Fee permanent scar compensation claims
If you have suffered a permanent scar due to someone else’s negligence, you should be able to seek compensation for the pain and suffering it has caused you without worrying about financial risks. That is why the solicitors we work with will always offer you a 100% No Win No Fee service if you have a valid scar injury claim.
The benefits of a No Win No Fee arrangement include:
- You do not have to pay any upfront fees for legal representation, meaning you can start your claim regardless of your financial situation;
- You only have to pay a success fee to your solicitor if and when you receive scar compensation, and there are no hidden charges or ongoing legal costs;
- If your claim is unsuccessful, you do not have to pay a single penny to anyone;
- Under a No Win No Fee agreement, solicitors are motivated to work hard on your case because their fees are contingent on the claim’s success. That ensures that they are committed to achieving the best possible outcome for you;
- You do not have to worry about paying legal fees if your case is unsuccessful, thanks to the After the Event (ATE) insurance policy that your solicitor will include in the arrangement;
- Knowing that you will not have to pay any fees unless you win your case can provide peace of mind and reduce the stress of pursuing scar injury compensation.
To find out if you can make a No Win No Fee claim for compensation, call 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer. Alternatively, please enter your name and telephone number into our online claim form to request a call back.