Physical scarring is the natural and inevitable, if unwelcome, physiological outcome of many injuries, diseases and operations. In fact, a survey revealed that 20.3 million people in the UK alone have a scar.
Scarring is the body’s natural way of healing and protecting itself. However, when scarring is the result of an injury that should never have happened, it can be particularly distressing and have a significant impact on your life.
If you’ve been permanently scarred from an injury that wasn’t your fault, you could be eligible to claim compensation.
For more information about making permanent scar injury claims under a no win no fee agreement, get in touch with a trained legal adviser for free advice on 0800 234 6438. If you prefer, complete our online contact form and request a call back to discuss the injury claims process.
We can all imagine how difficult it would be to learn to live with severe facial scarring, a significant scar on the neck or lower arm that will frequently be exposed, or permanent scar injuries on the leg.
The stark reality is that once you’re injured, scarring is often unavoidable – and if it happened because someone else was negligent towards you, it’s only fair that you have the right to claim permanent scar injury compensation.
The circumstances in which scarring is caused varies very much: your scar may have followed an animal bite or a burn, a road traffic accident, or a carelessly performed medical procedure. But whatever the circumstances, the principle remains that individuals can make permanent scar compensation claims against the person or organisation responsible – if they were negligent and this directly resulted in your permanent scar injuries.
In most cases, scarring is a secondary ‘injury’ resulting from the primary injury, such as a cut or a burn. Unfortunately, scarring can be long term and is usually permanent. If the scarring is on a hidden part of the body, such as the upper leg or on your torso, it may not be a significant problem for the individual. But if you’re injured and you find you are left with long term scars on the face or other visible parts of the body, it can be life-changing – even if you’re no longer suffering any pain from the injury.
Thankfully, the law gives injured individuals the opportunity to make personal injury claims to compensate them for the physical and emotional impact of both their primary injury and any permanent scar injuries which have been caused through no fault of their own.
For more information about making permanent scar injury claims under a no win no fee agreement, get in touch with a trained legal adviser for free advice on 0800 234 6438. If you prefer, complete our online contact form and request a call back to discuss the injury claims process.
At its simplest, a scar is a form of fibrous tissue left behind after damage has been caused to the skin. They are formed by the body being triggered to produce collagen fibres to mend the skin damage. The collagen builds up resulting in scarring. As scars form over the wound and start to fade, they can be itchy before they eventually settle down. Most scars fade somewhat over time as the collagen starts to break down, but they don’t usually disappear completely.
A scar can be virtually invisible, such as a small chicken pox scar. In the worst cases, someone can have large areas of scarring as a result of significant burn injuries or deep stab wounds. If the primary injury was deep, the scar may well be disfiguring.
Scars are a natural byproduct of injuries if potentially distressing, so if your injuries have been caused by someone else’s negligence or duty of care, you have the right to compensation.
If your scar is the result of a dog attack, find out more about making a dog attack claim.
Whilst many individuals are untroubled by their scars (particularly if they are small or inconspicuous), others suffer potentially devastating physical and emotional problems. Their scars may be unsightly (essentially a form of disfigurement), or they may be in a visible and awkward place on their body.
Children are particularly vulnerable to the emotional effects of their scarring, prone to being teased or bullied, and are likely to be very self-conscious.
The sight of a scar will, for many individuals, be a permanent reminder of the pain and trauma they have suffered, and coming to terms with their visible scars can take a long time. Many scarring victims suffer loss of self-esteem, their social life may be severely hampered, they may find it difficult to secure work or hold down a job, and their personal lives can be seriously affected. It’s a sad fact of life that there will always be individuals who are quick to judge others on their outward appearance, and so the effect on some victims can be catastrophic.
Older children aged 15 to 24 years old are most at risk from firework injuries and fires outside the home; and they’re at even greater risk if they live in deprivation
This depends on the nature and extent of the injury or skin wound. The main types of scarring are:
Scarring results from almost any kind of injury or wound you can think of. You can even have internal scarring following surgery or after suffering a disease or condition. The most common causes of scarring include:
Sometimes, injuries that lead to scarring are the result of genuine accidents. But if you have suffered injuries and scarring caused by someone else’s negligence, it’s advisable to consider claiming permanent scar injury compensation for the pain, suffering and possible ongoing emotional impact of bearing scars.
For a free no obligation consultation about claiming permanent scar compensation, speak with accident claims solicitors who are specialists in permanent scar injury claims . You don’t have to go ahead with your personal injury compensation claim, but at least you can find out exactly what your legal rights are and how no win no fee claims work in practice.
In 2022, a 71-year-old charity worker who was burned during laser treatment, leaving her with scars on her cheeks, was awarded nearly £13,000 in permanent scar compensation. The award included an amount to cover the cost of special camouflage creams.
Unfortunately, there is no way in which scarring can be prevented; nor can scars be removed. The best most victims can hope for is to conceal them as best they can. The risk of severe scarring in many cases can be reduced by keeping the site moist (many experts say you should apply petroleum jelly and keep the wound covered), but the scarring will not disappear completely.
However, long term/permanent scarring can be treated in order to improve its appearance or make it more comfortable to live with. The possible treatments available for scarring includes applying topical silicon gel; skin grafts; steroids; dermal fillers; and even camouflaging with specialist makeup.
While you might not be able to prevent scarring following your injury, you can take legal action to recover permanent scar injury compensation to will help you on the road to recovery. With specialist help from solicitors experienced in taking on no win no fee claims, you should be able to make a no win no fee permanent scar compensation claim for your injuries and scarring.
Call us for free advice on 0800 234 6438 or, if you prefer, complete our online contact form and request a call back
Just about any type of wound or skin condition/disease can cause scarring. The most common causes of scarring include:
While some of these causes may be an unfortunate but unavoidable experience in our lives at some point, there are numerous cases where the injury and resulting scars have been caused by someone else’s negligence.
Internal scarring can be caused by diseases and conditions, such as pneumonia, pulmonary fibrosis and other chest infections. Unfortunately, a significant internal injury found to have caused extensive internal scarring can lead to further physical problems. Internal scarring is also the natural by product of surgical incisions.
While the presence of internal scar tissue may be harmless, in other cases it can cause further pain and discomfort or exacerbate existing conditions. You may feel ongoing pain and, depending on the location of the surgery. For example, knee surgery could cause scarring that impacts the knee joints; post-hysterectomy scars could leave unexpected pain; pelvic surgery can lead to scarring that reduces women’s fertility.
Unfortunately, internal scarring can also be caused by substandard medical treatment. For example, a surgeon who is careless during surgery could perforate an artery or organ or cut a piece of adjoining tissue. This can cause scarring which can negatively impact the normal function of an organ or joint and cause further discomfort and pain.
Burns are frighteningly common at work, in the home, in restaurants and in other walks of life. Unfortunately, unless they are very minor, burn injuries can cause significant scarring which can be unsightly and often disfiguring.
You might think of burns and imagine fire and perhaps steam; but burn injuries can also be caused by a range of elements and events, including explosions, chemicals, electrical currents – and even extreme cold, such as frozen substances and objects.
Second degree burns damage just the top two layers of the skin but still leave a scar. Third degree and fourth degree burns (and worse) usually result in significant and extensive permanent scars. Anyone who has suffered a burn injury which leads to permanent scars can sue for permanent scar compensation if it was someone else’s fault, including for any psychological harm caused.
We know that no amount of compensation can rewind the clock and completely heal you, but with the help of the compensation you deserve – you can start on the road to recovery and learn to live with the consequences of your injuries.
Get in touch with us for free legal advice on 0800 234 6438 or, if you prefer, complete our online contact form and request a call back to find out about the no win no fee personal injury claims process.
Each year, more than 4 million people in the Western world suffer scarring following burns
Doctors and surgeons are held to a very high standard of care, whether they are carrying out medical treatment, routine medical procedures or major operations. If they breach their duty of care to their patient, and this directly causes further pain and injury which could have been avoided, they ought to be held accountable for medical negligence.
Doctors and nurses are, for example, also expected to treat the wounds of injured patients with a reasonable degree of professional skill and care. This means external injuries and surgical wounds should be dressed and stitched correctly to ensure speedy healing with the low risk of infection and unnecessary pain.
Failure to deal with a wound properly can lead to serious infection, delays in healing and permanent scarring that may have been avoidable. In these situations, a claim for permanent scar injury compensation can be brought against those responsible.
Medical negligence can also lead to avoidable internal scarring. If you believe your medical treatment was substandard and your scarring is the direct result of medical negligence, you could bring a medical negligence claim to compensate you for the pain and distress caused.
Any individual in the UK who has suffered personal injury through no fault of their own has the legal right to bring accident claims to compensate them for their injuries. This includes the availability of claiming permanent scar compensation. So long as your solicitor can demonstrate that the primary injury (or surgery) resulted from someone else’s breach of duty of care, you can claim compensation for permanent scars caused by their negligence.
You need not worry about the cost involved in bringing a claim for permanent scar injuries because your personal injury solicitor will take on your case under a no win no fee agreement. This removes the financial risk to you in making a claim. For more about the no win no fee process, read here.
Suffering a facial injury is extremely painful and particularly distressing for anyone. We understand how traumatic it is when one disfiguring scar can completely change your life. A permanent facial scar can be the result of a criminal injury, a road accident, a botched medical procedure or cosmetic surgery, but what’s important to know is that if it was avoidable – you deserve the right to claim maximum facial scar compensation from those responsible for your scar injury.
Permanent facial scar settlement amounts are typically higher that other scar compensation amounts. This reflects the seriousness and full extent of the physical and, particularly, the psychological impact of a facial scar on the individual. In some cases, the victim’s working life and career may be derailed because of their disfigurement and the distress of living with a facial scar injury.
It is completely understand that if you’ve suffered a facial injury and face the prospect of permanent unsightly scars that will not disappear, your confidence and self-esteem may hit rock bottom. You may feel you want to leave your job and find a new role that means you don’t have to see people; and you no longer want to go out and enjoy a social life. Your facial scar compensation claim should properly reflect the full emotional toil caused by a facial injury and resulting disfigurement caused through no fault of your own.
Thankfully, the law does recognise that in these types of cases there can be significant mental and emotional distress caused by permanent scarring. This means that how much compensation you receive following a permanent facial scar compensation claim will include a specific amount for the psychological and mental impacts of facial scarring.
Facial scarring that causes disfigurement is understandably traumatic, distressing and can cause long term psychological and emotional problems. Similarly, extensive or highly visible scar injury to the neck, arms or hands, for example, can also trigger significant psychological harm and the individual will want to know if surgery can help.
Although permanent scars cannot be removed, they can be treated – some more successfully than others. In some cases, cosmetic surgery and other treatments are an option but specialist professional advice from surgeons will be needed.
For example, when performed skillfully, skin grafts can minimise the appearance of the scar, making it as inconspicuous as possible – depending on the nature and size of the scar. The benefits are not only physical: if you have the chance to exchange an unsightly scar for a discreet scar, you can expect to regain your self-esteem and self confidence. You will then stand ready to get your life back on track again and have the confidence to do the things you used to do.
Your GP can refer you to a plastic surgeon for assessment and treatment but with the length of waiting lists, you could have a long and distressing wait. It is not unreasonable to decide to go private. However, paying privately for skin grafts and scar treatments can prove expensive.
Thankfully, scar settlements can cover these medical costs. This means your permanent scar compensation can include the costs of private medical treatment, including surgery for the reduction or revision of your scarring.
Like most forms of cosmetic surgery, skin grafts and other surgery to treat scars can be expensive, depending on the size of the scar and location on the body and the clinic that carried out the technique. Alternative forms of scar revision and treatment, such as laser treatment and cryotherapy can also be costly, depending on whether it’s a single disfiguring scar, several superficial scars or a number of noticeable laceration scars.
If your doctor recommends that certain treatment should or ought to be carried out, you have every right to seek a scar settlement that includes further treatment of your injury and the scarring. Your solicitor will consider how much these treatments are likely to cost, and how much money you deserve to cover the reasonable costs of all the treatment you may need – both short term and in the long term.
However, claimants have a duty to ‘mitigate’ their losses. In the context of plastic surgery costs, for example, this means that you can’t expect to claim the costs of having the best plastic surgeon in Harley Street to carry out your treatment, when a consultant plastic surgeon in a clinic near you can treat you at half the price. When calculating how much compensation you should receive, your solicitor will be expected to be reasonable in calculating the costs of any treatment you need – and demonstrate those costs to the other side.
That said, you can be reassured that when making a scarring claim, scar settlements are intended to make sure the individual is treated to the highest standard by professional and experienced doctors. So in the unfortunate event that your treatment turns out to be substandard, causing you further injury or scarring, you will have the option of bringing a medical negligence claim against the professional involved.
Scars can take years to settle completely. On the other hand, the pain and discomfort from scars can actually take years to develop. This is often to do with the nerves on the scar site: as the primary wound heals, the nerves develop and become increasingly sensitive – possibly leading to discomfort.
It is vital for your permanent scar claim that you have the facts as to what you can expect with your own scarring. The last thing you want is to have reassurance that your scar is causing no discomfort, only to find later – after your claim for permanent scar compensation has concluded – that you’re experiencing more pain and distress.
Your solicitor will arrange for you to see a specialist doctor, such as a cosmetic surgeon, who is experienced in scar claims and will carry out a thorough medical assessment. They will write a report setting out their view as to the nature of your scarring; to what extent it may be permanent and visible; and stating what cosmetic surgery and/or other treatment and therapies could help.
This will be crucial to help your solicitor build a strong case. You need not worry about the cost of the medical report as it will be covered under your no win no fee agreement.
No one wants to be injured and end up permanently scarred, but sadly, scarring is more common than you might think and can cause untold emotional and psychological damage. An obvious and ugly scar can cause you to withdraw from your normal social life, affect your work and lead to depression and anxiety. It’s not hard to imagine the impact on your family and social life.
It’s reassuring to know that the law recognises the reality that scar injuries can cause significant mental and emotional harm. This means that your permanent scarring claim can include compensation for psychological and emotional harm and damage caused by your scars. Be as open as you can with your solicitor about the impact of your scar on your mental health so that they have the information to build a case that recovers the maximum compensation you deserve.
It’s natural, when you’re considering claiming for psychological harm, to be wondering: how much compensation could I win for the impact on my emotional and mental health? The compensation amount you may be awarded will depend on a number of factors, including the nature and extent of the scarring and the impact on your appearance and your life. In many cases, the scarring is disfiguring to the extent that it cuts short the injured person’s career.
If you’re claiming for psychological injuries as a result of scarring, your solicitor will need to arrange for you to have an expert assessment with a specialist psychologist or psychiatrist. They will then write a report assessing the mental and emotional impact of your scarring on your life, including your work and your social life. This will be important evidence to support your permanent scar compensation claim.
Don’t worry about cost of any specialist reports your solicitor arranges for you – these costs are covered under the terms of your conditional fee agreement.
It’s also wise to keep a journal of events and, particularly, the emotional impact on you as the days and weeks go on. Think about how the injury and scarring are affecting your life; keep a note of your feelings; and your thoughts on how you may be facing life in the future with permanent scarring. Your journal will be important evidence for your solicitor, as well as for your expert psychologist when assessing you and writing their report.
Only once the full extent of the physical and emotional impact of your scarring is made known (as far as possible), can the maximum amount of permanent scar or facial scar compensation be properly assessed.
Individuals who are particularly at risk of suffering psychological harm as a result of long term or permanent scarring include:
It’s not just workers whose job or career could be brought to an end or, at least, significantly affected by permanent scarring. Children and young people who regularly go swimming, visit the gym or go clubbing may find their scarring is more visible when the scarred area is exposed when doing these activities, making them understandably self-conscious. The psychological impact of revealing scarred areas of your body, such as when wearing a bathing suit, can be significant. Compensation amounts should rightly reflect this.
If your scarring has resulted from an injury that you sustained through no fault of your own, you should be able to claim compensation. The most important thing you can do is to get in touch for a free initial consultation to find out about making a permanent scar compensation claim.
If you’ve been injured and you’ve not already done so, make sure you go to your accident and emergency department or your GP to get prompt medical treatment. Not only will the correct initial treatment help reduce the chances of significant scarring, the medical notes and records of the medical treatment you’ve received will be crucial evidence for your case.
To start your permanent scar compensation case, your lawyer need full details of the background to your injury and the impact on your health and your life. No matter how your scarring arose, compensation should be available if negligence was involved.
Your lawyers will also need to obtain your medical notes and records and arrange for a specialist medical report and (if you’re claiming for psychological harm) a further report from a psychologist or psychiatrist to assess the impact on your mental health and wellbeing.
Telephone for free on 0800 234 6438 or, if you prefer, complete our online contact form and request a call back to start the permanent scar claims process.
Yes, all individuals who have suffered any form of injury in an accident at work through no fault of their own and are left with permanent scarring, have the right to bring accident claims against the employer. Compensation should cover the primary workplace injuries and an additional amount for the scarring.
Your employer has a strict legal duty of care to keep you safe at work. Employers are required to comply with general duties which are set out in the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (as well as further legal obligations depending on the sector and type of business you’re working in).
For example, all employers must carry out an initial risk assessment and further, periodical risk assessments, acting promptly if any health and safety risks are identified. For example, fire hazards should be dealt with and warning signs erected where a health risk is identified. Staff must also be properly trained and supervised and provided with adequate personal protective equipment.
If your employer breaches its legal duties and a workplace accident occurs and you’re injured, they should be held to account for your wounds – including any long term scarring. If this reflects your own experience, you can take the first steps towards bringing a permanent scar compensation claim.
If you were the victim of a crime, for instance, an acid attack, stabbing or pub ‘glassing’, you could well claim compensation. An assault can cause more than a physical injury. It can lead to scarring which will be a permanent reminder of the attack you suffered; and it can also mean taking time off work to recover. If you have had time off sick, you may have lost out on pay – putting you and your family under financial pressure through no fault of your own.
Though you’re unlikely to be able to claim compensation for negligence against the perpetrator themselves, you may be able to claim compensation for your injury and scarring from a business owner or operator if the assault happened inside. However, you’re more likely to be entitled to claim what’s known as ‘criminal injuries compensation’.
This is available through a formal scheme called the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) which provides an important route for victims of crime to claim personal injury compensation.
The CICA is government-run and enables the victims of violent crime to claim compensation for their injuries. If you’re been injured and left with scarring, you can make a permanent scar injury compensation claim via the CICA – whether or not the attacker has been identified.
But do bear in mind that you’re expected to make your claim as soon as you can and without delay. You must also have reported the incident to the police at the time (or very soon after).
Whether you can claim for your actual scarring in isolation under the CICA scheme depends on how the scarring arose. This is because CICA compensation awards are different to compensation calculation in usual personal injury claims – they are prescribed tariffs for specific injuries.
The scheme makes clear that if you suffer scarring following an operation that’s required following an criminal injury – you are not entitled to separate payment for such scarring. However, the reality of permanent scarring is generally recognised in the tariffs set out in the scheme.
The amount of compensation you’re entitled to under the CICA scheme are prescribed under a fixed tariff scheme, depending on your injuries. For example:
If you’ve been attacked and suffered injuries and you’re concerned about the prospect of scarring, specialist solicitors are available to give free legal advice. Telephone for free initial consultation on 0800 234 6438 or simply complete our online contact form and request a call back.
As with any other personal injury claim, if you’re looking to start a permanent scar injury compensation claim, you have three years from the time the primary injury or surgery took place to start legal proceedings. If you claim outside of this three-year period, you may be too late to make a claim. It’s important to get started with accident claims as quickly as possible while events are fresher in your memory.
If you’re claiming compensation following an assault or other criminal actions by someone, you have only two years. Also, the rules state that you must apply as soon as it is ‘reasonably practicable’ for you to do so – do not delay unnecessarily or you may lose your right to make a claim.
Where the scar claim is for a child, you have until they reach 21 years old to start a legal claim. In practice, however, it is best to get the ball rolling quickly because memories fade and witnesses may not be easily located with the passage of time. That said, there is a benefit on having the chance of delaying concluding a child scarring claim because – given the child is still developing – you will have much longer to see how the scarring manifests itself and find out the longer term impact of the scar on them. It’s important to talk this over with your solicitor.
In all cases, the most important thing you can do is to seek legal advice early on about bringing a personal injury claim, to avoid any risk of being ‘out of time’. Call for free on 0800 234 6438 for no obligation advice or complete our online contact form and request a call back to discuss your compensation claim.
The amount of compensation you receive will reflect the nature and extent of your injury and scarring and the impact it’s likely to have your life. With the benefit of specialist medical and psychologist’s expert reports on the nature and impact of your scarring, your solicitor will be able to build a strong case to ensure you receive maximum compensation.
Scarring compensation is made up of ‘general’ damages which is an amount that compensates you for your actual injuries and scarring and the impact on your life. You can also claim scar injury compensation to cover your financial losses. This is known as ‘special damages’.
The size of scar settlements/compensation awards depend very much on the injury, recovery and time and the effects on your life. A minor injury may take little time to heal and leave a small if noticeable permanent scar; but a serious burn injury or deep knife wound is likely to need ongoing treatment, such as physiotherapy and plastic surgery.
The amount of compensation you may receive for body scarring depends on the nature and extent of the scar. The reality is, no two injuries or scarring cases are the same. For that reason, there aren’t any average amounts you can expect, however you can be sure that your solicitor will work to recover the maximum amount of compensation you deserve.
However, armed with the background information on your case, your solicitor will you be able to give you an initial estimate of how much you might expect. Helpfully, there are formal judicial guidelines which help lawyers calculate fair scar settlements. For example:
These examples shows what a huge range of compensation is available, making it difficult to estimate early in the claim how much you’re entitled to. You can also try our online scarring compensation calculator to get a rough guide
You may be wondering how your compensation will be calculated when you’re most likely going to be claiming for the actual injury, the resulting scar – and its psychological impact on you. In practice, it would be treated in the same way as compensation claims for multiple injuries.
The most serious injury, for example, the permanent scarring, will be calculated first, then an additional amount added to reflect the primary injury and any other injuries you have suffered. Your specialist lawyer will explain the issue of calculating compensation to you in due course and will be able to answer any questions you might have.
Your right to claim special damages for financial losses is particularly important in cases of permanent scarring. You might be facing the prospect of ongoing physiotherapy and further surgery; and other treatments to help reduce the appearance and impact of your scarring. The anticipated costs can amount to thousands of pounds and it’s only fair that the person responsible should be held responsible for these costs.
If you’ve had to have time off work you can claim scar injury compensation to cover your lost earnings. Your solicitor will ask you for detailed information about the financial impact, such as travel costs if you’ve been unable to drive; as well as prescription and other medical and rehabilitation costs.
So do make sure you retain any receipts, invoices and any pay slips that can be used to prove this element of your compensation claim.
The prospect of having to spend hundreds of pounds, if not more, on urgent treatment to minimise the extent of your scarring can be overwhelming. Thankfully, in serious cases it might be possible to secure interim compensation to cover your short term financial needs before your personal injury compensation claim is finally settled (which can take months if not years to complete).
However, interim payments can only be secured if the other party admits responsibility for the injury. If they do accept liability, an interim compensation payment can be made to you. Such payments would then be deducted from your final settlement.
It is important to discuss the possibility of interim payments with your solicitor early on so that any necessary treatment can be funded as soon as possible.
Pub ‘glassing’ – where drinking glasses and bottles are used to deliberately injure people – has risen by 10% across the UK in the past 20 years, with up to 80,000 incidents a year
Nicola is a dual qualified journalist and non-practising solicitor. She is a legal journalist, editor and author with more than 20 years' experience writing about the law.
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