Most Illinois work injuries involve damaged muscles, ligaments or broken bones. Sure we see concussions, RSD and stuff like that, but the most common cases are torn rotator cuffs, ACL tears and herniated discs.
A little less common, but still seen a lot are cases where you don’t have a physical injury, but instead have a scar. Typically his is a cook who gets burned, but we’ve been involved in a ton of cases where a line worker in a factory gets scalded somehow. And the most common scarring case is when any sort of worker gets a bad cut.
Like most injured workers, the common question is what’s my case worth?
For a scar it’s pretty subjective. Unlike all other cases, seeing your medical records isn’t a big factor. We still look at those to cover all the bases, but the case value comes down to an opinion.
First we need to make sure six months have passed since your accident. That’s an Illinois law for how long you must wait before you can settle a scar case.
Second it matters what part of your body the scar is on. A nasty scar on your shin isn’t worth near what a nasty scar on your face would be. That’s because people see your face more. And if your scar is above your knee, but below your breast line, you can’t get a settlement for disfigurement at all. You might get a normal settlement if you have any permanent issues from that.
Third we look at the size and type of the scar. How long and wide is it? Is it raised or keloid? Those things matter.
Finally, we try to see what similar cases have gone for. If we can’t agree with the insurance company, typically we’ll just take you before an Arbitrator and get their opinion. It takes two minutes and the Arbitrator’s opinion is important because usually looking at you is the only relevant evidence in a case.
In my former life as a defense attorney, we used to pass around pictures of scarring victims to see what everyone thought it was worth. Usually if you asked ten people you got ten different opinions. So in general we are just trying to find a fair range for you and then of course get to the highest point of that range as possible.