By Mark Clause. Last Updated 1st August 2022. In this guide, we’ll discuss scar settlements. If you’ve been injured in an accident that was caused by the negligence of someone who had a duty of care towards you, then you could claim for the initial injury.
You may be able to claim compensation for the initial injury. However, in some cases, you may be left with a scar that affects you physically or psychologically. If this is the case, you may be able to claim compensation.
Our advisors are on hand to offer no-obligation free legal advice. They are also available 24 hours a day. To find out more about how much compensation you could receive for a scar, get in touch by:
Select A Section
- What Are Lacerations And Scarring?
- Common Causes Of Scar Injuries
- Scars Caused By Burn Injuries
- What Effects Could Scar Settlements Compensate You For?
- How Are Scar Injuries Treated?
- How Much Is A Scar Worth? Calculating Compensation For A Scar Injury
- Start A No Win No Fee Scar Injury Claim
- Learn More On Laceration And Scar Settlements
Laceration and cut are two words that are often used interchangeably. A laceration refers to a wound, usually caused by a tear in the soft tissue. This can come from either a cut or blunt-force trauma that breaks the skin.
Scars are marks that are left behind when serious cuts or lacerations heal. Scar tissue can be painless but will appear different to the rest of the skin. However, as nerve endings start to regenerate, you may experience pain as these scars can be sensitive to the touch.
There are five different types of scars. These include:
- Fine-line scar. These are the result of minor cuts and will leave a raised line behind.
- Keloid scar. These happen when the tissue becomes overgrown due to the overproduction of collagen where a wound is.
- Hypertrophic scar. Similar to a keloid scar, except the excess tissue does not extend past the site of the wound.
- Pitted/sunken scar. Occurs where there has been acne or chickenpox, leaving the skin looking sunken in. These can also happen if the injury that caused the scarring led to a loss of fat beneath the skin.
- Scar contractures. Where there has been a burn and the affected area of skin tightens. This can cause pain and restriction of movement.
If you have sustained any of these scars in an accident caused by negligence, get in touch with us today. An advisor may be able to offer you free legal advice about scar settlements; furthermore, you could be connected with a solicitor to work on your claim.
There are a number of different situations in which you’re owed a duty of care. If this duty of care is breached, and you’re left with a scar injury, then you may be entitled to claim.
Below, we have included some of the places you might be injured in a way that leaves you with a scar, and the duty of care that applies:
- Accidents at work. While you’re at work, your employer has a duty of care towards you. They should take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure your safety. This is outlined in the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
- Car accidents. All road users owe a duty of care to one another as outlined in the Highway Code. They need to conduct themselves in a way that reduces the risk of injury to other road users. This is set out in the Highway Code.
- Accidents in public. The party in control of a public place is referred to as the “occupier”. They have a duty of care to those who use the space for the intended purpose. This is set out in the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957.
How could an accident cause a scar?
Some accidents causing scarring could occur in a number of different environments. For example, a slip trip or fall might occur in a public place, or in work. If you fell on a sharp object, resulting in a laceration, this could result in a scar.
Similarly, you could be scarred in a road traffic accident where broken glass or sharp pieces of metal cause lacerations that scar.
Medical negligence could also cause a scar injury. For example, if you were misdiagnosed because a doctor breached the duty of care they owed you, then you might undergo an operation that is not necessary. This could leave you with a scar that you would not have if the right level of care had been administered.
For more information on the different circumstances in which scar settlements could be awarded, speak with an advisor from our team today.
Another situation where you could be left with a scar is if you are burnt. When you sustain a burn, you might experience scar contracture. This is where the skin shrinks, which can make the scar tight and painful. It might also restrict your movement.
Burns are graded to different degrees, according to this NHS guide to minor burns and scalds. The different kinds of burn are:
- First-degree burns only affect the topmost layer of the skin, the epidermis. These burns often won’t leave a scar.
- Second-degree burns go deeper than the first. These burns affect the dermis as well as the epidermis.
- Third-degree burns are even deeper still. They affect the deepest layer of the skin, referred to as the subcutis.
Fourth, fifth, and even sixth-degree burns can also occur. These burns will reach fat, muscle, and bone respectively.
If you have suffered a burn greater than first degree, it is recommended by the NHS that you seek medical attention. If you have sustained a burn in an accident caused by negligence, speak to us today about scar settlements and see what you could be entitled to.
As mentioned, scar contractures can cause reduced movement. In the case of scars caused by burn injuries, in particular, this constriction might cause discomfort or even pain.
A more pertinent effect to note in relation to scars is the psychological element and effect it can have on you. The presence of scarring can create a detrimental effect on your mental health, as it can affect the way you look. This could be the case especially if you’ve suffered a scarred face.
This is regarded as a mental and emotional injury itself in relation to compensation claims. If your scar has affected you emotionally because it’s visible and affects your appearance, you may receive a higher compensation award than where your scar has no psychological impact.
To discuss scar settlements in line with your own injuries, speak to one of our advisors today. If you are entitled to compensation, they can connect you to a solicitor from our panel who can help you get the outcome you deserve.
There are a variety of treatments that can be prescribed for you by doctors to treat scar injuries, according to the NHS’ guide on treatment for scars. These can include:
- Skin camouflage, or make-up
- Silicone gels
- Laser therapy
- Steroids, such as corticosteroid injections
- Pressure dressings
- Skin creams
It should be noted that there is no way to fully get rid of scars. You can only conceal them.
If you believe that any of the above treatments may be right for you, speak to a doctor about them. Some of these treatments, such as steroid injections and laser therapy, aren’t available across the whole of the NHS, so you may have to pay for them privately. However, scar settlements can cover the cost of treatment that you have had to pay out of pocket; read on for more information.
Numerous factors could influence the settlement amount, from the psychological impact to the severity of any permanent disfigurements. For example, if your mental health has suffered due to car accident scars, this will be considered when calculating your compensation. This would be covered under general damages.
The table below lists several examples of what a compensation claim such as yours may be worth. Note that these figures come directly from the Judicial College Guidelines and their 2022 figures. As legal professionals regularly refer to this guidance, these figures are highly credible, though they’re not guarantees of final payouts.
|Injury||Nature of incident||Possible compensation|
|(A) Psychiatric Damage Generally (b) Moderately Severe||Where interpersonal relationships, vulnerability in the future, as well as how the injured person is able to live their life is affected to a significant degree, but the prognosis for future recovery will be much more positive.||£19,070 to £54,830|
|(A) Injuries Affecting Sight (e) Complete Loss of Sight in One Eye||Here, you would expect to see scarring in the eye region, however this is not serious enough for its own award. Injured party will not be able to see out of this eye.||£49,270 to £54,830|
|Scarring||Where there has been a single noticeable scar, or a number of smaller ones on a superficial level, on the legs, arms, or hands.||Up to £7,830|
|(b) Back Injuries (a) Severe (ii)||Here, you would expect to see nerve root damage as well as a reduction in mobility and unsightly scars on the back.||£74,160 to £88,430|
|Very Serious Leg Injuries||In this bracket, you would see serious fractures of a compound nature as well as arthritis and extensive scarring.||£54,830 to £87,890|
|(N) Ankle Injuries (b) Severe||Would involve a period to the ankle being set in plaster to aid recovery. Higher end of bracket is achievable if there has been regular disturbances to sleep and unsightly scarring.||£31,310 to £50,060|
|(O) Achilles Tendon (b) Serious||There will have been a complete separation of the tendon, but this will have been fully restored. Limited ankle movement and scarring may remain.||£24,990 to £30,090|
|(Q) Toe Injuries (d) Serious Toe Injuries||Here, there will have been a crush injury to two or more toes, resulting in sensitive scarring and sensations of pain.||£9,600 to £13,740|
|(B) Facial Disfigurement (a) Very Severe Scarring||In this bracket, the facial disfiguration would be to a high degree. This bracket is normally achieved by younger claimants, usually younger than their early 30s. This scarring will also carry a considerable psychological element — the more severe of which can impact the settlement.||£29,780 to £97,330|
|(B) Facial Disfigurement (b) Less Severe Scarring||Here, you would see substantial facial scarring. There would also be a psychological reaction with this too.||£17,960 to £48,420|
You could also be eligible to claim special damages. These focus on the extra costs or losses that you could suffer as a direct result of your scar injury. This could include any loss of income, medical costs, transportation charges for hospital appointments and other expenses.
Make sure to speak with a member of our expert team to discuss what your settlement could include.
You may be anxious about starting a claim with a solicitor because of the legal fees that this usually entails. If so, a No Win No Fee agreement, sometimes called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), may be of interest.
Informally known as a No Win No Fee agreement, this is an agreement between you and your solicitor where they don’t take any fees at the start of the claim or while it is in process. They also take no payments in the event that your claim is unsuccessful. If you win, they take a legally capped fee that is discussed at the start of the claim.
If you believe No Win No Fee may be suitable for you, speak to our advisors today. They are available around the clock to offer free legal advice on a no-obligation basis. They could also connect you to a solicitor from our panel. To find out more, why not get in touch by:
Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents — Anti-accident charity providing resources dedicated to preventing accidents
British Association of Skin Camouflage — A charity offering information related to skin camouflage and make-up for those looking to build self-esteem after an accident.
Changing Faces– A charity offering support to those living with a visible difference in the UK.
Health and safety statistics — Statistics provided by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) showing how many accidents occur in Great British workplaces.
Thank you for reading this article about scar settlements.
Article by EC