If a scar injury has set you back, we'll help you move forward

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a scar injury, we can help. If your injuries were caused by someone else's actions or negligence, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

You can make a No Win, No Fee compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.

20 million people are affected by scarring - you are not alone

Scar injuries are very common, as they are a natural result of the body's healing process following cuts, burns, surgical incisions, or other skin traumas. The severity and visibility of scars can vary greatly depending on the nature of the injury, the healing process, and individual skin types.

While some scars are minor and fade over time, others can be more prominent or lead to complications like restricted movement, especially if they are in areas of high skin tension or mobility.

Scarring affects over 20 million people in the UK (craniofacialsociety.co.uk).

According to research published by the University of Bristol and the Scar Free Foundation, over 20 million people in the UK have some sort of scar.

An estimated 1 in 5 people across the UK have a significant difference or scar on their face, according to research published by the charity Changing Faces.

If you decide to make a scar injury claim, your personal injury solicitor will take you through every step of the claims process. Your solicitor will be with you until you win your claim and get the compensation you need to move forward.

If you need information on scar symptoms and treatment, see: scars (nhs.uk).

Do I qualify for scar injury compensation?

You will usually be eligible to claim compensation if you have been injured in the following circumstances:

  • within the last 3 years, and;
  • another person was to blame, and;
  • that person owed you a duty of care.

Find out online if you can claim with our injury claim calculator. Alternatively, you can speak to a claims advisor on 0800 376 1001 and find out if you have a claim in minutes.

Am I still eligible to claim if I was partially responsible?

Determining legal responsibility for a claimant's injuries can involve myriad factors.

In our recent 2024 Personal Injury Claimant Survey, 13.99% of respondents believed they may have been partly (or wholly) responsible for their injuries.

Claims are possible even when your actions partially caused the accident. In instances of 'contributory negligence', claims are usually settled with a split liability agreement.

Read more:

Can I claim if I feel I was partly responsible for my accident?

How long do I have to start a scar injury claim?

For most injury claims, you have up to 3 years from the date of your injury to start the claims process.

The 3 year limitation period does not apply to minors (under 18s). A parent, guardian or litigation friend can start a claim on a child's behalf up to their 18th birthday and the child has until their 21st birthday to claim for themselves.

How much compensation can I claim for a scar injury?

The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:

  • the seriousness of your injury, and
  • any financial losses or costs you have incurred.

At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.

Scar injury compensation calculator

Get an accurate compensation estimate (including for multiple injuries), confirm your legal position, and check if you have a No Win, No Fee claim.

Updated June 2024 Compensation Calculator v3.04

General damages

General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).

Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College (judiciary.uk) and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.

How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?

Additional compensation for facial scarring

The courts recognise that facial scarring is more visible than scarring to other parts of the body. Compensation awards are consequently much higher for facial scarring.

The precise amount of compensation you will receive can depend on a number of factors, including:

  • The severity of the injury. The more disfiguring the facial scarring, the higher the award.
  • Age. Younger claimants tend to receive larger compensation awards than older claimants. This is because younger people have to live with the disfigurement for a longer period and often are more self conscious about their appearance.

Does gender still affect the amount of compensation?

Not any more. Prior to the most recent Judicial College guidelines, women received more general damages for a scar than men. This is no longer the case.

However, in some circumstances, the courts may still consider that facial appearance is more important to a woman than to a man, depending on employment, psychological and other factors, and may make a higher award.

Special damages

Special damages are awarded to compensate you for any costs or losses you've incurred or might incur as a result of your accident. These costs might include loss of earnings (including future earnings loss and retraining costs), or any other out of pocket expenses.

Special damages may also be awarded for medical treatments or procedures that you might need to treat your scar injury, including scar creams, silicone sheets, laser therapy and steroid injections.

Read more:

A complete list of recoverable losses in a personal injury claim

Average scar injury general damages compensation

The following scar injury payouts refer to the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases, Sixteenth Edition by the Judicial College (oup.com).

These tables are used by solicitors or by the courts as a starting point when calculating your compensation.

Please note: these average figures represent general damages only, and do not include any element of special damages (e.g. lost wages).

Example Amount
Facial scars
£3,590 to £12,490
£8,280 to £27,350
£16,330 to £88,480
Non-facial scarring
A single, noticeable scar £2,150 to £7,120
Laparotomy scars Around £7,850
Serious burns with ongoing pain Over £95,300

Can I claim for PTSD or other psychological trauma?

If you have suffered psychological harm in addition to a physical injury or illness, you are not alone.

According to our 2024 Personal Injury Claimant Survey shows that 29.03% of potential claimants sustained a psychological injury, 70.97% of which related to a physical injury.

Scar injuries can lead to social anxiety (social phobia), and emotional distress about altered appearance and concerns about societal perceptions. Depression and anxiety, sometimes leading to feelings of shame and aggression are also common.

Compensation for psychological harm can help you access mental health support and therapies not always available through the NHS.

Our compensation calculator can estimate your compensation for psychological injuries. Or you can call us on 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor.

Typical scar injury claims

The law considers scars to be 'secondary injuries'. This means that scars are a consequence of the healing process of a primary injury, such as:

When calculating damages for facial or bodily scarring, the courts do not take into account the primary injury or the nature of the accident that caused the primary injury.

Compensation awards are calculated solely by reference to the severity of the scarring and the impact it has on the claimant's life.

For the purposes of bringing a compensation claim, however, the cause of the accident does matter. The personal injury solicitor must prove that the defendant negligently caused the accident and that the primary injury and subsequent scarring arose as a result of the accident.

Assessing the severity of a scar

It is often difficult to predict whether a primary injury will result in a scar, or how noticeable that scar will be.

The depth of the primary injury will influence the healing process, but other facts, including the age and gender of the patient, will also play a part.

As an initial step, your solicitor will arrange a medical assessment to ascertain whether permanent scarring is likely.

What happens during the medical assessment?

As part of the medical, the cosmetic surgeon or other specialist will:

  • Examine the claimant's injuries
  • Describe how severe those injuries are
  • Refer to photographs of the primary injury and the scarring
  • Describe the degree of scarring
  • Ascertain whether the scars cause pain or discomfort
  • Give a prognosis of the future symptoms
  • Confirm whether further treatments such as surgery, skin grafts or laser therapy are required to reduce the appearance of the scar tissue.

This report will be used as a basis for the scar injury compensation claim.

How did your injury happen?

The claims process for a scar injury will depend on where and how the accident happened. Click the icons below for more information:

No win, no fee scar injury compensation claims

With no win, no fee, you can claim scar injury compensation without financial risk. If your claim isn't successful, you pay nothing. If you win, you only pay a pre-agreed percentage of your compensation.

Find out more about how no win, no fee claims work

Get expert advice now

Interested in talking to an injury specialist about your claim?

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Call 0800 376 1001

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Citations

Source: (reviewed: 13/12/2023)

Source: (reviewed: 12/12/2023)

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

Author:
Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher