Scar Injury Compensation Claims

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.

Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor

You can make a compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.

Your solicitor will ask you about what happened, and they will collect evidence to prove what caused your injuries. Your solicitor will also work out how much money you can claim, based on your injuries, lost earnings and other expenses.

We can help you make a personal injury compensation claim on a No Win No Fee basis.

In this article

Introduction

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 44 people (over 1 million people nationwide) have a significant scar on their face or body, according to research published by the charity Changing Faces.

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.

Psychological impact

It is recognised that scar injuries have a strong psychological component. Many people struggle to come to terms with the change in their appearance, especially where the accident causes permanent changes to the face. In most cases, a psychologist will also conduct an examination.

The report will be used to support a claim for the psychological impact of the scar injuries.

Do I have an injury claim?

You should be able to make an injury claim if your injury happened:

  • in the last 3 years, and;
  • someone else was at fault, and;
  • that person owed you a duty of care.
Check my claim

Injury claim eligibility - Common questions

What if a child was injured?

The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.

A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start an injury claim on their own behalf.

Read more about claiming injury compensation on behalf of a child.

How much compensation can I claim for an 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.

This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.

General damages

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

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

Special damages

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.

What can I claim for after an injury? (see list)

Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:

  • Lost earnings (including future earnings)
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Travel costs
  • Costs of care
  • Costs of adapting your home or car

Scar injury compensation amounts

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

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

Example Amount
Facial scars
£3,150 to £10,960
£7,270 to £23,980
£14,320 to £77,580
Non-facial scarring
A single, noticeable scar £1,890 to £6,240
Laparotomy scars Around £6,890
Serious burns with ongoing pain Over £83,550

What is the average injury compensation for an injury claim?

The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.

However, the money you would receive following an injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life and your ability to work, and on the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your 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.

Under the Judicial College Guidelines:

  • Minor facial scarring may result in a compensation payout between £1,890 and £6,240, regardless of gender.
  • Facial scarring which is visible from a short distance may receive damages between £6,240 and £18,120.
  • Severe facial scarring with a high degree of disfigurement may receive damages of up to £83,550.

Calculate my injury compensation

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for an injury can be complicated.

Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.

Find out what your injury claim could be worth now:

How much can I claim?

How long does a scar claim take?

The time needed to get compensation for a scar can vary considerably.

For instance, a simple liability accepted injury claim can settle in a matter of weeks. If the defendant denies liability, a claim can take substantially longer. Normally an injury claim takes 4 to 9 months. For more information on how long your claim could take, see: How long will my claim take?

    How else can a solicitor help me?

    Your solicitor will handle your injury claim from the initial FREE case evaluation, through to the financial settlement.

    Your solicitor will work with other specialists to provide caring and sensitive support and help you with:

    • Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
    • Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
    • Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
    • Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.

    Who pays for this specialist help?

    The cost of treatment will be factored into your compensation settlement paid by the defendant or their insurance company. Should you require private treatment before the case settles, an interim payment to cover treatment costs may be possible.

    Will I have to go to court?

    Highly unlikely. Solicitors settle the vast majority of claims out of court.

    Less than 5% of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.

    Cases that do ultimately go to court are decided by a judge or magistrate, not a jury.

    Even if the claim does go to court, it is very unlikely you will have to attend.

    Read more:

    Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

    How does no win, no fee work?

    'No win, no fee' means that if you do not win your injury claim, you won't have to pay any legal fees whatsoever. Known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA', no win, no fee is a contract entered into between you and the solicitor.

    Our no win, no fee guarantee

    If you have been injured through no fault of your own, our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of making an injury compensation claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

    What do I pay if I win my injury claim?

    Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after your claim is settled. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.

    What do I pay if I do not win my injury claim?

    If your injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees whatsoever. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.

    Can I get Legal Aid?

    Legal aid is no longer available when making a personal injury claim, but a Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win, No Fee) can reduce the financial risks of making a claim.

    How we can help you

    Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.

    If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open:

    • 8am to 9pm weekdays
    • 9am to 6pm on Saturday
    • 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday

    Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:

    Call me back
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    • Tick icon Find out if you can claim
    • Tick icon No obligation to start a claim

    Injury FAQ's

    Can I claim for someone else?

    Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.

    If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.

    The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.

    Read more:

    Claiming on behalf of another person.

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

    Yes. You may still be able to claim compensation even if your actions may have contributed to the accident.

    However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.

    Read more:

    Claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

    How long do I have to make an injury claim?

    In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the injury to make an injury claim.

    The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.

    Can I claim for an injury after 3 years?

    Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.

    However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.

    If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.

    There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim injury compensation.

    In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether an injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.

    Calculate your claim limitation date

    Will I have to visit a solicitor's office to start a claim?

    No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. Personal injury claims are handled by email, post and phone.

    Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.

    Read more:

    Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

    I need the money now - what are my options?

    If you are unable to work and have bills to pay, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.

    An interim payment is an advance on your compensation payment. Any amount you receive in interim payments would be deducted from your final compensation payment.

    Read more:

    How to I get an interim compensation payment?

    Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

    Author:
    Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher