Scar Injury Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a scar injury we can help.
The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a scar injury and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.
In our guide to claiming
scar injury compensation:
According to research published in 2020 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:
- A laceration, for example, cuts sustained in a road traffic accident or from using work machinery.
- A scald or burn injury
- Contact dermatitis, caused by repeated exposure to hazardous substances at work.
- Friction burns, such as the scarring that occurs to knees, elbows, arms, and hands after a trip and fall accident onto fibrous material like a carpet.
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.
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 a scar injury claim?
You should be able to make a scar injury claim if your injury happened:
- in the last three years, and;
- someone else was at fault, and;
- that person owed you a duty of care.
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 a scar injury claim on their own behalf.
What if the other party denies liability?
If the defendant denies liability, your solicitor will build the strongest possible case in order to prove that the defendant is responsible for your scar injury. Ultimately the solicitor will issue court proceedings on the defendant. Often this prompts an admission of liability before proceedings begin.
The amount of money you could claim for your scar injury will depend on:
- the extent 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 scar injury has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.
This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special 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 are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
What can I claim for after a scar injury? (see list)
Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- 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.
|Facial scars||Minor||£3,150 to £10,960|
|Facial scars||Moderate||£7,270 to £23,980|
|Facial scars||Severe||£14,320 to £77,580|
|Non-facial scarring||Minor||A single, noticeable scar||£1,890 to £6,240|
|Non-facial scarring||Moderate||Laparotomy scars||Around £6,890|
|Non-facial scarring||Severe||Serious burns with ongoing pain||Over £83,550|
What is the average injury compensation for a scar 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 a scar injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your scar 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.
See the injury table above for some examples.
Can I claim for prescription costs?
Special damages are awarded for costs or losses incurred as a result of the scar injury injury. Damages can include loss of earnings, treatment cost and any other 'out-of-pocket' expenses such as prescriptions.
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 scar injury compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a scar 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 scar injury claim could be worth now:
How long does a scar claim take?
The length of 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 did your injury occur?
The claims process that your solicitor follows will vary, depending on how the injury occurred:
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your scar injury claim from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to 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.
How does no win, no fee work?
'No win, no fee' means that if you do not win your scar 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 a scar injury compensation claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim
What do I pay if I win my scar 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 scar injury claim?
If your scar 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.
Is there a penalty if I withdraw?
Under a No Win, No Fee Agreement (CFA), fees may apply if a claimant refuses to cooperate, or abandons their claim after the legal work has started, or if the claim is fraudulent.
How can Quittance help?
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, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.
Call us FREE 0800 376 1001 or arrange a callback:
if you can claim
to start a claim
Scar 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.
Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?
You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.
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.
How long do I have to make a scar injury claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the scar injury to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your scar injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for a scar 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 scar injury compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a scar injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the solicitor panel are settled out of court.
Only a very small percentage (approx. 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 held in front of a judge, not a jury.
Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
Can I get an early compensation payment?
If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.
Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher
About the author
Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.