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 compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
In this article
You are not alone
An estimated 1 in 44 people (over 1 million people nationwide) have a significant 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 deserve.
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 2023 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.
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.
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 December 2023
Compensation Calculator v3.04
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 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.
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.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).
|Facial scars||Minor||£3,590 to £12,490|
|Facial scars||Moderate||£8,280 to £27,350|
|Facial scars||Severe||£16,330 to £88,480|
|Non-facial scarring||Minor||A single, noticeable scar||£2,150 to £7,120|
|Non-facial scarring||Moderate||Laparotomy scars||Around £7,850|
|Non-facial scarring||Severe||Serious burns with ongoing pain||Over £95,300|
Can I claim for PTS 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 2023 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.
Additional compensation for facial scarring
The courts recognise that facial scarring is more visible than scarring to other parts of the . 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.
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.
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:
How we can help you with your injury claim
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.
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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.