Guide to Workers' Compensation Scarring Benefits in Rhode Island
Currently, the maximum given for scarring in Rhode Island is $45,000.00. Not bad when you consider our neighbor, Massachusetts, has a maximum of $15,000.00.
An employee is entitled to scarring benefits regardless of where on the body the scar is located.
The value of a scar is very subjective and several factors are taken into consideratoin when determining a scar's worth. The most common factors considered are:
1) What the scar looks like (is the scar straight, jagged, red, raised etc.)
2) Where on the body the scar is located (a scar on the bottom of the foot will be worth less than the same scar if it was on the face)
3) Is the employee a man or a women (women tend to have higher scarring awards)
4) The age of the employee and marital status
Because there are no written guides in determining the value of a scar, its worth is based upon the experience of the attornies as to what similar scars have fetched in the past. There are some basic rules of thumb, but because it is largely based upon experience, an employee should never try to resolve their scarring benefits without an attorney.
The way attornies in Rhode Island discuss the value of a scar is by a number of weeks. For example, a scar may be worth 50 weeks or 150 weeks. For most employees, each week is worth $90.00. So a scar that is worth 50 weeks would result in a $4,500.00 award. Again the maximum scarring award an employee can receive is $45,000.00 or 500 weeks.
Scarring benefits cannot be awarded until the scar has had a chance to heal to a point of a medical endpoint (i.e. the scar is not going to get any better looking). For most, that period is about 4-6 months.