Benefits: Disfigurement

Belknap v. Liberty NW [5/09/00] 2000 MTWCC 27. After hearing claimant's testimony and observing an approximately 2 inch scar on claimant's forehead which is not particularly pronounced or wide, and failing to discern obvious facial discoloration near claimant's right hairline, WCC found scar was a "serious" disfigurement allowing some compensation, but awarded only $250 because scar, in comparison to other scars, e.g., Ostermiller v. Employers Insurance of Wausau, 2000 MTWCC 11, was relatively minor. (Statutory maximum $2,500.)
Ostermiller v. Employers Insurance of Wausau Mutual Company [3/3/00] 2000 MTWCC 11 As the result of work-related injury, claimant underwent an anterior cervical fusion, involving a horizontal surgical incision on the front side of his neck, beginning near his Adam's apple. For a surgical incision, it is well-healed, blends relatively well with the skin of claimant's neck, and may be considered minimal and non-disfiguring by a surgeon. While the scar does not involve keloid or other raised tissue, it is noticeable at conversational distance, transverses the full front, right side of his neck, and is likely to cause people to ask about it. Also, claimant testified the scar is sensitive to sunlight and appears as a red streak against his neck during summer months. Claimant awarded $1,000. (Statutory maximum $2,500.)
Jones v. Reliance National Indemnity Company [3/17/99] 1999 MTWCC 22 Claimant, who was scarred by a blow to his face with an air hose, is entitled to compensation for disfigurement under section 39-71-708, MCA (1985). Because that injury caused claimant to lose the ability to smile, a precious part of our individual identities, he is entitled to the full $2,500 available under the statute.