The Claimant sustained disfigurement of her neck as is typical of anterior cervical surgeries and was awarded 22 weeks for disfigurement by the Workers' Compensation Judge. On appeal to the Workers' Compensation Appeal Board, the Claimant sought a larger award on the theory that the WCJ’s award of 22 weeks was outside the range most WCJ’s would select. The WCAB agreed and amended the award to 70 weeks of benefits, ruling in the process that most WCJs would award between 60 and 75 weeks for the same scar. The Commonwealth Court remanded the matter back to the WCAB for further consideration because the WCAB failed to describe the scar and explain the reasoning for its decision.
What It Means to You
The WCAB remains the ultimate arbiter of disfigurement values and is able to set, identify and enforce value parameters for similar scars if they explain their reasoning. The real news is that the value of a typical anterior cervical scar seems to be on the rise with the standard rate now between 60 and 75 weeks of TTD benefits. Call a Cipriani & Werner workers’ compensation lawyer to determine reasonable value of your disfigurement claim and develop a strategy for using the scar claim as leverage to bring global closure to your case,