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Claiming compensation for lacerations and scarring

Deep cuts that scar or accident impacts that disfigure are not just physically difficult to recover from, they're often psychologically traumatic too. This is especially true if your injuries are openly visible ones to the face or head. 

Even laceration scars to the limbs or torso that are normally covered by clothing can leave you acutely self-conscious long after the physical wounds have healed. Cosmetic repair or reconstructive surgery may not always be possible in a single procedure and may take months to complete.

If you've suffered scarring or disfigurement as a result of an accident that happened in the last three years and wasn't your fault, then we may be able to help you claim permanent scar compensation.

We're the most trusted personal injury specialists in the UK and we have over years_since years' experience in helping people like you find out if they can claim scar compensation. That means we have the knowledge and experience to be able to offer you the best advice possible.

If you're ready to speak to somebody about your experience or want some advice on what the next steps might be, contact us free on . You'll never be under pressure to start a scarring claim when you call us. We're here to offer confidential and compassionate help right when you need it most.

What is a laceration?

A laceration is a cut or tear in the skin and is a very common type of injury.

Some lacerations are considered a minor injury, in which case they're unlikely to need much medical attention.

However, sometimes a laceration can cause damage to tendons, muscles, ligaments and may even cause broken or fractured bones. In these cases, a laceration would be considered a severe injury and will almost always require medical treatment, and in some cases surgery. Deep or multiple lacerations can cause serious scarring that requires reconstructive repair.

We know how painful lacerations can be and appreciate that it may be taking you a long time to make a full recovery. Your laceration may have affected your mobility, stopping you from enjoying your normal routines or even working.

As a result of your injury, you may have experienced financial hardship or a loss of earnings. It may also be the case that your deep laceration has resulted in permanent scarring. We understand this can be difficult to live with.

Getting compensation for your laceration or scarring can help ease some of the financial pressure you may be facing, so you can focus on recovery and getting your life back on track.

What should I do if I've been badly cut?

Seek immediate medical assistance at your local Accident & Emergency unit. Lacerations will need stitching or steristrips to seal the wound so it can heal properly. Deep lacerations or penetrative wounds may need surgery.

If the incident happened at work, get to A&E but be sure you or a colleague reports it to management so the injury can be logged in your employer's accident report book. They have a duty to record certain types of injuries and above a certain threshold of severity, the Health and Safety Executive will automatically investigate what has happened.

What is scarring?

Scarring is the mark, or marks, left on your skin after a lacerating or deeply penetrative wound has healed. They vary from minor to severe and there are five main categories of scars:

  • Fine line scars - typically following a minor wound, this type of scar will gradually fade and flatten.
  • Keloid scars - an overgrowth of scar tissue that keeps increasing after the wound has healed due to the body's excess production of collagen.
  • Hypertrophic scars - like a keloid scar but where the excess tissue does not increase beyond the boundary of the wound.
  • Pitted scars - dips and depressions in the skin where there's been a loss of fat under the skin or damage from skin conditions like chickenpox or serious acne.
  • Contracture scars - usually caused by burn injuries where the skin shrinks and can become restrictively tight. Burns can also cause uncomfortable keloid and hypertrophic scars.

Many treatments can ease the discomfort and appearance of scarring. Your GP will be happy to explain these to you.

Did you know?

According to the Scar Free Foundation, a unique medical research charity dedicated to this type of injury, more than 20 million people across the country have experienced scarring after an accident or incident. Burn injury scars are amongst the commonest types, with 64,000 children treated for them in 2018. 

Source: The University of Bristol, November 2019

Fire, heat and scalding water are common causes of burns. Corrosive chemicals, electricity, radiation, and fierce sunlight will also burn the skin. The severity of the burn - and the resulting scarring - depends on the amount of heat or strength of the chemical involved, how long your skin was exposed and how quickly you were treated.

Burn injuries are typically categorized in three ways:

  • First degree burns - usually minor, damaging the outer surface layer of skin only, causing pain and redness but rarely leaving a scar.
  • Second degree burns - these damage both the outer epidermis of your skin and the dermis layer below it. They're deeper, more painful, usually blister and then leave a scar.
  • Third degree burns - these are serious, penetrating the full thickness of the skin and damaging nerve endings. They require skin grafting to repair. Widespread third-degree burns can overwhelm the body, with fatal results.

Fourth-degree burns reach into the fat layers under your skin, fifth-degree burns into the muscle and sixth-degree burns damage bone. They can result in amputation or even death.

What kind of accidents provide grounds for laceration and scar settlements? 

Scarring occurs in all injuries where the skin is cut, broken or burned. If you've been scarred or disfigured following an accident injury that wasn't your fault, you may be able to make a claim for scar compensation.

Puncture, penetration and laceration are common consequences of injury in just about any situation you can imagine. It could be after any type of road accident, following a slip, trip or fall somewhere public,  in the workplace or in a sporting incident

Scarring can also be caused in medical negligence . This is when by act or omission in treatment or surgery, a doctor, nurse, surgeon or another type of healthcare practitioner harms you. Botched surgery or negligent cosmetic procedures like bleaching burns can sometimes result in unnecessarily disfiguring injury or excess scarring.

If you've been badly scarred or disfigured, the chances are your original injury was serious. You may have been unable to work for a while or do your normal job and you might have been cared for by family and friends without charge.

If the accident was someone else's fault, we don't think it's right that you should bear the physical impacts and any financial costs of your recovery. 

Contact us and talk to one of our friendly, compassionate and legally trained advisors on . Your call to us and the advice we give are free. There's never any pressure to start a claim if you're eligible - for instance for permanent facial scar compensation. It's entirely your decision. We're simply here to help you find out the information you need so you can choose what to do next. 

The first step to making a claim is to call us on . Alternatively, fill in our short online form and we'll call you back (usually within 30 minutes during normal working hours).

You'll speak to one of our friendly, legally trained advisors. They'll talk with you about your accident to find out a bit more about what happened. They'll also be happy to answer your questions.

Remember that by calling us there‘s no obligation to start your claim, so if you just want free advice or to talk about what happened, we're here to help and to listen.

We'll let you know if we think you have a claim during your call with us. If you'd like to progress with the next step of claiming and you've given us your permission to continue, we'll start the ball rolling and begin the process of getting you the compensation you deserve for your accident.

We'll find you a solicitor who we think is best suited to deal with your particular claim and you'll then be put in contact with them, usually on the same call.

Your solicitor will give you a free legal consultation on the next steps of your claim. They'll explain everything to you, check you're happy to start your case and make sure that you're kept fully informed throughout the process.

They'll also then contact the other party and negotiate on your behalf so that you are left with the time to concentrate on more important things.

We know that no amount of money can take away the pain and suffering that you may have experienced as a result of a laceration, or the emotional trauma of scarring. But receiving compensation for your accident can help to make the aftermath of your situation less stressful and provide you with financial support.

Making a successful compensation claim could cover the costs of medical treatment or any time that you had to take off work as a result of your injury, as well as other expenses.

You may also be able to receive compensation for general damages for the pain and inconvenience that your accident caused you, leaving you with time and space to focus on your recovery. However, it's hard to give an accurate average settlement for scarring until your solicitor has fully investigated and valued your claim.

For a rough estimate of how much compensation for a scar you might receive, try our industry-leading scarring compensation calculator. It's our free online tool that asks you some questions about your injury and then gives an estimate of how much you may be able to receive. Any information you give is held securely on our website and is completely confidential.

More customer stories

If you've suffered a deep laceration, we know how much of an impact this can have on your life. Lacerations can be extremely painful and can cause long-term damage to tendons, muscles, ligaments and bones, as well as permanent scarring.

If you've suffered permanent scarring as a result of an accident or medical negligence, please don't feel embarrassed or hesitant about contacting us.

Scarring which is visible or covering the face can seriously affect your confidence. It can result in anxiety about being unfairly judged by the people around you and in cases where people rely on their appearance for their job, scarring can cause lasting financial and emotional problems.

If you received your injury as the result of a traumatic experience such as a car accident or a knife attack, the scarring left behind can be a permanent reminder of what happened.

But scarring doesn't just have an emotional impact, it can also be physically painful. In some cases, lacerations can leave scars that can be sensitive to touch and restrict movement even after they have healed. This is often the case when a laceration becomes infected as this can leave behind an abnormal scar. Scarring from burns can also leave the skin ‘puckered' and tight.

In some serious cases, amputation may even be necessary. If you have had to undergo an amputation as a result of a laceration, this may have had a serious impact on your career and lifestyle.

We believe that everyone has the right to justice. If you've suffered a laceration or scarring as a result of an injury that wasn't your fault, then you may be eligible to make a no win no fee claim.

When you feel ready to talk about what happened, you can call one of our legally trained advisors on  for free advice. They'll be happy to answer any questions you have and will be able to let you know whether they think you're eligible to claim.

When you do call us, there is no obligation to continue with the claim, and your phone call will be completely confidential.

Minor lacerations don't normally need much medical attention, so they can usually be treated at home. You should make sure that the cut is kept clean so that it doesn't get infected and cover it with a plaster.

If you've suffered a deep laceration, you must get medical advice as soon as possible. If too much time passes before a laceration is treated, then the cut can become infected. Infected lacerations are extremely painful and can leave behind abnormal scars.

If, through no fault of your own, it has taken too long for your laceration to be treated and this delay could have been avoided, then you may be able to make a medical negligence claim, particularly if this has resulted in infection or severe scarring.

Lacerations are often treated with stitches, tissue glue or adhesive tape. In more severe cases X-rays or even surgery may be needed if the cut has caused internal damage or broken bones.

Wounds must always be thoroughly cleaned and then kept clean and dry until they have healed. You should also avoid picking the cut as it's healing because this can make the scarring worse.

Unfortunately, it's difficult to completely remove scarring. But some treatments can help make scars less noticeable.

These treatments range from over the counter or prescription creams and gels which can minimise redness to injections and laser therapy which can reduce swelling and flatten the scar. In cases where scars restrict movement, surgery may be needed to release the tightness.

Kieron Gibbons

We often speak with people who are still recovering from their injuries and trying to put their lives back together. It's our job to help give the guidance they need to make clear, informed decisions about what to do next. It's really gratifying to be able to put their minds at ease and let them know that the law is on their side for things like permanent scar compensation for injuries caused by someone else's negligence.

Kieron Gibbons

Operations Team Manager, National Accident Helpline

Can I make a criminal injuries claim for laceration or scar compensation?

Yes you can. If you've been cut, scarred or otherwise disfigured as a result of a criminal assault, there's a special process to handle scar settlements and similar types of laceration or permanent scar compensation claims.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) is a government body that compensates people physically or mentally injured following a criminal assault in England and Wales. 

If you're eligible to make a scar settlements claim following a violent assault, the solicitor we connect you with will make your permanent scar compensation claim (or similar) directly with CICA. 

The claims process is broadly the same as for other no win no fee personal injury claims, involving investigation and the submission of evidence. CICA will then adjudicate the claim and if successful, award scar settlements compensation to you accordingly.

How much compensation do scar settlements usually pay out?

No two cases are the same and so permanent scar compensation amounts vary. We look at each case on an individual basis so we can decide the best way to help you and who's the most suitable solicitor for your claim.

Because of this, we can't tell you exactly how much you may receive in a facial scar compensation payout, for example. However, you can get an estimate by using our facial scarring compensation calculator.

We'll work hard to make sure you get the full amount of scar compensation you're owed. Your solicitor will take anything caused by your injury into consideration when putting together your back injury claim.

For example, they'll take into account:

  • Any medical treatment, medications costs, adaptations made to your home
  • Any care you've received, even if given for free by a family member
  • Lost earnings due to time off work
  • The effect your injury has had on your social life and hobbies
  • The wider effects on your family

Your compensation can't take away what you've been through, but it really can help you get your life back on track.

The Judicial College is overseen by the Courts and Tribunals Service. Part of its job is to set the guideline amounts for general damages. These damages cover pain, suffering and loss of amenity applicable to all types of personal injury claims

An average settlement for scarring is hard to give as all accident circumstances differ and your solicitor will need to investigate thoroughly first. However,  below are some examples of the latest compensation award ranges for scar settlementsinvolving laceration or burn injury. 

If you've suffered any financial losses (for instance loss of income), these will be added to your scar compensation award if your claim succeeds.

Type of injuryScarring claim general damages
A single, noticeable scar, or several superficial scars not on the face£2,220 - £7,350
After exploratory surgery leaving scarringAround £6,890
Several noticeable scars or one disfiguring scar not to the face£7,350 - £21,330
Burn scarring covering 40% of more of the bodyLikely to exceed £98,380
Minor scarring which doesn't affect the overall appearance £3,710 to £12,900
Scarring reduced by plastic surgery however residual scarring is still visible at a conversational level £8,550 to £28,240
Substantial facial disfigurement with significant psychological reaction£16,860 to £45,440
Very severe facial scarring with severe psychological impact£27,940 to £91,350

How much does it cost if I make a permanent scar compensation claim?

You do this with a no win no fee arrangement, also known as a conditional fee agreement. It's the contract between you and your no win no fee scar settlements solicitor.

There are no upfront costs or hidden charges but if you win the claim, you'll be asked to pay any costs and expenses, not paid for by the other side, out of your compensation. This is likely to happen in most cases, as the other side is only required to make a contribution to your legal fees.

These costs will only be deducted when your compensation is paid, and may include: 

  • A ‘success fee' that compensates the solicitor for the risk they take, as if your claim is unsuccessful they won't be paid at all.
  • Any other legal costs or expenses not recovered from the other side, such as the costs of any legal expense insurance.

When you start your laceration compensation or scar settlements claim, your solicitor will take out legal insurance protection on your behalf. This is sometimes called ATE (After The Event) insurance

If your claim is unsuccessful, then the other party's costs will be paid out of this insurance. 

If you don't receive any scar compensation, then you won't have to pay for the ATE insurance. If your claim is successful, then it'll be paid out of your compensation as part of the fees.

Your solicitor will discuss this with you at the start, so you'll know what to expect when your claim settles. If you don't win your no win no fee claim, you won't pay anything to anyone. 

If you're thinking about making a scar compensation claim, you might be worried that you'll be left out-of-pocket if your claim is unsuccessful, or that most of your compensation will be taken up by solicitors' fees.

We do everything we can to avoid you being hit financially because of your claim. Recovering from an injury can be expensive, and we know how important it is for you to get support to cover the costs.

We don't think you don't deserve to be left under financial pressure, especially after you've suffered a painful injury that wasn't your fault. That's why we have measures in place to protect you from no win no fee hidden costs and charges, so there won't be any more surprises along the way.

You can speak to us for free, impartial advice onor fill in our secure online form. We'll be happy to answer your questions and can help you understand whether you could make a claim.

If you'd like to find out more about all the different stages of a laceration or scar compensation injury claim, please visit our claims process page.

Learn more about National Accident Helpline, the UK's most trusted personal injury specialist. We've been helping people like you get free personal injury advice for over  years, and we're proud of that.

We are National Accident Helpline

Learn more about National Accident Helpline, the UK's most trusted personal injury specialist. We've been helping people like you get free personal injury advice for over years_since years, and we're proud of that.

We know how valuable financial stability is to your recovery, both physically and emotionally and we don't believe anybody should be left out of pocket and without an apology when they've suffered in an accident that wasn't their fault.

We're proud of our experience working with personal injury claims and we're proud to offer more than just a compensation service, because more than anything, we want to help you.

Our advice is always completely free and confidential, and there's no obligation to start your case when you contact us.

So if you want someone to talk to about your accident, call us today on .

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The UK's most trusted personal injury advice specialists.
years_since years of experience handling all types of personal injury claims.
Accredited and professional personal injury expertise.
UK-wide network of specialist personal accident injury solicitors.

How do I know who's responsible for my scarring claim injury?

The owners of public places such as councils, shops, pubs, restaurants and other similar businesses are all legally bound to keep you safe. 

This is called their duty of care. If they've failed to follow the proper safety regulations and you've been injured, then they've broken the law and you may be able to make a claim.

This also applies to employers, who have a duty of care to make sure you can do your job safely. This includes providing you with the correct training and safety equipment. If they don't comply with general health and safety regulations such as The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and you've been injured, then it's likely you could make a scar settlements claim.

No matter what the cause, if you've suffered a laceration or scar injury in the last three years and it wasn't your fault, then there's a good chance we'll be able to help you get the compensation you deserve. You can find out if we think you have a claim by giving us a call on .

What are the time limits if I want to make a laceration or scar settlements claim?

To qualify for making any no win no permanent scar compensation claim, you must have been injured within the last three years. The accident must also have been wholly or partially someone else's fault.

  • If you were 18 or over when the injury occurred, you have three years to make a personal injury claim from the accident date. 
  • If you were under 18 at the time and no claim was made, you have three years from your 18th until your 21st birthday to claim.

There are exceptions to the three-year limitation. For instance, if the claimant has experienced such severe injury they can't make the claim themselves or if they lack the psychological capability to do so.

If you've got any questions about making a no win no fee compensation claim, contact us for free and impartial advice on . We'll listen to what you've been through and let you know if we think you could make a no win no fee claim

Alternatively, you can try our eligibility verifier. This asks some simple questions about your experience and will let you know whether we think you may be able to make a scar compensation claim. In addition, you can use our scar compensation calculator in the UK to get an estimate on how much compensation you might receive.

It's important to add that we'll never rush or pressure you. We're here to give you impartial and free no win no fee compensation advice so you can decide what to do next.

Frequently asked questions...

No. UK employment law protects you from any disciplinary action, whether overt or underhand. Employers are legally required to have insurance in place to cover negligent injury to their people. In a successful back injury compensation claim, the insurance company providing the cover will pay back injury compensation, not the employer. That ensures no-one is hit with a bill they can’t pay.

Yes, you can. If they’re under 18, you’ll need to make the claim on their behalf. This is called being a litigation friend as is usually done by a parent, guardian or other responsible adult. You can also act as a litigation friend if your loved one has been so seriously injured that they are unable to make the claim themselves.

Yes, of course. Our helpline, our own law firm, the law firms we work with around the country and all insurers are operating as pretty much as normal with many people working securely from home. There may be some minor delays - for example if your ankle injury compensation claim needs a court hearing. However, much of the work is carried out by phone, email and using the government’s internet claims system anyway, so things are as close to business as usual as they can be.

Contact us first and we’ll check your grounds to claim and then connect you with one of our specialist solicitors if you want to proceed.

When you're looking for a personal injury company to help you make your claim, you might be worried about the credibility of the solicitors you'll work with. With us, you're in safe hands.

We work with a national panel of personal injury solicitors who we carefully choose based on specialisms - this means you'll get the legal representation you need for the best chance of making a successful claim.

As well as working on a no win no fee basis, our solicitors will also protect you from upfront costs and no win no fee hidden charges. Our no win no fee charges guarantee means you won't have to pay anything before starting your claim. 

To find out whether you could claim, or for advice and answers to your questions, contact us free on to talk to one of our friendly, legally trained advisors.

Is National Accident Helpline a claims management company?

No, we aren't. National Accident Helpline is an independent personal injury advice brand owned by legal practice National Accident Law. We are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), the independent professional ethics and standards regulator that licences all solicitors across England and Wales. Our SRA registration number is 655606.

Claims management companies (CMCs) are overseen by a different regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). CMCs do not have their own law practices. We advise on personal injury claims as part of National Accident Law. We also work with a national network of specialist law firms who we choose carefully and check closely to make sure you receive an outstanding customer experience.

Laceration and other injuries that scar - like burns - can be emotionally and physically traumatic. Whether caused in a road accident, in the workplace or when out and about in public, they can take time to heal and really knock your confidence, especially if it's a disfiguring facial injury.

We understand  how difficult it can be. That's why we'll carefully and compassionately build the case for your scar settlements claim so you can focus on getting well.

James Illic

Senior Litigator, National Accident Law