Published: 25 August 2015
Author: Ryan Carlisle Thomas with research assistance from Annie Kent
"Scarring cases" just got a whole lot easier
Traffic and workplace injury cases in which terrible scars are left as a result of an accident will now be much easier to win at court as a result of a judgment just handed down by the Victorian Supreme Court of Appeal.
In the case of Transport Accident Commission v Garcia  VSCA 225 (24 August 2015), the court has clarified how to assess the consequences of bad scars suffered in work or transport accidents.
In a manner of speaking, the scar speaks for itself. There need not be other consequences, as argued by the TAC, for the scar to cause pain or lead to other limitations such as a partial impairment.
In other words, a court is entitled to make a value judgment as to whether a scar is a permanent disfigurement, and if it so finds, then the case is proven, and compensation may then be determined.
What are called "scarring cases" should from now on be much easier to win because the definition of "disfigurement" will be more intuitive and less in need of elaborate formulas for determination.