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The Maryland Workers Compensation Claims Process

The Maryland Workers Compensation Commission is an independent State agency that resolves disputes between the injured workers and the employers and their insurers. Employees get injured on the job in the State of Maryland in many different ways every day. There are certain things that you should do if you think you may have a compensable Maryland Workers Compensation claim.

First. Make certain to immediately notify your employer of the exact circumstances and injuries sustained in the accident. Notice to your employer is a critical element of your claim.

Second. Take notes on all pertinent information. This could include taking photos with your phone. The mechanism of injury can be contested in some cases. It is good to have the evidence in case you need it to prove your case. Photos can help explain the mechanism of injury and can be extremely helpful in finding some claims compensable. If your claim is denied, reach out to discuss the facts of your accident and injuries with one of our lawyers.

Third. Get witness names and information. For many cases, the insurer may want to confirm the happening of the accident. For some reason, unwitnessed accidents draw more scrutiny from the Employers and Insurers investigating the claims.

Fourth. Seek medical treatment for your injuries. Avoid delay as gaps in treatment and delay in starting a treatment plan will not help your case.

Filing the Claim

In order to initiate a claim, an injured worker must file a claim if they sustain injuries on the job and wish to pursue the injuries with the Maryland Workers Compensation Commission. If an employee gets injured during the scope of their employment, in order to start and initiate a claim, the employee must originate a clam with the State of Maryland Workers Compensation Commission. Currently, these claims are filed with the State of Maryland Workers Compensation Commission. Once completing a claim form, the employer and insurer have 21 days to file a responsive pleading. The Employer and Insurer will be given a date in which they must reply to the claim that was filed. This deadline is called the consideration date and is located on the lower right hand corner of the initial claim form filed. Depending upon the response, the case will either be set for a hearing or benefits will be paid by the Employer and Insurer. Either way, the claims process is geared towards returning the injured worker back to work when they are able. In some cases, the injured worker returns to work full duty and other times, it is restricted duty. When the claim is filed, the mechanism of injury must be decided and the claim must be filed as an accidental injury or occupational disease.

Types of Benefits

Monetary benefits that could be paid are called disability payments. There are two types of temporary disability benefits in the form of temporary total disability or temporary partial disability. Thereafter, there are two types of permanent disability. Permanent partial disability is usually paid in a lump for injuries that are permanent in nature and partial in character. This means your ability to earn wages has been impaired to some degree. Permanent total disability is a permanent injury that totally incapacitates the injured worker from gainful employment.

Medical benefits must also be paid for reasonable, necessary and causally related medical treatment. Once the claimant is at maximum medical improvement, treatment will discontinue, and it will be time to move the case to permanent disability.

Vocational rehabilitation is the process of finding suitable gainful employment where the injured worker gets a release that precludes return to work at the prior employment. In most cases, a vocational counselor will be agreed upon by the parties. The vocational counselor will work with the injured employee in an effort to find suitable gainful employment. Vocational rehabilitation benefits are paid in the form of temporary total disability during the period of vocational rehabilitation.

General Considerations

Follow your doctor’s orders if you are given orders for treatment. If you are not confident with the diagnosis and recommendations for treatment. You should follow your doctors order or get a second opinion.

Social media should be avoided as it can only provide images, photos and information that will be used against you. Please use caution with any online posting.

Gather all paperwork from all sources and keep all papers together in a folder. These documents include paperwork from the insurance company, any disability slips or documents from the doctor or medical providers, medical records, incident reports, etc.

Death claims are compensable also and require a slightly different process which one of our lawyers can assist in filing and pursuing benefits with the Maryland Workers Compensation Commission.

When it becomes time to move the case to permanent partial disability, It would be time for the claimant to get a permanent disability rating and a permanent disability award.

After the hearing is over, all testimony is taken and evidence considered by the Commissioner, an award will be issued. If either party is aggrieved by the decision, they have the right to file an appeal with the appropriate Circuit Court of Maryland for Judicial Review. Appeals would be filed with the Circuit Court for the county where venue was appropriate. Filing of an appeal must be taken seriously by the appellant due to the time and costs involved. The process of filing an appeal from an administrative decision has special rules which must be followed to prevent a motion to dismiss being filed.

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