Addressing a Few Misconceptions About Workers’ Compensation
Being injured on the job brings more than just physical pain. Along with the actual injury, there may be many concerns for an injured worker, including how to receive or pay for treatment and rehabilitation.
When a worker is injured in the workplace, Maryland law allows for the worker to receive the benefits provided for in the state’s Workers’ Compensation laws. However, there may be questions and misconceptions over the following aspects of workers’ compensation laws:
- You can choose your own doctor/physician – according to Maryland law, an injured worker is able to choose the doctor or surgeon of his or her own choice, and is not obligated to treat with a health care provider that the employer or employer’s insurance company chooses.
- You cannot be forced to pay the doctor more than is allowed by law – the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission sets the reimbursement rates that doctors and surgeons can charge for their services. By law, Health Care providers cannot be paid more than this amount when their services are sought to treat a workplace injury. Health Care providers may not charge the injured worker the difference between the amount billed and the amount paid pursuant to the Medical Fee Schedule It is important to note, however, that this statute is not binding on out-of-state health care providers. In addition, providers who do not want to be financially limited by the restrictions of the workers’ compensation laws do have the right to refuse to treat an injured worker.
- Costs are regulated for more than just treatment – the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission also regulates the costs for examinations, opinions and testimony given on a worker’s disability claim.
Be proactive in ensuring that your rights are protected if you have been injured on the job. It is important to get an outside opinion about your claim since your employer or their insurance company may not always give you straight answers about your rights under workers’ compensation laws. They may not inform you that your failure to file a Workers’ Compensation claim with the State of Maryland within 2 years of your injury or date of disablement from an occupational disease, may bar a claim for any benefits under the law. To protect your interests, it is most important to contact an attorney, experienced in handling workers’ compensation cases, as soon as practical after your injury to get the legal advice that will best protect your rights.