If you’ve suffered an injury at work, you know how frustrating it can be when the resulting pain or disability prevents you from doing your job. It might also frustrate your employer, leading you to wonder what will happen if you can’t return to work soon. Meanwhile, medical bills can pile up, which only adds to the stress.
Ideally, these problems are covered by workers’ compensation. Maryland was the first state to pass a workers’ compensation law in 1902, and as a result all companies are required to either purchase workers’ compensation or be self-insured. But the law doesn’t guarantee a worker’s claim will be accepted, nor does it ensure that all of an injured worker’s medical bills will be covered. These gaps often lead to more problems.
A construction worker from Waldorf, Maryland, knows these problems all too well. After he seriously injured his arm at a work site in 2006, he received temporary disability benefits for a short time, but when the pain continued, the specialists he saw were unable to diagnose his condition. A doctor cleared him to return to work, thereby ending his disability payments. But the debilitating nerve pain slowed the man down, and his employer laid him off. When he finally found a solution through spinal fusion surgery, his former employer’s insurer refused to pay his workers’ compensation, claiming his pain was unrelated to the original accident.
Unable to find another job with his injury and limited education, the man sank into a depression that led to an unsuccessful attempt at suicide. He continues to battle in court with the insurance company of his former employer, which has been ordered no less than four times to pay benefits. As his case continues, he says he longs to be back at work and that his eyes well up with tears when he sees other workers on a job. “I just smell someone cutting wood and it hurts my soul,” he said recently. “I know that this is not the way a person should be treated.”
Situations like this one require an aggressive fight with the help of a legal professional who knows the workers’ compensation system and can help you get the time and medical cost coverage you need to recover. When the inability to work begins to affect the rest of your life, it’s time to get help.
Source: SoMdNews.com, “Long, painful process starts after they’re injured,” Jeff Newman, Aug. 17, 2012
- Our firm handles situations similar to the one described in this post. If you’d like to learn more about our practice, visit ourBaltimore workers’ compensationpage.