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Frequently Asked Questions About Worker’s Comp Claims

Being injured on the job can be an extremely intimidating experience. It can be difficult to get honest answers about where to go for help and what benefits are available. The attorneys at Cohen, Snyder, Eisenberg & Katzenberg, P.A., have extensive experience representing injured workers in all aspects of worker’s comp claims.

We work hard to ensure that injury victims have access to the information they need following a serious workplace accident. In an effort to provide you with the essential information you need as you begin the worker’s compensation claims process, we have compiled some of the most common worker’s compensation questions that we get from our clients:

Q: Do I need a worker’s comp lawyer? My employer says no. Is that true?

A: When a worker has been injured on the job, it’s difficult to know what to do. Work injuries are painful, and the worker may be getting conflicting advice from the employer, the insurance company, co-workers, and even friends and relatives.

It is true that you are not required to have an attorney, but most people find it very beneficial. Obtaining counsel acts to level the playing the field between the Employer/Insurer along with their attorneys versus an individual injured worker.  Most employees don’t know their rights under Maryland worker’s compensation law, which puts your employer and the insurance company at a significant advantage. Or, if your doctor recommends treatment and the insurer refuses, we can pursue your treatment by obtaining an order authorizing it before the Maryland Worker’s Compensation Commission. You do not have to go to a worker’s compensation hearing or face an insurance carrier or an employer alone.

If you don’t know all your rights, you could leave thousands of dollars in lost benefits on the table. Our attorneys know your rights and will work to ensure that you receive the full measure of benefits available for your case.

Q: What are my rights after an injury at work?

A: The complete answer to that question will depend largely on the facts of your case. The short answer, however, is that you are entitled to medical care related to the injury and a tax-free benefit to compensate for your lost wages or a permanent injury.

Here are a few commonly overlooked worker’s compensation benefits.

  • Worker’s compensation benefits can include not only the payment of temporary total or temporary partial disability benefits to compensate the injured worker while missing time from work, but may also include an award for permanent partial disability after the worker has completed medical treatment.
  • Additional benefits may include vocational services should the employee be unable to return to normal duties at work. These vocational services can provide, among other things, assistance with finding a job and/or training to learn a new occupation, and are provided at the expense of the employer and their insurance company, should an employer be unable to accommodate an injured worker with permanent restrictions.
  • Worker’s compensation (also called workman’s comp) wage benefits are two-thirds of average weekly wages up to a capped maximum. The worker needs to be sure that the average weekly wage is properly calculated so that benefits are accurate.
  • An injured worker is entitled to medical treatment, medications, and medical mileage payments for visits to a health care provider.
  • Whether your work injury was caused by a single industrial accident, by the job requirement to lift something heavy or by repetitive stress, you have a right to medical treatment and wage loss payments.

Know your rights. In many cases — especially when the employer denies you were injured at work, when the insurer denies coverage or when your average weekly wage is in dispute — a lawyer can assure that your rights are protected.

Q: Do I have a personal injury claim against my employer? Can I sue my company if I have been injured at work?

A: No, in most cases. Worker’s compensation benefits are the only form of relief available from an employer. However, if someone other than your employer, including a co-worker, was partially or completely responsible for the accident that caused your injuries, you may have grounds for a separate personal injury claim. We will review your case and explain your legal options.

Q: What if my claim has been denied? What should I do now?

A: Fight back. Too many injured workers receive a notification of denial and wrongly assume that they have no further say in the matter. Maryland law allows you to dispute the decision. Our attorneys have been successful in representing many injured workers in hearings and appeals following the denial of a claim.

Q: My spouse was killed in a workplace accident. Do I have grounds for a death claim and how can I file that claim?

A: Yes. Under the Maryland Worker’s Compensation Act, the families of workers who are killed on the job or die from an occupational disease are entitled to seek certain death benefits, including a specified amount for funeral expenses. We will review your case and explain the benefits that may be available for you and your children.

Q: Can I receive worker’s compensation benefits while on a Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave of absence?

A: Yes. FMLA is a separate Federal law that, if an employee qualifies for it, protects them from losing employment while out of work for a specified time period. However, worker’s compensation benefits extend even if FMLA is exhausted or an injured worker does not qualify for the benefit.

Q: What is a “stipulation with request for award?”

A: This means both sides agree on a particular finding by the Worker’s Compensation Commission without a need for a hearing.

Q: Are there statutory limits for worker’s compensation?

A: Yes, there are limits to various disability benefits. The Maryland Worker’s Compensation Commission website provides information on these limits, but they are hard for many people to understand. We urge you to call us if this issue may be applicable in your case.

Q: Can I file a claim for worker’s compensation if I have two jobs and was injured while working at one of them?

A: Yes, but if you were injured and receive benefits through one job, you generally cannot be working at another job at the same time. Individual factors differ, so please consult with an attorney for clarification on this matter.

Q: I own my own business and have no employees. Am I covered by worker’s compensation?

A: If you insured yourself through a worker’s compensation insurer, yes. As the owner of a business, you may elect to cover yourself through worker’s compensation insurance just as an employer would do for you. Contact an insurer for more information.

Q: Are there fees for changing lawyers in a worker’s compensation case?

A: If you decide to change lawyers in a worker’s compensation case, the Maryland Worker’s Compensation Commission will apportion an allowable fee between the lawyers. There are no additional fees for changing attorneys.

Q: Will worker’s compensation cover my medical bills?

A: Yes. In Maryland, worker’s compensation does cover the cost of all necessary medical treatment resulting from your work injury.
This includes:

  • Doctor bills
  • Hospital bills
  • Physical therapy
  • Prescription medications
  • Crutches, artificial limbs and other apparatus

Q: Can I choose my own doctor?

A: Yes. Unlike other states, worker’s compensation laws in Maryland allow injured workers to select their own care providers. This means your employer, or your employer’s insurance company, cannot require you to see a specific doctor or give you a list of preapproved doctors to choose from.

Tip: Make sure to tell your doctor that you were injured at work. You will want to make sure your medical bills are sent to your employer’s insurance company, not to you or your private medical insurance provider. You will also want to make sure your work injuries are well-documented in case a dispute arises later.

Q: Are there restrictions on medical costs?

A: There is no cap limiting the amount of costs that are covered under worker’s compensation. However, there is a limit on how much doctors and other health care providers can charge.

The Maryland Worker’s Compensation Commission determines the rates that doctors can charge for their services. Doctors are only paid by worker’s compensation insurance carriers up to this limit. If a doctor charges more than the rate determined by the commission, he/she cannot bill the injured worker for the difference. That considered, not all physicians accept Worker’s Compensation Claims due to the regulated fee guide. As a result, since there is a limited number of physicians who accept such claims, it is beneficial to speak to an attorney familiar with the physicians in Maryland.

Q: How much does a worker’s comp lawyer cost?

A: In workers’ compensation cases, attorneys’ fees are set and regulated closely by the Workers’ Compensation Commission. All fees come out of any award that the injured employee may receive, and the injured worker does not have to pay anything up front to obtain the services of a lawyer.

Q: What is the deadline for filing a worker’s comp claim?

A: Your workers’ compensation claim must be filed within two years of your injury. Your attorney can help you gather all the data necessary for an effective claim.

Free Initial Consultation | Baltimore Worker’s Comp Lawyers

You may have additional questions about your worker’s comp benefits. Many of the pages on our site may answer additional common questions. However, most issues are very fact specific. Our attorneys always welcome inquiries as to whether or not we may be able to assist you. Send an email inquiry or call us at 443-529-0795.

Contact Cohen, Snyder, Eisenberg & Katzenberg, P.A., to schedule a free initial consultation at any of our office locations.

We recently opened a new office in Towson for your convenience.

We are available 24/7 to answer your questions about your worker’s comp claim.

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