Schifanelli Law, LLP
Contact US (240) 882-2402
Maryland Worker's Compensation Laws cover most employees when they are hurt or injured on the job, as long as the injury "arises out of and in the course of employment." Some workers are so severely injured that they are considered "permanently, totally disabled." In Maryland, workers who suffer workplace injuries that result in the loss or loss of use of both arms, both eyes, both feet, both hands, or both legs are considered to be permanently, totally disabled. This also includes workers who lose the use of a combination of any two of an arm, eye, foot hand or leg. An employer would need to provide proof to the contrary in order to successfully rebut the presumption of permanent, total disability.
However, on the job injuries or workplace accidents don't always result in the loss or loss of use of a limb or an eye. One may suffer a temporary loss of use of an arm or leg, for example, but after surgery, hospitalization and/or therapy or "work hardening," the injured worker may be cleared to return to work. In these cases, especially in regards to back and neck "soft tissue" injuries, it's the injured worker who needs to convince the Commission that he has suffered an permanent injury, or a "permanent impairment" of his body part. An "impairment" is a little different than a disability since it refers to the worker's loss of use of the body part in relation to his ability to perform his job. For example, a person who sits and types most of the work day may be rated with a lesser "impairment" for a broken bone in his foot, than he would had he broken a wrist or finger (upon which she arguably relies more in the performance of his job). He may certainly be "disabled" due to his foot complications, but not necessarily severely impaired for worker's compensation purposes.
In order to succeed in convincing the Maryland Worker's Compensation Commission that you actually have a permanent partial impairment, you need to have a Medical Doctor who is familiar with work injuries and impairments make the determination. The Doctor will review your med records and then, possibly for the second time, meet with you in his or her office and evaluate you. Of course, the employer/insurer will have another M.D. make his or her determination also, and never shall the two evaluation conclusions meet. In fact, oft times the issue not whether the injured worker suffered a permanent partial impairment, but to what degree is she impaired? The degree of impairment translates into potential money to be awarded by the Commission to the injured worker to compensate for the impairment, i.e. the degree of loss of use.
Ultimately, unless you settle your work injury case with the employer/insurer first, the Commission will hear testimony and receive evidence regarding the "nature and extent" (i.e. degree) of impairment. A Commissioner will review the various Independent Medical evaluations and issue an order, usually several weeks after the hearing. The Insurer will then need to comply with the order by paying the injured worker compensation in the designated amount, or take an administrative appeal to a Maryland Circuit Court if it does not agree with the Commissioner's findings. Of course, the injured worker may appeal also if he's not happy. Sometimes everyone appeals.
If you are hurt in an accident while working, or you develop a physical ailment or condition that you believe is caused by the work that you do, contact a Maryland Worker's Compensation Lawyer in Annapolis who can advise and assist you with getting the help and benefits that you need.
Contact Schifanelli Law, LLP at 410-263-0028 for an initial consultation with a Lawyer in Annapolis.
2450 Riva Road, Suite 201, Annapolis, Maryland 21401.
Serving the Maryland, Anne Arundel, Glen Burnie, Annapolis and Washington D.C. Communities.
If you are injured on the job or injured while working, you will need to file a Maryland Worker's Compensation Claimwith the Maryland Worker's Compensation Commission to secure and preserve any rights you may have to Worker's Compensation benefits, like lost wages due to a "temporary total or partial impairment," hospitalization, medical bills and therapy. Another benefit that you will secure is the possibility of receiving a "permanent partial" or "total impairment."