Maryland Workers Compensation Lawyer
The law offices of Stephen L. Miles handles workers compensation cases throughout Maryland.
The big myth – This is a lawsuit
A workers compensation claim is exactly that…a claim, not a lawsuit. With very rare exceptions, one cannot sue their employer in Maryland under any theory of negligence. This is exactly why we have no fault workers compensation laws. Our legislature has been smart enough to know that a very unhealthy situation would exist if one sued their employer, so in lieu, if that we have worker compensation laws. These are laws passed to protect the workers since one cannot sue their employer. The laws are no fault. It does not matter if you were hurt through your own negligence or through your employers or for that matter if no one was at fault.
Have you been injured on the job?
Call Stephen L. Miles immediately to learn exactly what your are rights are. First things first, if you are injured – seek medical attention. Even if you think you are not badly injured, it’s important that you go to a doctor or the emergency room. If you do not seek medical attention it may be used against you later. You must also inform your employer that you were hurt while on the job. There are strict time limits involved for filing a claim, so call me NOW.
Can I be fired if I make a claim?
Your employer cannot fire you just because you make a workers compensation claim. An employer can actually be sued if they fire or harass an employee for making a workers compensation claim. This is a very serious offense and carries a hefty fine.
Workers compensation claims are contingent fee based, meaning I do not receive any compensation until you do. I work for and represent you. Your case may be stipulated to, or settled by negotiation. If not, I will represent you before a workers compensation judge. I have over 36 years of court room experience. I was also a former assistant state’s attorney. As explained above this is not a lawsuit and your employer is required to carry insurance for this, so again, you cannot be fired for filing this claim.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
In effect, this is a state regulated accident insurance program covering work-related injuries and or illnesses. This insurance is paid for by the insurer for your employer and provides you with medical and income benefits if you are injured on the job.
How long do I have to work to be covered under Workers’ Compensation ?
You are covered from the very first day.
What medical treatment will Workers’ Compensation cover?
All treatment costs related to your injury. This includes all doctors’ bills, hospital bills and physical therapy expenses. All bills are paid by your employer’s insurance, based on a fee guide established by the Workers’ Compensation Commission. Physicians and hospitals must accept designated payment as full and final. They may not come to you for any additional balances and or charges.
What about out of pocket expenses and/or mileage for doctors’ visits?
Both are reimbursable per guidelines set by the Commission.
What is my attorney’s job?
Your attorney’s job is to represent your interests and assure you receive fair treatment from your employer/insurer in all aespects of your claim. Additionally, he/she assures you receive the correct state-mandated benefits promptly and handles any conflicts or difficulties with your employer/insurer. Your attorney will guide you through all aspects of this claim.
How is my attorney paid ?
All fees are set and regulated by the Workers’ Compensation Commission. You pay nothing up front or out of pocket expenses. The insurer pays a small percentage of your award benefit directly to your attorney as a fee.
BEST OF ALL IF THERE IS NO RECOVERY FOR A PERMANENT DISABILITY YOU PAY NOTHING – THE LAWYER IS PAID NOTHING FOR GETTING YOUR MEDIAL BENEFITS AND ONLY GETS A SMALL PERCENTAGE OF YOUR INCOME PAYMENTS IF THAT PAYMENT IS CONTESTED AND HE OBTAINS IT FOR YOU.
What if my employer has no insurance?
A special Uninsured Employers Fund was established exactly for this purpose.
Do I have to see the company doctor?
Absolutely not. You are entitled to receive reasonable and necessary medical care from any physician you choose. Your employer, via their insurance carrier, does have the right to monitor your care and have you examined with regard to fitness for duty.
What benefits am i entitled to?
- Medical costs. All reasonable and necessary medical care for your injury for the rest of your life unless you waive this by settling your claim.
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD): While you are disabled/recovering, you are entitled to receive 2/3 of your salary subject to a cap.Your employer may also choose to pay your full salary instead of TTD.
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD): After you have recovered, referred to as reaching Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI), you are entitled to benefits for any permanent disability. The benefits vary depending on the part of the body, the extent of the injury, and your average weekly wage on the date of injury and the year you were injured.
How often will I get TTD payments?
You will receive benefits either weekly or biweekly depending on your regular pay schedule, from the time you are unable to work due to your work-related injury until you reach maximum medical improvement.
What if my injury prevents me from returning to work?
If you cannot return to work or a comparable job, you may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation, where you would be assessed and trained for a new job, while being paid TTD benefits.
What happens if my employer contests my claim?
A hearing will be scheduled to determine whether your injury condition is compensable under the workers’ compensation laws.
What is maximum medical improvement ( MMI )?
When you are no longer under active medical care. MMI means further medical treatment will only maintain your condition, not improve it. Your injury has improved as much as possible.
What happens when I get discharged from my Doctors’ care?
After you are discharged, an evaluation will be scheduled for your permanent disability rating.
What are “issues”?
A request for the Workers’ Compensation Commission to schedule a hearing to resolve any disputed matter.
How long does it take to get a hearing?
Approximately 3-8 months after issues are filed.
When will my case be resolved?
Once I receive your rating, I will file issues with the Workers’ Compensation Commission to determine the extent of your disability. Your employer may also request that you be seen by another Doctor for an Independent Medical Examination ( IME ). In some cases, we can stipulate or settle your case without a hearing. In other instances a Commission Judge will decide the extent of your injuries.
How many commissioners are there?
There are nine Commissioners, who are in effect, Judges, who are appointed by the Governor.
When/where is my hearing?
Your hearing will be held on the date and at the location listed on the Notice of Hearing, which you will receive in the mail.
How long does a hearing last?
Hearings tend to be very informal and only last about 5-30 minutes.
When will I get a decision from the commissioner?
The decision is mailed, usually, within 2-4 weeks after the hearing.
How long does it take to receive money awarded?
The insurance company usually mails award checks within 2-4 weeks after the Commission’s award is received.
How often will I get PPD payments?
You will receive weekly benefits for a specified period of time based on the type and extent of your permanent disability.
What if I already receive Social Security Disability?
Your workers’ compensation benefits are a partial offset to Social Security Benefits.
What happens if my condition gets worse and I need medical treatment after the award?
Provided you have not given up the right to medical ongoing treatment by settling your claim, you are entitled to medical treatment for the rest of your life for reasonable and necessary medical care needed as a result of your work-injury.
Can I get additional disability payments after an award?
You may receive TTD payments if you become temporarily totally disabled again as a result of your original injury. You may also be entitled to an increase of your permanency award. To receive these payments, you must re-open your case within five (5) years from the last date you received TTD or PPD benefits.
What is the consideration date?
This date, listed on the Blue Form from the Workers’ Compensation Commission, is the deadline for your employer to raise any objections it may have to your claim.
CALL NOW FOR YOUR FREE CONSULTATION!