Compared to Maryland personal injury settlements, settlements in Maryland workers’ compensation cases are usually limited. Why? Because Maryland workers’ comp laws do not allow you to receive compensation for pain and suffering. This decreases the value of your case.
Maryland Workers Compensation Settlements
What is Your MD Workers’ Comp Case Worth: Maryland Workers Comp Settlement
Under Maryland workers’ comp laws, you are generally entitled only to wage loss benefits based on 2/3 of your gross weekly pay, the payment of your causally related medical bills, and permanent partial disability benefits if you prove that you suffered a covered accident and injury. You and your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier, however, may decide to settle your case. This is completely voluntary. There is no requirement that you accept a Maryland workers’ compensation settlement.
The two most important factors that affect the value of Maryland workers compensation settlements are: 1) your disability benefit rate, which is based on your pre-injury average weekly wage and 2) the severity of your injury and how much medical care you will require. Maryland workers compensation settlements are usually based on a multiple of your temporary total disability rate and expected future medical care.
There are, however, other factors that impact the value of your MD work comp settlement. These factors include: offsets and credits that may be taken against your wage loss benefits because of voluntary payments from the employer; short-term and long term disability insurance benefits; your age; the severity of your injury; whether you have any transferable skills to other jobs; your education; the deputy commissioner hearing your case; and, evidence that can be used to defend your claim.
The best time to settle your Maryland workers’ comp claim is when you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). This means that you have improved as much as you are going to from your workplace injury. Your doctor will tell you when you have reached MMI. If you settle before you reach MMI, then you need to make sure that the settlement provides enough money for you to seek additional medical care since you will be responsible for the payment of future work related medical bills.
There are times when it makes sense to try to settle your Maryland workers’ comp claim before you have reached MMI. Your Maryland workers’ compensation lawyer may advise you to settle your claim if the case is contested and you may lose on compensability. A loss on compensability means you would receive no money from the workers’ comp carrier. So by settling you are guaranteeing that you will receive at least some money.
The decision to settle your Maryland work injury case is entirely yours. Remember that if you settle you are likely giving up all your future rights, including medical care. Once a settlement is reached, the parties will send the appropriate documents to the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission for approval. This can take several weeks. The Commission has the right to reject the settlement or ask for additional clarification from your attorney. After settlement is approved, you will receive your lump sum payment.
Settling your Maryland workers’ compensation case is an important decision. You should only do so if it makes financial and medical sense for you. Let the Maryland workers’ compensation attorneys at Jenkins Block & Associates guide you through the process. We have offices in Baltimore, Hagerstown, Cambridge, and Richmond, and have obtained MD work comp settlements and Virginia workers compensation settlements for hundreds of injured workers. We will help you get every dollar you deserve.