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Navigating a Maryland workers compensation claim can be difficult and confusing and just as there are things that must be done for a case to progress properly, there are things that any injured worker in Maryland should avoid doing. There are some things that every injured worker must know. Below is a list of things that the injured worker should avoid doing that could be detrimental to their case:
Avoid Missing Doctors appointments in Your Maryland Workers Compensation case?
If the injured Maryland worker is receiving workers compensation benefits than attended their pre-scheduled doctors appointment will help ensure the benefits continue. It is important to note that the insurance adjuster is looking for a reason to terminate the payment of benefits. It is their job to save money when at all possible and stopping the payment of lost wages or refusing to authorize a medical appointment because the injured worker has missed a prior appointment is legally justifiable. On a regular basis the Termination of Temporary Total Disability Benefits is filed with the Workers Compensation Commission because an injured worker failed to attend an appointment. A beneficiary of Maryland workers comp benefits should make it a point to attend any and all doctors appointment to avoid their benefits being terminated or medical treatment being cut off.
On occasion an appointment must be missed for some unexpected issue or emergency. If that is the situation the injured Maryland worker is faced with than he or she should contact their attorney, or if unrepresented contact the adjuster as soon as they have knowledge the appointment will be missed.
Avoid missing the Independent Medical Evaluations (IME)
Independent Medical Evaluations are schedule by the work comp adjuster because workers comp is entitled to obtain a second opinion. The injured worker must attend the IME or risk their benefits being terminated. Failure to attend an IME could result in the termination of lost wages or the Termination of Medical Benefits like physical therapy, doctors appointments, diagnostics, or medications. IME’s should be scheduled in as much advance as to give the injured worker time to make arrangements for the attendance. Occasionally they are scheduled too soon, or on a day attendance is just not possible. The injured worker should quickly notify their Maryland Workers Compensation Attorney if they are not able to attend, or if unrepresented, contact the workers comp adjuster as soon as possible.
Avoid Dishonesty and Over exaggerating symptoms
Most injured worker are under a lot of stress and pressure. Worries often include job security, family financial well being, work relationships, family relationships, and their own physical and mental health. When stress of this level builds up it can impair the injured workers judgment and they may do things that are uncharacteristic of themselves.
The injured worker should be sure not to over exaggerate their symptoms to any physician, especially an IME doctor or a physician that the employer or workers comp has sent the injured worker to treat with.
It is very important to stay honest during the workers compensation case, however, honesty should not be confused with volunteering information that could only damage a claim. If a person has been injured in Maryland while at work it is best to contact a workers comp attorney to discuss the case in detail.
Avoid Going Rogue- Communication while under Maryland Workers Comp
If the injured worker is represented by a workers comp attorney it is imperative that they actively communicate with their attorney. A phone call to their attorney every couple of months is a good practice. This communication will ensure that all parties are on the same page as to the medical status and legal status of the workers comp claim. Why should the injured Maryland worker be represented?
Communication with the workers comp adjuster should be limited, or non-existent if the injured worker is represented. If, however the adjuster is attempting to contact a unrepresented claimant the call should be returned to ensure there are no problems or pending issues that may lead to a termination of benefits.
Do not Avoid Working another job
It is OK to work another job however this could have an impact on the injured workers lost wages or temporary total disability benefits. The injured worker may not be entitled to the full amount of their lost wages if they are receiving wages from a different employer. If the injured worker continues to receive lost wages when they are not entitled to them the employer or workers comp will obtain a credit which could potentially wipe out future compensation or settlement.
If the injured worker is working another job they should communicate this to their attorney or the adjuster. It is not too uncommon for workers comp to obtain surveillance of the injured worker another job and then use that surveillance against the injured worker. Even if the injured was completely innocent or just did not know what they were doing was wrong the affects on the case could be great.
Avoid Settling a Maryland Workers Compensation Case without a Consultation
On occasion an injured worker wants to settle their case without the help of a workers compensation attorney. While this is generally not a good idea, it does make sense in come situations. It is NEVER a good idea to settle a Maryland workers compensation case without first obtaining a consultation with an attorney. Consultations in workers compensation cases are always free under Maryland law. If consultations are free than there is nothing to lose by calling a few attorneys and getting some insight as to the fairness of the proposed settlement. Not only are consultations free but there are a good number of workers compensation attorneys in Maryland so obtaining a couple consultations should not be difficult.