Changing jobs will not destroy your workers comp case but consider speaking with an attorney first.
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Compensation Rate May Change
Lost wages/Temporary Total Disability–
The employee may currently be receiving lost wages from the Maryland workman’s comp insurer because they are being held out of work completely or are on light duty restrictions and the current employer is not able to accommodate the restrictions. In the event the employee starts a job with a new employer they will no longer be entitled to the lost wages. Even if the the employee starts working only part time or light duty with the new employer these lost wage benefits will be affected. The employee may be entitled to a reduced rate of lost wages depending on the circumstances however Maryland workers compensation laws require strict calculations of the wages before the accident and with the new employer- a task that is best left to a qualified workers comp attorney.
Permanency Award and Industrial Loss–
In many Maryland workers compensation cases the injured employee is entitled to receive an award for permanency. This is done through the use of a rating report and a hearing before a workers compensation commissioner to determine a permanent partial disability. At the hearing your attorney may be able to argue for a higher award based on an industrial loss or loss of earning capacity. The loss of earning capacity can be determined based on reduced wages paid by the employer. For example- before the injury the employee was making $400 in a 40 hour week, after the injury the employee was only making $300 because he or she could no longer work the 40 hours week. In this scenario the injured worker would have an industrial loss which would entitle him or her to an increased permanency award. This may also apply if the injured worker returned to work but was paid a lower rate of pay.
In the event the injured Maryland worker resigns from his job it becomes difficult to determine what hours he or she would be capable of working at their previous job. The argument for industrial loss may, therefore be forfeited. There are other ways to determine industrial loss and a qualified workers compensation attorney will be able to help you with this.
Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits may be given up
In the event the work injuries are severe enough to prevent the employee from returning to their job they may qualify for vocational rehabilitation. To be entitled to vocational rehabilitation a physician would have to indicate that the employee was not able to return to the job in which they were injured. If that is the case the workers compensation claimant would be entitled to job placement assistance by a counselor and would also be entitled to receive payments in the amount of their lost wage rate. Occasionally the Maryland workers compensation commission will deny vocational benefits to an injured worker when they have already demonstrated the ability to find work on their own. So the employee who decides to resign from their position and start a new job may be affecting their chances to obtain vocational rehabilitation services under their workmans comp claim. A qualified and experience Maryland workers compensation attorney can still assist in obtaining voc benefits but there is a chance these benefits will not be awarded based on the job transition.
For a no cost consultation with Maryland workers compensation attorney Andrew Rodabaugh call +1 (410) 937-1659