Settlement and Permanency is often mistakenly referred to synonymously by injured workers. Here are the ways to obtain compensation at the end of a Maryland workers compensation case.
Calculating a settlement figure is not an easy task. Having a complete understanding of the various types of settlement and permanency awards is only the beginning. Settlement evaluations requires an understanding of the scheduled members, payments rates at the different tiers, average weekly wage, and multiple other considerations.
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Workers Comp Permanency in Maryland
A Permanency hearing is the only way an injured Maryland worker can force the workers comp insurer to pay compensation to them. Permanency is obtained at a point in the case when treatment has come to a stand still and the claimant remains having permanent problems. There is the option to go to a hearing and have the Maryland Workers Compensation Commissioner decide what percentage impairment you have because of this injury. The option for future medical treatment and further compensation would remain open however there is no guarantee that you would get the future treatment or compensation. You may have to go to another hearing to get more medical treatment with your Maryland workers compensation attorney and there is a chance of losing. Hearings are often a roll of the dice and results can really depend on factors that are completely out of the control of the parties involved.
This is an agreement between the insurance company and the injured worker and his attorney as to the percentage of permanent impairment the injured worker now has. This is similar to going to a hearing but it alleviates any risk as to a low or unfavorable award. If the insurance adjuster or defense attorney for workers comp is not willing to stipulate than a hearing is the only option.
99% of the time if a hearing is held the commissioner does not agree exactly with the injured employees rating doctor or the insurance company’s doctor. Often the Maryland Workers Compensation commission will issue a number somewhere close to the middle of the numbers.
Workers Comp Settlements in Maryland
Full and Final Settlement
This is a settlement between the injured Maryland worker and the workers comp insurance company. Settlement of this nature will close out all opportunity for the injured worker to receive any benefit under the workers compensation claim. Often this means the most money to the claimant because he or she is giving up their right to any potential future medical treatment or any compensation in the case. Before exploring this option the injured worker should decide with their workers compensation attorney whether getting the most money is in their interest when it means giving up the option to obtain future treatment in the case.
Indemnity Only Settlement/ Open Medicals
In this circumstance the injured employee would likely receive more compensation than if he or she would go to a permanency hearing or stipulate to permanency. This is because Maryland workmans comp is in essence buying out the injured workers right to any future money through the workers comp case. Settlement of this nature would leave open the injured workers right to obtain medical coverage in the future although there is no guarantee that the treatment will be paid. Settlement with the option for “open medical treatment” is usually a less amount than a “full and Final” settlement because the insurance company continues to be exposed to the risk of paying for medical treatment.
Maryland workers comp Settlement with a cost projection or Medicare Set-Aside
Similar to the “Full and Final” settlement, these forms of settlement in a Maryland workers compensation case close the case out completely and the injured worker will lose their right to obtain any medical treatment or compensation in the particular case forever. The distinction between a full and final settlement and a settlement with a cost projection or Medicare Set-Aside is that a portion of the settlement money is designated to be used for future treatment.
With a Medicare set aside the injured employee must abide by strict rules regarding the money placed in the set aside bank account. Essentially the injured employee has little control of the money other than withdrawing it for medical treatment. There are also Medicare set aside cases which provide a medical set aside that is administered by an independent third party. Where the money is an extraordinary amount, or it is thought that the injured worker will have difficulty managing the money it is sometimes mandatory the set aside be administered by someone else, usually a company rather than individual. In many Maryland Workers Compensation cases, settlement with a Medicare set aside is the only option for the injured worker.
Settlement with a cost projection would provide the injured worker a sum of money that is determined adequate enough to be used for any future treatment they may need. A professional determines the amount of treatment the worker will need and for how long and estimates the cost of the treatment. The money is then designated as a cost projection for future medical treatment.
It is always best to consider hiring an experience Maryland workers compensation attorney to provide guidance and answer questions along the way. The above is only a brief explanation as to final compensation for the injured worker and a full understanding of the process is necessary to make wise decisions.
Call a qualified and experienced Maryland workers compensation attorney now to discuss your case For free +1 (410) 937-1659 OR Email