Despite what the adjuster is telling you, most likely your Maryland workman’s comp claim is not “closed.”
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To understand why the adjuster is stating the case is closed it is important to grasp a few concepts about Maryland workers comp law and the claim process. The start of the process is an injury at work and then a referral to the doctor. The injured workers employer should notify their Maryland workers comp insurance carrier. If they haven’t they should be urged to do so as it is required by law. At some point thereafter the injured worker may fill out a claim form for the insurance company or otherwise receive communication from the workers comp adjuster about the incident. Often the communication indicates that a claim has been filed. This can be the start of the confusion. Most Maryland injured workers believe that this is all that is necessary to be covered under workman’s comp. The worker may even get initial treatment which leads them to further believe the claim is processed properly. Yes, there is a claim filed with the insurance company but under Maryland workers compensation laws this is not enough.
A Maryland workers comp claim must be filed with the insurance company AND the Maryland Workers Compensation Commission! If this is not done then there is a good chance that the injured employee will lose important benefits and not be protected under Maryland law. There are important deadlines for filing a claim with the Maryland Workers Comp Commission. A Maryland workers compensation attorney may be necessitated by the deadlines alone. Many employers do not realize this themselves so injured employees should use caution when told by employers that everything will be taken care of, or all necessary paperwork has been filed. It is important for the Maryland worker to do a little research and make sure a claim has been filed with the Maryland Workers Compensation Commission.
So what does the adjuster mean when he or she says the claim is closed? Legally, not too much. As long as the claim has also been filed with the Maryland Workers Compensation Commission then the adjuster can be forced to reopen her claim. A qualified Maryland workman’s compensation attorney can make sure the claim has been filed with all the correct entities, and most importantly the workers comp attorney can force the adjuster to reopen her claim.
A Maryland workers compensation attorney will file for a hearing before the Commission and request an Order providing the insurance company authorize whatever treatment or benefits are being sought. This could be anything from lost wages or mileage to an MRI or surgery. The bottom line is that the workers comp insurer is not looking out for the interests of the injured worker. If you have been injured in an accident at work it is important to consult a lawyer for a free discussion.