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Pain and Suffering – Maryland Workers Compensation

There are a number of benefits provided to those who are unfortunate enough to be injured on the job in Maryland.  Among them include compensation benefits, medical benefits, out of pocket expense reimbursements, and potentially job training.  Most may find it interesting that pain and suffering in workers compensation cases does not play a substantial roll towards the compensation paid. It is important to know that compensation is still available for most who are injured on the job

Can I receive pain and suffering in workers compensation cases?

While there is ordinarily a form of settlement in work comp claims, pain and suffering in workers compensation cases is not considered when obtaining this compensation.  Many injured on the job have heard about pain and suffering as applicable in auto accident cases.  When a person brings a personal injury lawsuit based on injuries sustained in an auto accident, slip and fall, assault or other negligent act they are able to recover money based on the pain that they experienced while recovering from the accident.  Pain and suffering is legitimized by the treatment that they underwent along with testimony they may provide.


Does this mean my Pain and Suffering in workers compensation cases does not matter?

Not necessarily.  The clear answer is that pain and suffering in workers compensation matters only if it exists at the time the injured worker was discharged from medical care.  Toward the end of the case an injured worker will be entitled to compensation.  Testimony from the injured worker regarding the pain they endured while recovering is prohibited in their workers comp case however they may testify as to the pain and suffering in workers compensation as a permanent condition.  Essentially, the testimony about pain and suffering while undergoing treatment and rehabilitation is not relevant. 

There is very often a positive correlation between the amount of treatment undertaken and the value of a claim.  Surgery cases generally have an increased value, and often with surgery comes increased pain and suffering.  Likewise, someone that underwent aggressive and prolonged treatment will see an increased award over someone who receives limited treatment.  This is not the rule and injured workers should not strive to undergo needless treatment just to increase settlement value.  Pain and suffering in workers compensation cases is more a factor if it is permanent. 

Pain and suffering in workers compensation cases matters at the time of discharge and permanency

If an employee is discharged from care and they have remaining pain they are entitled to money for that pain.  This is referred to as permanent partial disability.  Any remaining complaints, problems, limitations, and issues the injured worker has will lead to compensation.  If no remaining complaints, then no compensation.  To touch again on the correlation between amount of treatment and increased settlement value- someone who undergoes surgery often has continued pain and suffering for life.  The permanent pain may be limited in nature compared to what the injured worker endured while treating and that is the distinction as to what is relevant in a workers compensation claim versus a personal injury claim.  Pain is most likely heightened right after a surgery.  This matters in a personal injury case, it does not matter in a workers compensation case.  Pain and suffering in workers compensation will not lead to an increased settlement amount if the pain and suffering is non-existent at the time of medical discharge.

What is permanent partial disability and how does pain and suffering in workers comp cases affect it?

The compensation paid to an injured Maryland worker is referred to as a permanent impairment or permanent disability.  Some confusion exists that this compensation will be paid on a permanent basis.  This is not true under Maryland workers compensation laws.  States permanent impairment laws vary in regard to the time frame of these payments.  Maryland law provides that permanent impairment is paid at a set rate which is statutorily mandated.  Further, permanency payments are paid for a certain number of weeks depending on the award of the Maryland Workers Compensation Commission or the agreement with the insurance company.  There are other disability avenues that may lead to lifetime payments but Maryland workers compensation is ordinarily not one of them.  Only in a very rare circumstance are payments made for life and this involves injuries that lead to the employee unable to work in almost any capacity.  I estimate in less than 3% of cases a permanent and total disability is obtained.

If an injury victim continues to have pain and suffering at workers compensation permanency evaluations they may increase the amount of money they receive.

How do I get permanent partial disability money based on pain and suffering in workers comp?

A permanent disability award is obtained only after an injured worker is released from their medical doctor and found to have reached MMI.  MMI is maximum medical improvement, basically the injured worker is as good as he or she is going to get from the medical treatment that is available.  It is at this point pain and suffering in workers compensation cases begins to be significant.  Once this occurs a Rating can be performed by a qualified physician who will consider the pain and suffering.  There are a limited number of physicians in Maryland that can perform a rating.  An injured worker should not attempt to get a rating  done on their own.  A defective rating can mean the difference between lifetime medical, 10 of thousands of dollars, or no future medical and very little money.

While pain and suffering in workers compensation cases is quite different from pain and suffering in personal injury cases, it does play a part in the amount of compensation that is recovered if the pain and suffering exists at the time of permanency.


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Maryland workers compensation attorney Andrew M. Rodabaugh and his office offers information about Personal Injury law and Workers’ Compensation for informational purposes only. Nothing contained herein constitutes formal legal advice. If you need the advice of a Maryland workers compensation lawyer, please contact him today. He has offices throughout the state and various convenient meeting locations.  Each and every case needs to be evaluated before legal advice can be provided.  Under no circumstance should the information on this website be considered medical advice. This is an attorney’s website and is not affiliated with any government agency or government entity of any kind.
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Pain and Suffering Workers Compensation
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Pain and Suffering Workers Compensation
Pain and suffering in workers compensation cases is quite different from pain and suffering in personal injury cases, it does play a part in the amount of compensation that is recovered if the pain and suffering exists at the time of permanency.
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Work Injury Maryland
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