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Common Mistakes in Maryland Workers' Compensation Claims

If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, dealing with workers’ compensation can feel overwhelming. Under the law, your employer is required to provide a safe working environment for all employees, no matter whether they are part time or full time. To ensure the employees are protected, employers are required to carry workers’ compensation coverage. Unfortunately, there are times when the system breaks down and an injured worker may struggle to get fair and adequate compensation.

When filing a claim, there are a number of mistakes people commonly make. Here is a look at some of the mistakes to avoid in your workers’ compensation claim:

Missing the Reporting Deadline

Not filing a claim by the deadline is one of the most common mistakes people make. In Maryland, you only have 60 days from the date of injury to file a claim with the Workers’ Compensation Commission.

Not Seeking Medical Treatment Right Away

If you report the claim on time, but fail to seek medical treatment right away, your claim could be denied. If you fail to follow the doctor’s treatment plan, it will be viewed negatively and could result in a denial or reduction in benefits.

Assuming Medical Records are Private

Normally, medical records are protected by privacy laws. However, this is not the case with workers’ compensation medical records. After you present a claim for benefits, you give up the right to privacy and your medical records may be reviewed by involved parties in the case. People viewing your records can include the insurance company, experts, and the workers’ compensation judge.

Trusting the Doctor Who Performs Your IME

If you are requested to go for an independent medical examination, known as an IME, do not mistakenly assume the doctor is on your side, or even truly independent for that matter. They are hired by the insurance company who works for your employer. These people typically do not have your best interests in mind, which means you should be careful with what you say and how you handle yourself during the exam.

Assuming Your Employer is on Your Side

Just like the IME physician, do not make the mistake of thinking your employer is on your side. Even if you are on good terms, their first priority is to protect their own financial interests. This can lead to them offering less than you deserve or even denying your claim outright.

Signing Documents Without an Attorney

Do not sign any documentation without an experienced Maryland workers’ compensation attorney reviewing them first. Once you agree to the settlement offer, your claim is settled and closed. This means it is typically impossible to revisit the claim if something happens or you decide you are unhappy with the amount offered. It is not uncommon for companies try to try and settle fast and by offering a low amount. This is why it is important that you speak with an attorney first to understand whether the settlement is reasonable.

Retaining a Maryland Workers’ Compensation Claim

If you have been injured on the job, contact the Law Office of Robert R. Castro at 301-870-1200 to schedule a consultation. Let us help with your Maryland workers’ compensation claim.

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