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Workers having accidents and diseases related to their employment are covered by Workers’ Compensation law. It is a no-fault system where injured employees are not required to prove fault for their injuries in order to recover benefits. Sometimes, things go smoothly, and sometimes they don’t. It’s not that uncommon for employers and/or insurance companies to try to minimize benefits or deny benefits to injured workers. Often, the employer claims that the injuries are less serious than claimed or that the workers’ injuries happened outside the realm of employment. In this situation, it is important to obtain legal counsel. Attorney John Willard has successfully handled hundreds of Workers’ Compensation cases.
Injured Workers: The Law Offices of John Willard
Injured workers must report their workplace injury to their employer within 30 days of the accident. Once an initial injury report is made, the injured party then has two years to file a Workers’ Compensation claim with the Workers’ Compensation Commission in Maryland. Details, such as the location, cause and time of accident should be provided on the claim form along with witness names. Then, the employer has the option to send the individual to get a medical evaluation (Independent Medical Examination) from an authorized medical provider of their choice.
The insurance medical exam will greatly influence the approval or denial of the claim and the amount of benefits awarded. While the IME is intended to provide an accurate diagnosis and recommended treatment, it is often a tool to limit liability and payouts. Assigned doctors work with insurance companies to protect their best interests. They may clear an injured worker to return to work or even deny the existence of an injury. An experienced attorney like John Willard can help ensure that you receive the correct prognosis.
Workers’ Compensation Appeals: Attorney John Willard
Injured workers have the right to contest the denial of workers’ compensation benefits by filing issues with the Workers’ Compensation Commission. At the hearing, an attorney can utilize medical records to clarify the extent of injury before the Commissioner. In some cases, an attorney may use medical experts to attest to the injured worker’s ability to return to work and perform previous job responsibilities. You can be sure that your employer will always have their own legal counsel to attempt to show that a worker is not entitled to benefits and to rebut evidence. If approval is denied at the first hearing, an appeal can be filed. Sometimes, mediation is used to settle Workers’ Compensation disputes. Keep in mind that insurance companies typically have legal representation present at a mediation hearing. In order to level the playing field, you should too.
If you’ve been injured on the job, turn for help at the Law Offices of John Willard.