Maryland Worker's Compensation - Help For Injured Maryland Workers

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    7

    Question What Kind of Award or Settlement Should I Expect

    Can anymore help me understand how this process works. I have an atty, And have asked him a couple of times in the past. But how he explained it, It was very confusing. All i know is its about something called TDP, And about percentages and different body parts have different percentages and then something about how manys weeks and ect... All my atty tells me, Dont worry you have a Big w/c & sif case.

    About me:
    Im 35yrs old, I live in Maryland and my claim is in Maryland. Ive been on Comp for almost 6 years now! I get $801 aweek in TTD. I Dont have my GED or HS Dipolma. I had a union job and was making well over $60k a year, But due to my last surgery i cannot go back to my job. Im ready to start a program called voc rehab and very worried on what lies ahead.

    Ive had 4 surgerys in the last 6 years, All of them on my LEFT shoulder ( Work related injury). (2) artho slap, (1) open capsular shift and my last surgery was shoulder fusion (Pretty much cant move my shoulder at all) So i have problems getting dressed, Taking a shower and ect....

    Im done all my PT and work harding, I just been rated for the last time by my atty doctor. She rated my left shoulder 85% & 10% Prexsisting, Also she did a SIF rating, She gave my back 55%, Hip 15% and my left shoulder 10%.

    Pretty much i dont know how long im going to be in voc rehab for, My atty told me i could be in it for a month or up to 2 years if schooling is involed, Or they might want to get rid of me right away

    Im still under My Doctors care and Probly will be released from his care next month! I think i would be at MMI

    When it comes to the award/settlement time. I dont know Should i keep it open or sign off. What range would be a good offer. Or if both sides cant agree on a number and it goes in front of the commish. How would that sernio turn out, Good or bad..

    Again my atty keeps me in the dark !!!

    Im just worried im going to end up with a dead end job making $7hr and getting a small offer

    I have a wife and 4 kids to support and im really worried about our future!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    If any1 can help answer any of my questions. It would be greatly appercaited


    Last edited by breadguy; 08-08-2009 at 11:21 PM. Reason: add what state im in

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,011

    Default Re: What Kind of Award/Settlement Should I Expect

    Awards/settlements for PPD can be confusing. There are statutes that have pre determined the amount of your award...calculated by the PD % rating provided by your doctor.

    It's not always a simple calculation, varies by injury, and shouldn't be compared to what other IW's might have received. ALL IW's are different, the injuries affect differently, and recovery, rating will be unique to that individual. Your atty isn't keeping you in the dark, there isn't really a way to predict the dollar amount you might receive in a award/settlement. Those are different however... an award is money that is pre determined by the statute, a settlement is an agreement between the parties to resolve the claim.

    Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
    Injuries that are not so serious as to leave a worker permanently, totally disabled may nonetheless result in some permanent impairment. This is called permanent partial disability.

    Generally, a covered employee who is entitled to compensation under the Workers' Compensation Act shall receive a minimum weekly compensation of $50.00 for permanent partial disability unless that employee's average weekly wage was less than $50.00. If the worker's average weekly wage was less than $50.00, they will receive compensation that equals their average weekly wage at the time of the accidental injury or the last injurious exposure to the hazards of their occupational disease.

    Benefit payments for permanent partial disability continue for a period of weeks established by the statute; a period that varies according to the body part injured and the severity of the injury. For example, the total loss of a thumb or the use of the thumb results in payments for 100 weeks. The total loss or loss of use of the 4th finger (also called the little finger) results in payments for 25 weeks. When the period allowed by a Workers' Compensation Commission finding and prescribed by the law has run, the compensation payments cease.

    If a covered employee has an accidental injury or an occupational disease that results is a permanent total disability, the employer or its insurer shall pay to the covered employee compensation that equals to two-thirds of the average weekly wage of the covered employee, subject to a maximum payment equal to the State average weekly wage. No payment for permanent disability shall be less than $25.00.http://www.wcc.state.md.us/Gen_Info/WCC_Benefits.html
    The entitlement to these services (medical treatment) may continue indefinitely or for whatever period is required by the nature of the accidental injury, compensable hernia or occupational disease if there is evidence to establish that the need for these services is reasonable, necessary and causally related to the accidental injury or occupational disease.
    Whether you should consider closing out the medical in your claim would depend on the future medical needs. IF you accept a lump sum for the medical, all additional treatment will be out of your pocket. Medicare will be advised of your claim/settlement and track it. When you do become Medicare eligible, you'll have to prove you have exhausted the medical money before you will receive Medicare benefits to your injury/body part.

    Im just worried im going to end up with a dead end job making $7hr and getting a small offer
    Your bigger consideration at this point should be recovery, finish VR, and return to work as soon as possible. WC is geared to treatment, recovery and IF there is perment disability due to the injury a monetary award. NOT like you might receive in a personal injury claim. Benefits are limited...and unless you receive a 100% disability rating, those weekly payments are going to end. VR is for identifying your current job skills, which of those might be transferrable to a job that fits your restrictions, and gainful employment. It would be doubtful you'd receive a four year college degree through VR program.

    The link to the MD statutes isn't working right now, so can't tell what the number of weeks or rate you could be looking at.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    7

    Exclamation Re: What Kind of Award/Settlement Should I Expect

    Thanks for the helpful info BvIA, Sorry it took so to reply, I was Released from my Doctors care and was put @ MMI. Earlier this month, My atty also put in a demand for SIF and my IC.

    SIF just made an reasonable offer, And I also have a court date in Dec for perminsey. My atty kinda keeping me in the dark, I just dont know what to expect!

    BvIA, It would be great if you could shine some light on what i should expect!

    Will they agree to the demand, Or will they counter it !
    Or Will they do nothing and let the commish decide in Dec court date


    I appercaite any insight

    Thanks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,011

    Default Re: What Kind of Award/Settlement Should I Expect

    There is no way anyone, including your atty or anyone here could 'shine light' on what you should expect.
    You'll hear from your atty when your input on an issue is required. Attys don't have time to handle the disputes in their clients claims, and educate you on the process, or what you could ''expect'', they don't know -any more than you do.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: What Kind of Award/Settlement Should I Expect

    My atty Contacted me today and told me the IC got back to him about the demand. Pretty much she thought the demand was too much and countered it with $75k, to sign off. Of course im not going to take it, The conversation he had with her was interesting for the most part.

    I just have to wait untill Dec Hearing and let the Commish Decide on my case !!!

    He also said they might make another offer right before the hearing, But i rather have the commish decide then after the hearing over have my atty make another demand.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,011

    Default Re: What Kind of Award/Settlement Should I Expect

    In most cases, the 'commish' has no other option but to grant you the continuing bi-weekly payments on any indemnity due associtated with your rating, and open medical. If that is what the statutes provide.

    Judges cannot order 'settlements'... those are agreements between the parties. Judges 'award' the benefits you are entitled to under the law.

    WC is not like PI claims...
    He also said they might make another offer right before the hearing, But i rather have the commish decide then after the hearing over have my atty make another demand.
    It could go that way. However, the ER/IC is not going to agree to a lump sum payment unless it's in their favor.

    From your OP...I have a wife and 4 kids to support and im really worried about our future!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, if you are looking for compensation as would be in a PI claim... ie pain and suffering, or lost wages, maybe punitive damages... 'big' money. Toss that thought process... comp does not pay out that way. There is no money going forward to compensate for what you have ''lost''.
    Im still under My Doctors care and Probly will be released from his care next month! I think i would be at MMI You should be thinking, and/or searching for a job that fits your restrictions.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: What Kind of Award/Settlement Should I Expect

    My atty called me today, To let me know that the IME Rating report from the IC Doctor came in. Surprisingly the IC Dr gave me 75% on my left shoulder, My atty was pretty amazed by that?

    Anywho he told me thats a huge win for ourside, And he now believe the IC will make a reasonable Offer now!

    My Atty demanded, $350k
    $175k lump sum and $175k over 6 years!

    I dont know if that realistic number?

    I was making $1325wk at the bakery, And now im only making $15 hr as a retail manager.

    If the IC come close or makes an resonable offer, Do i take and sign off!

    Or do i keep it open and have bi weekly payments for the next 10 or 11 years !

    FYI, I agreed to settle with the SIF for a lump sum.

    Any insight will be very helpful and appreciated, Especailly if anyone is or was going throught the same situation.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,011

    Default Re: What Kind of Award/Settlement Should I Expect

    If the IC come close or makes an resonable offer, Do i take and sign off!
    Or do i keep it open and have bi weekly payments for the next 10 or 11 years !
    How do you know what a ''reasonable offer" is. ?
    If they come through with your demand of 350K, you'll always feel you should have demanded more, doubt creates wonder for a very long time.

    Only you can make the decision on how you'd like to cash out your claim.... if your atty ''demands'' too much, they may not even respond. If he asks for too little, they could jump at the chance to cash you out.

    If the state has pre determined the number of weeks indemnity you are due for that rating, you are not likely to see more money for that. There could be additonal money for future medical... with a 75% rating, it may or may not be in your best interests to assume liability for more medical ...and it will be out of your pocket if you close the medical.

    What will you do with a 175K lump sum ?
    WHAT will you do with a 350K lump sum....?
    If you think you -can invest that on your own, or with a financial 'advisor', and generate enough interest income, after taxes... that will come near your TTD benefits... well, doubtful...
    BUT, for about 280K +/- you could purchase a annuity, through a Structured Settlement that would pay around 1800 per month, for life, tax free.
    For about 200K, the potential value of your future medical, you could purchase another annuity paying about 1200 per month...for life. $3050.00...TAX FREE... FOR LIFE, is not such a bad deal...(?)
    Talk to your atty about a Structured Settlement that meets the IRS rules for WC settlements.
    There is a LOT of info available on the internet... here is one site http://www.structured-settlements.co...ettlement.html

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    maryland
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: What Kind of Award/Settlement Should I Expect

    Hi BreadGuy,
    I would like to know your outcome of your settlement if you wouldnt mind. My husband is going through simular process as you and when I came across your posting I been watching your updates since. Best of luck to ya!!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: What Kind of Award/Settlement Should I Expect

    Thanks for your interest,

    I had my hearing date a couple of weeks ago, The IC atty drilled at me hard on the stand. Only defense he had was a mva accident i was in that happened over 10yrs ago,

    IC atty was trying to say i have a pre existing shoulder injury due to a mva accident.. But the only injury i had from that accident was lower back stress and whiplash????

    Make no sense to me, But any who i received the order in the mail last friday

    The commish awarded me on my 1st claim 22%, And the second claim he awarded he 58%

    My atty telling me the other side having a shit fit over the ruling, and probably going to appeal it.

    That can take up to 12 months for a jury trial. He also said during the appeal they will also try to settle too.

    I rather keep it open and not settle.

    Breadguy

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