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Workers' Compensation Blog

The Importance of Documenting All of Your Injuries

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

All too often when workers are injured the focus is on the most severe parts of the body hurt. Frequently the minor pains and bruises from other parts of the body are ignored. However, in a workers’ compensation claim it is very important to report every hurt, bruised, or swollen body part no matter how minor it may seem at the time. The human body is interconnected and when you fall, for instance, you may land on your knee, but your hands may have eased the impact, which can cause shoulder and arm pain as well. If you injure your back, the nerve pain and/ or damage can cause problems in your legs. You may not feel any symptoms to those other areas until a day or two later, but these are all parts of your body that could get worse over time and require additional medical treatment. It is important in a workers’ compensation claim to document every part of the body that was affected by the accident no matter how small it may seem. It is more difficult to try and convince a Commissioner or insurance company that another body part was also injured in the same accident if there is no documentation of it within a few days of the accident.

What’s In The Injury Report Matters

This rule is important to remember when filling out your accident report at work, your workers’ compensation claim form, and any forms you are given at every medical office you visit after the accident. In our practice, we frequently read emergency room reports where an injured body part is left out or the wrong body part is documented. We all know hospitals are busy places and not everything is always documented with 100% accuracy, but insurance companies will use this to discredit your injury or the cause of your injury. It is important for you to check that how the accident occurred and that all injuries are clearly described and documented. Make sure to tell the medical professional you are dealing with every ache, pain and/or discomfort that you are feeling as a result of the accident.

Contact Us With Questions

If you have any questions about a new pain or problem that developed after your injury it is always best to contact an attorney. Our attorneys have years of experience and know the right questions to ask to ensure that you receive the full coverage, you are entitled to for your injuries.

File a Maryland Worker’s Compensation Claim – Reporting Your Injury is Not Enough!

Monday, September 19, 2016

By Clifford B. Sobin, Esq.

 

You were injured on the job. You reported your injury to your supervisor and your boss filled out a form that you signed. The insurance company gave you a claim number and paid your medical bills. You had no contact with the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission. You thought all was well.

You were wrong.

The form you signed was a First Report of Injury that your employer sent to the insurance company. It was not a Maryland Workers’ Compensation claim form. The insurance company filed the First Report of Injury form with the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission. Unfortunately, that does not relieve you of the responsibility to file a claim form. Generally, you have two years to file a claim with the Commission (less when a death occurs as a result of an accidental injury). If you fail to file timely, you will not have any right to claim additional Workers’ Compensation benefits should the insurance company refuse to pay them – and they will.

How do you know if a Workers’ Compensation claim was filed? It is simple. Your claim is properly filed if you received a document titled “Notice of Employee’s Claim” in the mail from the Commission. The document must have a six digit claim number on the top right side that is preceded by the letter “B” or “W” (“W” is used when you file on-line). The Commission will only send you the document if you signed the front and the back of a claim form and mailed it to them.

All too often an injured employee’s failure to file a claim is caused by an insurance company that voluntarily approves and pays for medical treatment. This lulls the employee into complacency but trouble rears its ugly head when the employee's condition worsens or if the employee has a new injury. If it has been more than two years from the accident the insurance company’s tone will suddenly change. A friend no longer, the insurance adjuster will usually respond in one way – denied! If an unfortunate worker suffers a new injury on the job, the insurance company may try to defend the claim or limit the benefits payable by arguing that the injuries are related to the old claim that was not filed timely.

There are arguments we can raise to extend the filing period beyond the two year period specified by the law. However, they are very fact specific and will only be successful in a very small percentage of cases. Therefore, whenever you are injured on the job it is vital to ensure that a claim has been filed timely. When in doubt, the easiest way to do that is to contact us. There is no fee for us to check.

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