Do You Need An Attorney For Your Maryland Workers’ Compensation Claim?
If You have been injured at work and have been dealing with the insurance company’s adjuster without any problems (for now), should you still hire a lawyer?
The short answer is YES.
Insurance company adjusters often formulate their questions in a way that encourages people to reveal more information than is needed or required. They will then use that information against you later on. For example, an adjuster may ask if you’ve ever had any prior injuries, prompting you to tell them about every medical condition or injury you’ve ever sustained, instead of limiting it to the body part that you just injured. They may also take recorded statements and focus on areas that will assist with defending against your claim. In addition:
The insurance company adjusters have access to the lawyers at their company, who provide them with the most recent court decisions and advise them about the law. Shouldn’t you also have a lawyer to advise you?
Your employer, who pays premiums to the insurance company, also has access to the lawyers at the insurance company who can advise them about the law. If your employer has a lawyer, shouldn’t you?
It does not cost you anything up front to have a lawyer for a Maryland Workers’ Compensation case. Your attorney will only be paid out of any compensation you are awarded in your case and only with the permission of the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission. Your lawyer cannot separately bill you or charge you for their time. Your attorney will not receive a fee if you do not receive compensation.
Your lawyer can assist you with all aspects of your case, including obtaining:
- Your wages
- Your medical records
- Medical treatment approvals
Your attorney will also represent you before the Workers’ Compensation Commission, when a hearing is required. Hearings are somewhat informal, but hidden behind the informality are technicalities that often require the assistance of a lawyer; such as presenting evidence in the proper manner, cross examining witnesses where required, making appropriate objections, and ensuring the evidence meets the burden of proof required to present your case.
In addition, without an attorney you could be missing out on benefits that you don’t even know you are entitled too, such as:
- Temporary Total Disability Benefits paid based on an accurate average weekly wage
- Permanent Disability Benefits at the correct level
- Vocational Rehabilitation
- Mileage reimbursements
- Medical treatment
Please feel free to contact us at Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby LLP, should you have any questions.
By Ken Berman