Medical Treatment in Worker’s Compensation in Maryland

A workers’ compensation injury is an injury that fits within the definition in the statute of an accidental personal injury, typically a twist, slip, or fall that arises out of and within the scope of employment as an employee, not an independent contractor. If you are seeking compensation for medical treatment from a work-related injury, contact a seasoned workers’ compensation lawyer to file a claim.

The phrase “arises out of the employment” means the exposure of the risk is related to the nature of the worker’s job. For instance, if an individual’s job includes driving a truck, and they are involved in an accident while driving that truck, then the injury arises out of their employment.

The phrase “within the scope of employment” has to do with what is actually going on at the time of the injury to connect the injury to the employment. In other words, the individuals were driving the company truck on company time and were involved in an accident (and sustained an injury) because somebody else rear-ended them, they are in the scope of your employment because of the time and place of their injuries and because they were on the job and working for their employer at the time. Read below to learn more about medical treatment in workers’ compensation in Maryland.

Seeking Treatment

In Maryland, the employer-insurer cannot determine which doctor the injured worker must see for treatment. Rather, in Maryland, unlike some other jurisdictions, a person can seek medical treatment from whatever doctor they choose, such as their primary healthcare practitioner or a physician with whom their lawyer has worked extensively and is comfortable.

While the employee-insurer cannot dictate which particular doctor to see for medical treatment, they can send the individual to a doctor of the employer insurer’s choosing to get an Insurer Medical Exam (IME). An IME is for the purpose of obtaining a medical opinion on necessary treatment and how greatly the injury will affect their ability to work and live. The IME from the employer-insurer’s doctor is generally less favorable to the injured worker and more favorable to the employer-insurer. The IME doctor will write a report, a copy of which must be sent to the claimant’s attorney. The report will also be introduced as an exhibit at hearing before the Commission.

Insufficient Treatment

If someone feels their treatment is insufficient or feels like there has been a worsening of the condition and they need to go back for future treatment, this would be something that a person could have their workers’ compensation lawyer file issues for. The attorney would file issues with the Commission, stating a worsening condition and the need for more treatment along with the reasons why. The Commission will set the issues in for a hearing before a Commissioner.

A medical-only claim is used when a person is filing a claim essentially just to get compensation for their treatment and medical bills.

Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)

Maximum medical improvement (MMI) means the injured party is released from active care and no future treatment will improve his condition. That does not necessarily mean that the person has totally recovered or that their condition is back to pre-injury levels, and it also does not necessarily mean that the claimant will not need ongoing palliative care. MMI just means that the claimant’s condition is not likely to improve with additional treatment, but sometimes additional treatment is required to prevent worsening. Insurers usually interpret MMI as ending all treatment modalities forever, and a good lawyer will force them to provide necessary future palliative care.

Reach out to an experienced lawyer for more information about medical treatment in workers’ compensation in Maryland.