Medical Treatment in Worker’s Compensation in Maryland

A worker’s 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 worker’s 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 individual’s 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.

Mitchell Greenberg (above) has over twenty years of experience handling workers’ compensation cases in Maryland and Washington DC.

Seeking Treatment

In Maryland, the employer-insurer cannot determine which doctor the injured 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.

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 IME rating. An IME rating 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 rating from the employer insurer’s rating 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 somebody feels their treatment is insufficient or feel 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 worker’s compensation lawyer file issues.  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 care and no future treatment is recommended. That does not necessarily mean that the person has totally recovered or that their condition is back to pre-injury levels. What it means is that the person who has been injured has reached a point where any additional medical treatment is probably not going to be very helpful.