In Maryland, when a worker suffers an injury, illness or condition because of the job they were doing, workers’ compensation benefits are important in a variety of ways. They can provide for medical expenses and wage loss for the duration they are unable to work or permanently if they can never get back to work. Often, however, there are disagreements regarding the case. Rather than embark on an extended and costly dispute with an uncertain outcome, some workers might be better off if they consider a final compromise and settlement. Knowing the requirements to do this is a foundational aspect before agreeing.
The Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission must approve of a settlement. The agreement must have the following: the amount that is proposed to settle the case; the application or petition to approve the various fees associated with the case for legal and medical services; the dates of temporary total disability; when the payments are due to start; and a statement of the settlement and what it includes regarding previous awards and payments.
There must also be: a statement that says the rate of payment and if it will be in a lump sum; how much the claimant earned in an average workweek; the claimant’s vital information such as date of birth and age; what the indemnity claims paid were; how much the future payments will come to in an annuity and not in current value; if there is an assignment of any obligation to a third party; when the disabling injury or occupational disease took place; and a worksheet for the settlement.
Other factors will be considered with a final compromise and settlement of a workers’ compensation claim such as medical expenses in the future, dependency considerations and more. When thinking about agreeing to a settlement of a workers’ compensation case, it is important to understand the law and the ramifications that the worker might face. For many workers, this is a viable alternative to consider. For others, it is not. Discussing the case with a qualified workers’ compensation law firm can help to decide on the best course of action and how to move forward.