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Maryland Workmans Comp Laws/West Virginia Resident

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  • Maryland Workmans Comp Laws/West Virginia Resident


    This inquiry is regaring my girlfriends mother. She was employed at a hospital in the state of Maryland but was injured on the job approximately one year ago. Her foot was crushed by a gurney transporting a morbidly obese patient which caused a flare up of her Rheumatoid Arthritis. Her personal physician stated she needed to stay off of her feet for at least 2 weeks to recover, but the employers physician said three days would be fine.

    Of course, three days was not fine, and things just compounded. Her feet got worse in the coming weeks at work and had to use a significant amount of FMLA time off. Shes still disabled and still has very limited mobility when if she had received the initial time off, she could have recovered most likely. She filed a workmans comp suit with her attorney but they lost it just recently.

    At this point her back is against the wall. She has no idea what she should do. Shes scared, and my girlfriend is scared because she has no source of income and a lot of things to pay for (mortgage, bills, groceries, etc).

    Personally, I think she doesnt have an aggressive enough attorney but I dont know fully. What I am looking for is some advice here that I can pass on because they're both very stressed. Should she appeal the workmans comp suit or should she drop it and seek out disability? Should she find another lawyer and if so, is it hard to find an attorney willing to accept a case that will work strictly on contingency? In the interim, if she were to seek out employment or assistance thru vocational rehab thru the state, could this cause any issue in a possible workmans comp repeal? If she filed for disability, would she be eligible for filing a malpractice suit?
    Last edited by The Prize Is Lobster; 09-22-2006, 06:31 PM.

  • #2
    also, I would like to add she was told she had to be able to return to work last june with no disablities preventing her from performing work tasks and if not, she would be terminated. Naturally, she was terminated.

    The hospitals documentation, however, states she willfully left the company.


    • #3
      You said her foot was crushed. But the only medical condition you mentioned was the RA. Were there any other physical injuries to the foot???


      • #4
        the diagnosis was the trauma to the foot was made worse by the RA flare which would have calmed in a period of time which was not offered by the employer. Essentially, the onsite work injury resulted in further damage to the foot thru RA, which resulted in more time off after she was told to return to work.

        other than the RA and the trauma to her feet, no. She was a nurse who worked on her feet in swing shifts for 30 years. Prior to any of this, she was a fast walker and constantly on her feet and her RA was present but not debilitating.


        • #5
          I can promise you that it wasn't the attorney. The MD Commission is very liberal and it is very rare that they rule against the claimant. If she had a history of RA, the RA would not be covered under WC. The only thing that would be covered by MD WC law would be the crush injury. If she didn't have RA before, and developed it as a result, it would be covered.

          Her mother can talk to the attorney about filing for reconsideration, or appealing the decision, but a crush injury that did not result in a break (I assume no break since she was able to return after 3 days/2 weeks) isn't a terribly strong case based on similar ones I have seen. This should be reviewed with the attorney though.

          How much time did she miss from work? Was she on restrictions prior to termination? How for how long? Was she able to return to her job with restrictions? What were they?
          I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.


          • #6
            I should probably just link my girlfriend here rather than me saying third party. She knows stuff more in detail. Apparently she DID win a hearing once, the hospital appealed, and she lost the appeal.

            They filmed her in the yard with a private investigator. Three minutes worth of footage edited from a half a day worth of tape, which also edited out her bending over and struggling, etc. I guess this caused her to lose.


            • #7
              Surveillance is a tough one to overcome. Obviously, we aren't going to get the full story 3rd hand. Do you know if this hit the Court of Special Appeals, or were all the "court" hearings, just handled at the Commission level. I don't recall a court case that matches your description but it is also possible I missed a case or it just isn't ringing a bell. What was the hearing/court case regarding exactly? It is very possible to lose on just one issue but still have a viable and active case. Unless it was on causal conenction or accidental injury, her claim may still be open. Surveillance is most often used at permanency hearings and when there is a dispute as to future treatment, but not always.

              Did the attorney charge up front? In WC that is specifically prohibited by law. The attorney doesn't get paid until permanency and is paid a few set by statute, out of the award.

              Whether she can get voc depends on what the prior hearing/court found. It is possible ot get voc rehab as a part of a WC claim.

              What does malpractice have to do with any of this? Malpractice isn't a tort that is recognized in WC. It would be a civil case just like any other. Was she treated inapprorpriately?
              I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.