Over the course of 35 years as a workers' compensation attorney, I've learned what things to do and what things to avoid to get the best result in your Maryland work accident and disease injury claim. Here are my “Inside” Secrets for Clients to get what they deserve . . .
INSTRUCTIONS TO CLIENTS IN WORKERS' COMPENSATION CASES
- Confidential relationship Our relationship as attorney and client is a special one. Our conversations are protected by law as confidential and information you give me may not and will not be revealed to anyone without your permission.
- Talk to No One Do not talk to anyone except your family about your case, unless a lawyer or investigator from our office is present. You should always require identification so that you are sure to whom you are talking. DO NOT talk to any attorney, investigator, or company claims representative without first notifying our office so we can be present, if necessary. If you have already given a statement let us know now.
- Your Doctor You may be treated by the doctor of your choice. The law does not require that you treat with a doctor selected by your employer. Your doctor will prescribe a treatment program and will release you to return to work when your condition has improved.
To receive income replacement benefits, your doctor must find that, because of your accidental injury, you are unable to work. Discuss with your doctor your ability to work. Obtain a disability (off work) statement from your doctor if you are to remain out of work on doctor's instructions.
It is very important that you strictly follow your doctor’s treatment recommendations. Return to your doctors as often as they feel it is necessary. You should always report each of your symptoms to them. Do not minimize your ailments to your doctors. A doctor must know these things to treat you properly. If they refer you to any additional doctors or therapists, please advise us before you see them and tell us their names and addresses.
- Records of Expenses Your employer’s compensation insurer must reimburse you for certain expenses you incur while receiving treatment. For example, you are entitled to reimbursement for prescription medicines, and mileage and travel expenses you incur as part of your treatment. To obtain reimbursement, you must keep a record of your expenses, including prescription costs, mileage and travel expenses. Keep receipts verifying the expenses or you will not be entitled to reimbursement.
- Witnesses Furnish us with the names, addresses and telephone numbers of any witnesses to your accident. This includes people that know about how your injury has affected you (such as friends, family, neighbors, fellow workers or employees). If you have any reason to think that a witness may be leaving the area permanently, please call us so we can take their statement or deposition now.
- Other Evidence Get and give to us or tell us about any photographs concerning your case. You may give us the negatives and/or prints of photographs. Let us know whether your insurance carrier or company took photographs or investigated your case.
- Medical Bills Your employer’s compensation insurer must pay for all reasonable and necessary medical care. This includes doctors, hospitals, therapy, and prescription bills. Give the provider this insurance information at the time of service so that they may bill the compensation insurer directly.
- Questions We may not contact you on a set schedule but will contact you from time to time when necessary. The fact that you do not hear from us is no indication that we are not working on your file since a great deal of work is done between the insurers, Commission, and lawyers. Any Order, Award, Hearing Notice, or other notification issued by the Commission will be sent to all parties at the same time. If you have any questions about these instructions or about your case, please call us.
- Change of Address or Telephone Number Often it is important that we be able to contact you immediately. Be sure to keep us advised of any change in your address or telephone number.