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workers' comp settlement process in MarylandThis post explains the process from the moment you agree to a settlement of your Maryland workers’ compensation claim, until you actually get a check in your hand.

However, when it comes to workers’ compensation claim settlements, agreeing on the numbers is only the start of the process.

Maryland workers’ comp settlements are NOT like a personal injury settlement. When you agree to a settlement in personal injury cases, the insurer sends a check, you sign a release of claims, and it is over.

It is not that easy in workers’ comp. By now, you know that nothing in your workers’ comp case has been that easy. Why would a settlement?

Several state and federal laws are what make this process complicated. It is not my policy, or the other attorney’s policy, or the insurance company’s policy. Maryland workers’ comp is a very highly regulated process, including the settlement.

How long will a workers comp settlement claim take in Maryland? Usually, it takes 45 days or so from the moment we make an agreement until we actually have a check in hand. Most of that is waiting on other people. I know it stinks. But there is no way to shortcut this process. I will try to break down the coming process in a step by step outline.

Jason Peterson
Jason Peterson
2023-10-17
I have been dealing with tucker and Amanda since November of 2020. They have been helpful, informative, and got me the best resolution for my settlement. It was a long 3 years of back and forth to drs and dealing with everything but it all finally came to an end. Thank you for the help.
Donesha Elliott
Donesha Elliott
2023-10-04
This company is the best law firm you can work with. They have great response time and they care so much about what’s best for you and not what’s best for them. I would recommend Tucker Clagett services a million times.
Rose Rosier
Rose Rosier
2023-07-25
The process was easy and explained every step of the way. Great staff and accomidated my new work schedule. Would recommend if any legal problems.
Katie Montgomery
Katie Montgomery
2023-05-26
One of the best lawyers out there! Didn’t have to go to court for my workers comp claim and he made the entire process easy. While it was stressful to wait he answered all of my questions quickly. Talking to him was very comfortable, like talking to a friend. Never had to wait for a return phone call always got to speak with his para legal, Amanda who is also a very down to earth most caring person! They both went above and beyond and I cannot thank them enough for what they’ve done for me. I will be back for any other services I may need SOMD Law for. Very affordable and professional. I would recommend this office to any friend or person in need of a 5 star lawyer! Thank you to Office of SOMD Law!
Quon Wilson
Quon Wilson
2023-05-18
This firm is excellent! I greatly appreciate the detailed counsel provided to me by Mr. David Gormley who guided me to the best attorney to meet my unique needs. I am very happy with the outcome and I am grateful for Mr. Gormley’s counsel and recommendation.
darren berry
darren berry
2023-04-05
It was a rewarding experience talking to Mr Clagett. He provided me with information that i requested which was very helpful
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lpcityhotrods
2023-02-25
wow....no other words to say. My attorney, Mr. Clagett was an awesome attorney to work with, he was very patient and very understanding to my concerns and issues. Not only did Mr. Clagett gain my trust as my attorney, but he also gained a good friend. I would highly recommend this firm for any legal issues you may have. THE BEST!!! Thanks for everything - Anthony
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Missy Brooks
2023-02-23
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Whitney Staples
Whitney Staples
2023-01-13
Fantastic office and staff. Extremely kind, patient and professional from the first phone call with the receptionist, to walking in the office and every interaction thereafter. Tucker Clagett answered every question quickly and kept me informed during the entire process. I felt extremely comfortable and a tremendous weight lifted off my shoulders after the initial consultation. If you are in need of a lawyer, I highly recommend Tucker Clagett with Southern Maryland Law.
Shanetta Cole
Shanetta Cole
2022-12-07
I would like to say that Sounthern Maryland Law is the Absolute Best Firm!!!! Everyone there was so kind, caring, understanding, and welcoming. Mr. Tucker Clagett is the attorney, which handled my case. He was attentive, and knowledgeable about my situation. I would definitely recommend anyone in need of council to this Firm. Thank you again Mr. Tucker Clagett for your help!!!!

(1) Is your case on appeal? Remand it!

This first section only applies if your case was appealed from the Workers’ Compensation Commission to the Circuit Court, and we were going to have a jury trial. If not, skip to the next number. If so, we have to first ask the Circuit Court to send the case back to the WCC before they can act on it. This is called a “remand.”

Technically, when you appeal from one level of court to the next, the first level (in this case, the WCC) loses any power over the case. But every settlement must be approved by the WCC (see number 5 below). So we must ask the Circuit Court to send the case back to the WCC.

To do this, we file a Motion to Remand the case, and wait for the Judge to sign it. The other attorney and I will file the Motion to Remand pretty quickly, because it is a fill in the blank form motion. But we still have to wait on the court, and that can take some time.

(2) Draft a long, complicated agreement

Most personal injury releases are one page or less. The workers’ compensation settlement agreement is going to include about 6-10 pages of writing you have to read and sign!

Some of this is pre-filled in by your attorney. At Southern Maryland Law, we have a “standard” settlement form with some standard language. But all settlements require inputting some very specific language that applies specifically to your case and your situation. Our lawyers have to spend some time with your file, and input that specific information. This takes a bit of time and cannot be done in just 10 minutes.

There is some information required in every workers compensation settlement that your lawyer may not have right away. The attorney on the other side of the case will have to provide that to us, and this often requires some waiting. This includes the total amount of compensation you have been paid, and the dates of those payments, which we don’t have a record of.

(3) Approval by opposing counsel

Once the agreement has been drafted, your lawyer has to send it to opposing counsel. He or she will have to review it and approve the language before you can sign it. Sometimes they will suggest additional language, or object to something included. If so, there may be some back and forth to reach an agreement.

(4) Signature time

After there is an agreement that both opposing counsel and your lawyer agree on, you can come in and sign it. These agreements can include some weird language, and they affect very important rights like your future medical benefits. Your lawyer will want to make sure they have discussed it with you (live and in person if possible) and answered your questions.

If you live far away, we may be willing to mail you the agreement for review, signing, and returning to us. But even then, we will have to schedule a phone appointment where you and discuss the agreement before you sign it.

You will have to spend 10-15 minutes reading over the agreement. We will give you the basic overview first, but you do have to read it and understand it before you sign. After you read it, we will be there for your signing and be able to answer any questions.

And you will have questions. There are some parts of this agreement that don’t even make common sense. Everyone asks about them. Wait until you see the part where we show you your life expectancy! That’s right. You will be able to see the exact number of remaining months the US government expects you to live. Scary!

(5) Submission to the Workers’ Compensation Commission

Maryland workers’ compensation law is very paternalistic. They act like your parents and won’t let you make your own decisions. They must review and approve the settlement agreement before it is binding. You do NOT necessarily have control over your settlement.

However, the attorneys at Southern Maryland Law have been doing this for a long time, and know what the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission needs to approve an agreement. We wouldn’t be making this agreement if we thought it wouldn’t meet the approval process. That would be a waste of my time, and make our firm look bad in front of the Commissioners.

We will mail your settlement to the Workers’ Compensation Commission, and it will be assigned to a Commissioner. They will read it over, including the attached medical records, before they rule on it. It will sit on their desk for a bit before they get to it.

Some Commissioners take longer to get to this than others. Some Commissioners are more likely to reject the agreement or set it in for a hearing. The settlement is assigned randomly by the mail room. I have no control over who gets your settlement agreement.

At this point in the process, all you can do is cross your fingers!

(6) Rejection? Or set for a hearing?

The Commission has the power to outright reject the settlement. Sometimes, they will tell us the reason and we can fix it. Sometimes they may not give a reason. If so, that means we are probably going to file for a hearing on permanent disability and just get your workers’ compensation award at that hearing.

Sometimes the Commission sees something they don’t like, and they want to question us about some detail of the agreement. If so, they will set the matter in for a hearing, and this means we have to wait on a hearing date to get approval. But there is no way to get around that. If they want a hearing, we will go to it.

Don’t get scared reading this section. Maybe 1-2% of our settlements get rejected or set for a hearing. It is not common. And usually, it will be for an issue we know is hanging out there and will make you aware of the risk. But you have to know rejection can happen, and you have to be prepared for it if it does happen.

(7) Approval & Payment

If all goes well, the Workers’ Compensation Commission will approve your settlement. If so, you and your lawyer will both get an Order in the mail noting your settlement is approved. When that happens, the insurer has 15 days to send the checks. Normally, they don’t wait that long, because they are ready for this too. But keep in mind they can take up to 15 days.

The insurer will send the checks to the law firm. We will call you when your check is here. They will make one check to me, one to any doctor we hired for a rating, and one to you directly. So all your lawyer has to do is get it to you. We prefer people pick it up (and most people want to), but we are always willing to mail it if you need that to be done.

Conclusion

As mentioned before, there is no way to shortcut the Maryland workers’ comp settlement process. You will have to wait until you get that check. It stinks, and it can make life hard. But as you should know by now, nothing about the workers’ compensation process is easy. Why should this be any different?

As always, contact us if you have any questions.

Next Steps

Want to know more? Discover what you need to know about workers’ compensation in Maryland. Click here to see our Free Legal Consumer Guide to Maryland Workers’ Compensation and get answers to your questions today. Know your options. Be informed. Protect yourself.

Need a workers’ compensation attorney? Please contact us for a consultation today if you need an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in Waldorf and Lexington Park for your legal case.

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