Just recently ProPublica and NPR released a study that compared workers’ compensation between states all across the country. Their interactive database allows people to compare workers comp not only by state, but also by injury. With the new database, many people working in Maryland workers’ compensation law have discovered that we have some of the best workers’ compensation in the country, and compared to the national average, our workers are compensated quite well.
How Compensation Stacks Up in Maryland and Elsewhere
One of the most publicized examples is the fact that Maryland workers get an average $300,000 for a serious arm injury. This is much higher than the national average, which is under $170,000. The state also has the highest maximum compensation for serious foot injuries. At $251,000, this is significantly more than other workers across the country, who receive an average of $91,000 for foot injuries.
Does this mean that Maryland workers are getting paid as much as they deserve and need for their injuries? The answer is complicated. This information does not really tell us that Marylanders are getting more than they need or getting adequate amounts. It’s really telling us that other workers are being vastly under compensated. Payouts for workers compensation vary significantly state to state, and if you are injured in one of the lowest paying states, there isn’t much you can do. For many low income workers, workers compensation is nowhere near enough to help them recover from injuries and support themselves.
Higher Compensation But Still Inadequate
Even though Maryland workers receive much more than the national average for some injuries, there are many workers here who don’t get as much compensation as they need. Some insurers will try to offer partial payment for medical bills or contest whether some injuries and treatments were related to the original workplace injury. For many workers, medical bills are simply too high to pay without full compensation from the insurer.
In addition, when workers have to miss work because of an injury, they are never being fully compensated. If they cannot work at all, they are only paid a fraction of their normal wage. This payment is calculated by taking two-thirds of their average weekly wage. Though this is better than no compensation at all, two-thirds of your pay is often not enough for daily and monthly expenses. If your injury will incapacitate you for two weeks or less, your insurer does not even have to pay you anything for the first three days.
In cases when the injury prevents the worker from doing his original job, the employer may assign him another position that pays less. Workers compensation does not help these employees to receive their original wage and will only cover half of the difference between the new wage and the old one.
Get a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
There are many ways that Maryland workers are not getting as much compensation as they need. It’s important to get an attorney who can make sure you are getting as much compensation as possible. Contact our firm. We can help.