Maryland Workers Compensation Awards for Lost Body Parts Among Highest in U.S.

Portner & Shure Law Firm Serving Maryland, Virginia & Washington D.C.

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A new report by ProPublica showed the vast differences in the dollar values of various body parts that are lost due to a work injury. The report also shows that essentially every workers’ compensation case is different because every injury and the resulting compensation are different. For arms, legs, feet, and eyes Maryland ranked in the top ten for highest compensation awards. For example, a lost leg in Maryland has a maximum compensation value of $301,600, almost double the national average of $153,221 and more than six times higher than some other states. Further, Maryland actually ranks second and third respectively for a lost foot and eye, with maximum awards more than double the national average, and more than eight times higher than some other states.

While these numbers are certainly encouraging for Maryland work injury victims, it is rare that a workers’ compensation case actually results in these maximum compensation payments. Most importantly, the injury must have resulted in total loss of the body part to even have a chance at the maximum award. In reality, a complete loss of limb is rare, and serious injury to a body part is much more common. As a result, the compensation rates for injuries where a body is not lost are much lower, and involve a more complex and subjective calculation. When limbs and other body parts are lost or amputated due to a work injury, states have set calculation methods for determining dollar amounts. Final award decisions are ultimately made by the state’s workers’ compensation commission.

Portner & Shure attorneys have recently earned several favorable workers’ compensation awards for clients, including $395,000 (run over and killed by car in employer parking lot), $115,000 (leg below knee amputated due to injury), and $100,000 (eye injury resulting from use of nail gun).

In 2014, there were over 24,000 workers’ compensation claims filed in Maryland, with back injuries comprising 28% of all injuries. The top four industries accounting for the most workers’ compensation claims are policemen and security, truckers, colleges or schools (including daycare centers), and hospitals. When you are in an accident at work, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits whether you, another employee or your employer is at fault.

The following are the most common accidents that occur in the workplace:

Construction accidents

Slip and fall accidents

Driving accidents (including coming and going to and from work)

Railroad accidents

Industrial accidents

Fire and explosion accidents

Electrocution and electric burn accidents

Heavy or defective equipment and machinery accidents (crane and forklift)

Falling from an elevation accidents (i.e. ladders, stairs, platforms, scaffolding)

The following are the most common injuries that result from the accidents listed above:

Arm, hand, and finger injuries

Back, neck, and spine injuries

Leg, knee, and foot injuries

Repetitive stress or overexertion injuries

Dog bites (UPS, FedEx, USPS)

If you or a family member has been injured as a result of an injury at work and would like a free legal consultation, or if you would like more information on workers' compensation, please feel free to contact one of our Maryland workers’ compensation lawyers at (301) 854-9000 or visit us on the web at http://www.portnerandshure.com/Workers-Compensation/Permanent-Total-Disability.shtml