You may be entitled to get paid for conditions that existed prior to a work related accident by a fund called the Subsequent Injury Fund which pays for injuries, diseases or any other conditions that exist prior to injuring yourself at work, as long as these pre-existing disabilities equal at least a twenty-five percent disability to the body and further that as a result of the work related accident you will also receive a disability of at least twenty-five percent disability to the body. If so, not only will you get paid by the workers’ compensation insurance company for the injuries due to the accident, but may also get paid for these pre-existing conditions that had nothing to do with the accident, but existed prior to the accident. These are paid for by the Subsequent Injury Fund.
Under Maryland workers’ compensation law the employee has the right to hire an attorney of his own choice. An attorney may not charge an up front attorney fee in order to represent someone for a workers’ compensation claim. Any attorney fees for a workers’ compensation claim are regulated by the Workers’ Compensation Commission and are based upon a fee schedule set by the Commission. The attorney fees are based upon a percent of any award that is made in the workers’ compensation claim and if there is no award there can be no attorney fee. The employer and the insurance company will have an attorney to represent them in these particular matters.
The Workers’ Compensation Commission has Commissioners who are bound by the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Law. Workers’ Compensation Law is very complicated and is usually a specialized area that only certain attorney’s practice in. A person who is injured on the job and goes to a workers’ compensation hearing without an attorney will be at an extreme disadvantage since everyone else at the hearing will be an attorney, including the Workers’ Compensation Commissioner, as well as the employer’s attorney.