Many Waldorf employees who suffer workplace injuries make a full recovery and eventually return to work. But sadly, some workplace injuries and illnesses are so severe that they result in permanent disabilities. Employees who can no longer work due to a job injury may be eligible for permanent total disability (PTD) benefits through the Maryland workers’ compensation system.

Some injuries are considered presumptive conditions by the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission. That means claimants automatically qualify for permanent and total disability benefits. However, people whose conditions fall outside the presumptive category must present substantial evidence when applying for benefits. That’s where a workers’ compensation lawyer from Trollinger Law LLC can help.

Our attorneys can build a strong claim for PTD benefits while you get your life back on track. Call or contact us today for a free consultation.

What are Permanent Total Disability Benefits?

Nearly all employers in Maryland are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This coverage provides injured workers with medical benefits to pay for their health care and partial wage-loss benefits to offset some of their lost income. In addition to these standard workers’ comp benefits, permanent total disability (PTD) payments may be available to employees whose injuries permanently prevent them from working. Benefits for total and permanent disability amount to a percentage of the permanently disabled employee’s previous wage and may continue indefinitely.

The Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission presumes an injured worker is permanently disabled if they experience the loss or loss of use of both hands, arms, feet, legs, or eyes, or a combination of two of those body parts. Other injuries may qualify if a doctor attests they prevent the employee from working in any capacity.

Types of Permanent Total Disability Benefits

If approved for permanent total disability, you will receive two-thirds of your pre-accident weekly wage, but it cannot exceed the statewide average wage. This amount is adjusted regularly to reflect cost-of-living changes. Payments are usually made weekly.

Collecting a lump sum payment rather than weekly payments is also possible. This can be helpful if you have a lot of expenses all at once, but the downside is that a lump-sum contract may prevent you from pursuing additional compensation for your work injuries. For this reason, it’s crucial to understand the complete terms of your benefits before agreeing to a lump-sum payment. An experienced attorney can help you understand the best way to receive your payments.

Qualifying for Permanent Total Disability

Following a severe work-related injury, you will likely be under the supervision of medical professionals who prescribe treatments and medications to manage your symptoms and help you recover. Initially, your doctors may not know whether you can recover fully or work again.

Eventually, you will complete the recommended treatment and reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). When you reach MMI, your doctors do not expect further treatment to improve your condition meaningfully. At this point, your physician will evaluate whether you are presumed to be permanently disabled under Maryland law and, if not, whether other qualifying facts and circumstances allow you to be designated as such.

Permanent Total Disability Examples

Several medical conditions can limit a person’s mobility to the extent that they qualify for permanent total disability, including:

  • Spinal cord injury
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Amputation
  • Back injury
  • Any injury that prohibits walking
  • Severe limits to muscular strength
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Disfigurement
  • Hearing loss
  • Visual impairment
  • Broken bones
  • Cancer, lung damage, or other permanent illnesses caused by toxic exposure

Suffering from these injuries does not guarantee that you will qualify for permanent total disability benefits. You must work closely with your doctor to understand the extent of your injuries. Then, a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer can prepare the medical evidence necessary to craft a persuasive claim for you.

How a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Can Help You

Filing a claim for workers’ compensation can be complicated. If you make a mistake or miss a deadline, you could be denied critical benefits you’re entitled to. Our firm can minimize the chances of setbacks by:

  • Helping you fill out the claim forms completely and accurately
  • Communicating with your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider on your behalf
  • Gathering medical records and other evidence for your claim
  • Meeting with medical and vocational experts to understand the impact your condition has on your ability to work
  • Speaking with your friends and family to learn how your condition affects your daily life
  • Negotiating a fair settlement with the insurance company
  • Guiding you through the appeals process, if necessary
  • Representing you at any workers’ compensation hearings

Each case is unique, and some present more challenges than others, especially if you need permanent and total disability benefits. Getting legal advice before requesting benefits can give you the best chance of recovering the money you deserve with minimal hang-ups.

Contact a Waldorf Permanent Total Disability Attorney Today

The stakes are high when workers need to apply for permanent total disability benefits in Waldorf. The state Workers’ Compensation Commission’s decisions can impact you for the rest of your life. Rather than risk filing a claim alone, get a workers’ compensation lawyer on your side.

Attorney Matt Trollinger is a Maryland native dedicated to protecting the rights of injured people. Contact us online or by phone for your free case review.