It’s All About the Money — Recent Developments Regarding the Calculation of Claimant’s Average Weekly Wage

Recently, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland (CSA) weighed in on the calculation of claimant’s average weekly wage when an employee, hired for full-time employment, involuntarily worked in a part-time capacity in the weeks leading up to his accidental injury. In Richard Beavers Construction, Inc., et al. v. Wagstaff, 2018 WL 1129655 (2018), the CSA held that the Workers’ Compensation Commission properly determined a claimant’s average weekly wage based
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Maryland State Senate Passes Bill Requiring Self- Insured Employers to Report Fraud

On March 6, 2018, the Maryland State Senate passed a bill that would require self-insured employers to report workers’ compensation fraud to the Maryland Insurance Administration’s Fraud Division. S.B. 575 was sponsored by Senator Katherine Klausmeier of Baltimore County and is now pending in the Maryland House. Subject to any further changes and amendments, it is expected to be passed by the House and take effect in October 2018. The
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Is Failure to Provide Written Notice to an Employer Still a Viable Defense? Of Course it Is!

One of the more seemingly futile defenses to a workers’ compensation claim is the defense originating from Section 18 of the Workers’ Compensation Law requiring a claimant to provide written notice to the employer within 30 days of an incident. The statute itself provides that late notice can be excused, provided the employer had actual notice or if the employer did not suffer any prejudice for the late notice. In
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The Illinois Appellate Court Narrows the Scope of Compensable Parking Lot, Slip and Fall Claims

As the harsh conditions of winter wind down in the Midwest, slip and fall claims tend to ramp up. Traditionally, injuries sustained as the result of a hazardous condition in an employer maintained parking lot have supported a finding of compensability. Suter v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Comm’n, 2013 IL App (4th) 130049WC. However, recent decisions from the Illinois Appellate Court and Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission have narrowed the scope of
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Getting Your Recorded Statement into Evidence Under Rule 608

Most adjusters handling North Carolina workers’ compensation matters take recorded statements as part of their claims investigation. For defense counsel, this is one of the most important documents used to defend denied claims. This post is a reminder of two technical requirements that must be met with regard to all recorded statements. If these requirements are not met, the statement can be excluded from evidence by the Industrial Commission. This
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Compensability of Stress Claims Based On Workplace Harassment

One of the more frustrating areas of Workers’ Compensation law is stress claims. Often, the extent of a claimant’s disability is based solely on their subjective complaints because there is no apparent physical disability. Doctors are sympathetic to their patients and readily determine that their work environment is the source of their stress. This can be difficult to defend against, especially when the evidence suggests that the claim arises from
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Mitigating Some of the Pitfalls Leading to Preclusion

Preclusion. In Connecticut Workers’ Compensation, it’s a word that employers, claims handlers, and respondent’s counsel alike hope never to have associated with one of their files. Which begs the questions, what exactly is preclusion? How can it come into a case? And how can it be avoided? After a claimant serves the respondent and the Workers’ Compensation Commission with a notice of a claim for benefits (Form 30C), the respondent
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New York Sets Boundaries: How to Calculate Schedule Loss of Use of the Shoulder in 2018

The New York Appellate Division has provided direction on what constitutes an improper calculation of the schedule loss of use of a shoulder. In Matter of Maloney v. Wende Correctional Facility, 2018 WL 456207 (January 18, 2013), the claimant injured his right shoulder as a result of a work related accident on July 30, 2013. The claimant’s treating physician rendered a permanency finding of 90 percent schedule loss of use
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Proposed Rules Aimed at Addressing Opioid Epidemic and its Impact on North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Claims Continue to Progress

As the opioid epidemic continues to sweep the country, the North Carolina Industrial Commission has taken notice. In February 2017, Chairman Charlton Allen established an Opioid Task Force aimed at finding solutions to address the opioid epidemic and the impact on workers’ compensation claims. Late last year, the Industrial Commission published draft rules for public comment on the utilization of opioids and pain management in workers’ compensation claims. On January
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Will the Recently Issued Sessions Memorandum Have a Chilling Effect on States’ Plan for Legalization of Medical and Recreational Marijuana?

During the Obama administration, a memorandum issued by then deputy attorney general James M. Cole in 2013 dealt with the issue of federal prosecution of alleged crimes involving marijuana in states where it was a legal substance either for medical use, recreational use, or both. The memo seems to grant broad latitude to exercise prosecutorial discretion in states where marijuana had been legalized. The memo was interpreted as a hands-off
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