Warnken, LLC Attorneys at Law, Attorneys & Lawyers, Pikesville, MD

Dear Experienced Comp Attorney,

Dear Experienced Comp Attorney,

Thank you for your insightful message on our Maryland workers’ compensation calculator today.  You said: “Your calculator for valuing a claim has got to be the dumbest thing I have ever seen.”

Dumbest Ever - MDCL

If I may be so bold, please allow me to comment.

The dumbest thing you have ever seen?  Really?

Dumbest ever?

I see a world of famine and strife.  Mob Wives is a hit TV show.  These things are really dumb.  Our workers’ comp calculator may not be the brightest, but the dumbest?  Ever?

Second, you listed your name as “Experienced Comp Attorney.”  Perhaps, with that name, you were born to be a comp lawyer.  Or maybe that’s not actually your name.

Maybe you list Experienced Comp Attorney as your name because you don’t want to engage in an actual back and forth.  I would genuinely appreciate the chance to engage in a discussion about the calculator.  Perhaps you just want to insult and run.

Perhaps by “dumbest” you meant the calculator lacks value to an injured worker.  Let me shed light on the calculator’s mechanism.  The calculator works as follows:

  • First, claimant states whether the injury is work related.  (We figured that would be good because, you know, it’s about workers’ compensation.)
  • Next, the calculator asks when the injury happened because timing is relevant, as you obviously know as an “experienced workers’ comp lawyer.”
  • Next, the claimant tells the calculator if the injury is a reopening/worsening case or if it’s about a new workers comp case.  The calculation is different based on those two, as we know you know.
  • Next, there is a determination of your average weekly wage.  It forms part of the basis for the injured worker’s compensation.
  • Finally, the claimant gets to the specific body part injured.  Each body part comes with a number, 1 through 10, for the injured worker to submit.  Yes, this is where the calculator is not perfect.  There’s simply no way it could be.  Each number, self-diagnosed by the claimant, corresponds to a loss percentage for determining permanency.

We state, multiple times, that the calculator is only good for a rough calculation and sometimes the claimant may, in fact, not be entitled to any award.  We encourage the claimant to get counsel, whether it be us or another attorney.  At the end of the calculation process, we give the injured worker the chance to suggest that the estimate is too high or too low.  The calculator has been used more than 15,000 times in the last two years.  The “estimate too low” page was clicked 916 times and the “estimate too high” page was clicked 754 times.  I couldn’t make up better numbers.

Since it was first built, nearly 20,000 web visitors have estimated their claim through the calculator.  I had one other very experienced comp lawyer tell me one of his clients was ecstatic with him because he got the client more than the calculator stated.  Another comp lawyer with more than two decades in the business asked, “How do you deal with angry clients after they’ve been through the calculator?”  Neither Rebecca nor I could ever remember a client angry because of the calculator.

The calculation is the same one a claimant’s comp lawyer does with the client when considering a settlement offer.  The tiers are addressed, AWW is addressed, both temporary and permanent disabilities are addressed, even public safety calculations are addressed.

Some workers’ comp claims are not compensable for a myriad of reasons.  If there’s an argument to be made as to why the claim is compensable, it’s our job to make it.  If an injured worker needs voc rehab, that’s our obligation as well.  If the insurer fights treatment for a whole host of ridiculous reasons, we advocate for our injured worker client.  If the insurer happens to forget to mention to a client she is entitled to PPD, we get it for her.  If they forget to mention she can be reimbursed for mileage, we get that for her too.

You left a fictitious phone number, Mr. or Ms. Experienced Comp Lawyer.  But the fictitious phone number had a 410 area code.  Perhaps that means you are an experienced comp attorney in Baltimore.  We’re right down the road.  Our zip code makes us either Pikesville or Baltimore.  Stop in some time.  Rebecca Smith is at the Workers’ Compensation Commission in Baltimore quite a bit.  It’s likely you have seen her there.

I don’t know if you represent claimants or you are an E/I attorney.  It doesn’t matter.  I have no problem with your commentary.  I have no problem with you disagreeing with me, or what I do.  I don’t even have a problem with you referring to our work as “dumb.”

The only thing I have a problem with is you not leaving your name.  Why bother to make a snipe without leaving your name?  What’s your contribution?

Sincerely,

Byron

Ps.  If you arrived at this post actually trying to obtain a workers’ comp lawyer, experienced or otherwise, my apologies for putting you through the above satire.  If you are seeking to get to the calculator, please click here.