• Your Name
  • Your Phone Number
  • Your Email Address
  • Please Describe What Happened

Subsequent Injury Fund

The Subsequent Injury Fund is intended to compensate claimants for the combination of their conditions from the accident or injury and their conditions that pre existed their accident.  There are strict requirements that must be met in the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Act in order to recover from the Subsequent Injury Fund.  If the requirements are met, the employer must pay the portion of the award that is attributable to the accident and the Subsequent Injury Fund must pay the portion of the award that was for the pre-existing conditions.  The Subsequent Injury Fund will not be in the case until they are properly impled in the case.  There are time deadlines that must be complied with in order to implead the Subsequent Injury Fund.  If those deadlines are not met, the Subsequent Injury Fund may not be present at your hearing and the claimant may lose the ability to further involve the Fund. 

The following criteria are taken from 9-802 of the Labor and Employment Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland and must be present to obtain liability from the Subsequent Injury Fund in a permanent disability claim:

  1. the covered employee must have a permanent impairment that is due to a previous accident, disease, or congenital condition that is or is likely to be a hindrance or obstacle to the employment of the covered employee;
  2. the covered employee must suffer a subsequent compensable accidental injury, occupational disease, or compensable hernia resulting in permanent partial or permanent total disability that is substantially greater due to the combined effects of the previous impairment and the subsequent compensable event than it would have been from the subsequent compensable event alone;
  3. the combined effects of the previous impairment and the subsequent accidental personal injury, occupational disease, or compensable hernia result in a permanent disability exceeding 50% of the body as a whole;
  4. the previous impairment, as determined by the Commission at the time of the subsequent compensable event, and the subsequent accidental injury , occupational disease , or compensable hernia are each compensable for at least 125 weeks. 

In claims where the claimant has died due to a combination of the injuries from the accident and the pre existing conditions the employer will liable for the portion of the death benefit that is due to the compensable event and the Subsequent Injury Fund will be liable for the remainder of the award. 

The attorney for the claimant should pay close attention to Subsequent Injury Fund liability, particularly with older claimant’s as they are the ones that are more likely to have pre-existing conditions.  Frequently, in Subsequent Injury Fund cases, the Subsequent Injury Fund will raise the defense of “Thomas.”  This defense is one where the Subsequent Injury Fund will rely on their claims that the pre-existing condition has worsened since the accident.  This worsening of the pre-existing conditions is not compensable and can seriously affect the amount of money the claimant is eligible for. A finding of “Thomas” can preclude a finding of permanent total disability.  An experienced claimant’s lawyer may make a claim for permanent total disability and try to prove the entire award should be place against the employer irrespective of any “Thomas” worsening.  The Subsequent Injury Fund will get a credit for any prior awards that were paid for a workers compensation permanency award or settlement.  There can be some very tricky questions surrounding the question of: “What exactly does the Subsequent Injury Fund get a credit for?”.  Please contact our office and speak to one of our Maryland Workers Compensation Lawyers regarding this issue.