Nature of Practice

Semmes represents employers, insurers, group self-insurers and self-insurers in the defense of workers’ compensation claims before the Maryland, District of Columbia and Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commissions and before all tribunals administering the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. We have also recently expanded our workers’ compensation practice to include defense of claims in West Virginia.

Our Firm has the largest private workers’ compensation defense practice in the Mid-Atlantic region. We maintain a computerized case management system, enabling each attorney and paralegal to service clients efficiently and to provide them with instant updates on the status of open cases, upcoming hearing and trial dates. Each of our Maryland attorneys and staff members has online access to the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission to obtain docketing information, decisions, etc.

Services

We handle all phases of workers’ compensation litigation, including Commission hearings and appeals. Our appellate practice also includes handling cases under the Longshore Act before the Benefits Review Board, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court. We also represent self-insurance groups and employers who are self-insured in Maryland for workers’ compensation, including representation during the regulatory process involved in obtaining and maintaining self-insured status.

We work directly with company representatives and claims department personnel, enabling us to aggressively defend our clients’ interests. Beyond offering complete litigation services, we work with our clients to develop appropriate claims investigation programs and safety measures, which help reduce the number and cost of all types of claims. We frequently present seminars to individual clients on defense of claims, investigation and cost control of claims, etc. Our attorneys defend all aspects of claims and other actions against employers, including third-party claims, general tort claims, claims for industrial torts, products liability, bad faith actions, and claims for occupational diseases. This expertise enables us to provide the most up-to-date, aggressive and effective defenses in all types of employer-related litigation.

Semmes’ attorneys have made substantial contributions to the current status of Maryland’s workers’ compensation and liability law, through both the appellate and legislative processes. One of our principals is a member of the Maryland General Assembly’s Workers’ Compensation and Insurance Oversight Committee. We play an integral role during legislative sessions in supporting and/or opposing various bills of special interest to employers and insurers in the workers’ compensation arena.

The Firm is very active in the workers’ compensation community. Two of our principals are past presidents of the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Educational Association (MWCEA) and a third is a board member of that organization. Another principal is a board member of the Maryland Self-Insurers’ and Employers’ Association (MSIECA).

Representative Clients

The Firm currently represents numerous insurance companies in workers’ compensation matters, including:

  • Ace Insurance Company
  • American International Group (AIG)
  • Cincinnati Insurance Company
  • Key Risk Insurance Company
  • Liberty Mutual Insurance Company
  • Selective Insurance Company
  • St. Paul Travelers Insurance Company
  • The Hartford Insurance Company
  • Travelers Insurance Company
  • W.R. Berkley Corporation
  • Zurich Insurance Company

We also represent numerous employers, including:

  • Asplundh Tree Expert Company
  • Baltimore Sun
  • Costco Wholesale
  • General Motors
  • Home Depot, Inc.
  • Hyatt Hotels
  • Johns Hopkins Medical System
  • Marriott Corporation
  • Mayor and City Council of Baltimore
  • Nordstrom, Inc.
  • Ryder
  • Southern States
  • Target
  • University of Maryland Medical System
  • Wegmans

Rounding out our insurance defense practice, we handle cases for various independent claims adjusting companies, including:

  • Crawford & Company
  • GAB Robins
  • Gates McDonald
  • Gallagher Bassett
  • Schaffer Insurance Adjusters
  • Sedgwick CMS
  • Self-Insured Services Corporation (SISCO), a division of RCM&D

Finally, we also provide both defense and regulatory services for workers’ compensation self-insurance groups including:

  • MANPHA/HFAM Workers’ Compensation Self-Insurance Group
  • Maryland Hospital Association Workers’ Compensation Self-Insurance Group

News and Events

We publish a periodic electronic newsletter on workers’ compensation topics, from which selected articles may be viewed on this site. We also hold an annual workers’ compensation seminar for our clients, generally held in May of each year.