Sustaining a workplace injury can be a distressing and challenging experience, impacting not only your physical well-being but also your ability to provide for yourself and your family. In Maryland, workers’ compensation laws aim to protect the rights of injured workers by providing financial support and medical benefits during their recovery.
As an experienced personal injury law firm in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, The Law Office of Ben Evan is committed to helping injured workers understand the intricacies of workers’ compensation claims and navigate the often complex process to secure the benefits they deserve.
In this blog, we will delve into various aspects of workers’ compensation claims in Maryland, addressing essential topics such as workers’ compensation eligibility and the workers’ compensation claim process.
Workers’ Compensation Eligibility
Maryland’s workers’ compensation laws are designed to protect most employees who suffer workplace injuries or occupational diseases, regardless of fault. Eligibility requirements include:
1. Employee Status: Independent contractors and some workers may not be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. However, Maryland law generally considers most full-time, part-time, and temporary workers employed within the state to be employees for workers’ compensation purposes.
2. Work-Related Injury or Illness: The injury or illness must have occurred within the course and scope of the victim’s employment. This typically means that the injury happened while performing work duties or engaging in work-related activities.
3. Timely Reporting and Filing: Eligible workers must report their injury or illness to their employer within the specified time frame and follow the appropriate steps for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Benefits Available through Workers’ Compensation
Injured workers who successfully file a workers’ compensation claim in Maryland may be entitled to various benefits, including:
1. Medical Benefits: Injured workers are eligible for coverage of all necessary and reasonable medical treatment related to their workplace injury or illness. This can include doctor’s visits, surgeries, hospital stays, prescriptions, and rehabilitation.
2. Wage Replacement: Injured employees who are unable to work due to their injury or illness may be eligible for temporary total or temporary partial disability benefits, which provide a portion of their average weekly wages during their recovery.
3. Permanent Disability Benefits: If a worker’s injury results in a permanent disability, whether partial or total, they may be entitled to ongoing benefits based on the severity and nature of their disability.
4. Vocational Rehabilitation: Workers who are unable to return to their previous job due to their injury may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services, including job training, education, and placement assistance.
5. Death Benefits: In cases where a workplace injury or illness results in a worker’s death, their dependents may be entitled to death benefits, including compensation for lost financial support and funeral expenses.
The Workers’ Compensation Claim Process
Filing a workers’ compensation claim in Maryland involves several critical steps:
1. Report the Injury: Injured workers should promptly report their injury to their employer, preferably in writing. Maryland law requires employees to notify their employer within 10 days of an accidental injury and within 30 days of discovering an occupational disease.
2. Seek Medical Treatment: Injured employees should seek appropriate medical care immediately, informing their healthcare provider that their injury or illness is work-related.
3. File a Claim with the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission: Injured workers must file a claim with the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC) within 60 days of their injury or the discovery of an occupational disease. This involves completing and submitting the appropriate claim form, which can be found on the WCC website or obtained from an attorney, along with any required documentation.
4. Follow Up and Attend Hearings: After filing a claim, the employee will receive a Notice of Employee’s Claim and should ensure their employer and the insurer receive copies. The WCC may schedule a hearing to resolve any disputes between the employee and employer or insurer, which the injured worker should attend with their attorney.
5. Appeals and Settlements: If the worker disagrees with the WCC’s decision after the hearing, they may pursue an appeal. Additionally, injured employees may choose to settle their case, which typically involves negotiating a lump-sum payment, waiver of future claims, or other mutually agreed-upon terms.
The Role of an Attorney in Workers’ Compensation Claims
Hiring an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can provide invaluable assistance and support throughout the claim process, including:
1. Assessing Eligibility and Case Strength: Your attorney can help you understand your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your claim.
2. Completing and Filing Required Documentation: A workers’ compensation attorney will ensure that you complete all necessary paperwork accurately, adhere to vital deadlines, and submit supporting documentation to bolster your claim.
3. Negotiating with Insurance Companies: Your attorney will negotiate with your employer’s insurance company on your behalf, advocating for the best possible compensation.
4. Representation in Hearings and Appeals: If the WCC schedules a hearing or if you choose to appeal a decision, your attorney will provide experienced legal representation to ensure your rights are protected throughout the process.
Partner with The Law Office of Ben Evan for Experienced Assistance with Workers’ Compensation Claims
Recovering from a workplace injury can be a challenging and stressful experience, but you don’t have to face it alone. The knowledgeable and compassionate personal injury attorneys at The Law Office of Ben Evan, located in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, are dedicated to helping injured workers navigate the complex compensation system to secure the benefits they deserve.
Contact The Law Office of Ben Evan today for a consultation and learn more about how our team can guide and support you throughout the workers’ compensation claim process!