Workplace accidents and injuries can leave employees facing physical pain, mounting medical bills, and lost income. Suppose you or a loved one has been injured in a workplace accident. In that case, you may be entitled to compensation through Maryland’s workers’ compensation system, or in some cases, through a third-party personal injury claim. As an experienced personal injury law firm in Waldorf, Maryland, The Law Office of Ben Evan is dedicated to helping injured workers understand their rights and pursue the benefits and compensation they deserve.
Understanding your rights and the legal avenues available to you after a workplace injury is critical when seeking compensation and justice. This blog post highlights the importance of partnering with a skilled and dedicated personal injury attorney like those at The Law Office of Ben Evan to assist you throughout the complexities of workers’ compensation and third-party liability claims, ensuring your case is handled with care and professionalism.
Workers’ Compensation Basics in Maryland
Workers’ compensation is a state-mandated insurance system designed to provide financial assistance and medical benefits to employees who suffer injuries or illnesses as a direct result of their employment. In Maryland, most employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, with a few exceptions, such as agricultural employers and sole proprietors. The types of benefits available to injured workers include the following:
1. Medical Benefits: Workers’ compensation covers all reasonable and necessary medical expenses related to the employee’s injury, including surgeries, hospital stays, medications, and physical therapy.
2. Wage Replacement Benefits: Injured workers may receive a portion of their lost wages while recuperating from their injuries, typically around two-thirds of their average weekly wage.
3. Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits: Employees who cannot return to their previous job duties due to their injury may receive assistance with job training, placement, or educational opportunities to help them adapt to a new line of work.
4. Permanent Injury Benefits: If an employee sustains a permanent disability or disfigurement, they may be eligible for benefits based on their impairment rating or loss of bodily function.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Maryland
To protect your rights and ensure timely processing of your claim, it’s essential to follow the correct steps when filing a workers’ compensation claim in Maryland:
1. Seek Medical Attention: Obtain medical care for your injuries as soon as possible and inform your healthcare provider that your injury is work-related.
2. Notify Your Employer: Notify your employer of your injury promptly, preferably in writing. Maryland law requires employees to provide notice within 10 days of an accidental injury or 30 days for an occupational disease.
3. File an Employee Claim Form: Complete and file a Maryland Workers’ Compensation Employee Claim Form (C1) with the Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC). The form must be submitted within 60 days of the date of your accident or one year for occupational diseases.
Failure to meet these deadlines may jeopardize your claim and your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits. Remember that filing a claim does not guarantee that you will receive benefits; your employer and their insurer have the right to contest your claim.
Appealing a Denied Workers’ Compensation Claim
If your workers’ compensation claim is denied or disputed by your employer or their insurance company, you have the right to appeal the decision. The first step is to request a hearing before the WCC, which must be submitted within 30 days of receiving the denial notice. The WCC will then schedule a hearing, during which both you and your employer (or their insurer) will have the opportunity to present evidence and arguments related to your claim.
To strengthen your case, it’s vital to gather and prepare persuasive evidence, such as the following:
1. Medical records documenting your injuries, treatments, and diagnoses
2. Witness statements from colleagues who observed the accident
3. Expert testimony from medical professionals or vocational experts
Working with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can increase your chances of successfully appealing a denied claim.
Third-Party Personal Injury Claims
In certain situations, a workplace injury victim may have grounds to pursue a personal injury claim against a third party, separate from their workers’ compensation claim. Third-party claims typically involve negligence on the part of someone other than the employer or a coworker, such as the following:
1. A property owner who fails to maintain safe conditions at a worksite
2. A manufacturer of defective or dangerous equipment used on the job
3. A negligent driver who causes a collision while the employee is driving for work purposes
Third-party personal injury claims may provide added compensation beyond what workers’ compensation benefits offer, including full wage replacement and damages for pain and suffering.
Conclusion: Trust The Law Office of Ben Evan to Advocate for Your Workplace Injury Claim
Dealing with the aftermath of a workplace injury can be overwhelming, but support from an experienced and dedicated personal injury attorney can make all the difference. The team at The Law Office of Ben Evan in Waldorf, Maryland, is committed to helping you navigate the complexities of workers’ compensation and third-party liability claims with compassion and professionalism.
The Law Office of Ben Evan is ready to discuss your workplace injury case and begin your journey toward recovery. Having an experienced attorney on your side can help you receive a fair settlement. Contact our personal injury law firm in Waldorf to schedule a consultation!