Accidents happen anywhere, workplaces included. In fact, some occupations expose people to accidents at an unnerving frequency. Think of people who work in dangerous sites, areas exposed to toxic chemicals, and even those who work with violent people and animals.
As such, a record of annual job-related fatalities in 2014 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in Maryland alone showed that occupational injuries had risen at an alarming rate. That said, of the many occupation injury cases, a whopping 73 of them were fatal. Moreover, 24 of them had been caused by violence from people and animals. Transportation accidents, on the other hand, amounted to around 29%, and 16% were slip and fall accidents.
That said, occupational injuries are not hearsay. They are real, and in fact, quite prevalent and in extreme cases have led to the loss of life. Following this, legislation in Ellicott City, MD requires any business with more than 3 employees and annual revenue of $15,000 to enroll in an insurance program. This covers all employees to compensate for damages in the event of an accident. Some of these damages could include medical bills, loss of income, and many others.
If you have incurred an injury at work, or have lost a loved one while working with no form of compensation or treatment to help with the healing process, the Pinder Plotkin legal team is here to help. With our proficient Ellicot City worker’s compensation lawyers, we are available to all Maryland residents. Contact our personal injury attorney today for a free consultation and pave your way to acquiring the benefits you deserve under the Maryland workers’ compensation laws.
What Should I Do If I Suffer an Injury at Work in Ellicott City?
After a workplace accident in Ellicott city, there are a couple of steps you need to adhere to for you to qualify for your workers’ compensation claim. These also increase the chances of obtaining the highest possible compensation to cater for your damages. Here they are:
Notify Your Employer
Under the Ellicott City, MD law, it is essential that you notify your employer of the accident immediately after it takes place. As such, you must approach him/her with all the relevant details of the accident. How did it occur? Which injuries were sustained and what is the nature of the accident? This is the very first step to legitimizing your claim.
Receive Medical Treatment
It does not make sense to wait for an injury to get worse while waiting for compensation. It is thus important that you safeguard your health. A medical doctor is also in a better position to thoroughly determine the nature and extent of your injury. Besides this, ensure that you follow up on the medication and appointment. This is vital for compensation.
Document Your Injuries and Symptoms
Documenting provides evidence. Some employers tend to be rogues, and this is no news to the public. Most employees have, therefore, been denied justice simply due to a lack of evidence. Ensure that you document all your signs, symptoms, and any other injuries.
You can do this by taking pictures and keeping all medical records and bills. What’s more, all documents should be dated.
Keep a Record of The Lost Time, Expenses, and Wages
This is yet another step that makes many miss compensation. Others are compensated, but the amount is barely enough to cater for the losses they incurred. With this in mind, keep track of all the expenses and travel costs related to your illness.
Additionally, every day you skipped work, and were without a salary/ daily wage should be recorded. Ensure that all documents are dated, then scan to keep them in soft and hard copy. These soft copies will be shared with your lawyer.
Contact an Attorney And File A Workers’ Compensation Claim
Notifying your employer does not mean you have filed a compensation claim. Contrary to public opinion, a worker’s compensation claim is filed through Maryland’s Workers’ Compensation Commission. With the assistance of an experienced attorney, this process will be filed the right way and on time.
Take Care of Yourself
With that, focus on personal recovery, it is of utmost importance. We will handle the rest and take you through every step of the way as you recuperate.
How Much Do Workers’ Comp Lawyers Charge in Maryland?
The cost of hiring a lawyer is relative. This is because as per regulations by the state of Maryland, there’s a strict guideline to it. First, the lawyer is to refrain from charging a victim until the compensation process is finalized. From here, the lawyer and his client reach an agreement, which is usually a percentage of the compensation amount. As such, a lawyer cannot ask for a fee above 20% of the amount awarded to the claimant after compensation is awarded.
What If My Workers’ Compensation Claim Is Denied?
Yes, this does happen. But before sulking, you need to find out why the insurance company denied your compensation claim. Some of the main reasons why a worker’s compensation claim is denied include:
- Failure to report the incident within the required deadline
- Intoxication during the incident
- Petty injuries.
- If the injury was not related to the occupation
- Failing to follow the physician’s instruction which aggravates the illness
While sometimes these warrant denial for compensation, most times you are duped into believing so. If you have been denied your workers’ comp benefit, contact an attorney as soon as you can.
The attorney will help you file out an “Issues Form” with the commission. With this, you’ll request a hearing, and the attorney will be present to represent you. After the hearing, the commissioner will then publish an order stating the exact figure the employer’s insurance company is supposed to pay you. If the amount seems to be inadequate, you may proceed to lodge an appeal in the Maryland Court.
This process can be tedious and emotionally draining. This is even worse when you are still going through the healing process. Allow a proficient workers’ compensation attorney to handle your case while you get better.
What are the roles of an injured employee in the process of obtaining A Workers’ Compensation Claim?
The injured employee has the following responsibilities:
- Notify their employer about the injury shortly after it occurs. This is usually done orally or in writing within 10 days after the incident.
- Adhere to company rules and guidelines.
- Seek medical care
- Access an Employee Claim Form C-1 either online or get a printed form from the WCC and file his/her complaint.
- Take part in the return-to-work program
- Keep track of all records and document them. These should be safeguarded by having both soft and hard copies.
- Cooperate with the insurance provider and employer to foster a good working relationship even with the claim.
- Remain level-headed and sensible even after sustaining the injury.
What about A Maryland Employer?
The claim process also involves the employer. The responsibilities of a Maryland employer in workers’ compensation processes include:
- Respond promptly to safeguard the well-being of other employees by implementing safety and risk management strategies at the workplace.
- Inform the insurance company about the mishap.
- Facilitate the injured employee’s return to work after recuperation.
- File an accident report or an equivalent document with the WCC within ten days of knowing about the incident.
- Collaborate with all involved parties which include investigative parties, the WCC, and the victim’s lawyer.
Can I Lose My Job For Claiming Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Many victims are concerned about losing their job subject to this matter. The good news is that all employees in Ellicott City, Maryland, are protected against retaliation. This means that a company cannot fire an employee on the basis of a worker’s compensation claim. If it does, the company is liable to punishment by law.
Additionally, the company cannot demote, transfer, discipline, discriminate, or any other mistreatment on the basis of filing for compensation. This is your legal right. Employers at times may, however, decide to replace victims on the basis of missing personnel. To understand how employer rights work, get in touch with your attorney.
Is There A Time Limit To Filing A Workers’ Comp Claim In Ellicott City, MD?
Apart from the notification to the employer, which should be done orally or on paper within 10 days of injury, the official legal claim should also be filed within 60 days. Moreover, the statute of limitations for Maryland workers’ comp cases is two years following the date of the injury.
If the employer fails to file the first report, however, time limits related to workers’ compensation claims in Maryland may be extended. This may also happen when the employee who sustained the injury is misled either by the insurance company or the employer.
When it comes to cases that involve fatalities, the time limit is also different. As such, a claim pursuing death benefits as a result of a job-related accident should be filed with the WCC within 18 months from the date of death. If the death was as a result of an injury or illness that worsened over time, then the claim should be filed within 2 years from the date of death. This is irrespective of knowledge of the occupational causes of death by the worker’s dependents.
Are Independent Contractors also entitled to A Workers’ Compensation Claim In Ellicott City?
Unfortunately, workers on a contract basis are not part of the insured persons, therefore, are not entitled to benefits. At times, however, the employer may classify you as a contractor, yet you are justifiably an employee. In such a situation, we can help you.
If you are an independent contractor and have sustained injuries, or a loved one has passed on as a result of an occupational hazard, contact us. Our able workers’ compensation attorneys might be in a position to help by evaluating the employment status to confirm that you have not been misclassified.
The Pinder Plotkin Legal Team Is Here for you
All employees in Maryland are protected against workplace injuries and fatalities by law. Things can, however, get a bit complicated, especially if you are not familiar with the intricacies of legal jargon. Employees and insurance firms may also attempt to defraud you of your legal right. In spite of this, note that not all workplace injuries in Maryland are compensable. For the mishap to be covered, it has to be a direct result of your job.
Allow us to help you. Workplace injuries could lead to permanent disablement and even chronic illnesses. You may never be able to fend for your family, and for this, you deserve to be compensated. That said, call our personal injury firm for a free consultation and pave your way to all the benefits that you deserve!