If you suffer a workplace injury, there may be more than one way in which you can get compensation. As you may know, most on-the-job injuries are handled through Maryland’s workers’ compensation system. However, there are cases in which you can file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages. If you’re unsure about your options, a Baltimore workers’ comp lawyer can assess your case and inform you about how to proceed. Regardless of the route you take, you’ll need to ensure you follow the correct steps.
Options If You Suffer a Workplace Injury
The workers’ compensation system allows you to receive benefits without accusing your employer of negligence or filing a lawsuit. You’ll be paid through your employers’ workers’ comp insurance. The law requires that you report your injury to the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission within ten days. You usually have 30 days within which to file your claim for benefits. However, your employer may also have rules about when you need to notify them.
It is in your best interest to notify your workplace at the earliest opportunity. If your injuries are serious, you should contact an attorney about how to proceed with your claim. You don’t want to make a mistake on your form or leave out critical information that results in benefits being delayed or denied. When you work with an attorney, you can be sure you get it right from the start. If you still encounter problems, your Baltimore workers’ comp attorney will know how to respond.
The workers’ comp system generally bars you from suing your employer. However, if you can prove they deliberately caused you harm, you may still be able to take legal action. Also, if a third party’s actions caused your injuries, you can file a personal injury claim against them.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Maryland
If you were involved in a car accident or you were injured by a defective product, your attorney may advise you to file a lawsuit. You may able to recover a larger settlement by going through the court system. However, you’ll need to prove that someone was negligent, and it can take a longer time to get compensation.
If you have grounds to file a lawsuit, you usually need to do so within three years of your injury. If you wait any longer, your case is likely to be thrown out. This is much longer than the 30 days you have with a workers’ comp claim. You won’t need to inform anyone right away about your intentions, but you do need to work with a lawyer from early. It takes a long time to build a strong case that proves someone was negligent.
In addition, you’ll need to move quickly to ensure that evidence is preserved. As time passes, documents get misplaced, people forget what happened, and eyewitnesses move away. It becomes increasingly harder to prove that your version of events is true. A successful lawsuit hinges on your ability to identify the correct defendant, prove that they were negligent, and show that their negligence was responsible for your injuries. In Maryland, you can’t claim compensation if you were in any way at fault for your injuries.
Things to Keep in Mind
Whether you’re submitting a claim for workers’ comp benefits or filing a personal injury lawsuit, you need to protect your interests. If you say or do certain things, you could put your claim in jeopardy. You need to watch what you say about your injuries and the incident that caused them. Your employer’s workers’ comp insurer will be looking for ways to reduce the amount they have to pay you. Even though you’re entitled to benefits for work-related injuries, the insurance company will act as all insurance companies do.
Therefore, anything you say will be used against you. The same applies if you’re suing a third party. That person or entity will have an attorney and possibly also an insurance company looking out for their interests. It’s best to talk to your lawyer before you share details with anyone else. Comments that seem harmless may jeopardize your ability to claim compensation.
Call the Attorneys at Pinder Plotkin LLC for a Free Legal Consultation
If you were hurt at work, you deserve to be compensated. Talk to our Baltimore workers’ comp lawyers and learn about the options available to you. We’ll help you to stand up for your rights and ensure you’re treated fairly. We can help you with everything from filing your claim to appealing a denial. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation at no obligation.