Workers comp is a government-mandated program that benefits workers who are injured or ill on the job. These benefits help you recover quickly and return to work. Workers compensation lawyers in Annapolis can help you understand your rights and entitlements if injured or sick at work, under Maryland workers comp laws.
The State Workers Compensation Commission (WCC) regulates workers compensation in Maryland. The law requires businesses with one or more workers to have workers compensation insurance. With the insurance coverage, you are covered from the first day on your job.
Where an accident or disease has occurred, you should report it immediately to your employer. If you fail to inform your employer, you may lose your benefits. This article helps you understand your rights under Maryland workers comp laws.
Who Qualifies for Workers Compensation in Maryland?
As mentioned earlier, Maryland workers comp laws mandate that businesses with one or more employees carry workers comp. This is inclusive of part-time and full-time employees. It excludes independent contractors, railroad carriers, etc. In addition, the compensation provides medical benefits for workplace injuries and illnesses.
How to File a Workers Compensation Claim in Maryland
You should file for your compensation benefits immediately after your work-related injury or disease. According to Maryland workers comp laws. you have 60 days from the accident date to file your claim with the Workers’ Compensation Board. Failure to do so affects your workers comp benefits as the insurance carrier may deny your compensation.
To commence a workers comp claim in Maryland, file the online Employer’s First Report of Injury Form C-1. Then, request the WCC Employer’s First Report of Injury Form C-1 hardcopy and mail it through the US Postal Service Mail. The form should explain the nature of the injury or illness you suffered while working.
Employers and insurance companies are notorious for disputing your work injury claims. If you receive no benefits after filing a claim, request a hearing with the Commission.
Penalties Under Maryland Workers Comp Laws
The Maryland Workers’ Compensation Act regulates the work comp process. There are civil and criminal penalties for employers who do not carry workers comp insurance in the state. In addition, the WCC enforcement division will investigate any incident of non-compliance or allegation of fraud. Penalties for non-compliance, according to Maryland workers comp laws, include the following:
Any employer who knowingly makes a false and misleading statement to deny benefits faces a civil penalty. The employer can be fined up to $10,000 per violation. If the company is a corporation, the officers will bear personal liability for this cost.
In addition to the civil penalties, an employer who refuses to maintain insurance coverage shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. If convicted, the offense is punishable by imprisonment or a fine.
Maryland Law on Employees Benefits/Rights and Responsibilities
You must understand your rights and responsibilities, under Maryland workers comp laws, if you sustain a work-related injury or disease. The Workers’ Compensation Act spells out your rights, benefits, and obligations.
Employee’s Benefits/Rights Under Maryland Workers Comp Laws
The following are your right as an injured Maryland worker:
- If you sustain injuries on your job, you may receive medical rehabilitation and income benefits. These benefits help you return to work. If you die due to a job-related injury, your dependents may also receive benefits.
- Your employer must provide a list of doctors that provide medical care unless the Commission has granted an exception. You may choose a doctor from the list or primary care physician.
However, you may get temporary medical care until you’re out of danger in an emergency. Then you may get treatment from a doctor on the list or your primary care physician.
- Your employer would pay the hospital bills, rehabilitation, physical therapy, prescriptions, and travel expenses if the injury happened on the job. If your injury is catastrophic, you’ll get lifetime benefits.
- You may be entitled to weekly income benefits if you have more than seven days of lost time due to an injury. After the WCC receives and assesses the claim, if there is no objection, you’ll get your first check within two weeks.
- Your work comp payment equals two-thirds of your average weekly wage up to the maximum Maryland weekly wage. The law provides that no benefit should be less than $50. Also, you may get a lump sum settlement depending on your case’s peculiarities.
- If you die due to a job accident, your dependents will receive burial and funeral expenses. They will also receive payment for up to 12 years. However, if there are children in full-time school, the compensation lasts until they are 18 or 23 years old.
- Finally, if you do not receive the benefits when due, the insurance carrier/employer must pay a penalty which may be added to your payment.
In addition to the rights listed above, you have specific responsibilities under Maryland workers comp laws, such as:
- You should follow written rules of safety and other reasonable policies/procedures of the employer.
- You must report the accident immediately, but not later than ten days after the incident, to your employer. The notice can be in writing or otherwise and should detail how you sustained the injuries.
- An employee has a continuing obligation to cooperate with medical providers while treating their treatment for work-related injuries. Not doing this jeopardizes the work claim process.
- No compensation shall be allowed for an injury or death due to the employee’s willful misconduct.
- You must notify your insurance carrier/employer of your address when you move to a new location. Also, inform them when you can return to full-time or part-time work. Finally, report the amount of your weekly earnings because you are entitled to some income benefits even though you have returned to work.
- If you believe you are due benefits and your insurance carrier/employer fails to pay them, you must file a claim with the WCC within two years. The time starts counting from the day of the accidental injury. For an occupational disease, you have one year, and death benefits claims must be brought within 18 months from the day the employee died.
Talk to Annapolis Injury Lawyers About Your Workers Compensation Case
There are numerous protections for workers under Maryland workers comp laws. However, you must also understand your rights and responsibilities. If you have sustained a wound or developed an occupational disease at work, contact our legal team at Pinder Plotkin LLC.
At Pinder Plotkin LLC, our Annapolis injury lawyers have vast experience in workers compensation. We will help you file your claim to get maximum financial compensation. Reach out to us today for a free initial consultation.