Most workers in Maryland are covered by workers’ compensation insurance but often, they don’t know exactly how it works. As a result, they sometimes don’t get the benefits to which they’re entitled. Covered employees are eligible for compensation if they suffer an accidental personal injury or occupational disease. This is set out in Title 9 of the Labor & Employment Article of the Maryland Code which is commonly referred to as the Workers’ Compensation Act. This blog post will cover some of the basics. Contact our Maryland workers comp attorneys for any additional information.
Who is Covered?
Every business in Maryland is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. The only exceptions are agricultural employers with fewer than three employees or an annual payroll that’s under $15,000. In Maryland, employees are presumed to be covered and the burden rests on the employer to prove that someone is not an employee. That’s because independent contractors aren’t considered employees under the law and they can’t get workers’ comp benefits.
What’s Considered an Accidental Personal Injury?
For an injury to be covered, it must arise out of your employment and occur during the course of your employment. A lot depends on the specifics of the case. However, if the injury would not have occurred except for your employment, it’s likely to be covered. The time, place, and circumstances surrounding the injury matter a lot. There must be an obvious connection between your work and the accidental injury. Work-related injuries often stem from falls, falling objects, vehicular accidents, fires, and equipment malfunction.
What’s Considered an Occupational Disease?
Workers’ compensation doesn’t only cover accidental injuries that occur suddenly. You can also get compensation if you become unable to work because of an occupational illness. These conditions develop over time because of extended exposure to hazards specific to the job.
Office workers may develop carpal tunnel syndrome. Correctional officers may be diagnosed with heart disease or hypertension and firefighters may find themselves battling lung disease. These conditions are all compensable and firefighters and correctional officers are among those employees who can access enhanced benefits.
Whether you suffered an accidental injury or a doctor diagnosed you with an occupational illness, you should consider hiring a Baltimore workers’ comp lawyer. Even though you’re entitled to benefits, it may not always be easy to get them. As with other types of insurance claims, your application for benefits may be denied. Alternatively, you may be offered a lot less than you think you deserve. An attorney can help to ensure that your rights are protected.
What Happens if I Die as A Result of My Condition?
Regrettably, sometimes workers die as a result of a workplace injury or illness. When this happens, survivors are entitled to death benefits. However, not all survivors will be eligible. They must have been dependent on the worker at the time of the injury or disablement.
What to Do When You Get Injured on the Job
You must take the appropriate steps after your injury or diagnosis if you want to get compensation. At the earliest opportunity, you need to report the injury or disease to your employer. While it’s not mandatory to have a lawyer, it’s best to consult one if your condition is serious. They can assist you in filing a strong claim from the outset. Many workers wait until they experience problems to contact an attorney. However, you can save yourself both time and stress by moving quickly.
When you file your workers’ compensation claim form, the information you will need to provide includes:
- The nature of the injury or illness
- Where and how the accident occurred
- Whether there are long-term consequences associated with your condition
When you work with an attorney, you can be sure that the form will be filled out correctly. You’ll also be able to submit all the necessary supporting documents. This increases the likelihood that your claim will be successful. If you don’t provide all the required information, your benefits could be denied or delayed.
You must also make sure you seek prompt treatment promptly. You have the right to choose your physician in Maryland and you should make sure you follow their orders. This includes keeping all your appointments and taking the prescribed medication. You should also keep all the documentation relating to your injuries.
Contact Pinder Plotkin LLC Today!
If you’ve suffered injuries while on the job or you’ve developed an occupational disease, you should seek help from a workers’ compensation attorney in Baltimore. Benefits aren’t paid automatically even though you may have a legitimate claim. Book a free consultation today and learn more about what we can do for you.