The law mandates all Maryland employers with one or more employees to have workers’ comp insurance. The employers use the coverage to pay compensation to staff members who suffer on-the-work injuries or illnesses. It means that if you get injured in the line of duty, you are entitled to benefits after informing your employer.
However, as simple as it sounds, it doesn’t always work out that way. Events, actions, or inactions can make your Maryland employer deny your work comp claim. In this article, our Maryland workers’ comp lawyers explain why an employer would deny an employee’s benefits. If you are an aggrieved Maryland worker, our attorneys will provide you excellent legal guidance.
Reasons Why Maryland Employers Deny Workers’ Comp
There are several reasons why your Maryland employer or their insurance provider would deny your work comp claim. Below, we put together some of the most common causes.
- Failure To File a Report in Time: In Maryland, you have ten days to report a work injury to your employer or with the Workers’ Compensation Commission. If you fail to do this, your employer would deny your claim, and you’ll miss out on your compensation.
- The Injury Is Not Work-Related: If you delay reporting your injury, your employer might claim that your injury is not work-related. If they can prove this, they will deny your work comp claim. But you can refute this by providing evidence of your injuries and bringing forth any eyewitnesses.
- Error in the Filed Claim: Before filling your workers’ compensation form, ensure you go through it with a fine-tooth comb. If you don’t, the insurance provider can deny your claim due to clerical errors.
- Intentionally Harming Yourself: If you intentionally caused your work injury, you will be unable to claim workers’ comp benefits. Also, if you suffered a minor wound, but failed to treat it, and it festers, you cannot demand workers’ comp. This is because your negligence worsened the injury and not the accident.
- Impairment of Drugs or Alcohol: Ordinarily, you shouldn’t perform your work function under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Thus, your employer will not pay you if there’s proof that you were impaired when the work accident occurred.
In addition to the above, your Maryland employer can deny your claim if you made it in bad faith. For instance, if you indeed were involved in an accident but did not suffer any injury. In any of these cases, you should contact our Maryland workers’ comp lawyers immediately.
What Are Your Options After a Denied Work Comp Claim?
Once your employer or their insurer denies your claim, you have to appeal the decision. To do this, begin by submitting a claim form with the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission. The commission will send a copy of the claim to your employer and allow them to object.
If your employer objects to the claim, the commission will then send you a notice of dispute. The message will stipulate if your employer denied your claim partially or in part. Next, you can request a hearing before a workers’ comp commissioner. You can do this by submitting an issues form to the commissioner.
In the issues form, state the problems you wish to raise, like why your employer denied your claim. If the denial, say, listed your injury as non-work related, you can present proof to refute the claim. Then, the commission will schedule a hearing to hear the issues raised.
The commissioner assigned to the case will conduct the trial in which you and your Maryland employer will tell your version of events. At this stage, you can also present evidence to support your claim. If the commissioner denies your claim at the end of the hearing, you can request a reconsideration or a rehearing.
The commissioner is at liberty to grant the request. Note that they will only give a rehearing if you have new evidence or an error occurred during the initial hearing. Another option is appealing the commissioner’s ruling in a circuit court. If the court rules against you, then you can appeal to one of Maryland’s appellate courts.
Contact Our Maryland Workers’ Comp Lawyers Now!
Indeed, the workers’ comp process should be easy. But because of employers and employees who act in bad faith, it is not. To ensure you don’t become a victim of a wrongly denied workers’ compensation claim, you need to work with the best Maryland work comp attorneys. Contact us today to schedule a free case review with one of our attorneys. We demand no upfront fee.