Chapter 3: How Do I Report an Injury at Work?
If you injury at work or you suspect that your illness developed because of your employment, you may be entitled to workers’ comp benefits. However, you must report job-related injuries and illnesses and follow the steps set forth by Maryland’s Workers’ Compensation Act.
To make sure that your claim is timely submitted to the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission, you should follow these steps:
- Immediately notify your employer of the injury or illness. Injuries should be reported to your employer within 10 days. Occupational illnesses must be reported within one year. NOTE: If your claim has been denied for failing to report the injury before the deadline for reporting claims expired, contact a member of the Pinder Plotkin legal team. There are some exceptions to the general rule that the workers’ comp carrier may not explain to you.
- If your employer has a procedure for reporting job-related injuries, such as completing an accident report, you should follow that procedure whenever possible. However, if the employer attempts to make it difficult for you to report an injury, call an attorney or contact the Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC) immediately.
- Your employer should file an Employer’s First Report of Injury with the WCC within 10 days of receiving your report of injury.
- Select a physician and begin treatment for your injury. You need to make sure that you tell the physician that the injury or illness is work-related.
- You need to file an Employee Claim Form with the WCC. It is important that you file the claim as-soon-as-possible (ASAP). Claims filed more than two years after the date of injury are not allowed. You can check the WCC website to ensure that your claim has been filed and check the current status of your claim.
- The WCC notifies your employer and its insurance carrier of your claim so that the insurance carrier can conduct a claim investigation. The insurance carrier reviews the accident report, work history, medical records, and other information related to the claim. It may also request a functional capacity evaluation (discussed in detail in Chapter 9 of this eBook).
- Within 21 days, the insurance carrier should notify you of its decision. If your workers’ comp claim is approved, you should begin receiving benefits shortly after the claim is approved. If the claim is denied, you need to act quickly to appeal the denial with the WCC.
Appealing a Denial of Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
If your claim is denied or you are not receiving full benefits, you have the right to file an appeal with the WCC. You need to file an Issues Form with the WCC and notify your employer and its workers’ comp carrier of your appeal. On the Issues Form, you need to describe the reason for the appeal, why your claim should be approved, and a description of the benefits you should be receiving.
If you have not contacted a Maryland workers’ comp attorney yet, a denial of claim is often a sign that you want to consult with an attorney. A WCC commissioner is assigned to hear the appeal. Your employer and its insurance provider likely have a legal team in place protecting their best interests. You need a legal team on your side fighting for the benefits you are entitled to receive after being injured at work.
If you need assistance with a workers’ comp claim, contact the Pinder Plotkin legal team by calling 410-661-9440 to schedule a free consultation with a Maryland workers’ comp attorney.
Check out more information in these relevant blog posts: