Chapter 7: What is Meant by Accidental Injury for a Workers’ Comp Claim?
The Maryland Workers’ Compensation Act provides a way for employees injured at work to obtain medical treatment and other benefits. While workers’ compensation insurance covers most injuries sustained on the job, not all injuries are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
The Maryland Workers’ Compensation Act defines “accidental personal injury” as:
- An accidental injury arising out of and in the course of employment;
- An injury resulting from the negligent or willful act of a third party directed against a covered employee in the course of employment; or,
- An infection or disease resulting from an accidental injury during the course of employment, including an occupational disease, sunstroke, or frostbite.
An accidental injury is typically an injury that occurs by chance. However, an “accident” does not necessarily mean that a worker did not contribute to the cause of the injury. An employee who was injured because he was not paying enough attention to his task or otherwise contributed to the cause of the injury may still be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Arising Out of and in the Course of Employment
In addition to being classified as an unexpected or unintentional injury, an accidental injury must occur in the normal course of employment. In other words, an employee who was injured because he or she was involved in horseplay or had left the job site to run a personal errand may not be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. Likewise, an employee who decided to perform work that was not authorized by the employer or was expressly prohibited by the employer may not be covered by workers’ compensation if he or she is injured.
Arising out of employment means that the conditions of employment put the employee at risk for an injury. The conditions do not need to be hazardous or dangerous to pose a risk of injury. For instance, an individual who stocks groceries is at risk of being injured from climbing ladders, lifting heavy boxes, of falling objects. Arising out of employment is nothing more than the exposure to the factors that caused the injury.
Proving an Accidental Injury is Covered by Workers’ Compensation Insurance
An employer or workers’ comp insurance carrier may argue that your injury does not meet all the requirements for an accidental injury arising out of the normal course of employment. If so, you need an experienced Maryland workers’ comp attorney to investigate your claim and fight for the benefits you are entitled to receive by law.
The legal team at Pinder Plotkin can help you file your workers’ comp claim or appeal. Call 410-661-9440 to schedule a free consultation with a Maryland workers’ comp lawyer.
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