Most of us spend the better part of our lives on the job. Traditional jobs have people working Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, increasingly, people are working extra hours just to get by. Some people are spending 50 to 60 or more hours per week on the job. Given just how much time we spend working, it is not surprising how often injuries occur on the job. After an injury on the job, workers' compensation coverage is supposed to provide benefits for the injured worker. Unfortunately, workers' compensation does not always work the way it is supposed to.
Maryland Workers' Compensation
Workers' compensation is a type of insurance that provides medical benefits and wage benefits to an employee injured on the job. Workers' compensation laws developed over time as a way to protect both employees, and limit lawsuits against employers. Employers pay for workers' compensation insurance for their employees, and in exchange, the employee generally cannot sue the employer for their injury.
If an employee is injured on the job, workers' compensation is supposed to begin coverage, covering the costs of medical treatment, while also giving the employee a paycheck. The benefits usually last until the employee is able to work again. Unfortunately, workers' compensation can get complicated if the employer or the insurance company dispute a claim, or deny a worker compensation for their injuries. The employee may have to hire an attorney to fight for their right to workers' compensation.
If you have filed a claim for workers' comp, and your claim was denied, you should consider talking to an experienced Maryland workers' compensation attorney. Fighting the system on your own can be confusing, time-consuming, and frustrating. Your attorney will be able to advise you of your options, and fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
Covered Workers Comp Injuries
Not all injuries are covered by the workers' compensation program. Under Maryland law, in order to be covered, the harm suffered by the employee must have been caused by an "accidental personal injury arising out of and in the course of employment." This generally includes accidents in the workplace, repetitive stress injuries, exposure to harmful chemicals or conditions, injuries exacerbated by work conditions, and injuries caused by another co-worker. Some of the most common workers' compensation claims involve slip and falls, tripping injuries, overexertion, getting hit by an object, workplace violence, and repetitive motion injuries.
In some cases, car accidents can be included if the accident occurred while on the job. This is common for people who drive for a living or travel for work. Generally, a car accident on the way to or from work is not included. However, if the employee was using a company car, or they were running an errand on the way to or from work, the car accident could be considered a workers' comp accident.
Workers' compensation only covers employees. Third-parties and some independent contractors may not be considered “workers” under the compensation system. However, individuals who are not covered by workers' compensation coverage may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit if they are injured due to the negligence of another.
Workers' Compensation Benefits
The Maryland Workers' Compensation act provides for four types of benefits, depending on the injury. This includes temporary total disability benefits, temporary partial disability benefits, permanent total disability benefits, and permanent partial disability benefits.
Temporary total disability applies to employees who are preventing from returning to work because they are completely disabled for all work purposes. If the disability only lasts for 14 days or less, the employee may not be able to receive compensation for the first 3 days of disability. However, if the injury lasts more than 14 days, compensation goes back to the date of the disability.
Temporary total disability benefits apply to individuals who are able to perform limited or part-time duties at reduced compensation. Benefits provide additional compensation of 50% of the difference between the average weekly wage of the employee, and the wages under their part-time or limited duties.
Permanent partial disability and permanent total disability benefits apply to workers who are permanently disabled. Benefits available will depend on the level of disability. There are certain injuries that generally constitute a permanent total disability, including the loss of two of the following: an arm, eye, leg, foot, or hand.
In addition to wage replacement benefits, the injured worker is eligible for medical benefits that are reasonable, necessary and causally related to the accidental injury or occupational disease. The employer or insurer shall provide coverage for medical, surgical or other treatment, medicine, hospital and nursing services, crutches, and prosthetic appliances. Benefits are to continue indefinitely, or for the period required by the nature of the accident or injury.
Workers' Compensation Attorneys
If you were involved in a work-related accident, you should be compensated for your injuries. Unfortunately, some employers and insurance companies fail to do right by injured employees. If your compensation claim was denied, you need an advocate to fight for you. Contact the team at Gilman & Bedigian. We offer a free consultation and will fight for you, to make sure you are fully compensated for your injuries.