Owings Mills Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
People who have been hurt on the job in Owings Mills and elsewhere in Maryland are usually entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. If you have been hurt at work, you need to talk to an attorney to make sure you receive the full benefits the law says you deserve.
If you have questions about your rights under the workers’ compensation system or the process of pursuing a workers’ compensation claim in Owings Mills, contact the attorneys of Cohen & Dwin, P.A. for a free consultation.
Overview of Maryland Workers’ Compensation Laws
Maryland has the distinction of being the first state in the U.S. to implement a workers’ compensation system, beginning in 1902.
Workers’ Compensation is the system in Maryland under which an injured employee can obtain benefits for a work-related injury or an occupational illness, including medical treatment and partial replacement of lost wages.
Workers’ compensation is an agreement between an employer and employee, serving as the worker’s exclusive remedy for compensation against his or her employer for a work injury or occupational illness. This means that a worker cannot file a personal injury lawsuit against his or her employer for a workplace accident, except in limited circumstances of an employer’s intentional injurious actions.
The employer in exchange agrees to pay benefits for work-related injuries or illnesses regardless of fault – except for cases of the worker’s intoxication or willful misconduct. This means that you don’t have to show that your employer did anything wrong in order to collect workers’ compensation benefits.
In some cases, an injured worker may still file a lawsuit against a negligent non-employer third party that was responsible for the worker’s injuries, such as the manufacturer of defective equipment or machinery that causes a workplace injury.
Employers are typically required to carry workers’ compensation insurer purchased either from a private insurance company or from the state-run Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company. Under certain circumstances, an employer may be permitted to self-insure for workers’ compensation claims.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Accidents & Injuries in Owings Mills
In order for an accident or injury to be covered under workers’ compensation in Owings Mills, the accident and injury must “arise out of and in the course of employment.” This means that an injury must occur while you are on the job. Even if your accident and injury take place at work, if the injury does not happen in the typical course of your work (for example, during your lunch break), you may not be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
Examples of work-related accidents include:
- Overexertion injuries
- Slip and fall accidents
- Falls from heights
- Equipment/machinery entanglement accidents
- Being struck by falling objects
- Explosions or fires
- Toxic or hazardous substance exposure
- Motor vehicle accidents
Injuries frequently suffered in work accidents can include:
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries such as sprains and tears of tendons and ligaments and muscles
- Neck and back injuries
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Internal organ injuries and internal bleeding
- Spinal injuries
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
Benefits Available from Workers’ Compensation
When you’ve suffered a compensable injury or illness, the benefits you can receive from workers’ compensation may depend on the severity of your injury and how long it takes you to recover (if you recover at all).
Benefits potentially available from workers compensation include:
- Payment of all reasonable and necessary medical treatment for your work-related injury or illness, including hospital bills, surgeries and other medical procedures, doctor’s office visits, prescription medication, mobility or medical equipment, or home health care
- Temporary partial disability payments, which provide partial wage replacement when a worker’s injury still allows him or her to work but forces him or her to work less than full time or in a job with a lower rate of pay
- Temporary total disability payments, which provide partial wage replacement when a worker’s injury or illness completely prevent him or her from working
- Permanent partial disability payments, which provides compensation for a worker whose injury or illness has reached maximum medical improvement but still leaves him or her with a disability or loss of or loss of use of a body member, that impairs his or her ability to work
- Permanent total disability payments, which provides compensation for a worker who has reached maximum medical improvement but still cannot return to gainful employment due to disability, loss of a body member, or loss of function of a body member.
- Vocational rehabilitation, if a worker’s injury or illness prevents him or her from ever returning to his or her job but the worker can find work in other fields with sufficient relevant training
If a worker passes away due to a work accident or occupational illness, surviving family members may also be entitled to benefits from workers’ compensation, such as contribution toward funeral and burial costs and partial replacement of the deceased worker’s wages for a defined period of time.
How to File a Workers’ Comp Claim in Maryland
The process of filing a workers’ compensation claim in Maryland begins with notifying your employer that you have been involved in a work-related accident – and if you know at that time that you were injured in the accident – or that you are suffering from an occupational illness. You are required to provide your employer with notice within a very short period of time.
Once you’ve provided your employer with timely notice, you have more time in which to file a claim with the Workers’ Compensation Commission for workers’ compensation benefits from your employer. The commission will notify your employer and its workers’ compensation insurer of your claim. Your employer or its insurer will then conduct an investigation of your claim to determine whether to accept liability for your claim. Your employer or its insurer has 21 days to either approve or deny your claim.
If your employer or its insurer denies your claim, you may choose to request a formal hearing with the Workers’ Compensation Commission. At the hearing, you or your attorney, along with your employer or its insurer and their attorneys, may present witnesses and evidence and cross-examine the other party’s evidence and witnesses.
The commission will issue a ruling either granting or denying your claim. If you don’ receive a favorable ruling, you can pursue the administrative appeals process with the commission, eventually pursuing your claim in court if necessary.
Why You Need a Workers’ Comp Lawyer
In many cases where a worker suffers an injury from a workplace accident or suffers an occupational illness, the employer will accept liability for the injury or illness and begin promptly paying the workers’ compensation benefits the employee deserves.
However, if you have been injured on the job or have suffered an occupational illness and are facing difficulties getting the benefits you believe you are entitled to from your employer, you may need a workers’ compensation attorney to help guide you through the claims process and advocate on your behalf.
A workers’ comp lawyer can help you determine whether you may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits under Maryland law, as well as the types and amounts of benefits you should be receiving. An attorney can also honestly advise you as to whether you would benefit by having legal representation in your workers’ compensation claim.
A workers’ comp lawyer can help you report your accident and injury or illness to your employer and properly file a claim for benefits. If your employer or its workers’ compensation insurer denies your claim or denies payment of specific benefits, a workers’ comp lawyer can begin negotiating on your behalf to resolve your claim and get you the benefits you need.
If necessary, an attorney can advocate on your behalf during a formal hearing with the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission. Your lawyer can also appeal an adverse ruling should that happen.
How Long Do You Have to Report an Injury?
Under Maryland’s workers’ compensation system, you have 10 days to report a work accident to your employer in order to ensure that you receive the maximum benefits you are entitled to. If you know that you’ve been injured in a work accident and fail to report the accident to your employer within 10 days, your employer may be entitled to deny any workers’ compensation claim you later make.
Once you’ve reported your accident to your employer, you have 60 days from the date of your injury or the date you discover (or reasonably should have discovered) your injury to file a claim for compensation from your employer.
Under various circumstances, the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission can choose to waive this 60-day deadline. However, under no circumstances may you file a workers’ compensation claim more than two years from the date of a workplace accident or the date on which you were disabled from work due to an occupational illness.
Contact Our Owings Mills Workers’ Comp Lawyer Today
If you have been injured on the job or have come down with an occupational illness, you need to act quickly to preserve your rights to seek workers’ compensation benefits and to ensure that you receive the maximum benefits you are entitled to under the law.
Let our experienced Owings Mills workers’ compensation attorneys help you understand your legal rights and options and guide you through the process of filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
Contact Cohen & Dwin, P.A. today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial case review to discuss your accident and injuries with one of our knowledgeable attorneys. Even if you are already receiving benefits, we can review your claim and make sure you are getting everything you deserve.