For an injury to be covered under the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Act, the injured party must be an employee who suffered an “accidental personal injury arising out of and in the course of employment.” An employee who suffers from an occupational disease (repetitive use or trauma injuries), which arose out of and in the course of employment, may also be eligible for benefits.

While it sounds simple, proving eligibility and qualifying for benefits can be difficult. This is primarily because employers and/or their insurance companies often fight workers’ compensation claims in order to avoid higher insurance payments. In order to ensure an employee receives the benefits to which he or she is entitled, two things must be proven.

First, it must be established that the injured party was in fact an employee at the time of the injury. Often, an employer who wishes to fight a worker’s claim will argue that the injured party was acting as an independent contractor, not as an employee, at the time of the injury. While Maryland workers’ compensation law applies to almost every employer and employee in the state, it does not apply to independent contractors. Thus, if the employer can make the argument that the injured person was an independent contractor, then the injured party will not be eligible for benefits under the Maryland law.

Second, the injured party must be able to show that his or her injury meets the criteria for benefits under the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Act. For an injury to qualify for benefits, it must have been caused by an accident. Thus, under the Maryland law, the injury must have been a direct and unexpected result of an unusual or extraordinary event. Additionally, the conditions under which the injured party was required to work must have contributed to the accident. Proving that an injury meets these criteria can be a difficult task, and usually requires the assistance of a professional well versed in Maryland Workers’ Compensation law.

If you have been injured on the job, you need the assistance of a knowledgeable and experienced Maryland workers’ compensation attorney who can prove both your employment status and that the circumstances related to your injury qualify you for benefits. For help obtaining benefits under the Maryland Worker’s Compensation Act, contact the attorneys of Ingerman & Horwitz, LLP today.

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