If you are employed in Maryland, you are likely protected by the workers’ compensation laws. These laws provide protection for nearly every employee in the event they are injured while on the job. If you have been injured at work, it’s important that you understand workers’ compensation, and how it benefits you.
How It Works
If you are hurt while working for your employer, workers’ compensation covers the costs of your medical expenses and for some wages that are lost as a direct result of the injury. Since you are compensated for the losses associated with your injury, and because the compensation is not based on someone being negligent or at fault, you are generally unable to sue your employer for your injuries.
Workers’ compensation in Maryland provides you with compensation that varies depending on how severely you were injured. While most claims cover the medical expenses and a percentage of the wages that are lost due to being unable to work, they also provide compensation for injuries that result in permanent disabilities, and funeral expenses if the employee dies as a result.
Covered Injuries or Illness
Workers’ compensation typically covers most types of injuries and illnesses. However, in order for the claim to be valid and receive payment, the injury has to occur while you are on the clock, and while performing job functions as required by the employer. If the injury occurs due to horseplay or failing to follow proper procedures, it likely will not be covered. Illnesses are covered if they are the result of the jobs you perform, such as carpal tunnel, or due to inhaling dangerous fumes.
If you are injured while working, it is your responsibility to inform your employer as soon as possible, and within ten days of it occurring. If the employee dies as a result of the injury, family members are required to report it within 30 days. In the case of illnesses or diseases, the employer must be notified within one year of discovering that it exists.
Employees in Maryland are required to file a claim for compensation using the Employee Claim Form (C-1) within 60 days for most injuries. In the event that the employee dies, family members have 18 months. Employees who suffer from job-related diseases have two years, and those suffering from pulmonary dust disease have three years.
If your claim is denied, you have the right to ask for a hearing. The hearing will generally include medical examinations and witnesses, and is overseen by a Workers’ Compensation Committee member. After the hearing, the WCC member has 30 days to deny the claim. If this occurs, and you are not satisfied with the decision, you can choose to appeal in circuit court.
If you are planning to appeal your decision, you should consider hiring an attorney to go to court with you. While it isn’t required, an attorney may be able to help you receive a better outcome in your case due to his or her knowledge of the laws.