Most people know that workers’ compensation claims are how you get your needs met after an accident while on the job. However, it’s actually a bit more technical than that. Workers’ compensation won’t simply pay out because you got hurt while working; instead, there are a number of details that play a factor.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
The majority of employers in Maryland have to carry workers’ compensation insurance, so that their employees are covered should they get hurt while on the clock and suffer from lost wages, health or other issues. In order for worker’s compensation to kick in, the injury must be connected to a requirement or condition of their employment in some way.
Common examples of these types of claims involve people who suffer carpal tunnel syndrome from spending too much time on the computer or someone getting lung cancer because they worked in an establishment where smoking was allowed.
Is the Injury Work-Related?
This is the big question. If the answer is “no”, then worker’s compensation will not cover the consequences of your injury. However, there are a lot of circumstances that might not seem to be work-related at first glance. Most of these injuries take place at the actual job-site, but that isn’t always the case. Whatever the case, if you were injured while doing something for your employer as a requirement of your job, it’s considered work-related.
For example, you may drive a company truck for a living. You may work for a company that sends you “out into the field.” Workers’ compensation can even cover you if you get hurt while at a company party or some other type of social event your employer sponsors. That holds up even if the injury didn’t take place on company property.
The same can be said for getting hurt on your lunch break if it was in your employer’s cafeteria. Workers’ compensation may also cover those who were injured while taking a client out to lunch, even if they were far from the company’s premises.
Lastly, keep in mind that not all suffering is physical. If you have suffered from depression, anxiety, insomnia, etc. because of work conditions, you could have a workers’ compensation claim. Also, if a preexisting condition you already had gets worse because of your job, you could bring a claim forward.
Workers’ Compensation in Maryland
Employers in most states are legally required to cover workers’ compensation, though they can choose the insurance company. Maryland is one of these states, but companies only have to cover those workers who are classified as employees. Independent contractors do not get the benefit of workers’ compensation. Workers who may not be covered, despite being employees, include:
• Agricultural workers
• Undocumented workers
• Seasonal workers
• Domestic workers
This is why it’s always important to ask an employer if you’re covered before accepting a job, just in case.
For more information about workers’ compensation, contact us today. If you think you may have a claim against your employer, a free consultation with us will give you your answer.