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Maryland is the 19th most populous state in the nation. In 2013, Maryland had the lowest poverty rate in the country and the most millionaires per capita. The leading employment sectors in late 2019 were government, technical and professional services, health care and social assistance. Agriculture, fishing, manufacturing, biotechnology, tourism, mining and cybersecurity are also among the largest industries in the state.
These industries are vastly different from each other, but they have one thing in common: Workers get injured.
It’s not that any of these are inherently dangerous jobs; it’s simply that an accident can happen anywhere and to anyone—and if you become injured at work, it’s important to understand Maryland workers’ compensation laws and how you can receive benefits to cover costs related to your injury.
What you need to know about Maryland workers’ compensation
Workers’ compensation is available to employees in every state, though each state has slightly different requirements and benefits.
A Maryland employer is required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance from a private company licensed to write workers’ compensation policies in the state or from the Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company.
If an employee is injured at work, they have the right to make a claim to recover costs for medical treatment, lost wages, and some other expenses. This benefits both the employer and the employee. The employee receives quick payment of no-fault insurance, which means that unlike a personal injury lawsuit, they don’t have to prove that anyone was negligent or liable for their injury—only that they were injured at work.
It also insulates the employer from liability; the employee can’t sue the employer for costs related to the injury, which saves the employer from lengthy and expensive litigation.
If you’re injured at work, you need to prove the following in order to receive Maryland workers’ compensation benefits:
1. The injury happened at work, which means it doesn’t have to be directly related to your job. Any injury or accident that happens within your workplace would qualify you for benefits;
2. The injury happened outside your regular work site, but you were engaged in duties required for your job at the time you were hurt;
3. The injury developed gradually over time as a result of an activity or condition related to your work. This could be an injury like carpal tunnel syndrome or other musculoskeletal problem that results from repetitive motion, strain, lifting or positioning; it could also be an illness from exposure to a chemical or toxin in your work environment. For instance, this could include hearing loss from repeated exposure to very loud noise, a respiratory disease like asbestosis, or other long-term health effects;
4. The injury cost you money in the form of medical treatment or lost wages from time out of work during your recovery or as the result of a disability that was caused by the accident or illness.
It can be difficult to prove that your illness or condition resulted from conditions at work because you’ll need to show that there is no other reason for you to be suffering from that illness or issue; you’d need a doctor to rule out genetics, other behavioral and environmental factors (for instance, whether you’ve been exposed to the chemical or toxin someplace other than your work or if you’re a smoker, etc.) and other potential causes of the illness.
How to file a claim for Maryland workers’ compensation
- Report the claim to your employer right away. Waiting to provide notice could affect your claim.
- Complete an Employee Claim Form and submit it by postal mail or online to the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission.
- If your claim is wholly or partially rejected or disputed by the insurer or your employer, they will contact both you and the Commission. If the claim is contested, you will be notified by mail of a hearing with the Commission.
If you have a hearing before the Commissioner, they will make a decision and determine your benefits. If you disagree (or your employer disagrees) with the Commissioner’s decision, either party may file an appeal with the Circuit Court. You may represent yourself, but it would probably be beneficial to hire a Maryland workers’ compensation lawyer for either of these proceedings.
Maryland rules for workers’ compensation attorney payment
The Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission warns employees not to pay an attorney for assistance with your claim. If you choose to hire a lawyer, the Commission fixes the attorney’s rate and deducts their payment from your claim compensation. You may still hire the attorney of your choice and the attorney is paid by your employer or insurance company.
Maryland workers’ compensation benefits
You can recover any necessary treatment related to the work injury. This includes doctor or hospital visits, doctor visits, diagnostics like CT scan or MRI, surgery, prescription medications and other costs.
You can also recover costs for assistive devices, prosthetics or ongoing rehabilitative therapies.
In addition, Maryland workers’ compensation provides payment for travel expenses, including mileage reimbursement, to medical appointments.
Maryland workers’ compensation disability payments
|Temporary total disability (TTD)||
|Temporary partial disability||
|Permanent partial disability (PPD)||
|Permanent total disability||
Job retraining benefits
If you’re unable to return to your job before the injury, Maryland workers’ compensation pays for training for a different job and offers some placement services.
Survivor death benefits and funeral expenses
If someone dies from a work-related accident or illness, Maryland workers’ comp will pay up to $7,000 in funeral expenses.
In addition, dependent surviving family members can receive death benefits. If the deceased person was the sole provider (i.e. they produced 100% of the family’s income), the dependents can receive weekly benefits at the full TTD rate, up to the state maximum. If the deceased person contributed to part of the family’s income, the amount of benefits are adjusted proportionately.
Generally, Maryland death benefits continue for 12 years. However, benefits can be stopped if the surviving spouse remarries or if the children turn 18 (or 23 for a full-time student).
Find a Maryland workers’ compensation lawyer
If your illness or injury has been resolved and you’ve received your full payment (or have a settlement agreement in place), you likely don’t need a lawyer.
But if you disagree with an offered settlement, or if your claim was denied either wholly or partially, you should contact a workers’ comp lawyer for help. Your lawyer knows how to navigate the system and ensure that you receive the benefits to which you’re entitled.
Did you know that workers' compensation law varies by state?
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The basis for personal injury law is fairly straightforward:
If you're injured because of someone's negligence, then you're entitled to recover for your financial losses related to the injury.
The premise for the workers' compensation system is similar:
Your employer is required to have specific insurance that provides benefits if you're injured at work.