Workers’ Compensation in Maryland
Maryland’s workers compensation (also commonly referred to as workmans comp, workers comp, and work compensation) provides replacement income and medical care for workers – full or part-time – that are injured, become sick, or have passed away as a result of their job. Independent contractors are not covered and all employers must maintain workers’ compensation coverage in Maryland. All work-related accidents claims are filed with the Maryland Workers Compensation Commission within the specified deadline.
Some of the issues involved in a workers compensation matter cannot be handled without some legal assistance. It is advisable to hire a Maryland workers compensation attorney if your boss is not insured, is underinsured, refuses to cooperate, if your injury is serious, permanent or long-term, or if your workers comp claim is disputed or denied. If your injury is a result of a defective product, the manufacturer may be responsible for your injury. Do not assume that your workers comp attorney is knowledgeable in defective products law. If you think your injury was a result of a defective product, contact a defective products attorney.
Illnesses and Injuries covered under Maryland Workers’ Compensation Law
- Accidental Physical Injuries
- In work-related Maryland accidents, “accidental” injuries are covered, such as slipping or tripping or falling at the worksite, fractures, and so forth.
- Certain types of work may not be covered under Maryland workers’ comp law if the activity was part of your job duties ( i.e., back injury while lifting a bag of cement where lifting bags of cement is part of your job duties).
- Repeated exposures at work are covered:
- hurting your wrist (carpel tunnel), losing your hearing because of constant loud noise, tennis elbow, toxic chemical exposure, asbestosis.
- If death results, benefits are payable to the dependents.
The Maryland Worker’s Comp Claims Process
- Notify Your Boss
- Report the injury to your employer or supervisor immediately within 10 days of the incident. You could lose your right to receive workers’ compensation benefits if you fail to notify your boss. Failure to file also delays benefits.
- Get Medical Help Promptly
- File a claim with the Maryland Workers Commission: File a claim with the Commission within 60 days of the accidental accident or injury. Filing two years from the date of the accidental work-related accident bars recovery. This means you lose your medical benefits, lost wage payments, and permanent disability compensation.
- Contact a Workmans Comp Attorney in Maryland If Your Claim is Denied or If You Need Additional Help.
Benefits Received in Maryland Under the Workers’ Compensation Program
You are able to receive several types of workers compensation in Maryland. It is advisable to speak with a workers comp attorney to discuss the types of compensation you are entitled to:
- Medical Treatment: Pays for medical treatment including doctor bills, hospital bills, and costs of other treatment related to your work-related injury. Payments are made directly to the health care provider.
- Wage Reimbursement: The employer or its insurer is required to reimburse the covered employee for lost wages due to time spent being examined by a physician, time spent attending, and traveling to and from a Commission hearing scheduled as a result of a continuance caused by action of the employer or its insurer.
- Funeral: Up to $5000 of reasonable expenses
- Death: If a worker dies as a result of an accidental injury, the death is a separate event and the worker's dependents are entitled to recover death benefits. The amount of death benefit payable depends on whether the dependent is totally or partially dependent.
- Vocational Rehabilitation: When an employee cannot return to his or her original occupation, this provides income support while participating in vocational rehabilitation.
- Income Benefits: there are 4 classifications of income replacement benefits in Maryland:
- Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD for short): Paid when you are under medical care and cannot work because of the injury
- Amount: Two-thirds of your average gross (pre-tax) weekly wages you earned prior to your injury.
- Temporary Partial Disability Benefits (or TPD for short): Payments to an injured worker who still is medically restricted from doing the same job, but can return to do some work.
- Amount: Fifty-percent of the difference between the workers' pre-injury average weekly wage before and after the accident.
- Permanent Total Disability Benefits (PTD for short): When the occupational disease or injury is so severe that the worker is totally unable to work.
- Amount: The weekly benefit is the same as for temporary total disability, adjusted for cost of living.
- Permanent Partial Disability Benefits (PPD for short): The injured worker has medically reached maximum improvement and is able to work in some capacity, but will always be permanently impaired by the injury (i.e., a toe, thumb)
- Amount: Weekly benefits paid at the end of temporary total or temporary partial benefits. The amount paid for the calendar year 2010 can be found at the Maryland state website.
Why Hire A Maryland Workers’ Comp Lawyer
When there are big consequences at stake, such as a denial of a Workers’ Compensation claim or an injury that may be difficult to prove or cause a significant period of disability, it is advisable to get a Maryland Workers’ Comp attorney. A workmans comp attorney can help you navigate the Maryland workers comp process so you can focus on recovering form your injury. Lawyers who specialize in helping injured workers with their workmans comp claims are knowledgeable about the field, are familiar with Maryland’s Commission customs and procedures, know what evidence to look for and can present persuasive arguments to the Workers Compensation Commission (or eventually in court). They can plan a strategy for your case, keep track of deadlines and fill you in on any alternatives.
You should bring in a lawyer to protect your rights if there is a third party involved in your accident or injury on the job. A workers comp attorney will make sure you consider all options available for compensation. A good workmans comp attorney will help you understand the issues, your ability to recover, the time it will take, and recommend a course of action.
Maryland Workers’ Compensation Code
See here for the following Maryland Codes.
- Employers Subject To Workers’ Compensation
- Labor and Employment, Tit. 9 § 201.
- Covered Employees
- Labor and Employment, Tit. 9 § 202.
- Labor and Employment, Tit 9 §§ 601 – 689.
- Claims Procedure
- Labor and Employment, Tit. 9 §§701 – 750.