If you suffer an on-the-job injury or occupational illness, the first place you’ll usually turn to seek help is workers’ comp. Workers’ compensation cases in our state are handled by the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC). Almost all employers in MD are required by state law to carry workers’ compensation insurance. These workers’ comp benefits help offset your losses if you are injured or become sick through the course of your employment.
But many injured workers are, understandably, not sure how to file a workers’ compensation claim in Maryland. Filing a workers’ comp claim is a complex process—and not something most people know how to do without having done it before. Furthermore, many employers and their insurers only complicate the process by working to deny workers’ compensation benefits to injured employees or attempting to give out fewer benefits than are deserved.
When filing a workers’ compensation claim in Maryland, it’s best to have an experienced attorney represent you. This ensures that your rights are upheld, and you receive the full amount to which you are entitled. It also eases the process, takes the stress of the claims process off your shoulders, and gives you the time to focus on your recovery while your lawyer handles the legal matters.
For questions about how to file a workers’ compensation claim in Maryland, please contact the law office of Belsky & Horowitz, LLC to schedule a free case evaluation.
How Do I File a Workers’ Comp Claim in Maryland?
There is a general process for filing a workers’ compensation claim in Maryland, but every case will inevitably have its own particular bumps along the road. It can truly be said that no two workers’ comp cases are the same.
Below, we’ve outlined the general steps on how to file a workers’ comp claim in MD. However, it’s still safest to speak with a qualified lawyer about the specific details of your case.
Step 1: Notify Your Employer
To begin the claims process in Maryland, you must inform your employer of your work injury. This may be done orally, but it is better to make a report of the incident in writing. Your report must generally be made within 10 days of the accident. If a family is filing a claim following the death of a loved one, the family must notify the employer within 30 days.
Step 2: Seek Medical Attention
Don’t wait to seek medical attention. A prompt physical examination is an important part of the workers’ compensation claim process for several reasons. First, it ensures that any injuries are treated quickly and effectively so your health is protected. Second, it creates a timeline of when the accident occurred, and you were injured. Third, the records you obtain from the treating doctor will be a critical part of proving the severity and type of injury you suffered and what caused it.
Step 3: File a Claim With the Maryland WCC
You can either prepare your Employee Claim Form by yourself or have your attorney prepare it and submit it to the WCC on your behalf. This form must be filed within two years of the date of injury. Once it is received and processed by the Commission, you will be issued a claim number. Receiving a claim number generally takes about a week.
Filing your claim with the Maryland WCC also sends a notice (referred to as a “Notice of Employee’s Claim”) to your employer and their insurance company. This gives your employer and their insurer the opportunity to raise any objections against the claim within a deadline (or “consideration date”) assigned by the WCC. Any issues filed by the employer will be considered by the Commission when processing the claim.
How Can I Get the Most Out of My Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Your work doesn’t end once you receive a claim number from the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission. Follow the tips below to protect your rights and make sure your claim is not compromised in any way.
Tip 1: Follow the Doctor’s Orders
Any laziness on your part in following the doctor’s orders can be seen as evidence that your injuries aren’t as serious as you say they are. For the sake of your health and your workers’ comp claim, make sure you:
- Attend all doctor’s appointments
- Take your medications as prescribed, and refill on time
- Refrain from any activities your doctor has advised against
- Perform exercises or physical therapy if it is recommended for your condition
- Only return to work when your doctor clears you to do so
- After returning to work, follow any accommodations or restrictions your doctor advises
Tip 2: Know You Are Being Watched
Your physical and online presence will likely be under surveillance while your claim is open. Adjusters from your employer’s insurance company may be monitoring your actions to watch for any evidence that can be used to deny or undervalue your claim. No matter how good your relationship with your employer is, remember that this is the insurance business—and it’s an insurance adjuster’s job to reduce their company’s payouts.
To protect your privacy and avoid giving the insurance company a reason to cast doubt on your claim, try to follow these rules as much as possible while your claim is under review:
- Only do what your doctor says you are allowed to do
- If you are missing work, don’t engage in other activities of a similar level of strenuousness
- Give your body time to rest and recover at home
- Change your social media privacy settings and avoid posting or commenting on others’ posts
- Never let your online footprint show you were skipping a doctor’s appointment, participating in a sport or activity your condition shouldn’t allow or doing anything else that could undermine your credibility
Tip 3: Keep Good Records
Keep and make copies of every bit of paperwork related to your workers’ comp claim. Examples include:
- Medical appointment reminders and follow-up paperwork
- Physician’s notes
- Blood or imaging test results
- Prescriptions for medications
- Medical bills and receipts
- Work restrictions or accommodations directed by your doctor
- Records of transportation to and from appointments
- Letters from your employer or the insurance company
- Receipt notifications and updates from the Maryland WCC
- A copy of the accident report
- Eyewitness accounts of the injury incident
- Forms you have completed
- A journal detailing the accident, your injuries, and your recovery
Belsky & Horowitz, LLC Fights for Workers’ Rights in Maryland
You only have a limited time to take action to secure benefits after a work-related injury. Don’t delay or risk losing out on the opportunity to obtain the financial help you need to cope with medical bills and lost wages.
If you were injured at work in Baltimore, Rockville, Glen Burnie, Columbia, Hagerstown, Greenbelt, or other parts of Maryland, an attorney from Belsky & Horowitz, LLC is ready to answer your questions. Whether you’re wondering how to file a workers’ compensation claim in Maryland or what to do if your claim has been denied, we can help.
Reach out to our office to schedule a no-cost initial case consultation. We’ll review your case and offer seasoned legal advice on your best options for a full recovery.