The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2016 that 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses occurred in the private industry. Fatal workplace injuries and illnesses tallied at 5,190. The majority of these injuries, illnesses, and deaths occurred in these five private industry sectors: healthcare, construction, wholesale trade, manufacturing, and retail trade.
Workers’ compensation commercials and ads are scoured all over the television and internet and if you try to research the compensation laws yourself, it can be overwhelming and confusing – especially if you’re suffering from an injury. But if you know you’d been injured at work and don’t know where to turn, our Baltimore workers’ compensation lawyers are here for you.
Workers’ Compensation in Maryland
According to the United States Department of Labor, Maryland has awarded over $20 million in workers’ compensation. If you are injured on the job in Maryland, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits; however, not all workplace injuries are covered.
The Workers’ Compensation Law states the employee must have suffered an “accidental injury arising out of and in the course of employment.” In other words, your injuries must satisfy specific criteria in order to be considered compensable. They must be the result of an accident, arise over the course of employment, or arise in the course of employment.
According to Maryland law, an accident is defined as an unusual event that occurs suddenly and results in an unanticipated injury or illness. There are certain exceptions for injuries like hernias or occupational diseases. An occupation disease is one that has been caused by the conditions of the workplace, like exposure to asbestos.
Getting Injured on the Job
While workers’ compensation claims are filed for a variety of job types, it’s important to recognize certain job industries pose higher risks of injury than others.
Healthcare. Healthcare professionals often face injuries such as repetitive stress, overexertion, sprains, infections, and even head injuries. These injuries are often the result of a demanding workload and issues with patients.
Construction. Construction laborers often use heavy equipment that can result in severe injury if used incorrectly. These jobs are even more dangerous when you add in scaffolding, ladders, and other work equipment. You increase your chances of falling and becoming seriously injured with work like that.
Manufacturing. Most injuries in the manufacturing field are strains or sprains; however, more severe injuries can occur while working with large equipment and standing for long hours.
Finance and Insurance. While the world of finance may seem like an unsuspecting industry for injuries, it was the only industry to see a rise in worker’ compensation claims in 2016. Many of these claims were for repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel.
Retail Trade. Retail workers are often at risk for musculoskeletal disorders like sprains, back pain, soreness and carpal tunnel. Their daily tasks are often underestimated in regard to the strain it puts on their bodies.
Wholesale Trade. Wholesale and retail trade account for approximately 13 percent of the workforce. The wholesale trade sees a disproportionate number of injuries, given the size of the workforce. Just in 2016, 19 percent of the wholesale trade laborers filed for workers’ comp. These injuries were related to musculoskeletal disorders, slips, trips, and falls, and motor vehicle-related injuries.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Whether your suffering from a broken ankle or an injury that requires hospitalization, it’s important to start filing your claim as soon as possible. To start your claim, you must inform your employer of your injury, orally or in writing, within 10 days of the accident. If a family is claiming compensation because of the death of a loved on, the family must notify the employer within 30 days. In Maryland, independent contractors are typically not eligible for any kind of worker’ comp because they don’t have an employer.
If you are filing your claim, or are a dependent filing a claim for a deceased family member, the following information must be included:
- Your/the deceased’s name
- Your/the deceased’s permanent address
- The specific time and place of your/the deceased’s injury
- The nature and cause of your/the deceased’s injury
- You signature
If you’ve suffered an occupational disease, you have year one after your diagnosis to report it to your employer. If you miss the deadlines for either claim, you may render yourself ineligible for any workers’ comp.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Maryland
Temporary Disability and Benefits.
Maryland breaks temporary disability down into two types: Temporary Total Disability (TTD) and Temporary Partial Disability (TPD). The classification depends on the severity and type of injury.
You may be eligible for temporary benefits if your injury or illness only requires you to miss 14 days of work or more. You may be entitled to money for your medical bills and lost income. If your injury takes less than 14 days to heal, you may only receive a financial award for your medical expenses.
Long-Term or Permanent Disability and Benefits.
Unfortunately, some on-the-job injuries are so severe that they will have a lifelong impact. Permanent disability, like temporary disability, is broken down into two categories: Permanent Total Disability (PTD) and Permanent Partial Disability (PPD). PTD is the most severe and could result in loss of limbs or traumatic brain injury. PPD, while still serious, is classified as an impairment, but not complete disablement.
Depending on the severity of your accident and the nature of your claim, you may be eligible for indefinite medical treatments and compensation to cover any of the following:
- Crutches or wheelchairs
- Hospital visits
- Medical attendance
- Medical or surgical treatment
- Nursing services
- Prosthetic appliances
Wage Reimbursement Benefits.
In addition to any compensation for your medical bills and expenses, you may be entitled to reimbursement for any or all lost wages during your recovery period, including time spent at hearings in court.
Contact a Maryland Worker’ Compensation Lawyer from Our Firm Today
While not all workplace accidents need the full counsel of a lawyer, it never hurts to ask. Whether you have recently been injured or are considering reopening a case for worsening conditions, our Baltimore workers’ compensation attorneys can help. At Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC, we have a proven track record for getting injured workers and their families the compensation they deserve. We take on cases in Baltimore and the surrounding areas. Contact us online today or call us at 410-234-0100 or 800-895-5333.