Maryland workers’ compensation law exists to provide those injured on the job with the benefits they need to recover. But getting fair benefits, or any at all, after workplace injuries can be challenging for many injured workers.
At Belsky & Horowitz, LLC, we focus on representing employees filing workers’ compensation claims in Baltimore and throughout the rest of Maryland. We offer dependable, top-quality legal services in workplace injury cases. Our legal team is equipped with a thorough understanding of the Maryland workers’ compensation system, and we’re committed to fighting for the rights injured workers deserve. A Baltimore workers’ compensation attorney from our law firm is ready to help you file a claim as part of the complex workers’ compensation process.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Claims Our Baltimore Law Firm Handles
Nearly every employer in Maryland is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Except under certain circumstances, these benefits are the exclusive means an injured worker has to recover compensation for medical expenses and lost wages. This means employees who have suffered workplace injuries don’t usually have the right to file a civil lawsuit against their employer. However, an injured worker may be entitled to file a personal injury claim against a negligent third party if they suffer a work-related injury in some cases.
At the personal injury law firm of Belsky & Horowitz, LLC, we handle Maryland workers’ compensation cases that arise from:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heavy lifting injuries
- Ladder and scaffolding accidents
- Construction accidents
- Defective equipment failures
- Exposure to hazardous chemicals and materials
- Fires and explosions
- Occupational disease
- Slips and falls
- Wrongful death
- And many other types of job-related accidental personal injury
How We Help Injured Workers Get Fair Compensation
Our workers’ compensation lawyers know how difficult it is for injured employees to handle claims on their own, especially when recovering from severe injuries.
We guide you through the claims process so that you can focus on healing.
We gather the evidence to support your claim, from witness statements to medical records.
We get paperwork filed accurately and in a timely manner.
We go the extra mile to see that your needs and those of your family members are met.
We give your case the best chance of success by using our skills, resources, and years of experience in providing trustworthy legal assistance to injured workers in Baltimore.
Workers’ comp benefits generally include things like:
- Medical treatment
- Lost wages
- Rehabilitation and therapy
- Vocational retraining
- Permanent disability benefits
- Death benefits for family members
Each workers’ compensation case is unique. The type and level of compensation benefits you require or are eligible to receive will depend on the details of your work-related injuries, occupational disease, or loved one’s wrongful death.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Claims in Maryland
By law, almost all Maryland employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance as provided by the Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company (formerly the Injured Workers’ Insurance Fund). This insurance coverage compensates for workplace injuries suffered by employees. Not all injuries are covered, though.
As stated by the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC), any workplace injury in Baltimore must have been an “accidental personal injury arising out of and in the course of employment” for it to be covered by our state’s workers’ compensation system.
Workers’ compensation laws generally recognize two separate types of claims, which are:
An accident claim covers injuries sustained in sudden, unexpected incidents, such as:
- Falls from heights
- Heavy machinery crushing injuries
- Vehicular accidents
An occupational claim, on the other hand, addresses a disease, illness, or injury that arose due to the nature of the job rather than a specific incident. Victims such as the following are often eligible for the occupational variety of workers’ compensation benefits:
- Employees diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive stress injuries
- Workers diagnosed with occupational illnesses like lung disease or cancer after chemical exposure
Common Occupations and Injuries Resulting in Baltimore Workplace Accident Claims
Baltimore workers are susceptible to a number of different types of personal injury, depending on the nature of their employment. According to occupational data gathered by the Baltimore County Department of Economic Development, the following industries make up 50% of employment in Baltimore, MD, and will account for 75% of job growth through 2024:
- Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics
- Health Care
- Financial Services
- Professional and Business Services
- Information technology (IT)
A personal injury can happen to anyone; however, Baltimore, MD workers’ comp cases are perhaps most common among workers employed in the following job roles:
Health Care Industry
Health care professionals frequently face repetitive stress, overexertion, sprains, infections, and head injuries from slip and fall accidents. Demanding workloads, chaotic environments, exposure to disease, and issues with patients can result in a medical professional suffering a workplace injury or illness.
Construction laborers have the highest risk of suffering personal injury or wrongful death on the job. Scaffolding, ladders, hazardous materials, explosives, flammable chemicals, heavy machinery, and a high-stress atmosphere create a dangerous work environment.
Like the construction industry, jobs in the manufacturing sector put employees at significant risk of getting hurt or killed on the job. Forklift accidents and crushing injuries also frequently occur in this industry.
The following injuries commonly stem from accidents in the industries above:
- Slips, trips, and falls
- Struck-by object injuries
- Highway accidents
- Machinery incidents
- Repetitive motion injury
- Chemical and fire burns
- Loss of digits, hands, or limbs
- Loss of vision or hearing
What Is Compensable Under Maryland Workers’ Compensation Law?
Because Maryland workers’ comp law requires that an injury be an “accidental injury arising out of and in the course of employment,” your injuries must satisfy specific criteria to be considered compensable, no matter if it is an accidental injury or occupational illness.
Work-related injuries, whether an accidental event that occurs suddenly and results in an unanticipated injury or illness, or a non-sudden-onset issue like hernias, rotator cuff injuries, and occupational diseases, can all be caused by poor workplace conditions. If workers are exposed to a dangerous environment, they may eventually experience health complications. The purpose of Maryland workers’ comp law is to recompense workers for these health issues.
But to be compensable, the most important point is that the personal injury must have been related to the injured worker’s job. Complications can arise when there is debate over whether the injury was, in fact, work-related. The Maryland workers’ compensation commission differentiates between the phrases “arise out of the employment” and “be in the course of employment.” Claim considerations must take into account the:
- Circumstances of the incident
The workers’ compensation system is highly complicated, and it’s easy to see why filing a claim can be so confusing to injured employees. As you might guess, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer may try to define these workers’ comp terms in a way that saves them the most money.
No matter how your injury occurred, a Baltimore workers’ compensation lawyer from Belsky & Horowitz, LLC will help you get the justice you deserve.
What Benefits Are Available for Injured Workers in Maryland?
An injured employee may be eligible for multiple benefits after suffering an on-the-job personal injury, including:
- Temporary total disability (TTD) benefits
- Permanent total disability (PTD) benefits
- Temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits
- Permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits
- Medical benefits
- Hospitalization benefits
- Vocational rehabilitation benefits
- Death and funeral benefits after a family member’s wrongful death
Temporary Disability and Benefits
Injuries that will eventually heal are broken down into two types:
- Temporary Partial Disability Benefits
- Temporary Total Disability Benefits
The classification of these temporary disability benefits depends on the severity and type of injury.
TPD refers to an injury that does not result in complete disability but will prevent you from doing your normal work duties for a period of time. TTD is for injuries that will prevent you from working at all while you’re recovering.
You may be eligible for these temporary disability benefits if your work injury only requires you to miss a couple of weeks of work or more. Temporary benefits could include money for your lost wages (based on average weekly wage) and medical benefits.
Long-Term or Permanent Disability and Benefits
You may require long-term disability benefits if your injury or illness has a lifelong impact. There are two types of benefits reserved for permanently disabling injuries, which are:
- Permanent Total Disability Benefits
- Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
Of the two injuries listed above, PTD is the most severe. This category often covers debilitating issues like limb loss or traumatic brain injury. PPD, while still serious, is an impairment but does not involve complete disablement.
Depending on the severity of your personal injury 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
Wage Reimbursement Benefits
Losing income can create additional stress while you’re recovering from injuries. Most injured workers need a paycheck they can depend on to manage living expenses and keep up with medical bills.
You may be entitled to reimbursement for some or all of your average weekly wage, including time spent at doctors’ appointments or in Maryland court hearings. Your workers’ compensation attorney from Belsky & Horowitz, LLC will fight for you to receive compensation for the days of work you’ve missed as they apply to your workers’ compensation claim, whether it was due to receiving medical treatment or for legal purposes.
What Should I Do After a Workplace Accident in Baltimore?
Our Baltimore workers’ compensation lawyers advise taking these steps below to protect your health and workers’ compensation claim after an injury.
Report the Incident
Your employer must be informed of the incident as quickly as possible. Write a report detailing the events that led up to the accident and the injuries that resulted. This initiates the process and prompts your employer to file the documentation they need to within our state’s often complex workers’ compensation system.
Photographs and videos of the accident scene can be valuable evidence for your claim. If possible, ask witnesses to write down a statement as well.
Seek Medical Attention
Proceed to the hospital or visit a doctor promptly to get a full assessment of your injuries. This will also benefit your claim because it shows that your personal injury was severe enough to require medical attention. Be sure to save all medical bills and records.
Keep a Personal Record
It’s helpful to keep a record of how your life has been affected. Write down the pain you’re experiencing, your recovery process, missed work time, and all medical expenses. It’s important to only share this record with your lawyer—avoid posting anything on social media.
Keep Your Social Media Accounts Private
Keep your social media accounts private, and avoid discussing anything related to your injury. Staying off social media altogether is a good idea, as even an unrelated post can be used against your claim.
Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Not sure what you should (and should not) do to protect your claim? Speak with a skilled Baltimore workers’ comp lawyer from Belsky & Horowitz, LLC. We can advise you on how to handle the insurance company, so you don’t accidentally jeopardize your filing.
Maryland Workers’ Compensation FAQs
We highly recommend seeking legal counsel before moving forward with your workers’ comp claim on your own. Speaking to a lawyer prior to filing your claim can help you avert a world of problems that you may later encounter.
But no matter where you are in the personal injury claims process, we are here to answer any and all questions you have. Simply call or fill out our online contact form, and we’ll be in touch soon to set up a free initial consultation on your schedule.
In the meantime, we’ve provided answers below to some of the most frequently asked questions related to MD workers’ comp cases.
How Long Do I Have To Report an Injury to My Employer?
Under Maryland workers’ compensation laws, you have a legal duty to report the incident to the employer. This must be done:
- Within 10 days of an accidental injury
- Within 30 days of a fatality caused by a work-related accident
- Within one year of discovering a work-related illness
- Within one year after a death caused by an illness
What Is the Statute of Limitations That Applies to My Baltimore Workers’ Comp Claim?
There are strict deadlines for filing a workers’ compensation claim in Maryland. For accidental injuries, you generally have 60 days from the date of injury, and if, for any reason, the process takes longer than this, you will be completely barred from compensation after two years.
Those diagnosed with occupational injuries, diseases, and disablement are generally allowed one year (or in some cases two years) from the date they discovered the illness, discovered the illness was work-related, or had to stop working. If an employee loses their life, the family typically has 18 months to file a claim after an accidental death and two years to file a claim after death from an occupational illness.
Do I Need a Lawyer To File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
The Maryland WCC states that it is your right to have an attorney of your choice, but you are not required by law to retain legal counsel. Even if you begin the process on your own, you can still seek professional legal guidance at any point. With our experience in these types of situations, our Baltimore workers’ comp lawyers are able to assist injured workers at any stage of their case.
Do I Need To Prove My Employer Was at Fault for My Workplace Injuries?
No, you do not need to prove fault. Maryland follows a no-fault system for worker’s comp cases. You must meet the requirements of being an employee, being injured, and being injured out of and in the course of your employment. These are the things you must prove, rather than fault, to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
We have certainly seen situations when employers’ workers’ compensation insurance companies argue that the injury is not eligible for coverage. In these cases, it’s essential that you have an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer from Belsky & Horowitz, LLC fighting in your corner.
What if My Employer’s Insurance Company Denies My Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
There are many reasons an insurer may try to deny your claim, but it usually comes down to money. You have the right to appeal a denied claim with the Maryland WCC. Unfortunately, this is a step many injured workers in Baltimore find they need to take to get fair treatment. We’ll be by your side if you need to make an appeal.
In other cases, you may find that you need to reopen your case due to worsening conditions. We are highly experienced in these difficult situations and are committed to achieving the best possible outcome for you.
How Our Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Can Support You
Did you know that Maryland was the first state in the U.S. to enact workers’ compensation laws? Since this pioneering decision in 1902 to its reversal when a Baltimore City judge ruled it unconstitutional to deny employees a jury trial, we’ve experienced a long, tumultuous history of workers’ rights in our state. As a law office comprised of Baltimore workers’ compensation lawyers serving the people of Maryland, we are proud to stand up and fight for the rights of today’s hardworking employees.
Our Maryland workers’ compensation lawyers understand our state’s laws and know its court system. And we have a reputation that extends throughout the state.
Come learn why Belsky & Horowitz, LLC is one of the leading champions of workers’ rights in Maryland. Contact us to see how we can help you.