Maryland Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
If you or someone close to you was injured in a workplace accident, the workers’ compensation lawyers at CHASENBOSCOLO are ready to help. After a workplace injury, you need to concentrate on your recovery, not worry about how you’re going to pay your bills. We’ll explain your rights and help you get the benefits you need so that you can put your focus back where it belongs.
Employers are required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance, but filing a claim doesn’t guarantee approval. That’s why you need a Maryland workers’ compensation attorney who can navigate the complex workers’ compensation system to get the benefits you deserve.
For more than 30 years, CHASENBOSCOLO has dedicated time, resources, and countless office hours fighting for hard-working Marylanders who were injured while performing their regular duties. Call our firm at (301) 220-0050 to have your workers’ compensation claim filed correctly and on time.
Workers Compensation Laws
Although an injured employee may wish to pursue benefits immediately, the state specifies the requirements for a valid claim. The Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission, in conjunction with Maryland Code § 9-101, gives injured employees an outline of what is considered a payable injury. An injury is defined as:
- An accident that caused injury during the course of employment
- An accident that was caused by another’s negligence during the course of work
- Any disease that resulted from a workplace injury, including occupational diseases, sunstroke, and frostbite.
These events are expected to incapacitate an employee for an extended period of time for workers’ compensation to be payable. Even with a debilitating injury, employees are required to follow the procedures to have their claims heard with no guarantee of compensation.
Procedure for Filing Workers’ Compensation in Maryland
In Maryland, injured workers are not required to prove employer negligence in order to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. If the injury was job-related, and the claims process is followed correctly, getting benefits started isn’t usually an issue. To ensure your claim is submitted to the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission, follow these steps:
- File notice of injury with your employer immediately after the accident. You have ten days to file this report. If you miss the deadline, you may lose your right to receive compensation. With occupational illnesses, Maryland allows injured employees up to one year to file this report.
- Your employer may or may not require an accident report. If they do, fill it out completely and provide evidence, such as photos or witness statements.
- The employer will notify their insurer that a claim has been filed.
- Select your physician and begin treatment.
- File your claim with the MWCC within 60 days of your accident (either online or by downloading and mailing your request). Deadline extension are only given with good cause, and two years is the cap.
- MWCC notifies your employer and the employer’s insurer of your claim.
- The insurer will investigate your claim. This process may include a review of your work history, medical records, and the accident details. They may also order a functional capacity evaluation.
- Within 21 days, the injured worker will receive the insurer’s decision. If approved, benefits will begin shortly thereafter; if denied, you’ll need to appeal the decision with MWCC.
There are several reasons why insurers may deny your claim: an incomplete application, the nature of your injury, or other reasons specific to each case. Even when serious injury is obvious, denials are common, so it’s a good idea to file a claim under the guidance of an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation law.
Appealing a Workers’ Compensation Denial in Maryland
If an employee is not receiving the full benefits as promised or if the insurer denied your claim, you will need to begin the appeal process. To request your hearing, you will need to submit an Issues Form to the MWCC by mail; your employer or their insurer must be notified as well. The form allows you to describe the reason for the appeal, including a description of missing benefits or an explanation of why you believe the denial should be reversed.
An MWCC commissioner will be assigned to hear your case. Your employer may state their reasons the denial, and you’ll be able to defend your claim with evidence. The commissioner will then decide how much you’re entitled to, if anything. If your appeal is successful, benefits will be paid at the agreed-upon rate; if not, you’ll need to schedule a rehearing.
You will have 15 days from the final decision of the commission to schedule your rehearing. The commissioner will decide if a rehearing will be allowed; historically, these are very difficult to get. Should your rehearing request be denied, you’ll appeal to the Circuit Court. Hearings that are decided by the court will take precedence over the commissioner’s ruling (if they are decided before the commissioner responds).
Losing your appeal at the Circuit Court level affords you the right to appeal with the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.
Because the appeals process is challenging, emotionally tolling, and often difficult for an individual to win alone, you need an experienced attorney by your side to help navigate this process.
Benefits Available to Injured Workers
When approved, you may receive medical and financial benefits for a predetermined period. Those benefits include:
- Payment for medical bills, physical therapy, prescriptions, and other medical procedures that are necessary to help the employee return to work
- A weekly check in the amount of 67 percent of your average. That average is calculated by taking your previous year’s salary, dividing by 52, then multiplying by two-thirds.
There may be other forms of compensation available. You can discuss your situation with your workers’ compensation lawyer before filing your claim.
Frequently Asked Questions about Workers’ Comp
The insurer or self-insured employer can deny workers’ compensation claims if they believe the injury is not related to work. If the claim goes to dispute, injured workers may end up in a formal hearing before the MWCC.
Like many states, Maryland will allow injured workers to file workers’ compensation claims regardless of how the injury happened, provided it happened at the worker’s place of employment.
While not an actual workplace injury, the Maryland Court of Appeals has ruled favorably in several cases where claimants had applied for benefits where PTSD was the occupational disease.
In Maryland, you cannot file a civil action and a workers’ compensation claim simultaneously. There are exceptions to this rule, although having grounds to file both is uncommon.
Maryland employers who staff at least one worker are required by law to carry insurance on employees that covers workplace injuries. State law also requires sufficient notice to be given to employees that coverage has been obtained by the employer. These notices are prominent in break rooms or on the door of HR offices.
Survivors of deceased workers may receive benefits at the worker’s average weekly salary until $45,000 has been exhausted. If the worker did not earn enough, the employer must continue to pay these benefits until $45,000 is exhausted
Maryland law requires employers to have work permits for every employee under 18. If the minor was injured or killed while working, the MWCC can double the payments owed by the employer. There are few exceptions to this rule, which your attorney can discuss with you.
Injured workers may continue to receive weekly benefits until they’ve reached maximum medical improvement, which usually requires a doctor’s clearance to return to work.
Your injury must force you out of work for over three days to qualify. If you miss more than two weeks, you’ll be paid for the first three days (the waiting period).
We Help Injured Employees File Workers’ Compensation Claims
Maryland’s complex employment laws allow injured workers to claim benefits when their injuries happen at work. Some employers would rather not pay these benefits for fear of skyrocketing insurance premiums. However, according to the “no fault” system, injuries that were sustained during work hours should be paid to workers who file timely claims.
CHASENBOSCOLO has helped hard-working Marylanders secure workers’ compensation benefits for over three decades. Featuring some of the tristate area’s finest attorneys, our firm can take your claim from the beginning through to the final appeal. Initial consultations are always free, and there are no out-of-pocket fees for our legal services.
Call us at (301) 220-0050 or by filling out a contact form to speak with a knowledgeable Maryland workers’ compensation lawyer.