If you have been injured at work, you may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. You must protect yourself by timely filing a claim with the Maryland Workers' Compensation Commission. Filing a claim ensures that you will be provided with a variety of benefits, including medical treatment, lost wages and compensation for your injuries.
The first and arguably most important step to take once you have been injured on the job is to report the injury to your employer. Reporting the injury as soon as possible eliminates many of the defenses the insurance company can raise in an attempt to deny your claim. However, even if you have been injured and have not reported the injury to your employer in a timely manner, you may still be eligible for benefits.
Anyone who suffers an accidental injury related to work may file a claim. Injuries can range from sprains or contusions to more serious injuries such as torn ligaments and broken bones. There is no classification or minimum requirement of what type of injury may be compensable under workers' compensation.
Claims may also be filed for injuries or diseases that develop over time as a result of one's employment. For example, police officers and firefighters who develop hypertension or heart disease may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits due to the stressful nature of their jobs. Similarly, office employees who develop carpal tunnel syndrome from typing over a long period of time may also be eligible for workers' compensation benefits.
There are several workers' compensation benefits available to an injured worker:
If you are unable to work as a result of a work-related injury, you are most likely eligible for TTD. While on TTD, the insurance company will pay you two-thirds of your salary for however long you are temporarily disabled. Many municipalities have separate agreements where employees are entitled to their full salary while disabled (known as accident leave).
The employer's workers' compensation insurance company is responsible for paying all medical bills relating to your injury. This includes but is not limited to doctor visits, x-rays, MRIs, physical therapy, surgeries and medications. You are not personally responsible for the payment of any medical treatment.
If your injury permanently prevents you from returning to your job, you may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation. While in vocational rehabilitation, a professional will work with you to help find you a new job at a salary comparable to your previous earnings. If warranted, you may even be eligible for re-training or additional education which would be paid for by the insurance company. In addition, you would be paid up to two-thirds of your salary while working with the vocational rehabilitation counselor.
Permanent partial disability is the final compensation you will receive as a result of your injury. The overall amount is based on multiple factors such as the body part(s) injured, the severity of the injury, the medical treatment provided, the injury's impact on your job, your salary and more. Every case is unique. Contact us for a free consultation to evaluate your case.
If your injury prevents you from working full-time while you are recovering, but you are able to work part-time during this period, you may be entitled to benefits paid by the insurance carrier to supplement your reduced income.
If your injury causes you to be permanently disabled, preventing you from ever returning to work in any capacity, you may be entitled to permanent total disability benefits. A permanent total disability finding orders the insurance carrier to pay you up to two-thirds your salary, tax-free, for life.
The SIF allows for additional compensation to be paid for certain cases. If you sustain a significant injury at work and also have a significant history of other medical conditions sustained prior to the work injury, you may be eligible for additional benefits from this fund.
The Law Office of Mitchel M. Gordon has represented thousands of clients of all professions over the years. Based in Baltimore, we work throughout Maryland. Many of our clients are individuals who serve the public and are frequently exposed to danger every single day. These include police officers, firefighters, paramedics, deputy sheriffs, and correctional officers. We understand the nuances of Maryland workers' compensation law and make it a priority to explain the rights and options available to you. Learn more below, or contact us now for a free consultation.