Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
Maryland Workers’ Compensation law is full of stringent timelines and legal subtleties that can be difficult to navigate. Failing to properly file a Workers’ Compensation claim can have a severe impact on your chances of receiving full compensation for your injuries. Employers, insurance companies, and opposing counsel work together to protect their best interests, so it is crucial that you have skilled legal guidance in any kind of Workers’ Compensation matter.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ Compensation is a system established under Maryland law to provide injured employees with a means to obtain benefits, including medical treatment and compensation for lost earnings. The biggest advantages of this system for the injured worker are that the benefits are both predictable and simple to obtain in the sense that the employee is not required to prove that the employer was at fault or that the employee is without fault. It should be noted that in exchange for this simplified system, the employee gives up his or her right to sue the employer.
As with all things, there are exceptions to the rule, but in the vast majority of workplace injury cases, the exclusive remedy is Workers’ Compensation. This is why you should take your Workers’ Compensation claim seriously. If you have no other way to be compensated, one of our Maryland Workers’ Compensation lawyers can help.
How Can a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Help My Case?
There is no requirement that an injured worker retain an attorney to either file or pursue a Workers’ Compensation claim. However, as the previous questions and answers demonstrate, Workers’ Compensation is a complex area of the law with many pitfalls, some of them fatal to the uninformed. The Social Security Administration highly encourages claimants to seek experienced legal support to help ensure the best results for their claims.
At LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, we are fully familiar with the relevant laws and rules in any type of Workers’ Compensation matter and can help ensure you receive the full benefits to which you are entitled. A skilled Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyer will protect your rights and best interests through every step of the process. We will deal with the opposing attorneys and other representatives who may try to trick you into invalidating your claim or settling the case for little to no money. An experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer can also help develop medical evidence to prove your claim, negotiate a settlement, and represent you at your Workers’ Compensation hearings and potential appeals.
How Much Do You Charge for Workers’ Compensation Cases?
An attorney may not receive a fee for handling a Workers’ Compensation case without the approval of the Workers’ Compensation Commission. In order to qualify for a fee, an attorney must recover compensation benefits for their client. The amount of the fee is strictly regulated by law with no exceptions.
It should be noted that any money paid to our firm comes from the employer’s insurance company, not out of the employee’s pocket. You should never pay another attorney upfront, thinking that they can give you better results.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
What Workers’ Compensation Benefits are Available in Maryland?
When administering the state’s Workers’ Compensation program, Maryland’s Workers’ Compensation Commission functions according to a statute under Maryland law. This law creates defined standards for what constitutes “disabled,” whether totally, partially, temporarily, or permanently. The law also provides a schedule of compensation for particular injuries and losses, including:
- Medical expenses and future medical care
- Current and future lost wages
- Complete loss of or loss of the use of a body member
- Vocational rehabilitation
What are the Different Types of Disability Benefits in Maryland?
Under Maryland law, disability is broken down into four categories, each one defined by the nature and extent of the disability:
- Temporary Partial Disability: When a disability that is temporary in nature but partial in extent, the injured worker receives medical treatment while continuing to work.
- Temporary Total Disability: When a disability is temporary in nature but total in extent, the injured worker receives medical treatment while being unable to work.
- Permanent Partial Disability: When a disability is permanent in nature but partial in extent, an injured workers has reached maximum medical improvement and is working, but the worker’s ability to perform their job has been impaired by the injury.
- Permanent Total Disability: A disability that is permanent in nature and total in extent means that the injured worker has reached maximum medical improvement but is incapable of performing any work of any kind.
Workers’ Compensation Claim Process
How Do I File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Maryland?
Filing a claim with the Workers’ Compensation Commission can be a complicated process without the proper guidance. Many employees believe that once they receive a claim number from their employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurer a claim has been filed. However, an official workers’ compensation claim must still be filed by the employee with the state commission. It is advisable to have a knowledgeable Worker’s Compensation lawyer help you navigate the claims and legal process from start to finish, and ensure you receive the full benefits you need and deserve.
For more information about filing a Workers’ Compensation claim in Maryland, see the following link: https://www.wcc.state.md.us/
How Long Do I Have to File for a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Under Maryland’s Workers’ Compensation law, an employee must file a claim for compensation within 60 days of the date of a work-related injury. Only under certain circumstances is the Workers’ Compensation Commission authorized to waive the 60-day time limit.
As a general rule, failure to file a Workers’ Compensation claim within two years of the date of the accident and injury may result in a complete bar to a potential claim. If you feel that you will face workplace retaliation because you reported an injury, reach out to LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton for assistance.
Maryland Workers’ Compensation law is full of specific timelines and legal subtleties that you may not fully understand. If you fail to properly file a claim, you could ruin your chance of receiving compensation. The insurance companies have attorneys on their side, protecting their best interests, and so should you. Read through these frequently asked questions so that you understand what will happen when you file a claim.
Who Is Eligible for Workers’ Compensation in Maryland?
Nearly every employer in Maryland is required to carry insurance to cover the costs of medical expenses and replace lost wages in cases of work injuries and occupational illnesses. Most workers qualify for Workers’ Compensation benefits no matter what caused the accident, as long as it is shown that an employer-employee relationship exists, and the resulting injury is work-related. Exceptions apply to businesses with independent contractors or self-employed workers.
The industries that see the most Workers’ Compensations claims include:
- Farming, Fishing, and Forestry
Can My Employer Drug Test Me after a Work Accident?
What Do I Do If My Claim Was Denied?
If your Workers’ Compensation claim was denied or undervalued by your employer or their insurer, you have a right to pursue your entitlement to Workers’ Compensation benefits. In cases where the facts are not entirely clear whether or not your injury or illness is work-related, your claim for workers’ compensation benefits may be denied. Fortunately, you have options for pursuing your case further with the assistance of an experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer.
You have the right to request a hearing by submitting a form setting forth what issues you believe were wrongly decided, such as a denial that your injury or illness was work-related or a miscalculation of your average weekly wage. A hearing will be scheduled when both you and your employer or its insurer will be able to present arguments and evidence.
In addition to or as an alternative, you may also file a notice of appeal with the circuit court. If you file both a request for rehearing and a court complaint and the court rules first, the court’s ruling takes precedence. If the court rules against you, you have a right of appeal to the Maryland appellate courts.
Is My Case Over When I Receive an Award from the Court?
Unlike a negligence claim where the signing of a release or the recovery of a verdict ends the case, a Workers’ Compensation claim continues even after an award. When an injured worker obtains an award for disability, they have a period of five years from the date of the last payment of compensation to reopen the case for additional compensation benefits due to a worsening or deterioration of the condition.
In addition, an injured worker may return to medical treatment for additional care. However, it is possible to close a Workers’ Compensation claim and end all future potential benefits with a lump sum settlement. In some cases, it may be advantageous for the claimant to take advantage of this process and simply close the claim once and for all. You may rely on our expertise in helping you to make the decision as to whether or not to settle. If you received an award and you believe that your condition has worsened, our legal team can help even if we did not handle your original claim.
What Should You Do If You Are Injured at Work?
Here are important steps to take after a work injury:
- Seek medical attention immediately: Even seemingly minor injuries can turn into major problems if left untreated.
- Notify your employer: Notification is an essential first step in the Workers’ Compensation process.
- Document your injury: Maintain a detailed record of medical care, pain, and anything that might be relevant.
- Keep up with your medical care: Follow the prescribed treatment or rehabilitation plan prescribed by your doctor.
- Contact a Personal Injury lawyer: Complex cases and denied claims are best handled by a qualified professional who has your best interests at heart.
What Are Common Workplace Accidents?
All kinds of accidents can occur in the workplace, leaving many workers with life-changing injuries. The most common workplace accidents include:
- Trip/slip and fall accidents: Spills, wet or oily surfaces, icy steps or walkways, loose flooring, poor lighting, clutter, uncovered cables, and uneven walking surfaces can all cause serious accidents.
- Moving machinery accidents: When body parts get caught in or struck by exposed moving machine parts without protective guards, the results are often disastrous. Heavy machinery that is not properly guarded is a serious safety hazard. These kinds of accidents are most common in factories, on farms, and construction sites.
- Accidents involving vehicles: There is always the potential for a variety of kinds of accidents when vehicles are involved at work. Workers can be struck or run over by a moving vehicle, fall down from a large vehicle, struck by flying objects from a vehicle and, in severe cases, get crushed underneath an overturned vehicle.
- Fires and explosions: Explosions and fires at work can be caused by faulty gas lines, improperly stored combustible materials, or open flames. These kinds of accidents are less common than others, but they account for the highest fatality rate of all workplace accidents. Injuries commonly incurred in a fire or explosion include damage to the respiratory system, varying degrees of burns, and disfigurement.
- Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSIs): (RSIs) are the fasted growing category of workplace injuries and involve more than 100 different types of jobs. An RSI such as carpel tunnel syndrome may not seem as serious as a more dramatic injury since it develops over time through repeated movements. In reality, RSIs can be severe enough to make simple activities difficult without debilitating pain or permanently impair a worker’s abilities to perform their job.
- Toxic exposure: There are certain occupational illnesses that fall under Workers’ Compensation such as toxic chemical exposure, contaminated water, and asbestos exposure. In toxic exposure cases, the chronic and sometimes deadly illnesses often do not appear until many years after the “date of injury.”
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Serve Injured Workers Throughout Maryland
Reach out to one of our experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyers in Baltimore for assistance with your case. We will review your case and fight for the benefits you rightfully deserve for your injuries. Call us at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Baltimore, we represent clients throughout Maryland.
Learn more about Workers’ Compensation in Maryland