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Worker’s Compensation in Maryland: The Fine Print

The general practice attorneys at Murnane & O’Neill examine the minute details of worker’s compensation in Maryland.

In the state of Maryland, workplace injuries must occur under very specific circumstances in order for a worker to receive medical coverage. Specifically, the worker’s compensation guidelines for the state require that the accident that caused the workplace injury must have occurred “out of” or “in the course of employment.”

Further examination of these requirements requires definition of several key terms. According to the Maryland Worker’s Compensation Act, an ‘accident’ is a sudden and improbable event that has unforeseen results. Although there are specific conditions that are covered under worker’s compensation even if when not deemed the result of one particular accident, such as diseases caused by repeated exposure to occupational hazards, the former is the case for most workplace injuries.

Injuries that occur during the performance of a regular work task may be covered by worker’s compensation. These injuries “arise out of the course of employment,” according to the Maryland Worker’s Compensation Act. Injuries, on the other hand, that occur at work or during a regular work task, but are not necessarily caused by a job duty or other known hazard, are considered to “arise in the course of employment.”

If you are injured on the job, be sure to report it to your employer as soon as possible and seek legal representation. The state of Maryland allows injured workers to receive care from the medical professional of their choice. Once you have established your eligibility you will be able to receive reimbursement for any pre-compensable medical costs.

After you have reported your injury to your employer, you should file for worker’s compensation. In order for your claim to be considered complete, you must also submit a form authorizing the release of your medical records. Your claim status will then be made available online.

If you qualify for worker’s compensation, you may be eligible for any number of medical services, based on the classification of disability you are assigned. Any medical care your work injury requires will be covered under worker’s compensation. You will be assigned one of the following disability qualifications:

  • Temporary partial disability: This type of disability classification is assigned when you are temporarily unable to work full time or perform all the duties associated with your job. You will receive a portion of your salary while you are unable to work full time.
  • Temporary total disability: Individuals who are classified under temporary total disability are temporarily unable to perform their job, and will receive two thirds of a week’s wage not exceeding the average weekly wage for the state of Maryland.
  • Permanent partial disability: If you are able to perform some of the duties associated with your job, but remain permanently disabled, you may be classified as permanently partially disabled. The monetary benefits awarded for this classification of disability vary based on the type of injury and the part of the body that sustained the injury.
  • Permanent total disability: Disability applicants are classified under permanent total disability when they are no longer able to perform a job because of a permanently disabling injury. If you receive this classification, you are eligible to collect two thirds of a week’s worth of your pay not exceeding the state weekly average.

If your worker’s compensation claim is denied by the state of Maryland, you will be notified by a Notice of Dispute letter. If you feel your claim is valid despite the denial, you may schedule an appeal hearing.

If you feel your workplace is denying your worker’s compensation without a valid explanation, you should seek legal representation. Insurance companies can be exceedingly difficult to communicate with, and an experienced attorney in worker’s compensation defense can help protect you from being denied the medical coverage you deserve.

If you would like more information on worker’s compensation defense or would like to seek representation for a worker’s compensation claim dispute, call Murnane & O’Neill today.