In 1902, Maryland became the first state in the country to enact a workers’ compensation law.
In Maryland, all employers are required to purchase insurance coverage for their employees, meaning that virtually all employers and employees are covered under the state’s Workers’ Compensation Act. Although independent contractors are not covered under the act, the determination of whether an injured worker is an independent contractor should NEVER be left to the employer or insurance company. You need to consult a workers’ compensation attorney.
A Maryland-based employee must have sustained an injury arising out of and during the course of employment, or as the result of an occupational disease (any illness characteristic of the industry in which the worker is employed). This may seem like a simple requirement, but its interpretation has become incredibly complex, and has given way to thousands of appeals.
Types of Workers’ Compensation
- Temporary total disability. A worker who is temporarily and totally disabled is not able to perform work of any kind during medical treatment. Maryland’s workers’ compensation law allows this type of worker to continue receiving two-thirds of what his or her average weekly wage was at the time the injury occurred. There is no maximum length of time for which benefits can be paid, but there is cap on the amount of weekly compensation benefits, which is calculated once a year.
- Temporary partial disability. If an employee is able to perform some work, is still under active medical care, but cannot work at the same level they were able to prior to an injury, they may be eligible for temporary partial disability. In Maryland, these benefits (which the worker would receive in addition to their wages for the reduced work) are typically calculated as 50% of the difference between the worker’s average weekly wage before the injury, and the worker’s weekly wage while performing light or part-time work.
- Permanent partial disability. Permanent physical impairments that do not cause the worker to be totally unable to work fall into this category of workers’ compensation claims. In Maryland, they are calculated based on a complex formula that includes the percentage of permanent partial disability that the worker sustained, a number of weeks set in the law for the particular type of injury, the employee’s average weekly wage, and a cap on the weekly benefit (based on the year of the injury). The worker’s attorney will also get a disability rating from a doctor, which will also be taken into account when calculating the final amount awarded.
- Permanent total disability. To receive this type of compensation, an employee must be unable to return to work in any capacity as a result of the work-related injury. The weekly compensation benefits for this type of injury are the same as for temporary total disability, but include annual cost of living increases. A person who is permanently and totally disabled is entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits for the rest of his or her life.
- Death benefits compensation. If an injury results in the death of an injured Maryland worker, his or her dependents are able to file a workers’ compensation claim for death benefits.
- Medical expenses. Reasonable and necessary compensation for medical care are covered under Maryland worker’s compensation in, including prescriptions, medical appliances, and treatment. The injured worker may be entitled to have medical expenses related to the injury paid for the rest of his or her life. There is no deductible or dollar limit on the amount of all medical expenses. Although insurance carriers pay most medical bills voluntarily, the absence of a voluntary agreement may require approval by the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission prior to payment.
Contact Ashcraft & Gerel for Help with Your Maryland Workers’ Comp Claim
The attorneys at Ashcraft & Gerel have been handling Maryland workers’ compensation claims for more than 60 years. Our lawyers have a reputation for being aggressive and knowing the fine points of Maryland workers’ compensation law. Visit one of our three Maryland offices or contact us today by phone or email to learn more about filing a workers’ compensation claim.