Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in Baltimore, Maryland
It can be difficult to know where to turn following an accident at the workplace that leads to severe personal injuries. In addition to you and your family now facing medical expenses for any treatments or medications, if your injuries are so severe that you’re unable to work for an extended period of time, it can be a difficult financial and emotional burden for you to bare.
The silver lining is, you don’t have to shoulder the financial and emotional burden of your personal injuries on your own. Using years of experience in worker’s compensation and personal injury law, as well as a passion for serving families in Baltimore, Maryland and the surrounding area, the attorneys at Ashcraft & Gerel can help you seek a fair settlement and the compensation you deserve. They have the knowledge and the resources needed to represent clients in personal injury cases that involve any of the following:
- Back or neck injuries from heavy lifting
- Construction accidents
- Job-related car or trucking accidents
- Exposure to hazardous materials
- Ladder fall accidents
- Defective workplace equipment
- Defective workplace machinery
- Fires or explosions
What is a workers’ compensation claim?
Workers’ compensation allow employees to receive compensation and/or reimbursement for any medical expenses they face as a result of work-related injury. For legal purposes, there are two types of incidents an employee can file a claim for: accident claims or occupational claims.
An accident claim is when an unexpected event occurred on the job that led to your injuries. This could be a dangerous fall while working on a 2-story home’s roof, or a fire at a factory.
An occupational claim is while there was no official “accident”, the employee still suffered from an injury or illness as a result of their job. An example of this would be a back or neck injury earned over years of heavy lifting or a skin, eye, or lung diseased from long-term exposure to chemicals while on the job.
No matter if it’s an accident or occupational injury claim, during your settlement, your Baltimore, Maryland attorney will negotiate with your company’s insurance company on your behalf to ensure you receive full and fair compensation for your injuries and financial losses.
What injuries are covered by a worker’s compensation claim?
Even if you’ve suffered from an injury while on the job, it doesn’t mean that it will be covered under Maryland workers’ compensation law. While your workers’ compensation lawyers will be able to tell you if your injuries will be covered, in general, in order for an injury to be covered, then according to the state of Maryland, the “accidental personal injury must arise out of and in course of employment.” That means that even if you were injured while at work, if the injury didn’t happen as a result of your typical course of work, you may not be owed workers’ compensation benefits. If that accident that caused an employee’s injuries took place while they were on a lunch break or if they were ignoring workplace safety protocols, then they may not be covered.
The best way to find out whether your injury could be covered is to reach out to a seasoned workplace accident or injury lawyer in Baltimore, MD. They can let you know the likelihood of you receiving full compensation for your injuries.
What are the benefits of filing for worker’s comp?
Whether you’re suffering from minor back pain or a serious physical injury that requires hospitalization, workers’ compensation benefits can ensure you’re financially secure enough to receive treatment on a short-term or long-term basis. The period of time in which you can receive these benefits depend on the severity of your injuries or illness, and how long it takes you to fully recover. While your workers’ compensation lawyers will be able to give you a clear idea of what you can expect once you file for workers’ comp in the state of Maryland, below you’ll find information about what short-term and long-term disability benefits can entail:
For ailments or injuries that only require you to miss work for 14 days or more, Temporary Total Disability benefits are available throughout your healing period. In addition to receiving money for your medical bills, you may also be compensated for time you’ve missed at work to replace any income you may have lost. If your injury takes less than 14 days to fully heal, then you may only receive compensation for your hospital, nursing, or medical expenses.
Your Temporary Total Disability benefits will be terminated in two scenarios. The first being once a point is reached that you no longer are totally disabled and you can return to work in some capacity. The second being when it’s determined by a medical professional that you have reached the maximum medical improvement. This means that even if you haven’t fully returned to pre-injury condition, if the doctors have provided all of the treatment they can for your condition, then your benefits could be terminated.
Depending on the nature and severity of your accidental injury or occupational disease, you may be entitled to medical treatment indefinitely and your workers’ compensation claim could cover any of the following:
- Medical or surgical treatment
- Medical attendance
- Nursing services
- Hospital visits
- Crutches or wheelchairs
- Prosthetic appliances
Wage Reimbursement Benefits
In addition to compensation for medical treatments, services, or medication, you may be entitled to receive reimbursement for lost wages during your recovery period. You may even be reimbursed for wages lost if you have to bring your employer to court in order to receive the compensation you deserve. If it’s found in a Maryland court that you are due compensation benefits, then the judge may rule that you should be awarded those lost wages for time spent at Commission hearings.
When should I file my workplace accident claim?
In most states, there are deadlines put in place for when an employee can file a workers’ compensation claim. In the state of Maryland, there is a 2-year deadline for accidental injury claims. This means that if you don’t file a claim within 2 years of your workplace accident, then you may be barred from filing at all. For workplace-related wrongful death claims, the surviving family members must apply for benefits within 18 months of their loved one’s date of death.
For occupational injuries or diseases, the claim must be filed within 2 years of the date when the employee was unable to carry on with their work duties. If a death occurred as a result of their injuries, then their family members have 2 years to file the claim.
If you have already gone through a workers’ compensation settlement in the past, you can have the case reopened under certain circumstances. Situations in which the injured employee’s conditions worsened over time, then they can apply for more compensation within 5 years of the date of the accident.
Even if your condition hasn’t worsened, if you still have ongoing medical treatments for your injuries, then your claim can still remain open if it’s decided that your employer has an obligation to pay for your medical expenses for a lifetime.
How can I file a workers’ compensation claim?
Not everyone who works for a particular company will be able to receive compensation for their injuries. In order for your to receive workers’ compensation, there must be an established employer-employee relationship, meaning that if, for your job, you technically work as an independent contractor, then you may not be covered.
You should discuss your job’s policy and your position with your workers’ compensation lawyers to gain a full understanding of what your options for filing are.
If you are able to file for workers’ comp, then the first step is to report your injury to your employer. You can’t receive any benefits until you report your injury or illness. Notice deadlines vary from state to state, and in the state of Maryland, you must report an accidental injury within 10 days of the incident. While oral notices are legally sufficient, memories fade over time and there won’t be a paper trail to prove that you let your employer know about your injuries ahead of time. The best course of action is to write an email or a letter that includes your name and address, as well as the time, place and cause of the accident. You can this have this document signed by a supervisor or manager. For occupational diseases, the timeline for giving your employer a written notice is extended to within one year.
By missing your deadline to notify your employer, you may become ineligible for benefits or your compensation could be reduced, especially if your employer or their insurance company tells the Workers’ Compensation Commission that you did not give proper notice. Reporting your illness or injury sooner rather than later can not only lead to a stronger claim, but a faster recovery, as well since you’ll have the money to get your medical treatments as soon as possible.
Should I hire a workers’ comp lawyer for my worker disability claim?
While you should always consult with an attorney to understand the potential hazards of your workers’ compensation case, not every workplace accident injury or occupational disease requires the full guidance and counsel of a legal professional. If you’ve suffered from a minor injury, such as a twisted ankle, and you miss little-to-no work time as a result, then you may not require legal services. Meet with a Baltimore, MD attorney who is well seasoned in workers’ comp law. They’ll be able to give you an honest appraisal of your situation and tell you whether you should hire a workers’ comp lawyer to ensure your best interests are met.
For cases that involve more serious injuries or occupational illnesses that require them to miss a significant amount of time at the workplace, then hiring the professional services of a lawyer may be the right decision for you. From the moment your contact an attorney, they can counsel you on what disability benefits you’re eligible for as well as how you should submit the necessary claims. Beyond ensuring you fill out all of the proper paperwork for your claim within the state deadlines, your workers’ compensation attorney will be able to document your medical condition as evidence in case your situation becomes more complex.
Remember, while you may be a valued employee, many employers and their insurance companies use worker’s compensation for their personal benefit. They want to ensure they have to pay as little as possible for your personal injuries, which could mean they gather evidence to fight your claim that your injury occurred during your normal course of work.
If this sounds like your situation, you’ll want to reach out to a professional workers’ comp attorney today to discuss all aspects of your case. Your lawyer will know what evidence you’ll need to collect in order to prove your claims both inside and outside of a Maryland courtroom.
Meet with our Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers for a FREE Case Review
You don’t have to represent yourself against your job’s insurance company for your workers’ compensation claim. Contact Ashcraft & Gerel for honest legal counsel that can increase your chances of receiving full and fair compensation for your workplace disability.
The attorneys at Ashcraft & Gerel have years of experience providing the hard-working residents of Baltimore, Maryland with aggressive representation. They’ll use this experience to ensure you receive the medical treatment compensation and loss wages you deserve when a workplace injury deeply impacts your way of life.