What Should You Do If You Get Injured at Work?
Workplace accidents are incredibly common. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 2.8 million non-fatal injury accidents were reported by private industry employers in a recent year. Unfortunately, workers often don’t know what to do if they’ve been hurt on the job. Do I report my injury? Who do I go to for treatment? What are my rights as an employee?
Because the answers to these questions are crucial and governed by Maryland law, the Waldorf, Maryland workers’ compensation attorneys at Trollinger Law LLC have put together the following list of common questions related to on-the-job injuries. Keep reading and call us for a free consultation if you’ve been hurt.
If I’m hurt or get sick at work, can I see my own doctor?
In Maryland, workers’ compensation laws allow you to see the doctor of your choice. The only condition is that your doctor must agree to the workers’ compensation fee schedule outlined under state law. If your doctor does not agree to the fee schedule, you’ll have to find another doctor or pay them out-of-pocket. However, your employer also has the right to request you undergo an examination from a doctor of their choosing to see if you’re receiving appropriate treatment for your injuries.
Will I get paid while I recover from a work injury?
Workers’ compensation benefits work under a no-fault system. If your claim is approved, all of your medical treatment for your injuries should be covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation provider. In addition, workers’ compensation benefits cover your lost wages from your injury at a rate of two-thirds of what is called your average weekly wage (AWW) which is your average pay for 14 weeks prior to your work injury. These payments continue until you return to work in most cases.
How do I file a workers’ compensation claim in Maryland?
Here are the basic steps of the worker’s compensation claims process in Maryland:
- Make a report to your employer, either on the date of your injury or once you discover you’ve suffered an occupational disease.
- Your employer makes an initial report of your injury to the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC). If your employer does not report your injury, you can report it online yourself through the WCC website.
- You’ll receive a Notice of Claim Filed from the WCC.
- Within 21 days of your injury being reported, you’ll either start receiving benefits or a notice explaining why your claim was denied.
- If your claim is contested, you will automatically be set in for a hearing with the Workers’ Compensation Commission.
- If you have an accepted claim or the WCC finds that you have an accidental injury or occupational disease, your medical benefits will continue until you either fully recover, reach maximum medical improvement (MMI) or an examiner finds you at MMI for your injuries. Benefits for missed wages last for different lengths of time depending on the severity of your injuries.
- If your injuries have resulted in a permanent disability, through the aid of an attorney, you can petition to receive permanent workers’ compensation payments.
Can an employer fire you for being injured?
While it is illegal for an employer to fire injured employees for making a workers’ compensation claim, they can fire them for other reasons. However, your workers’ compensation benefits will continue even after you’ve been terminated, at least until you reach maximum medical improvement.
What should I do if I can’t work due to an injury?
While workers’ compensation payments cover some of your missed wages, these benefits rarely last forever. They also don’t entirely make up for the income you’ve lost. A workers’ compensation attorney can help you apply for permanent disability benefits if your injuries have caused you to have some residual symptoms or problems due to the work injury. You may be able to claim additional compensation through a personal injury claim or lawsuit depending on the facts of your case.
Hurt on the Job? Contact a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Maryland Today
The Maryland workers’ compensation lawyers at Trollinger Law LLC are committed to helping injured workers get the benefits they are owed after an on-the-job injury. Get a free case review by calling our office or fill out our contact form today.