Most Maryland employees are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if they suffer a job injury. However, applying for benefits is a multi-step process that can be difficult to navigate alone. Even a small error could cause your workers’ compensation claim to be delayed or denied, placing you in a precarious financial position when you need money most. Here are some tips on what to do if you get hurt on the job in Waldorf.
What Should I Do If I Am Injured at Work?
Report your injury to your supervisor or employer within 10 days of the accident. Verbal notification is OK, but always follow up with written notice.
If you didn’t require emergency treatment, take photos of the accident scene and identify coworkers or other bystanders who witnessed the event. Finally, seek medical attention right away. Be sure to tell the doctor that you were involved in a workplace accident.
If I’m Hurt or Get Sick at Work, Can I See My Own Doctor?
Yes. Maryland’s workers’ compensation laws allow you to choose your own doctor for your treatment. This rule contrasts with many other states, where employers or their workers’ compensation insurers may require injured workers to choose a treating provider off a pre-approved list.
Do I Get Paid If I Get Injured at Work?
If your injury prevents you from working, you may be entitled to recover wage replacement benefits that are generally equal to two-thirds of your average weekly wage. If you’re able to work in a limited capacity at a reduced wage, you may be entitled to the 50 percent of the difference between your previous average weekly wage and what you make while working during your recovery. You only receive compensation for the first three days of work you miss if your injury lasts longer than 14 days. You may be eligible for extended or lifelong benefits for a permanent work-related injury.
How Do I File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Waldorf?
A claim may be filed with the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission online or by mailing in a typed or handwritten form. The claim form must include a signed authorization for disclosure of health information. Once the commission processes your claim form, it will send a notice of claim to you, your employer, the workers’ compensation insurer, and your employer’s legal counsel (if applicable).
Before filling out the forms, consider getting legal advice from an attorney. Hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer to apply for benefits is not mandatory. However, getting an attorney involved from the beginning of your case can protect your claim and ensure that all documentation is submitted properly.
Can an Employer Fire You for Being Injured?
Yes and no. An employer cannot fire you because you filed a workers’ compensation claim. That is considered unlawful retaliation.
In addition, an employer cannot fire a worker who is disabled without first trying to come up with a reasonable accommodation for the worker’s disability, if requested. However, an employer normally can fire an at-will employee whose injuries prevent them from performing the essential functions of their job, even with reasonable accommodations.
Mistakes People Make After Suffering a Work Injury
Common mistakes employees make after being injured at work include:
- Missing notification deadlines
- Failing to disclose previous work injuries to their own doctor
- Failing to report all injuries and symptoms
- Refusing to return to work, including modified work, when your treating provider clears you
- Not consulting with a Waldorf workers’ compensation lawyer about your rights and obligations
What If My Employer Does Not Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
With few exceptions, Maryland employers with more than one worker must carry workers’ comp insurance. If they don’t, reach out to an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer immediately to learn your legal options.
Trollinger Law LLC is an accomplished Waldorf law firm that focuses on workers’ compensation and personal injury law. Call or contact us for a free consultation with one of our work injury lawyers now.