Maryland Workers' Compensation Timeline
When employees are injured in Maryland, most are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits can provide coverage for an employee’s medical expenses and a portion of their lost income while he or she heals.
Workers’ compensation laws include specific timelines that employers, their insurance companies, and injured employees must follow so that benefits can be paid as quickly as possible. But there are several ways that claims can get hung up, which can lengthen the workers’ compensation timeline considerably. An experienced Maryland workers’ compensation attorney can help you navigate the red tape so that you receive full and fair benefits as soon as possible.
Need help obtaining workers’ comp? Call or contact Trollinger Law in Waldorf for a free consultation.
Maryland Workers’ Compensation Laws
In Maryland, every business with one employee or more is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. There are a few exceptions. Agricultural employers with fewer than three employees or an annual payroll that is less than $15,000 are not required to provide workers’ compensation benefits to their employees. Sole proprietors and partners in business partnerships are also exempt.
Workers’ compensation covers injuries and occupational illnesses that occur due to accidents or exposures that happen while an employee is performing duties that fall under the scope of his/her employment. Not all injuries will be covered, even if the accident happened at work.
Workers’ Compensation Claims Process
When an employee is injured on the job, the incident must be reported to his/her employer. The employer then files a claim of the employee’s injury or illness with its insurance company. A notice of the claim is then issued by the Workers’ Compensation Commission.
When a claim is approved by the insurance company, benefits are then paid to the employee to pay for medical expenses and a portion of their lost income. The process becomes more difficult if the insurer denies the claim.
Common reasons for a denial include:
- Insufficient proof that the injury or illness was work-related. An employer may argue that the employee was not performing work duties at the time of the accident or that the injury was caused deliberately or is arising from a pre-existing medical condition.
- Missed deadlines for reporting the claim. Workers’ compensation procedures are time-sensitive. Missing a deadline could prevent a worker from obtaining benefits they would otherwise deserve.
When disputes cannot be resolved with the insurance company, workers do have the right to request a hearing with the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission. Although an attorney is not required to handle matters before the commission, the other side will be represented by its own counsel. Trollinger Law urges you to consult with a lawyer before taking on the dispute and appeals process on your own.
Timeline of a Workers’ Compensation Claim in MD
There is no way to say how long a workers’ compensation claim will take. However, there are some key deadlines to be aware of in Maryland:
Notifying an Employer
- 10 days: A worker has 10 days from the date of the accident to report the injury to their employer, although it is always advised that hurt employees report the incident as soon as possible. Verbal notice is technically enough, but it’s best to do it in writing and keep the copies.
- 30 days: Family members have 30 days to report a work-related death to an employer to initiate a claim for death benefits.
- 1 year: In the case of an occupational illness, workers should notify their employer within one year of the date of diagnosis or when they knew (or should have known) they were suffering from the disease.
Notice to the Workers’ Compensation Commission
- 60 days: All workers’ compensation claims should be filed with the Commission within 60 days of the injury or the discovery of an occupational illness.
- 2 years: Employees who fail to file accidental injury claims within two years will be barred from receiving compensation forever.
- 18 months: Surviving family members must notify the Commission of a worker’s death for accidental injuries within 18 months in order to receive benefits.
- 2 years: In the case of an occupational disease, the Commission must receive notice of the death within two years.
- 30 days: Within 30 days of receiving the claim, the Commission will either issue an award or place the claim in a queue for a hearing if the insurer is contesting the issues.
Insurance Company Responsibilities
- 21 days: After the claim is filed, the insurance carrier has 21 days to provide benefits to the employee or to dispute the claim.
Confused about the timeline? Contact Trollinger Law for a free consultation to learn what the workers’ compensation process will look like for your case.
Steps to Take After a Workplace Injury
If you have been injured at work, there are certain steps you should take to protect your claim. These include:
- Report the injury to your employer: Explain how the accident happened in detail and the injuries that resulted from the accident.
- Seek medical attention: Your health is most important after a workplace accident. Seek medical attention immediately and be sure to tell the doctor that treats you that the accident occurred at work. Continue with all treatments your doctor recommends, as failing to adhere to these could indicate to the insurance company and the Commission that you no longer need benefits.
- Document expenses and missed work: Keep track of all costs and losses to ensure you are getting the benefits you need.
- Contact a seasoned workers’ compensation attorney: A lawyer can review your claim, make sure that it is complete and submitted on time, and help with any appeals that may be necessary.
How Can Trollinger Law Help Me?
Workplace accidents can place a tremendous burden on Maryland victims and their families. Waldorf attorney Matt Trollinger can help you throughout every aspect of the workers’ comp process. If you were hurt in a workplace accident or are suffering from a job-related illness, contact us to schedule your free, no-risk consultation today.