Workers’ Compensation Exemptions in Maryland
Almost every employer in Maryland must carry insurance to cover the costs of medical care and partially replace lost wages due to work injuries and occupational illnesses. Most workers qualify for these benefits regardless of fault. However, not all employers are subject to Maryland workers’ compensation laws. Some are exempt from providing workers’ comp to injured employees.
Knowing whether your employer qualifies for a workers’ compensation exemption is critical if you need financial help recovering from a workplace injury. An exemption could change the entire course of the claims process for you.
Are you unsure of your legal options after a job injury? Get help from an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer at Trollinger Law LLC. Our law firm exclusively represents injured people in Maryland. We can review your case and explore every possible avenue for compensation for you. Call or contact us today for a free consultation.
Can All Maryland Employees Receive Workers’ Compensation?
With few exceptions, every Maryland employer with at least one employee must carry workers’ compensation insurance. Both full-time and part-time employees are entitled to seek benefits if they are injured or become ill on the job.
Workers’ compensation is provided through a “no-fault” system in Maryland. Employees don’t have to prove that another party was negligent to obtain benefits. Workers’ compensation benefits are available no matter who or what caused the employee’s injuries. All they have to show is that an employer-employee relationship exists and that the injury is work-related.
Who is Exempt from Workers’ Comp Coverage in Maryland?
While almost all employers in Maryland must provide workers’ compensation coverage to employees, there are some exceptions. Businesses do not have to provide workers’ compensation benefits to independent contractors or self-employed workers.
An independent contractor provides their services to a business but is not formally classified as an employee. Independent contractors work for themselves and may offer their services to more than one client at a time. The business usually doesn’t direct or control how independent contractors accomplish their work.
Likewise, if the company owner is a sole proprietor or a partner in the business, they are not required to carry or be covered by workers’ compensation. However, they can choose to purchase a policy if they wish.
Agricultural employers who employ fewer than three workers are also not legally mandated to provide workers’ compensation benefits. Business owners whose payroll is lower than $15,000 per year also don’t need to offer workers’ compensation.
Can I File a Claim Against an Exempt Employer?
You cannot file a workers’ compensation claim against an exempt employer. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you are out of options for pursuing compensation.
If your injury is due to someone else’s negligence, you could have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. You could sue an individual or company you were working for at the time of the accident, assuming their actions caused your injury.
The biggest difference between a personal injury claim and a workers’ comp case is that you must prove that the responsible party is at fault for your injury. In other words, the liable party must have acted (or failed to act) in a way to protect you from harm.
The burden is on you to provide convincing evidence of negligence to win a personal injury claim. For this reason, it’s wise to hire a personal injury attorney to assist with building your case and fighting for the compensation you deserve.
There are some advantages to filing a personal injury claim. In a workers’ comp case, you can only recover money for reasonable medical expenses, a portion of your lost income, and disability benefits. A personal injury settlement could also include compensation for the full amount of your lost wages and pain and suffering, which could mean more money in your pocket in the long run. But personal injury claims are risky. You could walk away with nothing at all. A knowledgeable lawyer can discuss the pros and cons of pursuing a personal injury claim after reviewing your case.
I’ve Been Misclassified as an Independent Contractor ― Now What?
Sometimes, employers will intentionally try to classify workers as independent contractors to
avoid paying for benefits, including workers’ compensation.
Workers’ compensation benefits are only paid to covered employees. Misclassifying an independent contractor could result in an unfair denial of benefits. Not only is this a violation of state labor laws, it also means that deserving workers are left on the hook for medical expenses and wage losses that should be paid by the employer’s insurer.
If you believe you are misclassified and deserve benefits after a work injury, reach out to a workers’ compensation lawyer in Maryland now. An attorney can evaluate your situation and determine your next steps.
Talk to a Worker’s Compensation Lawyer Today
Workers’ compensation exemptions can make it challenging for injured Marylanders to get the money they need to recover from a serious illness or injury. But don’t give up hope. Other sources of compensation could be possible for you. A workers’ compensation lawyer from Trollinger Law LLC can review the facts of your case and outline every possibility for you in a free consultation.
Choosing the right attorney is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. You need a lawyer who will provide honest advice, listen to you, and place your needs first. At Trollinger Law LLC, you will experience authentic compassion and commitment to exceptional client service every time you call, e-mail, or visit our office.
Reach out for your case review today. There’s no charge and no obligation.