Maryland worker’s compensation laws allow victims to be compensated for any on-the-job injuries, including those that are the result of the employees own mistakes. So successful claims are relatively easy to bring. The problem with these rules that compensate employees for their injuries is that you do not get the same compensation for your injuries you would get if you were able to make a viable negligence claim in civil court.
- Questions and answers about Maryland workers comp
- Car accident workers' compensation claims
- Combination third party and workers' compensation claims
Let's back up for a minute. Often called workers’ comp for short, this law has has deep roots in Maryland law. We were the first state in the country to institute a workers’ compensation law in 1902. Interestingly, a Baltimore City judge originally declared Maryland’s first workers' compensation law unconstitutional because it did not allow workers to pursue their rights to a jury trial.
There is a great deal of logic beyond this reasoning, but this reasoning quickly gave way to the economic realities of a need for a system to compensate workers cheaply and efficiently in the new industrial economy. So iIn 1914, then Maryland Governor Phillips Lee Goldsborough introduced another Workmen's Compensation Act that was approved by the Maryland legislature.
Incredibly, we are still using the same general framework of the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Act that was enacted in 1914. The 1914 Workers' Compensation Act compensated employees – as it does today - for accidental injuries, but only for those occurring in "extra-hazardous" employment, and the Act excluded "occupational diseases," which was added in 1939.Purpose of the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Statute
Injured Maryland workers who meet the workers' compensation criteria may receive compensation for their injuries even if the injury suffered was the result on their own negligence – in other words, the employee’s own fault. Accordingly, the Maryland workers’ compensation system is based not on a system of providing justice, but to provide support and security for injured workers.
In 1914, purchasing workers’ compensation insurance was optional. Today, Maryland law requires all employers to purchase workers compensation insurance coverage, or at least provide self insurance, assuming certain obligations are met and they are approved with the Maryland Workers' Compensation Commission. Accordingly, the vast majority of employees in Maryland are covered under Maryland’s workers comp law.Accidental Injury Requirement Explained
As in 1914, to be covered in Maryland, a workers’ compensation injury must be an “accidental injury.” The current Maryland Workers' Compensation Act in § 9-101(b) of the Labor and Employment Article defines "accidental personal injury" as: (1) an accidental injury that arises out of and in the course of employment; (2) an injury caused by a willful or negligent act of a third person directed against a covered employee in the course of the employment of the covered employee; or (3) a disease or infection that naturally results from an accidental injury that arises out of and in the course of employment, including:(i) an occupational disease; and (ii) frostbite or sunstroke caused by a weather condition." Maryland workers’ comp lawyers are often disputing the nuances of whether an injury is an accident as defined by this statue.What Is Covered? Medical Bills, Lost Wages, Disability Benefits
In order for an on the job injury to be compensable under the Maryland Workers' Compensation Act, the injury must arise out of and occur in the course of employment. The phrases "arise out of and "in the course of" are not synonymous. The words "arise out of" relate to the origin of the injury. The phrase "in the course of" turn on the place, time, and circumstances of the injury. For an injury to arise out of employment, the harm must be incidental to the employment such that it was the employment itself that caused the employee to be exposed to the risk that caused the injury.
Maryland workers’ comp allows a worker who suffers personal injuries on the job and cannot work to receive two-thirds of his or her average weekly wage at the time of his injury. There is no time limit on how long you can receive workers’ compensation benefits for your injuries. This is a crucial benefit.
If you have an accident injury, besides payment of your medical bills and lost wages, there are four types of disability benefits covered by Maryland’s workers’ comp statute: temporary total, temporary partial, permanent partial and permanent total disability benefits.
The problem with workers' compensation is that the compensation levels are not what the are for negligence claims brought in civil court against your employer because you cannot get the same level of pain and suffering damages. This is a significant downside if you are hurt by the negligence of someone else.
The winners are those employees who are to blame for your own injuries or those cases where no one is to blame because under those scenarios, you can still get compensation under the comp statutory scheme. Because anyone hurt on the job can recover.What to Do If You Need a Maryland Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you have suffered a serious injury or a loved one has died on the on the job, you may have a Maryland workers' compensation claim and a possible third party claim. Call us today at 800-553-8082 or click here for a free no obligation consultation.Related Maryland Workers Compensation Claim Information
- Statute of Limitations to Bring a Claim
- Report on Maryland Workers Compensation Claims (report that indicated Maryland has an efficient system compared to other states)
- Maryland Workers' Comp Rates for 2014 (provides average weekly wage, etc.)
- New Maryland Workers' Compensation Opinion (Frederick County case decided by the Maryland Court of Special Appeals)
- New Maryland Workers Compensation Opinion (Montgomery County case decided by the Maryland Court of Special Appeals)
- Coordinating PIP and Workers' Compensation Coverage in Maryland (advice for Maryland accident lawyers coordinating different mechanisms of recovery for people injured on the job)
- Analysis of two big workers comp insurers in Maryland (Sedwick and Gallagher Bassett)