Getting injured on the job can be a frightening experience. A number of questions arise: Who will pay my medical bills? Can I see my doctor or do I have to see the Employer’s doctor? What if I miss time from work? What happens if I don’t file a claim?
The purpose of this article is to answer these questions and more in an attempt to make the experience of getting hurt on the job, less confusing and less frightening.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE INJURED
No one asks to be hurt on the job. Still, in every type of job, workers are injured. It is important to know what to do if this ever happens to you.
The most important thing to keep in mind if you are ever injured on the job, is to file a claim form with the Workers’ Compensation Commission. There is a specific claim form that must be filed by you or on your behalf by an attorney. Neither your employer not its insurance company can file this claim for you. These claim forms can be obtained from the Workers’ Compensation Commission or our office. There is no fee associated with filing a claim form. Employers are prohibited from punishing employees for filing a claim.
FILING A CLAIM
It is important to file a claim to protect your rights to workers’ compensation benefits. Unless an injured worker files a claim within two (2) years of the injury he or she will be unable to force the insurer to pay benefits provided for by the Workers’ Compensation Laws of Maryland. Employees should file a claim whenever they are injured regardless of who is at fault. The concept of fault does not enter into workers’ compensation law.
In order to obtain workers’ compensation benefits only two questions are important. First, did the injury occur in the course of your employment? Second, did it occur as a result of your employment?
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION BENEFITS
There are basically three benefits provided by workers’ compensation laws, and there are several other benefits that go along with these.
1) Medical care for life for any condition stemming from the injury by doctors and hospitals of your choice at the expense of the employer and insurer.
2) Temporary total disability which amounts to 66.67% of your wages, not exceeding the State Average Weekly Wage, throughout the time you are being treated for your injury and cannot perform your normal duties. That time is not to be charged against you and is strictly a workers’ compensation benefits.
3) Permanent disability is an award of money to compensate you for any degree of permanent injury. This normally falls under permanent partial disability and should have no bearing on your ability to do your job.
REPORTING AN INJURY
Prompt and accurate reporting of an injury helps to promote safety on the job and at the same time prevents someone from challenging your injury at a later date.
While the employer and insurer cannot insist on choosing the doctor who treats you, they do have a right to have you examined at reasonable times. It is important that you report all your injuries, not just those that seem most significant to you at the time. Sometimes the most seemingly minor injury develops into a serious condition at a later date.
INJURIES CAUSED BY OTHERS
On occasion, an injury may occur as a result of a negligent third party. In that event you have additional claims that may be made and the employer and insurer may recover money that they have spent on your behalf in medical benefits and monetary compensation. It is important, therefore, that this aspect of your injury be pursued by competent representation.
Blondell & Miller, LLC have more than sixty years of combined experiences in handling injury claims. Our attorney, , Mark Miller, is available to represent you, and investigate your claims at all times. Mark Miller has successfully represented injured persons in workers’ compensation, automobile, construction, industrial negligence, medical malpractice and every conceivable type of personal injury. Fees are reduced for Union members. All initial consultations are free.