In Baltimore, Maryland, workers who get injured while working or develop an illness due to their working conditions may file a claim with the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC).
If you would like some assistance with preparing a claim, a Baltimore personal injury lawyer from the Law Offices of Adam M. Smallow may be able to help you in Baltimore. Our team can review the case and also inform you of whether you have other legal options to pursue compensation, such as through a personal injury claim.
Workers’ Compensation Can Help Employees Recover Some of Their Damages
Md. Lab. & Emp. Code § 5-102 details the rights employees have to workers’ compensation should they get injured on work premises or as a result of their work. The People’s Law Library of Maryland also provides several resources to better understand workers’ compensation rights and procedures in the state.
In Maryland, you may be entitled to receive two-thirds of your salary and medical benefits if you:
- Suffered an injury in a work-related accident
- Suffered an injury due to a third party’s willful or negligent actions, which includes other workers
- Developed an illness or injury as a result of the working conditions
Employers are also obligated to cover vocational assessment and rehabilitation expenses should an employee get injured on the job. These benefits may last up to two years, according to Md. Lab. & Emp. Code § 9-674.
Families whose loved ones pass away from their work-related injuries or illnesses may receive compensation for funeral expenses as well as future income loss. Per Md. Lab. & Emp. Code § 9-501, dependents may receive benefits within seven years of their loved one’s death.
Deciding to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If the work-related injury involves a third party, as in another party besides a direct employer, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit. This may be in your interest if an employer’s workers’ compensation insurance does not provide enough coverage for your damages.
In personal injury cases, you may pursue additional damages besides medical expenses and income losses, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Permanent disability
- Physical disfigurement
- Emotional anguish
- Reduced earning potential
- Diminished quality of life
Families grieving a loved one may also want to look into filing a wrongful death lawsuit if possible. Doing so allows them to pursue compensation for changes in their family dynamics and other damages not listed here.
For legal consultation with a workers' compensation attorney in Baltimore, call (410)777-8960
Contributory Negligence does Not Apply to Workers’ Compensation Claims
Maryland upholds a contributory negligence doctrine, which dictates that injured persons who are found partially at fault for their injuries are prohibited from collecting damages. Even one percent of fault can bar a plaintiff from collecting compensation, according to the American Bar Association (ABA).
This tort rule generally applies to personal injury and wrongful death cases, but it does not apply to workers’ compensation claims. These have different criteria for who may receive benefits. In fact, Md. Lab. & Emp. Code § 9-509 mandates that employers may not use certain defenses to absolve themselves from paying employees their compensation:
- Assumption of risk: Employers cannot argue that they should not pay compensation because the employee knew the level of risk involved with the job.
- Contributory negligence: Employers cannot argue that employees are not entitled to compensation for being partially at fault for their accident.
As long as the injury took place while the employee was working or as a result of working conditions, they are entitled to workers’ compensation from employers.
Baltimore Workers' Compensation Attorney (410)777-8960
Our Law Firm Can Do the Work to Put Your Case Together
Whether you decide to file a workers’ compensation claim alone or a personal injury lawsuit as well, a workers’ compensation lawyer from the Law Offices of Adam M. Smallow can help you with both. We can review the work-related injury to determine your legal options, then begin taking steps to prepare the case.
After a free case review, we can:
- Identify whether other parties besides your employer may be held liable for the injuries or illness
- Collect evidence that proves the injuries or illness is related to your work
- Fill out the appropriate forms for a workers’ compensation claim or other paperwork involved with filing a personal injury case
- Communicate with interested parties should they reach out to you for statements, such as your employer’s insurer
- Attend hearings on your behalf to present the case
- Negotiate a settlement if possible
Our team will also be accessible via email, phone, and texting should you have further questions or concerns.
We Can Also Help You Appeal a Claim Denial
Should your workers’ compensation claim get denied, we can help you navigate the appeals process to have the case heard again. We may review the case to see if you might need additional evidence to support it, such as expert witness testimony.
Be Careful to Adhere to the Filing Deadlines for Your Claim or Lawsuit
Injured workers have a limited amount of time to file a claim when pursuing workers’ compensation. In Maryland, the deadline to file a workers’ compensation claim is generally 30 days. Failure to meet this deadline can result in dismissal.
If you decide to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against a non-employer, Md. Cts. & Jud. Proc. Code § 5-101 generally gives you three years from the date of the work-related accident to submit a case. Families filing a wrongful death lawsuit have three years from their loved one’s death to file, per Md. Cts. & Jud. Proc. Code § 3-904.
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Our Law Firm Can Help Prepare Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
If you were injured on the job or developed a work-related illness in Baltimore, a workers’ compensation lawyer from our team may be able to help you pursue compensation. Call (410) 777-8960 today to have a member at the Law Offices of Adam M. Smallow review the case for free.