Pikesville, MD Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Workers’ Compensation is the program/insurance policy through which most injured workers are entitled to receive benefits. Getting benefits through this program is often confusing and difficult, especially if you are currently too injured to work and are focused on medical care and your recovery.
For help filing your Workers’ Compensation claim and getting it approved and paid in full, you should work with an attorney. Working with a lawyer can help ensure that all paperwork is submitted on time and that it contains all of the information necessary to get you the compensation you need.
For a free evaluation of your potential case, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras’ Workers’ Compensation lawyers today at (410) 694-7291.
What Workers’ Compensation Covers in Pikesville, MD
When you are injured at work, you often cannot sue for injuries. Instead, you should be able to file a Workers’ Compensation claim with your employer’s insurance policy to get coverage for your injuries. However, getting information about what kinds of injuries are covered and what benefits you receive can be difficult.
What Injuries Are Covered?
Any injury that is “work-related” should be covered by your employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance. This includes any injury that happened during work hours while you were performing your work duties. If you were on a break or doing things you were not supposed to be doing at work, it is possible those injuries will not be considered “work-related.” Injuries should also be covered during work events and meet-ups; likely, anything during a mandatory work appearance should be covered.
Injuries during your commute – such as a traffic accident on the way home from the office – should not be covered. However, if you go to work and then go out to a job site in a company vehicle, accidents during that trip should be covered. This is common for contractors, painters, plumbers, HVAC repair workers, and other folks whose jobs require a lot of driving around as part of their job duties.
Long-term injuries and illnesses should also be covered if they stem from your work activities. For example, if you have a bad back after years of lifting boxes in a warehouse, that is work-related. Even if you had bad posture and lifted weights during your off hours, the fact that your job ultimately caused the injury should still make that injury work-related. Illnesses acquired from work conditions, such as lung cancer, silicosis, asbestosis, and mesothelioma, should be covered, too. Other cancers and illnesses also result from job conditions, and our Workers’ Compensation lawyers can help link that work exposure to your illness to help you get compensation.
Investigating Causation and Fault
In most injury lawsuits, you have to prove that the target of the lawsuit (the defendant) was at fault for a court or insurance company to hold them liable and force them to pay. However, Workers’ Compensation is a “no-fault” system, meaning that it should pay damages regardless of how the accident happened, with some exceptions.
Generally, an accident will be caused by a coworker, an employer, or the injured victim’s own actions. Under Maryland law, you usually cannot sue an employer or a coworker for an accident. You also cannot sue yourself and cannot recover damages from anyone else in a lawsuit if you contributed to the accident. Because of these rules, Workers’ Compensation is usually the only way to get payments for injuries caused by an associate, an employer, or your own mistakes.
However, injuries are not usually covered if the victim caused their own injuries through dangerous or intentional behavior or if they were injured because they came to work intoxicated.
Injuries caused by other parties can also lead to a Workers’ Compensation claim. For example, if you were hit by a car while working as a truck driver, you could be entitled to sue that driver – but your employer’s Workers’ Compensation should cover you first. However, you may be able to get additional damages through one of these lawsuits.
What Benefits Are Covered?
Workers’ Compensation typically pays two main benefits to injured workers. First, workers should receive full coverage for the medical care related to their injury. This should cover imaging, testing, hospital stays, emergency treatment, and follow-up care like rehabilitation and physical therapy. Second, you should receive compensation for your lost wages.
There are some limits on these damages.
First, medical bills usually get covered only for approved treatment related to your accident and injury. Other care you happen to get around the same time would not be covered because it is not “work-related.” Unlike many states, Maryland does, however, give you the ability to choose your own doctor to treat your injuries, even if your employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance company might have providers they prefer.
Second, compensation for lost wages is provided, but usually at a reduced rate. However, you do not have to put a portion of your paycheck towards your medical bills, so this will ideally come out more or less even.
Third, you are not allowed to claim non-economic damages or “pain and suffering” benefits through the Workers’ Compensation insurance claim. However, these damages can be claimed through a lawsuit if you have a third-party defendant you can sue, such as a driver, a customer who injured you, or the manufacturer of a piece of dangerous or defective equipment that caused your injury.
When to Call a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Pikesville, MD
Knowing when to get a lawyer on your side during a Workers’ Compensation claim can be difficult. Often, employers expect injured victims to begin their claims on their own and file the necessary notices and paperwork with the appropriate departments without the help of a lawyer.
If you are confused or need help, call a lawyer right away. Do not cross your fingers and hope that your claim is accepted; work with us from the beginning to help you get your claim accepted on the first submission. If your claim was already rejected, we can help you appeal the decision right away.
Call Our Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in Pikesville, MD Today
For a free review of your injury case, call the Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras today by dialing (410) 694-7291.