Jill Kolodner | September 16, 2020 | Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation in the state of Maryland covers most workers and can be extremely helpful if you have endured a workplace injury. Nearly every employer in the state is required to have workers’ compensation insurance which often costs an employer around $1.00 per $100 of payroll. The insurance is then used to cover a variety of things when a worker is injured.
It should be noted, however, that not every injury is covered. To be precise, according to the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC) for an injury to be compensable the “injury must have arisen ‘out of and in the course of employment.’”
If you are unsure if your injuries are covered, you should contact a workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible. Personal injury lawyers have experience dealing with workers’ compensation cases and know what kinds of injuries are covered and which are not. They also know how much compensation you are entitled under the law and will advocate for you to make sure your compensation is not unnecessarily decreased.
What Will Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cover?
If your claim is accepted then workers’ compensation insurance will cover all medical treatment that is deemed reasonable and necessary for the treatment of your injury. You won’t have to pay anything. Typically, reasonable and necessary treatment includes:
- Hospital bills
The coverage will continue until you are either returned to 100% health or until there is no further benefit to the treatment.
In addition to covering the cost of medical treatment, workers’ compensation insurance might also cover several other categories of expenses. These expenses include:
- Lost wages
- Job training
- Benefits if you are permanently disabled
As suggested above, In some cases a workplace injury can lead to either partial or total permanent disability. If that is the case, there are additional benefits an employee might be eligible for in the short term and long term.
If the disability is severe enough, compensation might continue indefinitely and cover things like:
- Prosthetic limbs
- Medical devices such as a wheelchair
- Any other costs related to medical treatment necessary because of the injury
But as you may have noticed, workers’ compensation can also cover lost wages. Lost wages are the salary or income you have lost due to your inability to work because of a workplace injury. How much you can receive for lost wages depends on a number of factors. In most cases, the compensation you receive for lost wages will only last until you are able to return to work at which time they will be canceled.
However, if you are permanently disabled and can no longer work you could potentially receive compensation for lost wages for the rest of your life. In Maryland, permanent disability refers to employees who have lost two arms, legs, feet, hands, or eyes. If that is the case, the person is eligible to receive two-thirds of their average weekly wage indefinitely.
If a person is partially disabled from a workplace injury the compensation for lost wages follows a complex fee schedule. The state of Maryland has created a tiered system to determine how much compensation a person is due based on the severity of the partial disability. Because of the complexity of the system, it is often best to work with a personal injury lawyer to make sure you are getting the compensation you are due under the system.
You can find the full benefits schedule on the Maryland WCC website.
Is There Anything Else Workers’ Compensation Insurance Covers?
If a person dies as the result of a workplace injury, his or her loved ones could be eligible for survivor benefits. These benefits could cover things like funeral expenses, medical bills, and lost wages. Typically, in order to receive survivor benefits an individual would need to be the spouse or dependent of the deceased.
What Else Do I Need to Know?
If you have been injured at work, it is important that you notify your employer within ten days of the injury. If there has been a death, the employer needs to be notified within 30 days. After that, you have two years to file a claim if you were injured and a family has 18 months to file a claim in the event of a death.
It is also important to keep records of your injuries, medical treatment you have received, and all medical expenses. You can see a diagram outlining the entire claims process at the WCC website.
As you might have guessed, following through on a claim can be challenging, especially as you are recovering from an injury. In many cases, the process runs more smoothly if you have the help of a qualified Baltimore personal injury lawyer.