Workers’ compensation is an insurance that provides medical coverage, disability and many other benefits to workers who have been injured on the job. Requirements for employers to buy coverage varies from one state to another, and this is often determined by the minimum number of employees who are in the company.
Maryland law requires employers who have at least one employee to purchase workers’ compensation, including businesses that have part-time employees, with some exceptions, such as for small agricultural businesses with less than three workers. Taking a look at what protections workers have as well what the law may not cover is a good start for employees in Severna Park and surrounding areas who are preparing to file a workers’ compensation claim.
Requirements for a successful claim in Maryland
For a claim to be successful, it must pass certain criteria as defined by Maryland workers’ compensation statutes. First, an employer/employee relationship must exist for the employee to have protections, and the accidental injury must have occurred as part of and during employment.
Next, the injury must have been accidental, unless it is an occupational illness that has occurred over time and is due to the nature of the job which exposes the worker to harm, such as pulmonary issues from toxic fume inhalation, hearing loss from loud noises, conditions resulting from repetitive motions, or strains or stress causing damage to a certain area of the body.
The injury must stem from the worker’s employment, whether it is from conditions that pose risks to the worker, or that can result in injury after repeated or prolonged exposure to risks. A truck driver’s daily risks while on the road or moving heavy objects, the many jobsite hazards a construction worker faces, a mason’s work-related knee injury, or an office worker’s herniated disc, are all examples of work conditions that can lead to accidental or occupational injury.
Finally, the event or activity must have occurred during job-related activities and have arisen during the time, place and circumstances of the injury.
Filing a claim
Workers’ compensation claims require strict adherence to notification and filing deadlines. An injured worker should notify the employer immediately after the accident or injury and seek medical attention as soon as possible. It is possible to receive medical, wage or vocational rehabilitation benefits, as well as temporary or permanent disability, but having legal support is essential if there is a claim delay or denial of benefits.