A serious workplace injury can easily render a worker incapacitated, or disabled, leaving him or her unable to perform the functions of their job, or perhaps any job. That worker needs lost wages and medical attention. Maryland, like all states, has a purportedly “self-executing” worker’s compensation system to deliver those benefits. The fact that there is also a dedicated branch of government -the Worker’s Compensation Commission- which functions as a court system only to hear the claims of those injured workers who have been denied benefits is a clear sign
The system is not always “self-executing”, and insurance companies many times have to have a court tell them what benefits they must provide after denying them to the injured worker.
I have handled countless worker's compensation cases over the last 25 years. What I have gleaned from those cases has led me to a checklist of mandatory steps I recommend for any injured worker, whether that person hires me as their lawyer or not.
- Report the accident to your supervisor. Document the accident immediately. Fill out the appropriate form and submit it to the Human Resources Director, if applicable, or other designated official. If your employer does not give you the right paperwork, call me.
- Request those who witnessed the accident to write a detailed account of what they observed.
- Follow everything you are asked to do. This can include going to a doctor immediately following the accident, and adhering to all of the doctor’s orders. Give your employer your disability slip. If you have questions about doing something you are told to do, call me.
- Request medical care. Don’t be fooled by symptoms that are not readily apparent. Some workplace accidents can be relatively painless, but produce long-term pain.
- Consult with an experienced lawyer of your choosing.
The law requires that employers carry insurance that protects the worker if a workplace injury occurs. Most do. Unfortunately, that may only be half the battle. Workers' compensation insurance companies deny thousands of claims in Maryland each and every year, and delay payment on many, many more. After hearing from the injured worker, typically through an experienced workers' compensation attorney, thousands of injured Marylanders that have been denied benefits by their insurance company are subsequently awarded those very benefits by the Workers' Compensation Commission.
One may find it surprising that insurance companies deny and attempt to deny benefits to workers who sustained an injury while on the job –but I don’t.
In these instances, that worker needs to enlist the help of a skilled and experienced workplace injury attorney.
I offer a free legal analysis and case discussion to injured workers. I invite all potential clients to participate in a no-cost analysis and strategy conference. Contact me today to arrange a time to meet. 410 591 2835, or simply complete the form on this page.
-This Article was updated by Eric Kirk on 6/30/20.