Maryland Workers Compensation
Some information about the workers compensation system in Maryland
1. The state agency in charge of administrating and adjudicating the claims is the:
Workers Compensation Commission
10 East Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
2. In the case of an injury, the injured worker is supposed to provide oral or written notice to their employer within 10 days of the date of injury. In the case of an occupational disease, the period of required notice is one year. There are exceptions to these notice requirements that extend the time and/or provide for a finding of constructive notice on the part of the employer. There are also different notice requirements in the event the injured worker dies from the work injury.
3. Injured workers are supposed to file a completed claim form with the Workers Compensation Commission within sixty (60) days of the date of injury or death. There are some exceptions to this requirement which can extend the period required for filing the claim forms up to a maximum of two years. In most cases, if the claim form is not filed within two (2) years of the date of injury, the claim is over.
4. Under Maryland law, the employer has to provide the injured worker with wage loss pay, medical treatment, vocational rehabilitation (if necessary), and benefits for permanent injury, disfigurement and/or death (if applicable). The amount of benefits can vary significantly in each case and the expert assistance of an attorney can help you pursue the maximum benefits available in your particular situation.
5. Benefits are paid to the injured workers based upon their “Average Weekly Wage.” The Average Weekly Wage is figured by determining the gross average weekly wage earned by the injured employee over the fourteen (14) weeks prior to the work injury. In the event the injured employee had multiple jobs, the gross pay from all of these jobs may NOT be included to determine the Average Weekly Wage. Only the wages from the job, at which you were injured, may be included in the Average Weekly Wage calculation – even if you were injured at your part time job and now cannot work any of your jobs. Average Weekly Wage may also, however, include benefits provided to the injured employee in addition to wages.
6. Once the Average Weekly Wage is figured, the injured worker will be paid at his or her “Compensation Rate” which is 66 2/3rds of the Average Weekly Wage. This amount is paid to the injured worker and is tax free for as long as the period of disability continues.
7. Injured workers are entitled to choose their own doctors and have broad rights to change doctors for various reasons.
8. Injured workers are entitled to receive a permanent (partial or total) disability award for any continuing problems or disfigurement that they may have after their medical treatment has essentially been concluded. These awards vary significantly and the expert assistance of an attorney can help pursue the maximum benefits available under the law.
9. While you may pursue a settlement of your claim, you do not have to in order to receive a permanent disability award. You may receive a permanent disability award and keep all of your rights to future medical treatment open and, in some cases, the right to seek additional monetary benefits in the future as well (subject to several limitations).
10. As you can see, there are significant benefits available to the injured employee in Maryland. The insurance companies that provide these benefits to the injured employee have attorneys and seek to use all of the available provisions of the law in order to minimize what they ultimately have to pay in these cases. It is vitally important to seek good legal counsel to help protect your rights and maximize your benefits.