Like every other state, Maryland offers protection for employees who are injured on the job. If a person is injured, it is the responsibility of the employer to ensure he or she receives the appropriate medical care and financial compensation. Furthermore, the employer must allow the employee the appropriate amount of time to heal before returning to his or her work.
This is true whether the incident causes short-term or long-term injures. Workers’ compensation payments are made from an insurance fund your employer has paid into over the time you are employed. If he or she has failed to make these payments you will need to file a lawsuit to get the compensation you deserve.
If injuries cause extremely long-term or permanent disabilities and the employee is no longer able to work, he or she is entitled to disability compensation.
Workers’ Compensation Injuries
The injuries covered under workers’ compensation laws vary from state to state. In Maryland, injuries must occur during the course of employment. Being hurt at your workplace might not be enough – you must actually be performing your job. So, for instance, if you work at a manufacturing plant and are injured operating equipment during the course of your workday, you would be entitled to workers’ compensation. However, if you trip on your way into the plant one morning prior to the beginning of your workday, workers’ compensation does not apply. (In this case, other laws might protect you and provide compensation if you can prove your employer shirked his or her responsibility to create a safe entry into the workspace.)
Workers’ compensation applies to injuries that occur from single incident accidents and from long-term exposure to dangerous materials. For instance, an employee would be covered if he breaks his arm during his workday operating machinery and he would be covered if he develops mesothelioma from years of exposure to asbestos in his workplace.
There are instances in which you would be entitled to workers’ compensation without being at your work site. For instance, if your job requires you to meet a client off-site, you would be entitled to workers’ compensation if you are injured in a car crash on your way to meet with that client. However, you would not be eligible if you are injured in an accident driving into work in the morning.
Are Independent Contractors Eligible?
Keep in mind workers’ compensation protections apply only to people who are employees. If you are an independent contractor you will not be eligible for the same benefits, even if the scenario in which you were injured is similar or identical to one that would cause an employee to be compensated.
To learn more about workers’ compensation in Maryland or to speak to someone concerning injuries you endured while working, contact Shugarman & Mehring at 410.783.4200 or toll free at 888.342.7200.