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If you suffered an injury at work, you may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits from your employer. However, the process for obtaining benefits can be complicated, which is why you should contact a knowledgeable Maryland workers' compensation lawyer to handle your workers' compensation claim.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl have detailed knowledge of the workers' compensation laws in Maryland and the process for applying for benefits, including appealing denied claims. Our goal is to obtain all of the forms of compensation you are entitled to help you move forward with your life, whether you are able to return to work or not.
At our firm, we take workers' compensation cases on a contingency fee basis. This means your consultation is free and you will not be charged any fees or costs for our services unless we obtain fair compensation for you. Our Maryland location is within walking distance of the Maryland Workers' Compensation Commission (MWCC) office on 10 East Maryland Street. However, we can come to you if needed.
Call a Maryland workers' compensation lawyer right now at 410-244-7005.
There are two types of workplace injuries that may qualify for workers' compensation: accidental injuries and occupational diseases. Both types of injuries must meet certain criteria for the employee to be eligible for benefits.
These are injuries that occur unexpectedly or unintentionally when you are at work. Some examples of workplace accidents that give rise to these types of claims include:
These and other types of accidental injuries may be covered if they meet two criteria:
This is an illness or medical condition that is caused by factors that are present in the work environment, such as exposure to toxic substances, which over time, can lead to a disease or illness. There is not one incident or accident that caused the illness, however, there must be a direct link to your work or working conditions that caused your disease.
Examples of occupational diseases that may qualify for workers' compensation include lung cancer, asbestosis or mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos, as well as certain types of skin, lung or eye disease, among other ailments.
No matter how your injury occurred, you should meet with a workers' compensation lawyer in Maryland so we can determine if you may be entitled to compensation. We can manage every aspect of your claim as we pursue all forms of compensation you are eligible for.
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The Maryland Workers' Compensation Act lists several benefits available to injured workers, including:
Workers' compensation covers any medical treatment that is necessary, reasonable and causally related to your injury. This could include:
You are entitled to compensation for these expenses for the entire length of your treatment, as long as there is evidence these expenses are reasonable and necessary.
In some cases, a workplace injury or disease leaves you completely unable to work while you are healing. If this happens, you may be entitled to temporary total disability benefits that are worth two-thirds of your average weekly wage. However, your compensation cannot exceed the state's average weekly wage of $1,052 for 2017 and cannot be less than $50.
If your recovery period is 14 days or less, you will not receive compensation for the first three days when you were disabled. However, you can still receive compensation for hospital, nursing and medical services.
If your recovery period lasts more than 14 days, you should be entitled to compensation starting on the date of your disability.
This is for workers who are partially disabled when they are healing, so they are still able to work in some capacity. Your employer or its insurer will compensate you for 50 percent of the difference between your average weekly wage and your earning capacity during your period of temporary partial disability. However, this amount cannot exceed 50 percent of the state average weekly wage, which would be $526 in 2017.
Temporary partial disability benefits end once you reach the point of maximum medical improvement, even if you are not in the same condition you were before your injury.
If you suffer a severe injury, you may be permanently unable to work. Maryland law defines a permanent total disability as any injury that causes the loss or loss of use of both eyes, feet, hands, legs or a combination of two of these things, like one hand and an eye, or one foot and one arm.
If you are found to be permanently totally disabled, you are entitled to two-thirds of your average weekly wage up to the state's average weekly wage. The minimum permanent total disability payment is $25.
In some cases, you may be permanently disabled but still able to work in some capacity. If you were injured on or after January 1, 2017, you are entitled to 33.33 percent of your average weekly wage. However, compensation cannot exceed 16.7 percent of the state average weekly wage, which is approximately $176 in 2017.
If you suffer an injury serious enough to prevent you from returning to the job you held before, you may be entitled to compensation for rehabilitation to help you do another job. You could obtain compensation for various services, such as:
You can receive compensation for these and other vocational rehabilitation services for up to 24 months.
If your loved one died because of a workplace injury, you could be entitled to compensation to make up for the loss of your loved one's income.
If you were wholly dependent on the income from your loved one, you can receive two-thirds of his or her average weekly wage, not to exceed the state average weekly wage. If you were only partially dependent on your loved one, you can receive two-third of your loved one's average weekly wage, not to exceed two-thirds of the state average weekly wage.
The Maryland workers' compensation lawyers at our firm have a detailed understanding of these different forms of compensation, including eligibility requirements and the compensation rates for the different types of benefits.
We can help make sure you receive the compensation you are entitled, based on the severity of your disability and its effect on your earning capacity.
Contact a Maryland workers' compensation attorney by calling 410-244-7005.
If you are injured at work and think you may be eligible for workers' compensation, you have 10 days from the date of the accident to tell your employer.
However, you should report your injury to your employer as soon as possible. Employers and their workers' compensation insurance companies are looking for any reason to deny your claim, and if you wait to file a claim they may say the delay is because the injury is not related to your job.
Once you report the injury to your employer, you should fill out an Employee Claim Form and submit it to the MWCC. You can fill out the form online, print it out and mail it, or request that a printed form be mailed to you.
The MWCC has a detailed list of instructions for completing the form that you must comply with, otherwise you risk having your claim rejected or returned to you so you can provide the missing information.
For instance, if you fill the form out by hand, you must write in black ink and use only capital letters. If you do not know the answer to a question or how to fill something out, you must enter zeroes in the boxes. You also cannot exceed the length of the indicated area for answering a question or providing information.
Any claim forms that do not include a signed Authorization for Disclosure of Health Information will be automatically rejected and returned to you.
Once you submit a form and the MWCC determines if it has been fully completed with no information missing, it usually takes two to three business days to process the form and make a decision. You will be notified of the decision by a Notice of Claim in the mail. This will also be mailed to your employer and its insurance company and legal representatives.
If you are approved for benefits, your employer or its insurance company should begin paying compensation within 15 days of the date you receive your Notice of Claim or when payment is due, whichever is later.
The Maryland workers' compensation lawyers at our firm can help you fill out your claim form as fully and correctly as possible, to try to help ensure it will not be sent back to you because it is missing information. This could also help improve your chances of being awarded benefits.
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Unfortunately, your claim may be denied or challenged by your employer or its insurance company. If this happens, you will be notified by mail about a hearing before a Commissioner from the MWCC about these objections.
If your claim is denied, or it is approved but you are receiving less benefits than you think you are entitled, you have the right to request a hearing before the MWCC. You will need to fill out an Issues Form and submit it to the MWCC. This form allows you to check off a variety of issues you have with the MWCC's decision on your claim, such as whether you sustained an injury covered by workers' compensation or the value of your average weekly wage.
A commissioner will preside over your hearing and allow you and your employer to present your cases. The commissioner will decide whether to make any changes to the decision about your claim.
If you are still unsatisfied with any aspect of the decision, you have 15 days to request a rehearing by submitting a written Request for Rehearing. There is a section where you can explain why you deserve a rehearing.
It is much more difficult to get a rehearing than it is to get a first hearing. The Commissioner will only give you a rehearing if there was a legal error during the hearing or you have new evidence you were unable to obtain before your first hearing.
If you are not granted a rehearing, or you are unhappy with the decision from the rehearing, your next option is to file an appeal with a circuit court closest to you. You have 30 days from the date of your rehearing decision to file an appeal.
At the circuit court hearing, the court will presume that the decision made by the MWCC was correct. This means, you will need to prove why the decision was incorrect. After hearing from both sides, the circuit court will decide if the MWCC made a mistake or misapplied the law to your case. If the court disagrees with any aspect of the MWCC's decision, it will send your case back for reconsideration.
However, if the court does not overturn the MWCC's decision, your next option is to file an appeal with the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. These appeals are difficult to win because they are governed by numerous rules and procedures that must be strictly adhered to.
You should strongly consider working with an attorney at each stage of the appeals process. Our experienced Maryland workers' compensation lawyers can manage every step of the process, helping you fill out any necessary paperwork as completely and accurately as possible.
The attorneys at our firm understand that small errors on one form could cause the MWCC to make you fill out the form again. Small errors could also hurt your chances of achieving a favorable outcome.
Another advantage to having a Maryland workers' compensation attorney is that he or she can represent you at every hearing and try to present a strong case for why different aspects of the MWCC's decision were wrong and should be changed. Unlike your employer or its insurance company, our goal is to obtain all of the compensation you deserve.
The Maryland workers' compensation attorneys at our firm can also help ensure that your claim complies with all applicable statutes of limitations. These are deadlines for filing a claim, and if you miss any of these deadlines, you may lose the right to file a claim.
In Maryland, the following statutes of limitations apply to workers' compensation claims:
When you contact our firm, we will immediately determine when the statute of limitations for your claim began and when it will end so we can help ensure everything is filed on time.
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When an injury occurs at work, you should seriously consider seeking legal representation. An experienced attorney can manage every step of the process, allowing you to focus on your recovery.
The workers' compensation lawyers in Maryland at our firm have many years of experience pursuing compensation for injured workers. We are well-versed in the relevant laws and every step of the process, including appealing a claim.
Your consultation with our firm is absolutely free and you will not have any legal fees or costs unless we obtain compensation for you.
Schedule a free legal consultation right away by calling us at 410-244-7005.
Contact our personal injury lawyers for a free consultation if you have been injured by another’s negligence. You may be entitled to compensation.
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