Workers’ compensation is provided for employees as protection when
the employee is injured while on the job. At the outset, employees would
have to file claims against the employer to show that there was negligence
on the part of the employer that led to the permanent or temporary injury
of the employee. However, the legal process can be long and overwrought,
with negligence difficult to prove. In order to make the system more effective,
this insurance system available to employers, specifically workers’
compensation, provides monetary compensation to an injured employee without
the wasted time and money trying to prove negligence in a courtroom.
Parameters of Workers’ Compensation in Maryland
Workers’ compensation is generally thought of as an injury that occurs as a result of an accident.
Maryland law does have specific language that may not permit every accident
that occurs during employment to fall under the definition. Generally,
it is easier to demonstrate your case for workers’ compensation
when the job requirements lend themselves to a certain level of risk or
danger. Additionally, Maryland law requires that the accident itself must
arise out of and during the course of employment, thus making the distinction
that just because a person is injured during the workday, or while on
the job, does not automatically win the argument. An exception to the
accident requirement is where the job itself may lead to occupational diseases.
Occupational diseases may have an obvious cause and effect; such as where
a person is diagnosed with asbestosis, which is a disease associated with
overexposure to asbestos. It would be an easy conclusion that a person
who works with asbestos or whose job put the person in a situation to
be exposed to asbestos may later suffer from asbestosis. Sometimes, however,
occupational diseases may be less obvious and might require considerable
cases studies to show that a disease or condition has occurred as a result
of the occupation, and not due to other, external influences.
Occupational Diseases as Rebuttable Presumptions
In Maryland, occupational disease presumptions, where studies provide a
showing that a certain profession is correlated with certain diseases,
are rebuttable presumptions. This implies that where there is a presumption
that a certain disease is associated with a certain profession, unless
there is contrary evidence to disprove the presumption, and therefore
rebut the presumption, the presumption of correlation stands.
State Correctional Officers in Maryland: Heart Disease and Hypertension
as Occupational Diseases
Maryland legislature in 2016 has brought in a bill that would provide workers’ compensation benefits
to State correctional officers that suffer from heart disease or hypertension.
According to one study that is foundational for the bill that was submitted
to Maryland’s legislature, correctional officers that oversee and
supervise men and women who have been arrested and are awaiting trial
or men and women who are serving a prison term or sentence, are more likely
to be injured and ill as a result of possible confrontations with this group.
It has been hypothesized that state correctional officers, as a result
of stress-induced from their job requirements and frequent confrontations
with inmates, they are more likely to suffer from
heart disease and hypertension. This analysis is in addition to the fact that State police officers already
receive workers’ compensation benefits for heart disease and hypertension, and the
Maryland legislature does not see a distinction in job requirements that would demonstrate
that State correctional officers do not suffer from the same illnesses
as State police officers engaged in the same tasks.
Charles County, MD Personal Injury Lawyers that Fight for You
Workers’ compensation and benefits are essential and knowing the
ins and outs of workers’ compensation protections are key to ensuring
that you and your loved ones are protected in the event of an accident
or an occupational disease. It is important to consult with an experienced
personal injury attorney about what you deserve if you have been injured
on the job. Please call the
Law Office of Robert R. Castro at (301) 804-2312 for a confidential consultation.