Serving Maryland and Washington D.C. 301-870-1200

Workers’ Compensation in Review and an Employer’s Reporting Requirement

When it comes to workers’ compensation, it is the shared responsibility of the injured employee and the employer to ensure that not only is the employee able to file for workers’ compensation, but that the employer takes step to ensure that the accident site is evaluated and updated to limit the possibility of another injury occurring from the same hazard. With many occupations, there are generally hazards present in the workplace. Even workplaces in which imited manual labor takes place may still have potential hazards such as faulty equipment, heavy furniture, or poorly maintained parking lots that may represent seasonal or temporary hazards.

What is Workers’ Compensation in Maryland?

First and foremost, to be able to receive the benefit of workers’ compensation, the harm, injury, or accident must have occurred to a covered employee arising out of and in the course of his or her employment. This definition is important because not all injuries that take place at work fall under the workers’ compensation eligibility criteria. For example, when a worker is being negligent and that negligence is the cause of the injury, it is possible that he or she may not be able to receive the benefits of workers’ compensation. Additionally, a covered injury may also take the form of an occupational disease, where the disease results from or occurs in the course of employment. An example of this would be a person that works in close proximity to chemicals and contracts some form of chemical poisoning.

Who Qualifies as a “Covered Employee”?

A covered employee is also a term of art in workers’ compensation. To be able to receive benefits under workers’ compensation, the employee must be a defined, covered employee where there is a genuine legal relationship between the employee and the employer. This would exclude those who work as independent contractors or have their own sole-proprietorship or partnership. This definition dictates that not everyone would be a covered employee and not every type of employer would be required to have workers’ compensation coverage.

Why Type of Benefits May be Covered Under Workers’ Compensation?

The benefits that may be given to compensate an individual could be wage replacement, financial reimbursement for any type of medical treatment resulting from the injury or harm that took place, death and funeral costs, and rehabilitation expenses.

New Law in Maryland for Reporting Requirements and Possible Penalties to Employers

Recently, the Maryland legislature passed a house and senate bill to add additional requirements and penalties to employers regarding their workers’ compensation reporting requirements. The bill was recently approved by the Governor and signed into law. The Maryland House bill number 1476 and Maryland Senate bill number 867 put into effect the notification requirements of employers; though it is the responsibility of the employee at the time of the injury to file a claim with the Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC), an employer must also report to the WCC the incident that was described in the employee’s claim. The employer must report the accident within three days of discovering the injury. If the injury involves an occupational disease, then the employer must notify the WCC immediately. If the employer does not report within the time frame or at all, when the employer knew about the injury or occupational disease, the state may levy a fine against the employer. The penalty would be to charge the employer with a misdemeanor and the employer would have to pay up to $50.

Charles County, MD Personal Injury Lawyers that Fight for You

If you have been injured or harmed during the course of your employment, you may be able to recover the costs of lost wages, medical treatment, and rehabilitation expenses. It is important to consult with an experienced Maryland personal injury lawyer about your potential workers’ compensation claim. Please call the Law Office of Robert R. Castro at (301) 804-2312 for a confidential consultation.