Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Towson, MD
Any individual who is hurt while performing work-related duties should strongly consider speaking with a workers’ compensation lawyer Towson, MD residents both respect and trust. No two work injury scenarios are exactly the same. This is why answering the question, “Should I file for workers’ compensation benefits?” isn’t always answerable in a straightforward way. Yes, the workers’ compensation system is designed to provide most American workers with compensation in the event that they’re injured on the job. However, there are exceptions to this general rule. Additionally, depending on the details of your situation, you may have alternative or additional legal options available to you. By speaking with the experienced Maryland legal team at Seigel & Rouhana, LLC, you’ll place yourself in the best possible position to make decisions now that will benefit you down the road.
When Can Injured Employees File for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
You won’t necessarily be able to tell at a glance whether you’re eligible to file for workers’ compensation benefits until you speak with an experienced Towson, MD workers’ compensation lawyer. Why? There are a number of “general rules” that you should keep in mind when processing information about the workers’ compensation system, but there are also exceptions to nearly every general rule. Therefore, you’ll want to speak with our legal team instead of making any assumptions about your options, for better or for worse.
Generally, workers’ compensation benefits are available to part-time and full-time workers, not to contractors, volunteers, or some specialty workers. However, each state makes its own workers’ compensation rules. As a result, you may be considered eligible/ineligible based upon the size of the company you work for or your professional specialty. Conversely, you may think that you’re ineligible because you’re classified as a contractor. However, contractors are often misclassified and are, in reality, eligible for such benefits. Generally, eligible workers may file for benefits any time they’re injured while performing work-related duties, whether they’re physically present at their job site or not.
Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that even if you’re ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits, you may be able to hold your employer and/or a third party accountable for the harm you’ve suffered by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Will Workers’ Compensation Cover All of My Losses?
Workers’ compensation benefits are available to most workers who suffered a workplace injury or illness. The program is very beneficial, but is not perfect. Not only are delays and initial denials common, but many questions tend to arise – with no clear answers. One of these is whether workers’ compensation will cover all losses?
As a workers’ compensation lawyer in Towson, MD might explain to you, workers’ compensation won’t cover every loss. What it usually does cover is all your medical care and a portion of your wages, but not all of them. If this is concerning to you, it may be a good idea to ask a lawyer to review your case for further options.
In some cases, there will be other parties that can be held responsible for what happened. If another party, who is unrelated to your work, caused the injury, a personal injury claim could be pursuable. On the other hand, if you were on another property, and doing your job, you might be able to file a premise liability claim. Talking with a Towson, MD workers’ compensation lawyer is advisable.
The Most Common Workplace Accidents
Workplace injuries can happen in a number of ways; however, the most common ones tend to be the result of a:
- Slip and fall
- Machine accident
- Object falling on a person
- Chemical exposure
- Company car accidents
What a Workers’ Compensation Claim May Cover
If you are eligible to receive workers’ comp, you can feel peace of mind in knowing that your medical care should be fully covered. If you choose to quit treatment because you believe you are better, or your doctor does, and you end up needing medical care later on, your workers’ compensation will likely cover it. A portion of your wages are also covered under the program. In the event you are the loved one of someone who dies while working, any medical care given prior to their death, as well as funeral and burial costs, and death benefits may be available. The program generally will not cover any pain or suffering, loss of consortium, loss of support, or other non-economic damages. Only a personal injury claim can help to recover these damages. A workers’ compensation lawyer in Towson, MD can review your case to let you know what you may be eligible for.
What About My Pain and Suffering?
Personal injury claims often include non-economic damages, like pain and suffering. Workers’ compensation does not. If your injury or illness has rendered you unable to enjoy activities you once loved, or you are in extreme pain, ask a lawyer about the possibility of filing a personal injury claim.
Workers’ Compensation Claims Mistakes
The Maryland workers’ compensation system provides financial assistance for injured workers. Obtaining benefits is not always easy. Getting compensation will almost certainly require extensive documentation, completing paperwork in a timely manner, and dealing with insurance companies when a dispute arises.
Applying for workers’ comp in Maryland is a multistep process. Over half of all applicants will make a mistake that ultimately delays things. To prevent you from making the same mistakes, please review common errors made by claimants during the workers’ compensation application process.
Not Giving Notice to Your Employer – By law you must report your injury or illness to your employer within 10 days. If you are the loved one of someone who died, you have 30 days. Some injuries are not immediately noticeable, such as repetitive trauma injuries, these cases have different timeframes. A work related illness should be reported to the employer within one year. It is very important to notify your employer as soon as possible. Otherwise, you could risk your ability to receive benefits.
Not Adhering to the Statute of Limitations – You must file a claim within 2 years of the date of injury.
Not Telling Your Doctor All the Details – Your doctor needs to know everything that happened. You should not hide anything from him or her. Furthermore, please ensure your doctor knows the injury happened while working. Ask that they put this in your medical records.
Fail to Report a Minor Injury – You might think your injury is minor, and it could be; however, you should report it to your employer. For example, a brain injury could have a delayed onset, or you might have an internal injury. Some workers try to shake off an injury; therefore, do not report it. If this happens, you could forgo your right to workers’ compensation.
Not Reporting an Injury Because of an Existing Condition – Contrary to what you might think, injuries that worsen a pre-existing condition may be compensable. There may be added requirements you’ll need to show before benefits are available. For instance you might need to prove an injury or medical condition was accelerated. When a pre-existing injury is applicable, you should have a workers’ compensation lawyer in Towson, MD on your side.
Failure to Realize You May Be Monitored – Insurance companies will try to save money. They may monitor you during your recovery without your knowledge. If you are seen doing hard work when you have an injured leg and are supposed to be resting, you may be denied benefits.
Not Getting a Second Opinion – You are required to see a doctor selected by your employer or their insurance company. You do have the right to ask your employer to change doctors or to get a second opinion from your own doctor. A second opinion can be beneficial. If this is something you are interested in doing, please talk with our Towson, MD workers’ compensation lawyer for further guidance.
Going to a Hearing without a Lawyer – If your claim has been denied, you may be required to attend a hearing. The insurance company will likely be represented by a lawyer who will be ready to argue that you are not entitled to benefits. Please consider having your own legal representation.
Do You Need a Lawyer?
Every case is different. If your workplace injury is pretty straightforward or requires a few days from work, a lawyer might not be needed. Some people go through the process on their own and have no problems. For any case that is challenging, complex, or involves serious injuries, you should have a workers’ compensation lawyer in Towson, MD on your side.
Legal Assistance Is Available
If you’ve been injured while on the job, it’s important to speak with a lawyer about all of the legal options available to you. Depending on your circumstances, you may benefit from filing an anonymous safety inspection request and/or complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. You may be eligible to file a personal lawsuit against a third-party. And, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. By scheduling a risk-free, confidential consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer Towson, MD residents trust, you’ll be empowered to make informed decisions about each of the options available that are relevant to your situation.
How to Return to Work After Suffering an Injury
If you suffered an injury at work, you understandably need to take time off to properly recover. However, when it’s time to return, you want to do so as smoothly as possible. Here are some tips to go back to work:
- Keep in contact with your employer. Your workers’ compensation lawyer in Towson, MD may advise staying in touch with your employer throughout your recovery process. This will show your employer that you are serious about returning to work when you’re ready and want to keep the lines of communication open. Try to send your boss a quick email about once a week about your progress.
- Don’t return to work before your doctor gives You the go-ahead. Lying around the house all day can get old after a while. As such, you may be eager to get back to work. However, you shouldn’t attempt to do this before your doctor’s permission. Your doctor is the only person who truly knows if you are ready to return to work. If you try to go back before you’re ready, you risk getting injured again.
- Bring a list of the accommodations you require. Even if your doctor approves you to go back to work, you may need certain accommodations now. For example, if you normally have to stand at your job and now have to sit, you can ask your employer for a chair. Employers are legally required to provide reasonable accommodations for employers who are recovering from injuries.
- Don’t push yourself too hard. When you finally return to work, you of course want to pull your own weight. However, that doesn’t mean you should push yourself beyond your capabilities. Doing so can cause you to reinjure yourself. If you’re performing a task and something doesn’t feel right, you should stop what you’re doing and inform your employer.
- Take shorter shifts. In the beginning, you might not be able to work long shifts like you did before. If this is the case, don’t be afraid to tell your employer. You should be able to work shorter shifts until you feel better.
- Communicate with your lawyer. After you return to work, you should still keep in touch with your workers’ compensation lawyer in Towson, MD. If your employer is treating you unfairly or refusing to give you certain accommodations, you should tell your lawyer.