Did you know that your workplace injury may not be covered by Maryland’s workers’ compensation law? That’s right, even though an injury might have occurred on the job, it is not necessarily eligible for compensation through the workers’ comp program. A variety of factors determine whether a workplace injury actually warrants workers’ comp benefits, according to state law.
First, it is critical to understand that workers’ compensation only covers employees. That may sound obvious, but contractors and vendors are not eligible for workers’ compensation from another employer. They must pursue an injury claim against their own employer. Further, some types of businesses do not even employ workers, but they rather use independent contractors to perform the majority of their work. Independent contractors are not eligible for workers’ compensation, even if they receive most of their income from a single client.
The injury must also have “arisen out of the employment.” In other words, the workplace injury must have been caused by a dangerous or hazardous condition under which work was expected to be performed. The employee must have been exposed to a risky or dangerous situation — from a slippery floor to an improperly guarded machine — in order for workers’ compensation to be relevant.
Finally, workers’ compensation claims only deal with those injuries that occur during the “course of employment.” The worker must have been at the job site or at another facility designated by the employer. The worker must have also been injured in an accident, not an intentional act. Occupational diseases can qualify as “accidents” for the purposes of a workers’ compensation claim.
Victims who believe they have satisfied the aforementioned criteria may be entitled to workers’ compensation to pay for their medical expenses associated with the work accident. Benefits can include temporary total disability benefits, which are available during the “healing period.” Your legal team can explain the availability of the benefits you deserve after your workplace accident.
Source: Workers’ Compensation Commission, “Maryland Workers’ Compensation Law” Aug. 11, 2014