Maryland Workers’ Compensation Eligibility Lawyer
Workers’ Compensation Eligibility
Workers who are injured while on the job in Maryland are eligible for workers’ compensation coverage if their injuries meet the requirements of Maryland workers’ compensation laws. Not all workplace injuries are covered by workers’ compensation, but workers may be covered if their injuries meet certain requirements.
Accidental Personal Injury or Occupational Disease
In order to be covered by workers’ compensation, a worker has to suffer an “accidental personal injury.” Injuries inflicted intentionally, either by the worker or by someone else, aren’t covered by workers’ compensation. However, a worker who is intentionally injured by another person may have a civil or criminal case against that person and be able to recover damages in that way. In addition, the injury has to be a personal injury. Property damage generally is not covered by workers’ compensation.
An exception to the “accidental personal injury” requirement in Maryland is the “occupational disease” requirement. Some workers suffer diseases after years of exposure to certain chemicals or conditions, instead of being injured in a specific accident. For instance, workers who handled asbestos as part of their jobs may suffer from mesothelioma, a type of cancer that is often triggered by long-term asbestos exposure. Even if a particular accident didn’t cause the damage to a worker’s health, the worker may still be eligible for workers’ compensation if he or she has an occupational disease.
Arising “Out Of” Employment
Next, an injury must arise “out of” a worker’s employment to be covered by workers’ compensation. The “out of” employment requirement looks at what the worker was doing when the injury occurred. If the worker was performing a duty he or she was hired to perform, workers’ compensation may cover the injury. For instance, a worker hired to file paperwork may be covered by workers’ compensation if a defective filing drawer slams shut on his or her hand while he or she is filing papers, because this injury arose “out of” the employee doing a task he or she was hired to do.
Arising “In the Course of” Employment
In addition to the “out of” employment requirement, an injury must also arise “in the course of” employment in order to be eligible for workers’ compensation coverage. The “in the course of” requirement looks at the time, place, and circumstances of the accident. For instance, in the above example, the worker whose hand was injured by a defective file drawer while he or she was filing papers may be eligible for workers’ compensation if he or she was filing during normal working hours in the assigned office. If the filing was being done during off hours in a different office and wasn’t required or expected, however, the worker may not be eligible for workers’ compensation coverage.
Finally, in order to be covered by Maryland workers’ compensation laws, the injured employee must have been hurt or contracted an occupational disease within Maryland or while working for an employer located primarily in Maryland. Workers who primarily work outside Maryland for employers located outside the state may not be covered by Maryland workers’ compensation laws, even if they are hurt while passing through or temporarily being in the state. However, these workers may be able to seek workers’ compensation coverage from their employers in the states in which they usually work or their employer’s principal place of business is located.
Helping You Focus on Recovery
Alpert Schreyer’s experienced attorneys are dedicated to helping injured workers get the benefits they need, so they can focus on healing. To discuss your situation with us and learn more about your legal rights and options, contact us today at (844) 632-7274, or fill out our free online form.