If you’ve experienced an injury while on the job, you might wonder whether or not you should hire a workers’ compensation lawyer Baltimore MD offers. Cohen & Cohen has a team of lawyers who are ready to answer your questions during a free consultation. With decades of combined experience and a determination to represent our clients as best we can, we fight for the justice our clients are looking for.
When You Should Retain a Baltimore MD Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Workers’ compensation has been developed to provide financial assistance, in the form of lost wages and medical care, to employees who have been injured while working. Due to the structure of the system, you can file for worker’s’ compensation without a lawyer. However, this may only be advisable in a few situations such as:
- When you’ve incurred a minor injury while working, which may not have lasting damages
- When you have missed very little, or no, work to recover from your accident
- When your employer admits you were involved in the accident while working and coverage for your situation is readily available
- The associated insurance carriers are not causing any issues with your claim
- You had no previous problems to the part of your body that was injured
Before you file workers’ compensation on your own, you should meet most, if not all, of the criteria above. Otherwise, you could risk being declined, which then requires you to go through a lengthy appeals process. You may also still want to consult with a workers’ compensation lawyer in Baltimore MD to discuss your claim. He or she might be able to guide you through the process and explain various what you should expect. This advice can be especially useful for those who do not understand the process or encompassing legalities.
When You Should Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Baltimore MD Has to Offer
Although Maryland has a workers’ comp program in place, some employers and insurance carriers make the process difficult as an attempt to challenge the employee’s benefits. This can lead to emotional stress, financial burdens, and other hurdles, and having a workers’ compensation lawyer Baltimore MD residents can rely on is often essential. You should not hesitate to contact a lawyer if any of the following apply to you:
- Your employer or insurance company is telling you that your injury is not covered or related to a work accident
- Your employer or insurance company is insisting that you take a settlement that is less than your medical bills and lost wages
- You are unable to return to your job, another job, or from returning to work at all
- You are receiving Social Security disability benefits
- You have a third party claim (such as those from a car accident)
- Your employer or insurance company refuses to answer your questions or follow up phone calls
- You were fired or made redundant after your work accident
- You’re being intimidated or harassed by your employer or insurance company
A workers’ compensation lawyer Baltimore MD residents trust can discuss the nature of your claim during a free consultation. If you have legal options, a lawyers may let you know how much your case is worth to prepare you to accept a fair settlement if and when it is offered to you. Finally, by turning to a lawyer, you may ease the burden of having to communicate with insurance carriers or employers about your situation.
A Workers Compensation Lawyer in Baltimore, MD from Cohen & Cohen knows that workers’ comp claims may be denied for a myriad of reasons. And when this happens, it can leave employees overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next. By consulting with our team, we can let you know what your options are and how we can protect you. By following these suggestions, you are more likely to be approved for workers’ compensation benefits. However, you may still be denied despite abiding by the information below. If that is the case, when we compel you to come forward and speak with a member of our team now.
Document your injuries.
Take pictures of your visible injuries and what may have caused the accident. Document the scene and gather evidence before it can be cleaned up. If your employer was negligent to attend to a hazard, they may attempt to fix the issue and make it seem like they aren’t at-fault for what happened. If you were injured at work, you deserve to find out if you are eligible for workers compensation benefits and if your coverage is fair.
File before the deadline.
Do not wait and see how your injuries may worsen. Get medical care the same day as the accident if you can. If you were traveling for work, you may still be entitled to treatment for your injuries. As your MD Workers Compensation Lawyer in Baltimore will urge you to do, be sure to request the relevant documentation to fill out and file it before the deadline passes.
Receive unbiased care.
By law, you may have to visit a doctor chosen by your employer’s insurance company for at least the initial appointment. But if you suspect the doctor is biased and doesn’t listen to your concerns, then you may be permitted to see a second doctor to compare diagnosis and treatment plans. Depending on the laws for your state, you may be able to change doctors. If you are in any way unhappy with your medical care after a workplace injury incident, you should call us.
Follow doctor’s orders.
You have to follow the doctor’s orders for your treatment, and if you don’t, then you risk your benefits being cancelled altogether. If you are worried that the care plan isn’t suitable for you and that it may actually harm your health, then a lawyer should intervene before the matter escalates.
If you have been injured while at work or become ill because of conditions where you work, it may be in your best interest to get counsel from a workers’ compensation attorney Baltimore, MD workers recommend. Workers in the United States are fortunate to have workers’ compensation to help pay for injuries sustained while on the job but unfortunately, accepting workers’ compensation from an employer does not always take care of all of a victim’s physical, emotional, and financial needs. Depending on the specifics of your injury or illness and the situation that caused it, you might be better off seeking the compensation you deserve with the help of a workers’ compensation attorney that is licensed to practice in the state where your injury or illness occurred.
Workers’ Compensation: Frequently Asked Questions
What is workers compensation?
Workers compensation is essentially insurance for workers who have suffered injury or illness and are able to prove that it was a direct result of their employment or employer.
Who pays for workers compensation insurance?
In most states, employers are responsible for paying for workers compensation insurance. Under no circumstances should your employer require you to contribute financially to the overall cost of compensation insurance.
Who processes workers compensation claims?
The workers compensation board for the state which the claim was filed will process the subsequent workers compensation claim. The workers compensation board is a state agency, and if deemed necessary, the board can intervene to help determine what the specific insurer will be required to reimburse the claimant with regards to cash benefits, medical care, and will be able to specify the amounts that are payable.
How are claims paid?
Following an injury or illness, claims are paid out if the employer or insurer determines or agrees that it is indeed work-related. When an employer or insurer disputes the claim, payment will be retained until a workers compensation judge decides who is right, the employer or the employee.
If my claim is being disputed, am I eligible for disability benefits in the meantime?
Yes, in many cases – if your claim is being disputed by either your employer or the insurance company, you may be eligible for disability benefits. Additionally, If you can return to work but your injury prevents you from earning the same wages you once did, you may be entitled to various benefits that will help make up some of the difference.
Do I need a lawyer for my workers’ compensation claim?
It largely depends on the severity of your illness or injury and whether your employer or the insurer is disputing your claim. In general, it is advisable to work with a lawyer due to the nature of workers compensation laws, which are confusing. For more complicated claims, having an experienced lawyer to advocate for you can prove to be invaluable.
For example, if your injury or illness has the potential to leave you permanently disabled – there is far more at stake than if the impact of your injury or illness is only temporary. It is advisable to contact a workers compensation attorney, especially for more severe cases. An experienced attorney will be able to help you get the maximum amount of benefits for your unique needs.
What benefits can I receive from workers’ compensation?
Benefit eligibility varies based on your injuries or illness, and the laws in your state. The variability of each state’s workers compensation laws is another reason people seek the assistance of a local workers compensation lawyer. Depending on the severity of your injury, you may be eligible to collect temporary disability benefits, which are typically two-thirds of your regular wages. If your injury or illness occurred in the state of Maryland, contact a local Baltimore, MD workers compensation lawyer for more specific advice and insight into the types of benefits you may be eligible for.
Isn’t easier to accept workers’ compensation rather than hire a lawyer?
In some situations, the workers’ compensation that an employer offers an employee is sufficient for the employee’s injury or illness but unfortunately, this is often not the case.
If you have been offered workers’ insurance it may be a good idea to discuss your rights with a workers’ compensation attorney in Baltimore (or anyplace else in MD) before you accept. Accepting an offer may prohibit you from seeking compensation in the future, even if you continue to have problems that are the result of your workplace injury or illness.
Does my employer determine how much he or she needs to pay to get my treatment covered?
Even the most altruistic employers have to get their workers’ compensation insurance from an insurance company. This means that when an employee utilizes their employer’s workers compensation insurance, it is really the insurance company who determines what a workplace injury or illness victim will need to recover. Very often, workers’ compensation insurance requires victims to see only certain doctors who will then determine how much a patient’s overall treatment should cost. Oftentimes, what the insurance company determines is sufficient, is not enough to fully cover expenses related to the victim’s injury or illness.
One way to protect your financial future is by getting help from a reputable workers’ compensation attorney from Baltimore or the place in MD where your work related injury occurred, to help you to determine whether or not it is in your best interest to pursue a workers’ compensation claim or to accept what the workers’ compensation insurance company is offering you.
Everybody’s work-related injury or illness and the kind of treatment it requires, is unique to their particular situation. It is a good idea to go to doctors that you know are qualified, to determine the best treatment plan and be able to give you a realistic estimate of how long it will take you to recover, possible future complications from your injury or illness, whether you will fully recover, etc. This combined with the help of an attorney who is experienced in successfully getting the maximum amount of compensation that their clients’ deserve, can help you determine how much your injury or illness might ultimately wind up costing.
Workers comp related costs are any costs that the work injury victim would not have had to pay for were it not for their work related injury or illness. These costs often include costs that have already accrued as well as projected costs. Many people recommend enlisting the help of a Baltimore, MD workers comp lawyer to try to recover for these costs which may include but are not limited to:
- Loss of wages
- Loss of abilities
- Medical bills including doctor visits, medications, treatments, etc.
- Hospitalizations and surgeries
- Emergency services
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of health benefits
- Pain and suffering
In the horrific event that a family member has died as the result of a work related injury or illness, their remaining family members may be entitled to one or more of the compenations mentioned above as well as for the following expenses that a workers comp lawyer who is licensed to practice in Baltimore and throughout MD, may be able to help you to get:
- Funeral services
- Burial or cremation costs
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of parental guidance and support
- Loss of retirement benefits
- Grief and suffering
What are medical and disability benefits for victims of workplace injuries and illnesses?
When someone is injured or becomes ill because of their job, they may be entitled to different disability and medical benefits. These benefits may include:
- Wage reimbursement benefits
- Vocational rehabilitation benefits
- Temporary and total disability benefits
- Permanent total disability benefits
- Temporary partial disability benefits
- Permanent partial disability benefits
- Medical benefits and treatment
- Hospitalization benefits
- Death and funeral benefits
Filing for tax-free workers comp benefits in Baltimore, MD has strict time limits that a personal injury lawyer who is experienced at successfully defending the rights of injured workers and their families may be able to help you with.
What should you do before you file a workers comp claim in Maryland?
Before you file a workers comp claim, it is important that you let your employer know about your injury right away. Be sure to tell them what exactly happened, when it happened and what the circumstances were.
Be sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible after your injury. If your injury puts you in an emergency situation, seek medical attention immediately and worry about letting your employer know about your problems when you are stable enough to do so. Even if your injuries do not seem serious to you, it is important to seek medical attention so that you and your Baltimore, Maryland workers comp lawyer has record of your medical needs.
Before you start your claim with the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission, you should contact a personal injury lawyer who is experienced with successfully defending the rights of injured workers.
What Should You do When You Get Food Poisoning at Work?
If you’ve gotten food poisoning at work, you should contact a Baltimore, MD workers comp attorney as soon as possible.
Food poisoning is not all that uncommon. Coming down with food poisoning can cause you to miss up to several days of work, possibly losing wages and resulting in expensive medical costs.
What happens if you get food poisoning as a result of a meal provided by your employer or purchased at the company cafeteria? Can you file a workers’ compensation claim to recoup any lost wages or medical expenses? You can if the following conditions are met:
- The injury (food poisoning) must be work related, and that can sometimes be difficult to prove. It is recommended that people who are trying to prove that they got food poisoning from work enlist the help of a reputable Baltimore, MD workers comp attorney.
You may be able to prove your employer’s liability for food poisoning if:
- The food was supplied by your employer. This does not include food you bring from home and eat at work, only food your employer provided as part of your pay.
- You purchased the food from a cafeteria that is only for employees where you work. If you got the poisoning from a food truck or caterer that came to your place of business and sold the food that you subsequently came down with food poisoning from, you cannot claim workers’ compensation.
- If the caterers were hired by your company to sell food in cafeteria that was just for employees, and eating this food caused you to get food poisoning, this could be treated as work related.
- If eating the food was part of your job requirements (you are a food critic), then any food poisoning would obviously be caused by your work responsibilities and you would be able to collect workers’ compensation.
If you got sick from food that was at your work and you are not sure whether or not your employer is liable for expenses related to your illness, discuss your situation with a reputable Baltimore, MD workers comp attorney.
How do you file for workers comp?
First and foremost, seek medical attention to confirm your diagnosis of food poisoning and get treatment. Obtain all relevant documentation from your physician to attach with your claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
Let your employer know about your food poisoning as soon as you can. In some states you have a very limited time in which to notify your employer before you lose the ability to file a claim.
After you notify your employer, be sure to fill out any forms you receive to file your claim for workers’ compensation benefits. A Baltimore, MD workers comp attorney can assist you with forms, meeting deadlines, and filing a claim, if you need any assistance.
What if you get food poisoning at a company Christmas party?
- If the event was mandatory, you would have a good case that this was job related and the injuries would be covered by workers’ comp.
- Did the event occur during normal working hours or outside working hours at a different location? If the party occurred during normal working hours, it could be argued that employees were expected to attend and the food poisoning was work related.
- If your employer paid for the event, it is likely considered a work event and the food poisoning should be covered by workers’ compensation.
- Did your employer or company derive any benefits from the event? If employees were expected to mingle with clients at the party, it would likely be considered a work-related event and all the rules for workers’ compensation apply.
For a highly rated Baltimore, MD workers comp attorney you can rely on, contact the dedicated team at Cohen & Cohen for a free case evaluation, any time of the day or night, any day of the year.
Common Workers’ Compensation Mistakes to Avoid
If you suffered an injury while at work, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim. However, you have to follow proper procedures to obtain these benefits. Here are some workers’ compensation mistakes to avoid.
- Failing to notify your employer about the accident. After you get injured at work, it is your responsibility to notify your employer. In Maryland, you are required to inform your employer within 10 days of the accident. If you wait too long to tell your boss, you may be ineligible to receive benefits.
- Not getting prompt medical care. Even if you don’t feel too badly hurt after your work accident, you should still seek immediate medical care. Some injuries don’t present symptoms immediately and worsen over time. If you don’t get medication attention right away, your employer’s insurance company may argue that you weren’t truly hurt.
- Exaggerating your symptoms. When you see a doctor regarding your work injury, you must be completely honest. Don’t attempt to exaggerate your symptoms. If you are caught lying about your injury, your workers’ compensation claim may get rejected.
- Failing to follow your doctor’s treatment plan. After diagnosing your injury, your doctor will recommend a treatment plan. Whether your doctor suggests physical therapy or medication, it is important to follow his or her advice. If you stop your treatment plan against your doctor’s advice, you may jeopardize your health and get your claim denied.
- Neglecting to get a second opinion. Initially, your employer may require you to see a certain medical provider for your injury. However, if you’re not satisfied with the doctor’s treatment advice, you have the right to get a second opinion from a different doctor.
- Not hiring an attorney. If you suffered a minor injury and your employer agrees that you got hurt at work, you might not need legal assistance. On the other hand, if you sustained a severe injury and your employer is not willing to offer you a fair settlement, it may be in your best interest to hire a skilled workers’ compensation attorney in Baltimore, MD. He or she will have extensive knowledge about the workers’ compensation laws in your state and handle negotiations with the insurance company. You have a better chance of receiving a fair settlement with a competent attorney on your side.
What Can a Baltimore Workers Comp Lawyer Do For You?
A Baltimore, MD workers comp lawyer may be able to help you if you have been injured at work or become unwell because of work related conditions. If you are grieving over the unexpected loss of a family member who died because of a work-related accident or illness, a workers comp lawyer may be able to help you get through this difficult and confusing time.
When someone becomes injured while at work or becomes ill because of conditions at work that are the result of their employer’s negligence, they may be entitled to compensation to cover the costs that were caused by their injury or illness.
Cohen & Cohen, A Workers’ Comp Lawyer You Can Count On
If you’re not prepared to file a workers’ comp claim on your own, or are experiencing problems with getting the compensation you’re looking for, Cohen & Cohen, would like to talk to you. To schedule a free consultation with a workers’ compensation lawyer Baltimore MD residents trust, please call 301-250-1957.