Every day, workers in Maryland are injured on the job due to accidents in the workplace. When severely injured, many soon find that their medical expenses and lost wages have left them financially suffering on top of their physical pain. If you suffered an on-the-job injury in Maryland, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, there are five critical things you need to do after the accident in order to protect your right to receive benefits.
Understanding what your rights are after a work-related injury can help improve your chances of obtaining any workers’ compensation or other benefits that you may be entitled to. After a workplace accident occurs, you should take the following steps:
1. SEE A DOCTOR RIGHT AWAY
Obtain first aid or other necessary medical treatment as soon as possible. Seeing a doctor immediately after a workplace injury is important both to get the medical care necessary to treat your injuries and also to ensure your injuries are properly documented.
If your injuries are very serious and you need medical care immediately in an emergency situation, you can seek initial treatment from any licensed doctor, and the bill should still be covered. Don’t be fooled by symptoms that are not readily apparent. Some workplace accidents can be relatively painless, but produce long-term pain. The cost of necessary medical services is paid by your employer or your employer’s insurance carrier, if the case is not disputed.
When making a claim for workers’ comp benefits, you will need to show that the injuries were work-related. Detailed medical records should help.
2. REPORT YOUR INJURY TO YOUR EMPLOYER AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AND DOCUMENT EVERYTHING ASAP
You should provide a written report of the accident and injury to your supervisor, an HR professional, a manager or other person of authority at your workplace as soon as possible. Request those who witnessed the accident to write a detailed account of what they observed. Information from these witnesses could be a vital factor in how your case unfolds.
DON’T hesitate to report an injury because you don’t think it is serious. Even minor injuries can later turn into major health problems.
Also, keep careful records of all the time that you miss from your job. When your injuries cause you to be out of work for an extended period or reduce your earnings, you may receive additional benefits.
3. FOLLOW ALL RECOMMENDED MEDICAL TREATMENT PLANS
To continue receiving worker’s compensation benefits, you should follow the recommended course of treatment. If you are not satisfied with the medical care you are receiving or you believe your condition was not properly diagnosed or evaluated as to its severity, obtaining a second opinion may be important to the final outcome of your case.
4. HIRE AN EXPERIENCED WORKERS’ COMPENSATION ATTORNEY
The workers’ compensation laws in Maryland are intended to protect workers and should cover virtually every injury that occurs as a direct result of work duties. Unfortunately, employers and insurers sometimes fail to act in the spirit of the workers’ compensation laws.
Your employer or its insurer may try to deny a legitimate claim, deny benefits you should receive or convince you to go back to work before you are fully recovered.
A workers’ compensation lawyer in Maryland who knows the work injury laws can help you to ensure you get the full benefits you deserve.
5. FILE A WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CLAIM
Filing a Workers’ Compensation claim can be difficult and mistakes are common. Unfortunately, mistakes during the application process can lead injured workers to miss out on compensation that they may be owed.
Our firm understands how frustrating this process can be. Our lawyers help injured workers throughout Maryland obtain the compensation that they may be entitled to after a work accident. We offer free consultations to everyone, whether or not you choose to hire us as legal counsel.
Contact us today to speak with a knowledgeable attorney about your eligibility for Workers’ Compensation or other benefits after an injury.
Thanks to our friend and blog author, Larry Greenberg of Greenberg Law Offices, for his insight into workers compensation claims.