Baltimore work injuries and Maryland occupational illnesses can permanently change a person's life.
While certain benefits are made available to injured workers in Maryland, there are crucial steps that you must take in order to maximize these entitlements. If you make the mistake of not following one or more of these steps, it could alter your well-being for the rest of your life:
- Seek treatment immediately. Even if you are concerned that the injury or occupational illness is partly your fault, you still must seek immediate medical attention. Do not ignore the pain or let your pride take over - your injury could be a lot more serious than you think.
- Document everything. We mean everything. After the accident, write down what happened as soon as possible. Get witness statements and take photographs of the accident scene and your injuries. Make sure to obtain the initial doctor or emergency room report, and save the corresponding bill. Keep all letters, notifications, and claim information in one place.
- Report your injury to your employer at once. If you fail to report your injury in time, you could accidentally forfeit your right to any compensation at all - regardless of the severity of your injury. Maryland work injuries must be reported within ten days of the accident, and you must notify your employer about occupational illnesses within one year of finding out that the illness was caused by your job. Besides following workers' compensation protocol, reporting injuries immediately means that there is little chance that someone might blame your injury or illness on a situation outside of work.
- File the claim right away. Do not depend on your employer to handle your claim for you. Take control of your right to compensation and open a file with the Bureau of Workers' Compensation immediately. This will ensure that your payments start right away, and that you won't miss any deadlines. Work injury claims must be opened with the Commission within 60 days of injury (in some cases up to two years is acceptable, but not always). Occupational illness claims must be made within two years of the disablement.
- Let an attorney handle your claim. You do not handle injury claims for a living, but the insurance adjustors, the staff at the Workers' Compensation Commission, and experienced attorneys do. Don't run the risk of missing deadlines, failing to file the correct paperwork, or misjudging what needs to be said at a hearing. An attorney's help can allow you to focus on getting better, and it can ensure that you are getting the maximum compensation for your injury or illness.
Want to learn more ways to protect yourself as a Maryland worker? Order your free copy of Attorney James Katz's book, Inside Secrets Insurance Companies Don't Want You to Know about Your Injury Claim by calling 443.394.0900. You can also tell us your situation by using this online form. Attorney Katz will get back to you immediately.