Workers' Compensation is an insurance program in which your employer provides you with medical treatment and partial income replacement benefits for any permanent disability you may have sustained.
How long do I have to work to be covered under Workers' Compensation?
You are covered from the first day you are on the job.
When am I covered?
The law provides benefits only for "Accidental injuries" which are slips, trips, falls, an unusual occurrence or an unusual strain or exertion. Under Workers' Compensation law the test for "unusual" includes the weighing of these factors: (1) the nature of the employee's usual duties, (2) the routine employment conditions, and (3) the usual mental and physical demands placed upon the employment.
When should I report the accident?
You should report any accident to your employer immediately. A delay in the report may effect your claim.
When should I file a claim?
The first, and most important reason to file a claim with the State of Maryland is: when you hare injured in the line of duty you retain lifetime medical benefits on the injured body part (As long as treatment is reasonable and necessary and related to that injury).
Also consider that if you do not file and should you re-injure that same body part in the future, the insurance company will traditionally deny your right to lifetime benefits as unrelated to the new injury caused by a preexisting condition (the injury that was not previously claimed). The insurance company will also apportion out a percentage of your final award to the prior injury that you did not claim.
How do I file a claim?
Make an appointment to see an attorney specializing in this area. It is not recommended that an injured officer represent themselves. The law can be complicated and attorney's fees are regulated and generally never exceed 20% of the award.
What if my injury prevents me from returning to my job?
If an injury results in any physical impairment to the officer, the officer is eligible for permanent, partial disability benefits.
How long will I receive weekly benefits?
You will receive benefits so long as you are unable to work because of the injury.