There are Numerous Deadlines and limitations statutes in Maryland Workers Compensation Cases.
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To ensure these deadlines are met a qualified Maryland workers comp attorney should be retained immediately after the accident. Report any accident to a supervisor immediately.
Notify the employer, Notify the employer, Notify the employer…. This can not be said enough and those injured while working in Maryland often fail to notify a supervisor of the accident. It is something that is often overlooked when the injured worker is, at the moment, only worried about getting medical treatment. Often, my workers compensation clients explain that they thought it was a minor injury or strain and that it would go away. An injured employee in Maryland must notify their employer within 10 days from the date of the accident if they wish to be protected by workers compensation laws.
While the 10 day rule is black letter law, a good Maryland workers compensation attorney can defeat the argument that notice was not given promptly. Do not be deterred from calling a Md. comp lawyer if it is past the 10 day notice requirement.
The claim must be filed with the Maryland workers compensation commission within 60 days of the accident. Again, filing the claim is of the utmost importance if the injured worker wants protection under law. Often this does not happen because the injured employee feels as though their pain is only minor in the first 60 days and hopes it will go away. This is another circumstance that every Maryland workers comp claimant must be aware of and act accordingly because this could potentially be fatal to the comp claim. Like the 10 day rule, if the 60 day rule is not followed a good Maryland workers comp attorney can argue and prevail for the injured worker.
While there is room for argument on the 10 day rule and the 60 day rule, Maryland workers comp laws provide very little wiggle room with the 2 year rule. In my practice I have seen injured workers in Maryland devastated because the 2 year rule was not met. In Maryland if a workers compensation claim is not filed by the injured worker with the Maryland workers comp commission the claim will be barred. One of only a few arguments to get around this 2 year rule is if the employer did not timely file their first report of injury. This is usually not the case and the claimant ultimately loses their rights. There is some further gray areas in the Md comp laws which provide room for argument by a workman’s comp attorney but they are often not successful. If you feel that your work injury case may be in the gray area than contact a Maryland workers compensation attorney as soon as possible.
The five year statute of limitations in Maryland will only apply if a claim has been filed correctly with the Maryland Workers Compensation Commission. This does not mean the claim has to be filed with the Maryland workers compensation insurance company. If the claim has indeed been correctly filed with the commission then the claimant has five (5) years to get paid by the insurance company. If the five years run then the injured worker will not benefits from the workers compensation laws of Maryland as they pertain to compensation and money benefits. (Note: medical coverage will continue as long as the treatment is related to the accident.)
Unless your case settles, every time payment is made by the workers comp insurance company the statute of limitations is pushed back an additional 5 years. Note that payment by an employer or the government does not usually toll the 5 years. This rule provides the importance of reopening a Maryland workman’s comp claim within the five years if a injured worker wants the benefits to continue.
Filing the Claim
On its face filing a Maryland workers comp claim may seem quite simple and usefulness of an attorney at this stage trivial. However, correctly filing a claim can mean the difference in receiving lost wages the next week or 6 months later. Maryland work comp adjusters will review the report and determine if the description of the accident is one that should be covered under Maryland law. Adjusters are paid to scrutinize the claim form and look for a reason to contest the case. Letting a Maryland workman’s comp lawyer assist with filing the claim is the best option to expedite the process and prevent immediate frustration.
Not only is a worker injured in Maryland required to file the claim but it must be filed correctly and accurately. Over the last year the Maryland Appeals courts ruled that the claim forms can be filed electronically, BUT, for purposes of the statute of limitations and the 2 year limitations the form must also be hard filed with the commission and date stamped. It is no longer just as simple as signing on to the commission website and typing up the form.