DIDN’T NOTIFY EMPLOYER YOU WERE HURT? Maryland workers comp attorney

It is likely okay if you did not notify your Maryland employer of a work accident!

Contrary to common belief, if you do not notify your Maryland employer of an accident the same day, or within in 24hours, or after 10 days, or after 30 days or even a year, you may still have a valid workers compensation claim.  It is true that there are “notice” requirements under the work injury laws of our state however with many laws there are exceptions and gray areas.

YOU ARE NOT BARRED FROM FILING A MARYLAND WORKERS COMPENSATION CLAIM JUST BECAUSE YOU DIDN’T GIVE TIMELY NOTICE.  To speak with qualified and experienced Maryland workers compensation attorney Andrew M. Rodabaugh today for a free consultation.  Call, text or email:

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Maryland law states that an injured worker must notify an employer of a work accident within 10 days BUT…

There is an exception that can be argued, and is often successfully argued by a qualified and experienced attorney.  The exception to the rule is found in § 9-706 of the labor and employment article.

(1.) If the injured Maryland worker had sufficient reason for the failure to give notice within  10 days
(2.) The employer or insurer has not been prejudiced by the failure to give timely notice.

The employee may still file a claim for benefits even after months have passed if they are able to successfully argue that there was sufficient reason for not providing notice, or the employer was not prejudiced by the notice.  Procedurally speaking the notice defense is rarely raised by defense attorneys because it very seldom proves successful.  The sufficient reason for delay in notifying an employer of an accident is argued by the injured worker and often leads to a successful Maryland workers compensation claim.  The second option of this statute requires a showing that the employer has not been prejudiced by the late filing.  This is, practically speaking, up to the employer to show that they have been prejudiced by the late notice of a claim.  A feat that is very seldom met by the defense.    

Is there a sufficient reason why the employee failed to notify their employer they were hurt at work?

9-706 (1) provides the first argument that can be made by the injured worker as to why the employer, employers agent, or a coworker was not notified of the accident.  Of the two arguments that can be made by the injured worker this one provides, in my opinion, less help to the injured worker.  In large part because there is not a lot of case law to support what it means to have sufficient reason, therefore employees relying on section (1) must make the argument in good faith and hope that the Workers Compensation Commissioner agrees that the explanation is sufficient.

Sufficient reason has been characterized by the Maryland Court of Appeals as blameless ignorance: A worker did not know the injury was work related until years later when a diagnosis was issued relating the injury to work.  A good starting point as to what sufficient reason may be is to ask ‘could the employee have known it was a work injury at anytime earlier than when they gave notice?’  There are a number of other questions that may help meet the burden of showing untimely notice to the employer of the work accident was justified:

  • Why did the employee wait to notify the employer
  • What was the employment relationship with the employer
  • How often did the employee see the employer or a supervisor
  • When was the first treatment obtained
  • Did the employee know he had to give notice
  • Does the employee have prior experience with workers compensation
  •  When did the symptoms of injury first arise arise

Was the employer prejudiced by the employees failure to notify them of the accident at work? 

Under 9-706 (2) The employer must show that they have been prejudiced by the failure to give notice.  This is a fairly difficult burden of proof which should be analyzed on a case by case basis.  The employer must show that the failure to timely report the accident in some way harmed their rights or legal interests.  The prejudice can not be one of “hypothetical orientation but must have caused actual damage to their legal interests.”

What this means is that the employer must come up with some significant evidence that shows they were harmed by the lack of notice.  Very often the argument is made that the ability to investigate the incident is spoiled.  For instance an injury that happened over a year ago can no longer be accurately investigated because the staff that witnessed the accident no longer works there, any documents that would have been filed have been lost, or the employer no longer has access to the location of the accident.

If it has been 10 days, 20 days, 100 days or more since the work accident and you have not notified your employer you likely still have a valid workers compensation case

I endorse this lawyer.  Mr. Rodabaugh provides accurate answers that reflect the type of representation that he is able to provide.
Francis YWrongful Death Attorney

Contact Maryland workers compensation Attorney Andrew M. Rodabaugh for a free consultation today! 

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Maryland workers compensation attorney Andrew M. Rodabaugh and his office offers content about Personal Injury law and Workers’ Compensation for informational purposes only. Nothing contained herein constitutes formal legal advice. If you need the advice of a Maryland workers compensation lawyer, please contact him today. He has offices throughout the state and various convenient meeting locations.  Each and every case needs to be evaluated before legal advice can be provided.