Posted On: July 28, 2009

3 Critical Steps to File a Maryland Workers Compensation Claim within the State Two-Year Limit

Last month, we blogged about why employers sometimes discourage injured workers from filing a Workers' Compensation claim in Maryland (see "The Top 3 Reasons Employers Tell Injured Workers Not to File -- And Why You Shouldn't Listen to Them," June 8, 2009). Now, let's look at why documenting your injury and seeking immediate medical attention -- coupled with consulting an experienced attorney who knows the system -- is so important to your future well-being.

"Causal Connection" and the Maryland Workers Comp Two-Year Limitation
If you're hurt at work, the good news is you have two years to file a Work Comp case in Maryland. However filing and winning are two different things. Let's say you bang your knee at work, it swells up, and you go to the emergency room. Your employer says, "Oh God, don't file a work comp claim, I'll pay your medical bills and give you some time off." Doesn't sound like a bad offer at the time, and you accept.

A year later, you're at a different job and that bad knee starts acting up again. Now your doctor says you need surgery to repair the damage. Here's the rub: Because you didn't document your injury, receive diagnostic studies and follow-up care, and you did not file a work comp case when you originally got hurt, you can't link the problem you're having now to your original injury. You need "causal connection" to have a legitimate workers' comp case in Maryland.

It's like everything else in life. If you buy a bad jar of mayonnaise at the grocery store and you get sick, you need a receipt to prove where you got it. Medical records are the same way. If you hurt your knee (or anything else) at work, it's not enough to put a cold compress on it and hope it feels better in the morning. Filing a work comp claim goes hand-in-hand with getting medical treatment and consulting a qualified Maryland workers compensation lawyer. If you're hurt at work...

1. Document your injury
2. Get medical treatment: Listen to your doctor, and follow recommendations regarding follow-up care
3. Consult an attorney to file a Maryland workers' compensation claim

If you're done everything right, your employer where you originally got hurt is legally responsible for your workers comp claim forever. Even if you have a problem 10 or 20 years down the road, if you have the medical documentation and a workers comp claim number to prove it -- and your current doctor will attest that your problem isn't something new but a progression of your old work injury -- you are covered. You'll have the legal proof you need to ensure if your knee kicks up again, your medical expenses are covered by Workers' Compensation in the State of Maryland.

Related Web Resources

Maryland Workers' Compensation Commission (WCC) homepage

Maryland WCC: Questions & Answers for Employees

Posted On: July 21, 2009

Baltimore Traffic Accident Prevention: Speed Cameras May Snap Offenders at Schools and Construction Sites

State and city officials are looking at ways to curb Baltimore, Maryland car accidents caused by speeding. In May, Maryland legislators passed a law which allows speed cameras to be posted within one half mile of schools and construction sites. Now the Baltimore City Council has voted an initial thumbs-up to installing speed cameras in those vulnerable places. If the measure passes, the speed cameras could start going up around Baltimore construction sites and schools by October.

Maryland law requires that signs be posted alerting motorists that the speed cameras are in use. Speed cameras snap photos of license plates of motorists going more than 12 miles per hour above the posted speed limit. A $40 ticket would then be sent to the address connected to the vehicle's license plate registration. The hope is the cameras will deter speeding drivers, who can cause fatal Maryland traffic and pedestrian accidents.

Baltimore and Maryland Speeding Fatalities
According to the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, 216 speeding-related fatalities occurred in Maryland in 2007. There were 47 Baltimore city traffic deaths that same year, and 72 traffic fatalities for all of Baltimore County. (Source: Traffic Safety Facts Maryland, 2003-2007, NHTSA)

A Maryland accident attorney may assist families in car, truck, and motorcycle accident cases where personal injury or death may have occurred due to someone else's reckless or impaired driving. In 2008, the National Safety Council (NSC) announced that it endorses automated enforcement measures to reduce traffic accidents nationwide, including the use of red-light cameras and speed cameras.

The NSC reports that school zones, construction work sites, and railroad crossings are particularly vulnerable when motorists run through red lights and exceed the speed limit. The safety advocacy group estimates that 15,000 people die every year and hundreds of thousands suffer personal injury due to motor vehicles speeding in these areas. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants to raise awareness of speeding as a public safety issue. Many motorists who believe "everyone speeds" don't think they will get a traffic citation if they're only driving 5 or 10 MPH above the posted speed limit.

Baltimore speed-camera measure advances
BaltimoreSun.com July 8, 2009

Speed Cameras' Image Enhanced
Senate Revives Bill to Allow Use of Technology Beyond Montgomery
The Washington Post, April 3, 2009

Related Web Resources

NHTSA: National Forum on Speeding

Wikipedia: Traffic enforcement camera