In our work as Maryland Workers Comp attorneys, we hear this all the time: People who are hurt on the job will say, “My employer said that I don’t need to file for workers’ compensation because we have disability insurance.” Or, “They said they would pay me under the table while I take time off to recuperate.” Or, “They said they would continue to pay me legitimately (i.e., on the books) while I’m off.”
Those are the BIG 3 EXCUSES we hear employers using to discourage injured workers from filing Maryland Workers Comp cases. What happens in those scenarios, inevitably, is the employee gets paid for the time that they’re off, but they really get shorted on the two most important things:
1. They don’t get compensated for any permanent physical problems they’re having.
2. Since they haven’t filed a claim, if they have trouble down the road and they need surgery or additional treatment — they’re likely to be completely out of luck. Because at that point, the employer will never pay for the expense of surgery and follow up treatment and medications, which could be $50,000 or more. Even worse, they may have missed the two (2) year Statute of Limitations, in which case they are in real trouble.
This is something we feel strongly that Maryland injury lawyers need to relay to people:
The real reason you file a work comp case isn’t to get paid in the short run,
it’s to protect yourself in the long run.
Why Workers Comp in Maryland Protects Injured Employees
Back in the day, our parents and grandparents tended to work for the same employer or just a handful of employers for their entire careers. Say you worked for a company and you knew the president, “Old Man Jenkins,” since you were a little boy, and he coached you in Little League. You knew that if you were hurt in his shop, he would protect you, even if 10 years later that injury acted up again.
But it’s not like that now. People change jobs yearly. And if you’re injured at work and you haven’t filed a claim and documented it, a doctor cannot make a “causal connection” if your injury flares up in the future and you need surgery or treatment. You’re going to lose that work comp case if you’ve sat on your rights, because there’s no way on earth you can link a current problem to a past work injury without proper medical and legal documentation.
In Maryland, you have two years to file a work comp case. Filing and winning are totally different things. Employees who report their injuries right away and document them, and who seek legal counsel from a qualified Workers Comp attorney, are the ones who fare best in the Maryland state system. Don’t be afraid of offending or inconveniencing your employer. Your rights come first.
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