When you are injured while on a construction site in Maryland, you may be left with substantial medical expenses and without a sustainable source of income to compensate while you recover from your injuries. If you find yourself in such a situation, you may be considering whether your employer shouldn’t be paying for your medical bills instead of you.
The short answer is this: your employer will not be directly responsible for your medical bills unless the construction accident occurred because of employer negligence. Instead, the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy will determine whether the insurance company is obligated to cover your medical bills. Maryland law requires that every employer obtain workers’ compensation insurance. Whether it will apply in a given situation is complicated, and we will go into more depth about those terms below.
The well-respected Baltimore construction accident injury attorneys at Bennett & Heyman can answer any questions that you have about your injuries or whether workers’ compensation will cover your medical costs. We can also negotiate with your employer or their insurance representatives on your behalf and represent you in court if necessary. To schedule your free consultation about our Baltimore construction accident injury services, call our offices at (410) 429-7856.
How Do I Know if My Construction Accident Injuries Were Caused by Negligence in Maryland?
When you are seeking compensation for your medical bills, you should first determine whether your employer was negligent in causing the construction accident. People who are injured due to employer negligence can file personal injury lawsuits, which lead to more substantial payouts than workers’ compensation claims.
Common instances of construction negligence include poor training practices, failure to identify exceptionally dangerous conditions, and poorly lit work areas (particularly for nighttime work or work alongside highways). If your accident was caused by a malfunctioning or defective tool, you may have a negligence case against the tool’s manufacturer. Absent some wrongdoing on the part of someone else, you should be looking more directly at workers’ compensation options.
How to Get the Best Compensation for Medical Bills After a Construction Accident in Maryland
Workers’ compensation insurance is required for every employer in the state of Maryland. The terms of the different policies vary depending on the plan and the provider. However, there are broad rules established by Maryland law that govern when medical bills for injuries should be covered. Often, workers’ compensation, claims will be denied or they will otherwise fail to provide the claimant with the support they need. This is why you should always speak with a Baltimore personal injury attorney about your potential personal injury lawsuit as an alternative to workers’ compensation.
In order to be covered under Maryland Workers’ Compensation Law, the harm suffered must be caused by an “accidental personal injury arising out of and in the course of employment.” In other words, it is not enough that your injury occurred while at work or on site.
Employee vs. Independent Contractor
First, the law only protects employees. The distinction between employees and independent contractors is very vague. You should reexamine the terms of your employment if you are unsure which category you fall into. If you are not an employee, you must opt into workers’ compensation insurance in order to receive coverage.
Second, whatever causes the injury must have been an accident. In other words, the injury must have happened “by chance … unexpectedly or unintentionally.” There are exceptions to this rule, such as instances where an employee that is dealing with asbestos removal contracts a disease associated with asbestos exposure.
Third, the injury must “arise out of the employment.” In plain English, that means that the injury must be associated with the type of work being done. So, if you are on a construction site, workers’ compensation would cover injuries such as blunt force trauma from heavy machinery or a puncture wound from a nail gun.
Finally, the injury must also occur “in the course of the employment.” While it may sound a lot like the last element, this one is different. It essentially stipulates that your injury must have occurred at your place of work while performing your job requirements. In other words, you would not be able to claim workers’ compensation if you were driving to your construction site and got into an accident.
What Medical Expenses Are Your Employer Responsible for After a Construction Accident in Baltimore?
The law requires that employers are responsible for taking care of employees who are injured on the job. This includes covering certain medical expenses, as well as lost wages or vocations rehabilitation if your injuries render you unable to perform the duties of your job as you had previously. Covered medical expenses will include any of the following where warranted:
- Surgical procedures
- Emergency care
- Medication or prescriptions
- Hospital stays
- Nursing services
- Wheelchairs, crutches, or prosthetics
- Rehabilitative physical therapy
If you were injured at a construction site in Baltimore and your employer or their insurer refuses to provide you with the funds to cover your medical care, you may have the ability to file a lawsuit that would compel them to act. If the insurance carrier disputes your claim, you will have the opportunity to bring your case in front of the Workers’ Compensation Commission, where you are entitled the assistance of a lawyer. No matter the situation, you can help yourself today by speaking to one of our excellent Maryland construction accident injury attorneys.
If you have been injured on a Baltimore construction site and are considering filing for workers’ compensation, you only have a limited amount of time. Per Maryland law, you must notify your employer within 10 days of the accident and file your claim with the Workers’ Compensation Commission within 60 days of the injury. If you have developed an occupational disease, you have slightly longer, but it is always best to file early to avoid missing any deadlines. If you believe you may have already missed the deadline, you should speak with an attorney immediately to determine whether you meet an exception.
Our Attorneys Can Help You Get Medical Coverage for Your Construction Accident Injury in Maryland
Bennett & Heyman does not shy away from a fight. We will take on any employer or insurance provider to ensure that our clients get the compensation they deserve for their workplace injuries. For your free initial consultation with an experienced Baltimore construction accident injury attorney, call (410) 429-7856 today.