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How soon should a Maryland work comp claim be filed?

It's only natural to want to work. This desire starts, of course with paying your bills and feeding your family - both very important. Yet as essential as making money is, the motivation for working goes beyond money. After all, working is also about human dignity and using your unique talents in productive ways.

If you are hurt on the job, however, this natural desire to work can end up working against you, if you keep trying to tough it out even though you are injured. This is very important if you are considering making a Maryland workers' compensation claim.

For example, let's say you suffer a fall at work or strain your back lifting something. You know it's not life-threatening, but it's also too painful to go back to work right away. When should you notify your employer that you are hurt?

The most basic answer is that you should report an accident immediately to your employer. Don't wait, merely hoping it will get better on its own.

If you are looking for more specific guidance, consider this. In Maryland, if you miss more than three days of work, you may be eligible to receive income replacement benefits. And if you miss more than 14 days, and if your employer didn't pay you for the first three days off work, you are eligible for work comp benefits for those days as well.

Nor should you delay in going to the doctor, if you think you're injured. If the injury is covered by workers' compensation insurance, your employer or your employer's insurance company is responsible for the medical bills.

To be sure, sometimes thorny issues can arise after you apply. Your employer may claim, for example, that you have merely aggravated a pre-existing condition. But don't let that stop you from reporting your injury and applying for the workers compensation benefits you deserve.

Source: "Questions & Answers For Employees," Maryland Workers Compensation Commission

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