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Maryland court: Firefighter hurt on bike should get workers' comp

Last month on our Maryland workers' compensation blog, we wrote about a case from another state in which a worker who was pulling out of a parking lot after the end of her shift and was struck by another vehicle. The court ruled that she was still involved in her work duty and ruled her eligible for workers' compensation. Now, a case involving a motor vehicle accident in Maryland has produced a similar result.

The case in question involved a firefighter from Montgomery County who suffered a back injury in 2004. As a result of the injury, which was a compensable one, the man received a light-duty job modification. His fire department encouraged him to undergo physical training as part of that job modification.

One day in 2010, the man was en route from the training to the fire station in order to collect some mail. He lost control of the motorcycle he was riding and was hurt. As a result, he applied for workers' compensation benefits. However, the county said that the injuries he suffered were not suffered during the scope of his work.

The man appealed, though, saying that the fire department had encouraged him to undergo the training, and that the mail he was on his way to pick up was work-related. A state appeals court agreed with him, saying that the man was indeed going from one work site to another when he was hurt.

A case such as this one demonstrates how it may take significant time and effort to be successful. People who have been hurt on the job often seek legal advice in order to improve their chances.

Source: Business Insurance, "Firefighter traveling to get work mail due comp benefits from accident," Sheena Harrison, Feb. 3, 2014

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