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Maryland Workers Compensation Blog

Newly expanded “move over” law hopes to curb worker injuries

As of October first of this year, Maryland has an expanded “move over” law aimed at curbing service worker injuries alongside the state’s roads.

Prior to the expansion of the law, drivers had to move over a lane or slow their speed when they encountered a first responder vehicle (such as a police car, ambulance, fire truck or tow truck) parked alongside the road. The law now gives the same level of roadway deference to utility crews and transportation and service vehicles, as well as waste and recycling trucks that have their flashing lights engaged.

Pedestrian accidents involving kids spike at Halloween

Children love Halloween. After all, what’s not to love: there’s dressing up, hanging out with friends and most of all, free candy. Sadly, though, the joy of the holiday will be ruined for some because of careless or reckless drivers who don’t pay enough attention.

According to both Safe Kids Worldwide and the National Safety Council, twice as many children die in pedestrian accidents on Halloween than on any other night of the year. This tragic statistic alone should put drivers on heightened alert, but some drivers still don’t get the message.

Recovering from a Maryland work injury

Work injuries are not only physically painful, they are mentally taxing. Any time you are out of work for an extended period due to a serious injury, you’ll likely spend a great deal of time thinking about your climbing medical expenses, your utilities and other bills, and your job security.

If you are in a rush to get back to work, though, you might actually end up doing yourself more harm than good. Here are some helpful tips for recovering from a work-related injury.

Can you get work comp if you cause a car crash while on the job?

Imagine you are a package delivery driver. You’re on the road again after just dropping off a package. You look down at your computer for a split second to determine which delivery is next in line. In that instant, you run a stop sign and crash into another driver. You are seriously injured. Almost immediately after the shock wears off, you start to worry about your medical bills and your lost wages. Since the crash is technically your fault, you’re concerned that you can’t collect workers’ compensation benefits to help cover your expenses.

Thankfully, the Maryland workers’ compensation system is no-fault. Unless you were intoxicated or otherwise under the influence, if you were injured on the job, you’re generally eligible.

Firefighter’s knee tears were occupational disease for Work Comp

On August 30, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland handed down an opinion in favor of a firefighter who claimed that degenerative knee tearing in his right knee arose out of and in the course of his employment. The court explains in detail what the standards are in Maryland Workers’ Compensation law for establishing an occupational disease that makes the worker eligible for benefits. 

In Baltimore County v. Quinlan, the court on appeal agreed with the jury in the court below that sufficient evidence showed that the firefighter claimant had sustained an occupational disease of degenerative menisci tears in his right knee making him eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits under state law.

Texting behind the wheel still creating danger on Maryland roads

At Cohen, Snyder, Eisenberg & Katzenberg, P.A., we often represent people across the state who have received injuries in motor vehicle accidents to which texting behind the wheel contributed. Not only is texting while driving illegal in the state, but also such a driver who caused a crash that hurt someone else because of texting behavior would be liable for money damages in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit

State law forbids a driver from talking on a mobile phone (except for making an emergency call) and from reading, sending or writing an email or text while driving. In fact, a driver who caused death or serious injury from an accident that happened when talking on a handheld phone or texting while driving may receive a prison sentence of up to three years and a fine up to $5,000.

Autumn brings risks to Maryland roadways

Autumn is a beautiful time of the year along Maryland's many scenic roadways. The leaves are changing and falling from the trees, animals abound, and cooler temperatures make it a prime time to be outdoors with family, be it picking apples or selecting a perfect Halloween pumpkin.

We associate the beautiful fall colors and the upcoming harvest-time holidays with autumn, but we might not realize the potential road hazards that come along with this season.

Common workplace injuries - and how to prevent them

While the potential types of workplace injuries are as varied as the workers who suffer them, there are some commonalities among injury claims that qualify for workers' compensation benefits.

This post will discuss some common on-the-job injury scenarios, and how to prevent them.

When are on-the-job injuries compensable?

Some workplace injuries are obviously tied to the course of employment: a delivery-person who suffers a back injury while lifting a heavy package; a gym's personal trainer whose toes are broken when a client drops a weight on them; a restaurant line cook severely burned by a malfunctioning stove, just to name a few.

Things are not always as clear as these scenarios suggest, however. It is sometimes difficult to tell when an injury qualifies for workers' compensation benefits and when it does not.

Will anti-lock brakes prevent Maryland motorcycle accidents?

If the National Transportation Safety Board has their way, all motorcycles in Maryland and across America will come with some heretofore unseen accessories: anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control. The NTSB recently held a vote on the topic, and the results were unanimous, with all present board members voting in favor of the proposal.

This doesn’t mean that all new motorcycles will automatically have these key safety features, or even that they’ll be available in the next model year (or two). This is because of the hierarchy of interwoven administrative bodies that actually govern motor vehicles manufactured and sold in our country. The results of the vote are now passed along to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the agency that actually has the power to pass regulations like these.

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