Maryland Attorneys Help with Workers' Compensation Benefits for Healthcare Workers
Experienced lawyers helping healthcare workers make a claim for benefits
Maryland is the home to many medical facilities and hospitals, like Johns Hopkins, Magellan Health Services, University of Maryland Medical System, and MedStar. They employ tens of thousands of healthcare professionals, who provide vital and compassionate care to patients. We associate nurses, doctors, technicians, and everyone in the industry with good health and wellness, but rarely think about the dangers related to their jobs. However, OSHA reports the healthcare industry has the highest rate of injury and illness in the private sector.
If you're injured while performing your job, workers' compensation is your right as an employee. After your injury, you may be left with many questions. Will I be able to work? Who will pay my medical bills? If I miss work, will I be still get paid? What if I need physical therapy? How will I make ends meet? At Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A., we understand your fears and can help answer your questions. Our attorneys have years of experience handling workers' compensation claims for the people of Maryland. Give us a call today.
Types of injuries in the healthcare field
According to the CDC, more than 18 million people work in the healthcare industry—and over 80% of the workforce are women. Unfortunately, healthcare workers are at risk of suffering many different types of harm on the job. Nurses, orderlies, physical therapists, aides, and maintenance staff all perform work that takes a toll on the body, or puts them in danger from people or things they may encounter on a daily basis. From needle sticks to back injuries to sprains and strains, these on-the-job injuries are all too common in the healthcare industry. Some of the top common injuries and their causes in the healthcare field include:
- Musculoskeletal injuries. Many jobs in the healthcare field are physically demanding. Healthcare workers, including paramedics and orderlies, are at a high risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). They can develop strains, sprains, or tears from handling patients during transfers and rescues. Workers can suffer other MSDs, like repetitive stress injuries, as well.
- Fractures and breaks. If you've ever been to a hospital, you know that healthcare professionals are always moving. This makes them more prone to slips and falls. Fractures and breaks can also happen from attacks by violent patients.
- Back injuries. Healthcare work involves a lot of twisting, bending, and lifting. This can cause chronic or acute back pain, and herniated or slipped discs.
- Needle sticks. Many workers use a tremendous number of needles daily, making them prone to puncture wounds. Needles can carry blood-borne diseases like hepatitis B and C, or HIV.
- Violence. Hospitals often see unstable individuals who may have violent outbursts, potentially causing serious injuries to their caregivers or those around them.
Work in the healthcare industry can be demanding and hazardous, and workers' compensation is designed to protect those employees in the event they're injured while performing their duties.
What benefits are available for Maryland healthcare employees?
When you're injured on the job and need time to recover—whether it's a few days, a few months, or longer—there are various types of workers' compensation available. Remember, workers' compensation is your right. It doesn't mean you're suing your employer, and it's “no fault,” meaning you don't have to prove negligence on the part of your employer to collect benefits. You're filing a claim for benefits under your employer's mandatory workers' compensation insurance plan.
These are the benefits available under workers' compensation in Maryland:
- Temporary total disability benefits. If your injury results in you being unable to work until your injury heals, you can receive these benefits. When the period is 14 days or less, the benefits start after the first three days. When the period is longer than 14 days, the benefits start immediately.
- Temporary partial disability benefits. If you aren't totally disabled during your recovery and can still work part-time or perform some duties at a lower wage, these benefits can make up the difference. You'll receive compensation equaling half of the difference between your average weekly wage before injury and the average wage after injury while temporarily disabled.
- Permanent total disability benefits. In Maryland, the loss of any of the following is considered a permanent total disability: both arms, both eyes, both feet, both hands, both legs. In addition, the loss of any two of the following constitute a permanent total disability: an arm, eye, foot, hand, or leg.
- Permanent partial disability benefits. If your injury results in a permanent impairment, but not severe enough to leave you totally unable to work, you can receive these benefits. They continue for a period determined by which part of the body was injured. The more vital the body part injured, the longer the payout period. Once the period is over, no more payments are made.
Other types of workers' compensation benefits available in Maryland include:
- Medical benefits: Coverage of any medical expenses like doctor visits, physical therapy, hospitalization, medication, crutches or splints, etc.
- Vocational services: When an injury prevents you from returning to your original job, these benefits entitle you to services that assist you in finding alternate work.
- Death benefits: If a healthcare employee is fatally injured, his or her spouse or dependent can file for death benefits, which include coverage of funeral expenses and a percentage of the employee's earnings.
Filing a workers’ compensation claim
If you're injured on the job, you must initiate the claims process as soon as possible. You can't be compensated for your medical care if you file your claim late or incorrectly. The workers' compensation process is complex, and if everything isn't done to the letter, your claim may be denied. A skilled workers' compensation attorney can assure you that everything is filed correctly and on time.
Contact our Maryland workers' compensation law firm for help with your claim
At Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A., our workers' compensation attorneys are here to help you when you're injured on the job. We understand the risks involved with healthcare work in Maryland, and we want to help you if your claim is denied or if you feel you're not getting the amount of compensation you deserve. Our legal team will fight for you. To learn more, or to schedule a free consultation, please call 410-730-7737 or fill out our contact form.