Experienced Maryland Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Helping Office Workers
Helping white-collar workers obtain the benefits they need
When you think about workers’ compensation claims, you typically associate them with physical and dangerous jobs like construction, firefighting, or manufacturing. And many work injuries do happen in these industries. However, people who work in offices here in Maryland are also at risk of developing debilitating injuries, and they too are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
Like any injury that happens on the job, office worker injuries should be covered by workers’ compensation. These benefits offered by your employer should compensate you for your medical bills and a portion of your lost wages. However, especially with injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome which can take years to develop, it might be difficult to get a fair workers’ compensation settlement from your employer. If you’ve developed an injury or illness from your office job, the workers’ compensation attorneys at Plaxen & Adler, P.A. can help you with your case—ensuring you obtain the maximum benefits to which you’re entitled.
Most common office worker injuries in Maryland
Office environments pose a unique set of risks from other lines of employment. Working in a seated position almost all day, typing on a computer and talking on the phone sets you up for ergonomic injuries like back and neck pain, repetitive stress injuries, or eye strain to develop. Other accidents that tend to happen in office settings include trip and falls, sickness from poor ventilation, or occupational diseases. Depending on the severity, these injuries can require treatment that causes you to miss work.
Office injuries can occur after sudden acute trauma or they may develop slowly over time and become chronic. The following types of injuries are common in an office environment:
- Car accidents while performing work-related duties. Office workers are sometimes asked to run errands or make trips during working hours. If you are injured in a collision while in the course of your job duties, you may be entitled to compensation.
- Slip and fall injuries. Wet and slippery surfaces can cause slip and fall accidents. Office clutter can also cause trip and falls. Serious falls can lead to broken bones, head injuries, or even spinal cord injuries.
- Repetitive stress injuries (RSIs). Workers who spend hours typing at a computer are at risk for developing carpal tunnel syndrome or other RSIs. Performing the same motions day after day, and sitting in the same position all day can cause repetitive injury to the neck and back as well.
- Occupational diseases. Many office workers are exposed to harmful substances without their knowledge, developing diseases over a number of years. Allergens could cause a worker to develop asthma, or workers exposed to asbestos years ago could develop mesothelioma. Improperly maintained heating and cooling systems can also cause sickness.
- Lifting injuries. Many office workers lift heavy objects as part of their duties—boxes of paper, computer equipment, moving furniture or filing cabinets. All of this can put the back, neck, and shoulders at risk for injury.
- Blunt force trauma injuries. Although these injuries are seen more often on construction sites, blunt force injuries also happen in office environments. For example, a worker can be struck on the head by an object falling from a shelf in a supply closet, or poor building maintenance could cause a heavy object to fall and injure someone. These types of accidents can cause traumatic brain injuries.
Workers’ compensation benefits for Maryland office workers
There are several types of workers’ compensation benefits available to you if you are injured at work and need time to recover. Keep in mind that when you file for benefits, you don’t need to prove negligence on the part of your employer. Many employees are afraid to file for workers’ compensation because it feels like they’re suing their employer. This is not true. By collecting workers’ comp, you are agreeing not to sue your employer, and are simply making a claim for benefits under their workers’ compensation plan.
Workers’ compensation benefits in Maryland are as follows.
- Temporary total disability benefits: You are eligible for these benefits if you’re unable to work for a temporary period due to your injury. If you’re disabled for less than two weeks, benefits kick in after the third day. If you’re disabled for more than two weeks, your benefits will kick in on day one.
- Temporary partial disability benefits: If your injury allows you to work in a limited capacity or part-time, and you are earning less than you usually do, these workers’ compensation benefits make up for the financial difference.
- Permanent partial disability benefits: When an injury leaves you with a permanent impairment, but you are still able to work in some capacity, you are also entitled to compensation. Your benefits are based on the body part injured and the severity of the injury.
- Permanent total disability benefits: If you suffer an injury on the job that leaves you permanently disabled and unable to work, you’re eligible for permanent totally disability benefits equal to two-thirds of your weekly wage.
Other types of workers’ compensation benefits available in Maryland related to your work accident 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 an office 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.
Talk to our Maryland workers’ compensation attorneys about your accident today
Working in an office has its own unique hazards and risks. If you’re injured on the job, you have a right to workers’ compensation while you take time to heal. The Maryland lawyers at Plaxen & Adler, P.A. have worked for decades helping people like you obtain the benefits to which you are entitled. We have offices in Dundalk, Baltimore, Columbia and elsewhere throughout the state. To learn more, or to schedule a free consultation, please call 410-988-4449 or fill out our contact form.