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Maryland’s Workers’ Compensation Law provides a way for employees who are injured on the job to receive payment for lost wages and medical expenses related to the injury. Almost every Maryland employer is required to have workers’ compensation insurance to pay the cost of employee injury. Under the law, compensation does not rely on anyone being at fault; therefore, in most cases, injured employees cannot sue employers for damages. Read the law: MD Code Labor & Emp. §§ 9-201, 9-402, 9-509, 9-501, 9-731
Which Injuries Are Covered
Not every accident or illness on the job is eligible for compensation. Employees are eligible for compensation when their injury “arises out of and in the course of employment.” This means that the injury has to:
- occur because of conditions required by the employer for doing the job
- when the employee is doing the job
Injuries include diseases that the employee develops because of job conditions, such as illnesses that develop because of noxious fumes or other things in the air at the work site.
Read the law: MD Code Labor & Emp. § 9-101
The amount of money awarded depends upon the severity of the employee’s injury. Successful claims cover medical expenses, partial payment of lost wages, and, in the case of death, funeral expenses. Additional compensation is also provided for cases of severe and permanent injury. Payment for lost wages is made weekly. If the injury makes it impossible for the employee to return to his/her job, the employee may get vocational training and counseling for a new job. Read the Law: MD Code Labor & Employment Title 9, Subtitle 6
Filing a Claim
Injured employees first must tell their employer about the injury either orally or in writing within ten days of the injury. If the employee dies because of the injury, the family must notify the employer of the injury within 30 days. If the employee develops a disease, the employee or employee’s family has one year to tell the employer. If the employee misses more than three days of work, the employer has to file an accident report with the Workers’ Compensation Commission within ten days of learning of the accident. Read the law: MD Code Labor & Emp. §9-704, §9-705, §9-707
To file a claim, employees must file Employee Claim Form C-1. The form can be completed online or requested from the Workers’ Compensation Commission. For most accidental injuries not ending in death, employees have 60 days to file a claim. For an accident ending in death, the family of the employee has 18 months to file. For an occupational disease, the injured employee or family of the employee has 2 years, or in the case of pulmonary dust disease, 3 years, to file a claim. Read the Law: MD Code Labor & Emp. §9-709, §9-710, §9-711
Either the employer or employee may request a hearing to investigate a claim. The hearing may involve witnesses and medical examination of the employee to determine the severity of the injury. A member of the state Workers’ Compensation Commission holds the hearing. The Workers’ Compensation Commission is a 10-member board of attorneys appointed by the governor. Read the Law: MD Code Labor & Emp. §9-715, §9-719, §9-720, §9-302
The Workers’ Compensation Commission will make or deny a claim within 30 days of the mailing of the notice of the filing of a claim or the hearing. If either the employer or the employee is unhappy with the Commission’s decision, either may appeal to the circuit court. An appeal must be filed within 30 days of the mailing of the Commission’s order. Read the Law: MD Code Labor & Emp. §9-714, §9-737
Employees have a right to be represented by an attorney. However, attorneys cannot charge a fee until it is awarded by order of the Commission. Any fee will be a percentage of the award made by the Commission. Read the Law: MD Code Labor & Emp. § 9-731
The following books are available in many circuit court libraries.
Theodore B. Cornblatt, H. Geirge Meredith, Bernard J. Sevel, Workers’ Compensation Handbook, 14th Edition (MICPEL 2009)
Richard Gilbert, Robert Humphreys, Jr., Maryland Workers’ Compensation Handbook, 3rd Edition (LexisNexis 2007)
Clifford Sobin, Maryland Workers’ Compensation (West 2010)
Is this legal advice?
This site offers legal information, not legal advice. We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information and to clearly explain your options. However we do not provide legal advice - the application of the law to your individual circumstances. For legal advice, you should consult an attorney. The Maryland State Law Library, a court-related agency of the Maryland Judiciary, sponsors this site. In the absence of file-specific attribution or copyright, the Maryland State Law Library may hold the copyright to parts of this website. You are free to copy the information for your own use or for other non-commercial purposes with the following language “Source: Maryland's People’s Law Library – www.peoples-law.org. © Maryland State Law Library, 2013.”