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Workers' Compensation Blog

Where Do I File My Workers’ Compensation Claim – Maryland or D.C.?

Monday, July 09, 2018

It is sometimes very obvious where an injured workers should file his workers’ compensation claim following an on-the-job injury.For example, if the injured worker lives in the District of Columbia, and has always worked for his employer in the District, and gets injured in the District, then the claim for workers’ compensation benefits naturally should be filed in the District.

However, the situation becomes a bit more complicated when the injured worker does not get injured in the state where he normally works, or when the injured worker performs work for the employer in more than one state.In this blog, I will give a few different scenarios that tend to occur, in order to figure out where your workers’ compensation claim should be filed.

Scenario #1: The injured worker regularly works in Maryland, but happens to travel to the District of Columbia for work, and happens to be injured while performing that work for the employer in the District.

In the first scenario, under 32-1503 of the District of Columbia Workers’ Compensation Act, the District will not have jurisdiction over this claim.Having only “casual, occasional, or incidental” employment in the District is not enough.The workers’ compensation claim in that scenario should be filed in Maryland.

Scenario #2: The injured worker and the employer are both residents of Maryland, but the injured worker was assigned to do work for the employer in the District of Columbia for an extended period of time (weeks and months) and was injured in the District.

In the second scenario, the claim may be able to be filed in either Maryland OR in DC, with one caveat.The DC Worker’s Compensation Statute says that, if both the injured worker and the employer are not residents of the District, and the contract for hire was entered into in another State (like Maryland) then even though the injured worker had performed work for the Employer for an extended period of time in the District, and was injured in the District, the injured worker MAY be able to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits in the District, but only if, the employer has workers’ compensation coverage in the District.So, in that second scenario, if the employer had insurance cover in the District, the claim for workers’ compensation benefits can be filed in EITHER Maryland or the District.If the employer does not have workers’ compensation coverage in the District, then the claim would have to be filed in the State of Maryland.

Scenario #3: The injured worker is hurt in the State of Maryland while performing work for a District of Columbia Employer and normally works in the District of Columbia.

Under 9-203 of Maryland Workers’ Compensation Statute, Maryland shares the same principal as the District such that “casual, occasional, or incidental” work in Maryland, when the employment is located and performed primarily in another jurisdiction (like DC), will not be enough to enable the injured employee to file a workers’ compensation claim in Maryland.

Scenario #4: The injured worker performs work for the employer in Maryland, DC and Virginia, but gets injured in DC, but both he and his employer are residents of Maryland.

This last scenario occurs often with transit drivers.In this scenario, the injured worker is not an incidental, casual or occasional employee of the District, but rather, has worked for the employer in the District on a regular basis for years.In this fourth scenario, because both the injured worker and the employer are both residents of Maryland (with, for example, the employee picking up his bus to begin his bus route at the Maryland headquarters) the injured worker would be able to file his workers’ compensation claim in both Maryland AND the District of Columbia, if and only if, the employee can prove that he is not an incident employee in the District.If the injured worker can testify that works as much or (better yet) more often in the District than he does in Maryland or Virginia, and again, is hurt in the District, then his claim for workers’ compensation benefits could be filed in the District.However, if the evidence shows that the employee works only a small percentage of the time in District, and works primarily in Maryland and Virginia, then the District of Columbia would not accept his workers’ compensation claim and the State of Maryland would be his only option.

If any additional information is needed, I can be reached by email:lpisano@bsgfdlaw.com, or on my direct office number: 301-740-3304

Report First – ‘Tough It Out’ Later

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The first thing you must do when you get injured on the job is to notify your supervisor immediately. You do not have to notify your employer in writing, but it makes your claim much easier if you do. Whichever way you choose to notify, make sure you indicate the date and the time of the accident, and every body part that was injured.

Notice should be given even for minor injuries. You don’t have to miss work to report an injury. You can choose to tough it out and keep working after you get hurt but you should document it whether or not you can continue to work.  After reporting it to your supervisor, the next way to document your injury is to go see a doctor to get checked out. Whether you see your primary doctor or go to a clinic you want to make sure someone evaluates your injury so that if your condition gets worse down the road, you have already created a paper trail that will support you getting the treatment you may need later.

You Must Go Beyond Your Internal Claim Number

Once you report the injury, your employer may request that you fill out an incident report and even give you their own internal claim number. However, remember that reporting the injury does not mean that you have done everything to protect yourself. You still have to file a claim with the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission to fully make sure you are protected.

Although it’s ideal to notify your employer of a work-place injury as soon as it happens, Maryland law states that an injured worker has ten (10) days to report the injury. The law even provides some exceptions if you report beyond the ten (10) day requirement, but late reporting can give your employer a basis to contest or dispute your claim even though you might have a valid workers’ compensation claim. Therefore, you should report your injury as soon as it happens.

Follow These Steps If You Are Injured On The Job

So if you are injured on the job (even if it’s a minor injury and you do not miss time from work) remember these three easy steps:

  1. Report immediately (preferably in writing);
  2. See a doctor (even your primary care provider); and
  3. Contact the lawyers at Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby to file your claim!

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