Why Was My Maryland Workers’ Compensation Claim Denied?
If you have suffered a workplace injury, you likely trusted your employer to provide the promised protection, and you may have felt shocked or upset when you started hitting roadblocks, or even received a denial. In an ideal world, workers’ compensation is essentially an implied contract between an employer and their employees, that if an employee is injured in the course of their employment, their medical care will be paid for and they will continue to be paid while they recover (or re-trained if necessary). However, the world we live in is not ideal, and often, we can’t count on things to run this smoothly. Insurance companies have a vested interest in avoiding payouts, and it is often common practice for them to deny even valid claims as a way of decreasing possible payouts. For this reason, while you are entitled to workers’ compensation coverage, you may still need to fight for it. Hiring an attorney can help you level the playing field between you and the insurance companies, ensuring that your rights are protected, and that you receive the coverage that you deserve.
Possible Bases for Refusal
Not all injuries that take place at work are entitled to workers’ compensation coverage. However, other times valid claims are still denied coverage. The list below will give you an idea of whether your injury qualifies for workers’ compensation insurance. If you would like personalized feedback on your individual case, contact the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby, LLP to schedule a free consultation.
- You are not an “employee.” If you are classified as an independent contractor, your employer can avoid providing you with workers’ compensation coverage. However, if it can be established that you are actually an employee and are only being labeled an independent contractor to minimize your employer’s liability, we can challenge that basis and get you the compensation you deserve.
- Injury was not work-related. In order to be considered work-related, an injury must have been required as part of your job duties and for the benefit of your employer. If you were injured while playing around on a forklift, this would likely be found to be outside the scope of your duties because it does not benefit your employer to misuse company equipment and it is not in furtherance of your job duties to do so.
- Missed reporting and filing deadlines. In Maryland, for most workplace injuries and diseases, you have two years to file a claim with the Workers’ Compensation Commission. There are some exceptions for specific types of claims so it is best that you check with an attorney. If you miss this deadline, even if your claim is otherwise valid, coverage can be denied.
- Errors in the submitted documents. Sometimes filing a workers’ compensation is like an endurance sport, requiring a lot of tenacity to overcome procedural roadblocks and alleged errors.
- Allegations that you were intoxicated, using drugs, or in violation of company policy. If it is alleged that you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident it can be a barrier to compensation, relieving your employer of liability. However, a workers’ compensation attorney may be able to help you get some benefits.
Talk to a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you have suffered a workplace injury and are being denied coverage, the experienced Maryland workers’ compensation attorneys at Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby, LLP are ready to zealously advocate on your behalf and get you the compensation and support that you are entitled to. Call today to schedule a free consultation.