Maryland Public Safety Officer Workers Compensation Laws
Public safety officers who suffer a work-related injury or illness may be entitled to loss wages due to missing time at work and compensation for medical related expenses. If you are a resident of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Harford, or Howard County, Maryland, contact attorney John G. Turnbull III at (410) 321-8860 for a consultation. You may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits under state law.
Public safety officers can be defined as an officer of the law, employee of a prison or jail, or fire fighter/firemen. There are special workers’ compensation benefits set aside specifically for them. Read on to learn more about Maryland’s public safety officers workers’ compensation laws and benefits.
Maryland’s Public Safety Office Benefits and Laws
In previous years, Maryland has had more claims from public safety officers due to the physical demands of their job than other occupations. This is not unusual.
As an injured employee, you have the right to apply for benefits for work-related injuries and you must submit a claim within a certain timeframe. In most cases, public safety workers do not exercise their right to the appropriate benefits available to them under workers’ compensation law. This causes underpayments as well as other complications that could impede recovery or proper benefits.
Temporary Total Disability Benefits
Temporary total disability benefits are awarded to public safety officers who have suffered a minor injury which results in them missing work for a short period of time. It is used to compensate workers who miss time from work due to their injury. This non-taxable benefit is capped at two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wage for the past 13 weeks of pay prior to the injury occurring.
Public Safety officers should be aware of their rights under Maryland law. There are different options of payouts available depending on the injury incurred and the type of claim filed. Not all health care providers that treat work related injuries accept all forms of coverage for payment of treatment. In cases where your private insurance pays for your treatment, they may seek payment from the Workers’ Compensation insurer. While seeking medical attention, consult with a workers’ compensation attorney to reduce any unforeseen obstacles that can decrease the compensation you are entitled to for your injury.
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
If it is perceived that your injury will not be resolved with medical treatment or is determined to be a permanent disability, more than one professional opinion may be necessary to make this determination final. This is often referred to as the Maximum Medical Improvement analysis. Your physician and a physician of the employer’s insurer would have to concur to a certain extent based on their own professional opinion.
This decision will then be presented to the injured employee’s attorney to coordinate a rating for settlement with the claimant’s physician. The employer’s insurer performs the same rating with its physician. The insurer and the workers’ compensation attorney negotiate until a settlement is reached.
Once a case settles, the insurer will usually pay a higher settlement to the injured employee because the employee relinquishes their right to later reopen the claim. If the parties reach a stipulation, the award amount is usually less, but the claimant can reopen the case after 5 years have elapsed. If you are not sure whether to settle the claim or enter into a stipulation with the insurer, contact attorney John G. Turnbull for a consultation.
Other Workers’ Compensation Benefits
In addition to the benefits mentioned above, a worker may also receive temporary partial disability benefits or permanent total disability benefits. Death benefits are also payable to surviving spouse and dependents if applicable.
Workers’ Compensation Laws Applied Solely to Maryland Safety Officers
Based on the formula that is used in Maryland for public safety officers being paid in the mid tier, they earn almost double the compensation given to a civilian worker. That is calculated using the same formula for both classifications but are on a different rate tier. Civilians are compensated based on a minor tier. For example, if a non-public safety officer worker has a 10% disability due to a arm injury, the worker is entitled to compensation that equals 10% of 500 weeks of pay (50 weeks). This compensation would result in a total benefit of $5,700. A public safety officer who suffers a similar injury would receive $12,850.
It is also believed that due to the environment public safety officer works in, they are predetermined to have conditions that affect the heart. This is considered a job related condition and it is the responsibility of the employer to prove otherwise. Employers tend to struggle with proving heart related work injuries due to the strenuous demands of a public safety officer’s work condition.
It is unfortunate that a numerous amount of public safety employees neglect to report on the job injuries. Though stress and high demand are a natural part of this type of job, it does not negate the responsibility to report any on the job injuries. Such injuries may hinder your ability to perform your job properly or effectively. The best way to ensure the best outcome when you suffer a work-related injury or illness is to seek legal advice.
Contact Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Attorney John G. Turnbull III
If you or a loved one has suffered a work-related injury or illness, do not hesitate to contact attorney John. G. Turnbull III. He has helped several Maryland public safety officers get the compensation they deserve for their injury. Further, do not delay in seeking help. Doing so could potentially bar your workers’ compensation claim under the statute of limitations. It can also diminish your claim if you fail to seek medical attention. Take time off from work to get the medical treatment you need. You employer may be liable in compensating you for missed work and medical related expenses associated with your work-related injury or illness. You can contact Workers’ Compensation Attorney John G. Turnbull III by calling (410) 321-8860 for a free consultation if you live in Annapolis, Baltimore, Bel Air, Ellicott City and Towson, Maryland.