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What should you do if you're injured at work?

Every year thousands of Americans are involved in workplace accidents that force them to miss work, deal with lost wages and have to face large medical bills. Accidents at work can be the result of unsafe working conditions, repetitive stress or a simple, temporary lapse in an otherwise safe working environment.

With few exceptions, most employers in Maryland with one or more employees are required by law to provide their employees with injury protection insurance. Provided your accident happened at work and in the course of your duties, you may be insured against medical expenses and lost income that arises as a result of your being injured on the job.

The first thing you, as an injured employee, must do is report the incident to your supervisor or employer, immediately. You may be given an 'Employee Claim Form' by your employer that must be filed with the Commission to begin the workers compensation claims process.

Your workers' compensation benefits will often pay for any medical bills, rehabilitation, prescription drug expenses and lost wages that result from your injury. You are entitled to choose your own doctor, although your employers' insurance company can request an examination by their own doctor as well.

The Workers' Compensation Commission exists to protect your family and you; however, the most important thing you can do to protect yourself is to know the rules and what to do if you're injured. Be sure to promptly report your accident, immediately. Visit your doctor and if your employer or their insurance company requests that you sign something that seems untoward or denies your claim, you should seek legal advice. A lawyer can represent you before the Commission in the event of a workers' compensation appeal and help you to obtain the benefits you are entitled to receive.

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