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What injuries are covered by workers' compensation in Maryland?

Whether you realize it or not, residents in Upper Marlboro have a lot of protections under the law. One that is most appreciated by workers in our state is the access to workers' compensation benefits after suffering a work-related injury. As some of today's readers may know, workers' compensation benefits are incredibly helpful after suffering an injury because they can help cover lost wages and medical costs.

But while state law does require employers in our state to carry workers' compensation insurance, our state laws are specific about what injuries can trigger it and lead to benefits for an employee. In today's post, we'd like to outline the three types of injuries that qualify for workers' compensation benefits and how workers become eligible for benefits.

As you may not know, Maryland law specifically states that in order to be eligible for workers' compensation, an injury must have been suffered by accident and out of or in the course of employment. Because of this particular wording, not all injuries suffered in the workplace are eligible for benefits. The injury must have been suffered because of the work an individual does.

There are three main types of injuries that qualify for benefits: physical, mental and disease/illness. Let's take a look at what each of these are:

Physical injury. A physical injury can be any trauma to the body or loss of limb or other body part. Traumas can be mild in nature, resulting from repetitive motion or over exertion, or severe in nature, such as sudden blows to the body or being crushed while doing work.

Mental health conditions. Sometimes, work-related injuries are not physical but rather occur in the mind because of a traumatic event, such as witnessing a coworker die or personally going through something traumatizing. Conditions such as anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder may be covered, provided a worker can prove that their condition was the direct result of something that happened while on the job.

Occupational illness or disease. Also covered by workers' compensation are occupational diseases and illnesses. These conditions develop because of the nature of an individual's working environment. Diseases linked to asbestos exposure are perhaps the most well known and are often covered by workers' compensation.

Source: The Maryland Workers' Compensation Commission, "Maryland Workers' Compensation Law," Accessed Sept. 22, 2015

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