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Baltimore Workers Compensation Law Blog

Maryland jury awards $21.7 million after paralyzing work accident

We recently discussed how the legal relationship between a worker and an employer can affect workers' compensation claims. Specifically, we considered the question of whether a subcontractor's employee can receive workers' comp benefits through the contractor.

If you have been seriously injured while working for a contractor, then it is important to have a work injury attorney handle your case and protect your rights. Depending on the facts of the accident, it may be appropriate to sue the contractor for negligence. With that in mind, consider a Maryland case that was recently reported in The Washington Post.

The 'fatal four': stopping them could save hundreds of lives

In the construction industry, there are so many dangers present to anyone on the site. There are precarious positions and heights that must be reached to do work; there are powerful machines constantly churning and smashing; and there are dangerous materials that pose a risk to workers if they are not handled and dealt with in a proper manner.

Sadly, many of these situations give rise to serious or fatal circumstances that change the lives of a construction workers -- and their families -- forever. However, there are four types of construction accidents that are more dangerous than any other, and they have an ominous name: "the fatal four."

Can a subcontractor's employee get workers' comp from the contractor?

As with many matters in workers' compensation law, the answer to that question depends on a number of factors.

With workers' compensation claims involving subcontractors and contractors, the first question to ask is whether the injured worker had a legally recognized employee-employer relationship with the alleged employer. In other words, did the alleged employer have the right to control the manner of the worker's employment? This question came up in a Maryland case in 2013.

What are the temporary disability benefits for Maryland workers?

Recently we discussed permanent disability benefits available under the Maryland Workers' Compensation Act. You can learn more about permanent disability benefits here.

Now let's discuss temporary disability benefits. There are two types:

  • Temporary total disability (TTD)
  • Temporary partial disability (TPD)

Construction worker injured in Baltimore building collapse

Building inspectors in Baltimore are investigating the cause of a recent building collapse near Camden Yards. The three-story row house crumbled on top of a worker, who was trapped beneath the rubble for several hours until firefighters were able to free him. He was taken from the scene by ambulance and was expected to recover.

It was reported that roofers working on a separate project noticed that one of the walls of the house was dangerously unstable. The roofers reportedly warned the construction crew numerous times before the entire building collapsed. Video taken by one of the roofers three hours before the accident shows one of the walls sagging away from the rest of the structure.

Things to know about Maryland workers' comp disability benefits

The burdens of being seriously injured at work are enough without having to worry about gathering evidence and making a workers' compensation claim. If you have suffered a serious work-related injury, then your energy should be focused on obtaining proper medical care, rest and rehabilitation. A workers' comp attorney can meanwhile handle the claim process.

Sometimes people suffer disabling injuries in the course of their employment, and under the Maryland Workers' Compensation Act, disabling injuries are regarded either as temporary or permanent. Permanent disabilities are further categorized as permanent partial disabilities and permanent total disabilities. 

New OSHA rules require report of each work-related hospitalization

Currently, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration requires that companies with more than 10 employees report work-related injuries only if an accident results in the hospitalization of three or more workers. Current regulations also require that fatal work-related accidents be reported to OSHA within eight hours. Staring Jan. 1, OSHA's requirements for reporting injuries will change.

The rule changes are aimed at protecting employees from injury by addressing dangerous work conditions more quickly. After the New Year, non-exempt employers in Maryland and throughout the country will be required to report every work-related injury that requires an employee to be hospitalized. Additionally, every instance of amputation or eye loss resulting from a work-related accident must be reported.

Companies face consequences in industrial workers' accidents

Maryland industrial workers are often working in close proximity to large pieces of equipment that sometimes lead to serious injuries or even death. Many companies will do what they can to safeguard the lives -- and sometimes the limbs -- of their employees by implementing safety procedures, providing the proper equipment and conducting safety training. However, when a company does not take the time to provide employees with the proper safety equipment and training, the potential for industrial workers' accidents rises dramatically.

For instance, back on March 10, a 39-year-old man was working at a facility that sorts and shreds scrap metal. As he worked near a conveyor belt, something went wrong and his arm became trapped in it. He died from numerous internal and external injuries as a result.

Is anyone in Maryland not covered by workers' compensation?

Many Maryland employees are eligible to receive workers' compensation benefits. However, there are circumstances where an individual may not be eligible for such benefits. Since many people in Maryland work for the federal government, it should be noted that a federal employee who is injured on-the-job is covered under the federal workers' compensation program.

For those not employed by the federal government, every state, including Maryland, has its own workers' compensation insurance program. Benefits can be received regardless of whether the injury was the fault of the employee or the employer -- except under certain conditions. If it is determined that an employee was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, that an injury was self-inflicted or that the employee was in violation of company policy or the law at the time he or she suffered the injury, benefits may be denied. Of course, only injuries that occurred while on the job are covered.

Work zone accident claims life of highway worker from Denton

Despite signage telling motorists to be alert and slow down, each year more than 700 people die in work zone accidents nationwide. In Maryland, seven highway workers have lost their lives over the course of the last 20 months.

The latest of those tragedies happened recently in St. Michaels. A 40-year-old worker from Denton was directing traffic around a work zone when he was hit by a vehicle driven by an 84-year-old man. The worker was flown to a hospital in Baltimore, where sadly the man died. Police indicated that members of the man's family were notified.

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