By the early 1990s, all states had at least some form of protection for people injured on the job. However, this protection was very limited because the process of filing a lawsuit against an employer was difficult and very time consuming. Employer negligence was almost impossible to prove and the legal aspect was complicated and expensive; these additional overheads came at a time when benefits were not being awarded to the injured workers from their jobs. Because of this, workers’ compensation laws (also called worker’s compensation or worker’s compensation) were passed, which provided a legal solution to the problem. Workers’ Compensation was a new type of insurance that all employers had to take out to protect their employees.
To determine whether or not an injury is covered by workers’ compensation, there must first be an established and genuine worker-employer relationship. The laws only protect employees. For example, neither an individual working as an independent contractor with a company nor the individuals in a partnership would be protected by law. People in these categories (and others not listed) may choose to follow the legal process required if they wish to obtain the insurance.
The next requirement for filing a worker’s compensation claim is whether or not the injury was an accident (a sudden unusual or extraordinary event causing an unexpected outcome in the form of bodily injury). For injuries to be compensable under the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Act, they must be classified as an accident. An exception to the rule is an occupational disease. If an employee contracts an illness attributed to the nature of the circumstances surrounding his or her job, he or she may be protected even if there is no specific accident.
The third requirement for compensation under the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Act is that the accident must occur “on the job” and “on the job.” The focus of the first aspect is on the worker’s exposure to a risk or hazard because of his job requirements. For example, a roofer who was injured when he fell off a house while replacing the shingles would meet the eligibility criteria for an injury arising from his job. The focus of the second aspect is time, place and circumstances of the injury. If the injury occurred during the time the employee was at work, at the place of business of the employer and while the employee was doing his job, then the injury occurred on the job.
If all three requirements are met, an employee’s injury is generally covered by workers’ compensation insurance. An investigation into the claim is often necessary. If an individual believes they have a compensable injury they must file a claim with the Workers Compensation Commission and it will be assessed to determine the type and amount of benefits to which the worker may be entitled.