Depending upon the conditions in which you work, some kind of injury or consequence to your health may become highly likely. Even ostensibly reputable companies like Tesla are discovering that a safe workplace is anything but a given. The automobile manufacturer—well known for its electronically powered design and semi-mass appeal—has come under recent scrutiny on account of its employees’ health and implications regarding the possibility of unionizing.
“I’ve seen people pass out, hit the floor like a pancake and smash their face open,” explained Tesla production technician Jonathan Galescu, per The Guardian. “They just send us to work around him while he’s still lying on the floor.”
Galescu is hardly the only employee to vocalize concerns regarding the workplace and safety within it. Anecdotal evidence has begun piling up against the otherwise novel enterprise.
“We had an associate on my line, he just kept working, kept working, kept working, next thing you know—he just fell on the ground,” added battery pack worker Mikey Catura.
The Plight of Work Injury Victims in Baltimore
Unfortunately, these kinds of circumstances aren’t unusual—from factory conditions to office places that aren’t well attended. The industrial sector isn’t the only one wherein risk of bodily injury emerges. In each instance, the need to consult with an attorney that assures protection of your rights is essential to your interests and the future. If you’re located in the Baltimore area and an employee of any kind with concerns about how your work is impacting you, Ashcraft & Gerel, LLP has the experience and expertise to address your affairs properly. Your body (and emotional health) shouldn’t be subject to a working environment that refuses to accept any responsibility for harm you sustain.
Before consulting with a qualified lawyer, you may have some initial questions. If you already understand that you’ve been subject to injury and that your employer is responsible for conditions in the workplace, your next concern may be the kind of benefits to which you are rightfully entitled to if injury does occur. Given the financial security that’s potentially on the line and the requirement that justice be served, these kinds of benefits are certainly worth investigating with the help of someone legally responsible for representing you.
Common Benefits You May Deserve If Injured at Work
In general, there’s an important difference between total or partial disability. The former suggests that you are categorically unable to perform your job while the latter suggests that you are instead limited with respect to your ability to do so. Moving a bit more slowly than usual or requiring some additional breaks doesn’t necessarily mean you can no longer perform your job at all, in those cases implying that your disability is partial.
According to Maryland State Bar Association, there are four primary kinds of benefits you may deserve in the event of work-related injury.
The first type of benefit is described as “temporary disability.” As suggested, this implies that the nature of your disability will only last for a time while you heal or receive treatment. Note that a temporary disability may be either total or partial, again depending upon whether or not you remain able to perform any element of your job in a still meaningful way. While the law establishes a maximum amount of remuneration you may receive in either circumstance, there is generally a different formula for the determination thereof.
You don’t have to foot the bill for your work injury. Contact Ashcraft & Gerel, LLP to ask about workers’ comp benefits.
Amid total disability, you are generally entitled to two-thirds of what you make weekly on average. Otherwise, when partially disabled, you are instead entitled to half of the difference between what you’d earn after recovering from the injury and your weekly wage there amid (properly assuming that you temporarily make less due to reduced productivity). Again, depending upon how much you ordinarily earn, there may be a statutory limit upon what you can receive in benefits in accord with Maryland law.
The second category of benefits are permanent in nature, meaning that to whatever extent the injury impairs your performance, you cannot return to prior capacity. Again, and as with temporary disability, these disabilities may be either total or partial (as defined above). The formula for determining the payout of benefits is, however, a bit different.
As the Bar Association explains, when a person is permanently partially disabled, the benefits that a person will received are based on the percentage of disability, and the part of the body that is affected. These benefits are paid at a rate of ⅔ the worker’s average weekly wage, and are paid indefinitely on a weekly basis.
The third kind of benefit concerns medical treatment itself and the cost thereof (rather than any impact on your wages and replacement of wages). In this case, your employer and insurer are jointly responsible for covering any expenses associated with the injury suffered on the job.
Finally, you may also or otherwise be entitled to vocational rehabilitation benefits. If and when you cannot return to your old job at all due to the nature of the disability you incurred, your employer and insurer are jointly responsible for advancing opportunities associated with pursuing a different job entirely. The nature of rehabilitation involved depends upon your occupation, skills and opportunities associated therewith, but you are to in these cases be assigned a vocational counselor.
Note that in each of these instances there is an important burden to demonstrate that your injury is indeed caused by job related conditions or an incident associated therewith. If you injure yourself elsewhere (or doing something that cannot be properly construed as job-related), then it likely isn’t your employer’s responsibility to address the circumstance, and you may not be entitled to any benefits. Making determinations regarding whether your disability is indeed and legitimately job-related may well require that you consult an attorney.
Getting Help From the Right Maryland Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Assuring that you enjoy proper compensation on account of disability isn’t always a given. Having the right kind of attorney on your side improves your chances of obtaining the kind of benefits to which you are entitled. At Ashcraft & Gerel, LLP, we take our clients’ rights and interests seriously while demonstrating utmost commitment in the process. In order to arrange an appointment, simply fill out our online contact form.