Workers Compensation in Maine

You aren’t alone if you wonder how workers comp works. Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that provides wage and medical benefits to people who have become ill or injured while at work. The extent of workers’ comp coverage an employer is required to carry is governed by Maine state law. Thus, in trying to figure out how workers comp works, it helps to understand the laws on the books in the state where the business operates. If the injury or illness a worker sustains is eligible for compensation, the insurance carrier should help ease the financial burden the illness or injury created on the worker. Learn some of the basic principles of Maine workers’ compensation insurance and how the process works.

Workers Compensation Statistics in Maine?

In Maine, 41% of claimants for workers’ compensation are over the age of 45. The most common injuries that occur are sprains, strains, tears, and overexertion. These Injuries  make up more than 50% of claims filed in Maine, according to The Maine Bureau of Labor Statistics. Most claims filed concern lower back issues as a result of repetitive motion, improper training, or overexerting with strenuous activity.

How Does Workers Comp Work in Maine?

There is a standard practice to follow when going through the Maine workers’ compensation process. Unfortunately, it begins with you getting sick or injured on the job. The circumstances surrounding the incident that led to the injury are especially crucial. The injury had to occur during the course of your regular work duties. It could also occur while you were performing a special task at the request of your boss. 

Maine requires nearly all private and public-sector businesses to carry workers’ compensation insurance. The only exception to this are agricultural and aquacultural industries that hire seasonal workers. The Maine Department of Business Services states that Maine has a no fault system when it comes to governing workers’ compensation. This system entitles you to benefits for medical bills, lost wages, and permanent impairments incurred as a result of a job-related injury or illness.

The steps you take immediately following a workplace incident in Maine are critical for purposes of filing a claim for compensation. Follow the following steps to preserve your rights and learn how workers comp works.

Get Medical Attention

After you get injured or feel ill, the first step is to see a doctor. Don’t delay receiving help from a Maine healthcare professional. This could not only jeopardize your health, but you run the risk of missing time-sensitive deadlines in the workers’ compensation process.

Even if you believe that your injury is minor, get a proper medical report detailing the extent of the damage and how it occurred. This is the first step in the workers’ compensation claim process. Absent a medical report, your employer cannot file a claim with the insurance carrier.

When dealing with a job-related illness, the symptoms and diagnosis may not happen right away. You may find yourself attending regular checkups and testing for weeks or months before a doctor finally associates your illness with your job. All of your medical records will become the foundation from which the workers’ comp carrier will launch its investigation. Your doctor may make the determination that the illness is the result of your work conditions or aggravated by them. Once they do, see your human resources representative to file a workers’ compensation claim.

File a First Report of Injury

Once you have a medical diagnosis relating your illness or injury to your job, you must file a claim with your employer. This is the next important phase of how Maine workers comp works.

The Maine Department of Labor says that if a first report of an employee missing one or more days of work due to injury or work-related illness has been filed in Maine, the statute of limitations for a workers’ compensation claim is 2 years from the date of the filing of the report. If no report has been filed then it’s 2 years from the date of the injury or discovery of symptoms. You should seek immediate medical care if you have been injured or are experiencing symptoms. After that, it is important to file a report with your employer as soon as you can. It may occur that a dispute arises between you and your employer. If so, it’s best to try and settle it without filing a petition. If it can’t be settled, then you can contact an attorney to help file your petition.

Contents of the Report

The first report of an on the job injury or illness will provide the workers’ compensation insurance carrier with the details of the events leading up to the injury. In this report, you will provide your physical injuries, the medical treatment you received and the facilities that provided it. It’s always a good idea to submit a copy of the doctor’s report  with the report of injury.

Your employer should furnish you with information about the claims process. The adjuster or insurance carrier representative may want to speak to you at some point about the incident and any possible witnesses to the event. 

Maine workers’ compensation laws state that if you have partial incapacity you can receive benefits for a maximum of 520 weeks. Payment is 80% of your after-tax wage. There is no minimum weekly payment in Maine. The maximum is 90% of the average weekly wage, or $596.42.

Why You Should Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

In learning how Maine workers comp works, many people believe that the injury claims process is straightforward. While this may be the case in some instances, in others, it may be more of a hassle. For instance, your employer may question whether you were hurt on the clock or on your own time. The company may also start to question the extent of your injury. There may even arise pay disputes and long-term care dictated by the doctor. Don’t question how workers comp works and risk losing your claim. Hire a Maine workers’ comp lawyer and ensure you have an advocate to fight for your rights as a victim.

Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer in Maine

Your health and wellbeing need to come first. If you are hurt while working or find out an illness you are suffering is the result of your job, you will want to seek compensation. Since the workers’ compensation claims process may be tricky, you should consider getting a local attorney well versed in how to deal with it. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Maine state lines. They can guide you while you continue to learn how workers comp works.

Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!

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