Maryland Workers’ Compensation for Volunteers
A large percentage of first responders are volunteers. According to Business Insider, 69 percent of all firefighters are volunteers. But do they qualify for the same workers’ compensation benefits as a full-time city or county first responder employee? Thousands of others spend their time volunteering throughout Maryland in various positions, from helping with school field trips to picking up trash. Many of these positions put volunteers, particularly first responders or people who volunteer along roadways, at great risk of injury or illness. Thankfully, Maryland law does provide financial protection in the form of workers’ compensation for most volunteer positions. If you were injured as a volunteer, you deserve compensation, which an experienced Anne Arundel county workers’ compensation attorney can help you procure.
Medical Expenses are Paid for by Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation covers the entire cost of surgeries, hospital stays, medication, follow up doctor visits, travel expense to and from medical care, and every other medical expenditure that resulted from the volunteer injury or illness. If the volunteer was injured by a third party, such as a driver who was texting on their cell phone and hit a volunteer school crosswalk guard, that volunteer could potentially file a claim or lawsuit against the negligent driver for additional compensation, including pain and suffering damages. However, the insurance company of the volunteer organization or employer will most likely put a lien on part of that award in order to claw back some of the finances that they lost while supporting the injured party’s medical expenses. It is an attorney’s job to limit the amount that is clawed back by the insurance company so that the injured victims walk away with the maximum compensation to which they are entitled.
Wage Replacement for Volunteers. Do Volunteers Receive Anything?
One might assume that because a volunteer was not being paid anything, they have no rights to the wage replacement benefits that an employee would be entitled to. However, this is not true; volunteers injured will be paid wage replacement based on their occupational source of income. If an engineer who was also a volunteer firefighter and was injured, or killed, during their line of duty, their wage replacement benefits would be based on their occupation as an engineer. Even if the volunteer was unemployed, they may receive workers’ compensation wage replacement benefits through other means. And, at the very least, they shall receive a minimum of $50 per week as per Maryland statute 9-626.
Call Maryland Workers’ Compensation Attorney Tara K. Frame Today
While most are, not all categories of volunteers are covered by workers’ compensation. To find out if you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, and for help receiving this compensation that you deserve, you need to contact a professional Pasadena workers’ compensation attorney with the law offices of Frame & Frame today. Do not assume that anyone will step in and provide coverage for you; you have to take action yourself. Call us today at 410-255-0373 to set up a free initial consultation with one of our lawyers today.