Generally, the four parties of a Workers’ Compensation claim are the claimant (injured worker), the employer, the employer’s insurer and the Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC). Each plays a significant role in ensuring a quick and successful process.
The claimant is the party who was injured in the course of their employment. It is their responsibility to file the initial notice of an injury with their employer or supervisor.
The employer is the party providing work and payment to the employee. Once the employer receives notice of an employee’s work-related injury, they must file the Employer’s First Report. This report is a form that must be filed with the Commission after notice that an employee sustained a work-related accidental injury or occupational disease. The two-year statute of limitations period does not begin to run until the date this form is filed.
The employer’s insurer is the company that provides workers’ compensation insurance to the employer. The insurer is the party responsible for paying the employee all compensation benefits and medical benefits on behalf of the employer if the Commission finds the claim to be work-related, or if the insurer does not file issues contesting the case.
The Commission, or WCC, is the state agency that regulates workers’ compensation. In Maryland, the WCC functions to hear and resolve cases, as well as process all workers’ compensation claims. If any party raises issues, a hearing will take place where the Commission will decide whether the injury was work-related and compensation should be provided. After the hearing, the WCC will enter an order with the final benefits and compensation to be paid.
There may be other parties to a workers’ compensation case, depending on the circumstances of the case. Other parties could include the Uninsured Employers’ Fund or the Subsequent Injury Fund.