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Warnken, LLC Attorneys at Law, Attorneys & Lawyers, Pikesville, MD

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Law Enforcement

General counsel to the 2600 members of the

Maryland Troopers’ Association

Personal Injury

Voted MD’s Best Personal Injury Law Firm 2021!

Workers' Compensation

We’ve helped thousands

of injured workers

Medical Malpractice

Get a team of the best medical malpractice lawyers for your med mal or birth injury case.

The Latest From Our News Blog

Rebecca Smith Convinces Jury

Last week, Warnken, LLC attorney Rebecca Smith convinced a Maryland jury that her client was an employee, not an independent contractor. Her client is now entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. The implications of such a decision are significant for gig workers everywhere. Though the jury win is not binding caselaw, it does show that gig economy workers may be deemed employees under Maryland law, providing them with the protections that come from being classified as an employee … not the least of which is compensation when injured on the job as a gig worker.

Employee or Independent Contractor

Rebecca’s client worked for Takl, a business then operating in Maryland, who classified their employees as independent contractors. Customers went to Takl to hire providers to do chores around their homes. Rebecca’s client was one of these workers. Her client was significantly injured on the job.

The Workers’ Compensation Commission of Maryland had previously ruled against the Claimant, finding that the Claimant was an independent contractor. A Howard County jury determined that the Commission was incorrect and that the Claimant was an employee. Takl required claimant to agree to terms and use that told providers that they were independent contractors. The jury was not persuaded by this evidence. The jury found that Takl exerted control over the Claimant in how his work was performed by controlling the price for jobs, GPS tracking, how many jobs must be completed in a week to maintain professional status, and over the power to suspend employment for canceling jobs or not performing to Takl’s standards.

Are Uber and Lyft Drivers Employees or Independent Contractors?

Every time an Uber or Lyft driver get hurt in a crash, the question about whether they are an employee or independent contractor comes up. If they are an employee, they entitled to workers’ comp benefits in addition to what other recovery may be attainable from the crash. The jury decision in Rebecca’s case speak to the idea that they may be employees.

In every case dealing with the relationship of employees and contractors, the jury instructions are an important consideration. Specifically , the Maryland Civil Pattern Jury Instructions (MPJI) dealing with Employment Relationship and Independent Contractor. The instructions mandate that the following factors be considered…

  • The selection and hiring of the employee/IC;
  • The payment of wages;
  • The power to fire employee/IC;
  • The power of control over employee/IC conduct;
  • Whether the work in part of the regular business of employer;
  • Whether the parties believed that they were creating an employer-employee relationship;
  • Whether the work is usually done, in the environment, under the direction of an employer, or by a specialist without supervision;
  • The skill required in the occupation.

The most important factor is the power of control. The jury instructions also discuss that an independent contractor is a person who contracts to perform certain work for another according to the worker’s own means and methods, free from the control of another in all details connected with the performance of the work except as to its product or result.

 

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Warnken, LLC Attorneys At Law

Warnken, LLC started more than 20 years ago.  The firm’s founder, Byron L. Warnken, Esq., has been an attorney for more than 40 years.  He is also a full-time law professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law.  In the early 1990’s, Warnken, LLC consisted of Byron L. Warnken and his wife Bonnie L. Warnken, who handled mostly medical malpractice and personal injury cases.  In 1997, the firm began to expand, with more lawyers being hired to handle the work associated with representing the Maryland Troopers Association.  Since then, the MTA has been a focus for Warnken, LLC.  Warnken, LLC also has a reputation throughout the State for success in personal injury and workers’ compensation cases.

Personal Injury Attorneys

Voted MD’s Best Personal Injury Law Firm 2021. More than 3000 litigation matters in more than 25 years of practice.

Warnken, LLC handles personal injury cases and workers’ compensation cases.  We also handle medical malpractice, birth injuries, truck accidents, negligence, wrongful death, catastrophic personal injury, and other injuries or disputes.

Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

Workers’ compensation is by far the fastest growing practice area at Warnken, LLC.  A decade ago, Warnken, LLC had less than 20 comp files at any given time a few years ago.  Today there are more than 500.  Some of the best workers’ compensation lawyers in Baltimore practice law at Warnken, LLC

Our comp practice grew from serving law enforcement.  Being one of the most dangerous jobs, police officers and other public safety employees often need counsel for workplace injuries.  In order to serve our existing clients, we gained the expertise.

Law Enforcement

Since 1997, Warnken, LLC has been general counsel to the Maryland Troopers Association.  We handle administrative discipline, trial boards, disability retirement, grievances, and generally anything else active or retired law enforcement personnel face.  We take great pride in the work.

Straight Talk from a Baltimore Lawyer: What You Need to Know about Fake ID s

The fake ID industry is booming. With the help of sites like idgod and King Forge, it has never been easier to get a fake ID that looks real without breaking the bank. But there are consequences for using fake IDs in Maryland - namely fines, jail time and other penalties which can lead to an arrest record. So what do lawyers say about fake IDs? Heres some straight talk from Baltimore criminal defense attorney, Chris Morolake: "If youre caught with one or more fake IDs, you will be charged criminally."