Hurt On The Job In Maryland, Virginia Or Washington, D.C.?
Find a Workers’ Comp Attorney For Filing A Job Injury Claim
If you were injured on the job, you may be wondering if you should file a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ compensation is established by state law, and every state’s workers’ compensation procedure is different. How to file and where to file your claim can be confusing, especially when dealing with serious injuries. The following information can help you learn what options you may have if you were injured while working in Virginia, Maryland or around the District.
Even if you decide to file the claim on your own, receiving advice from an experienced workers’ comp lawyer costs nothing and comes with no obligation. In some situations, workers may be entitled to compensation above and beyond workmans’ comp. An attorney who handles workers’ compensation cases will be able to help you determine whether filing a third party claim against the negligent party or seeking benefits on your own is in your best interest.
I was Injured at Work. What Do I Do Next?
- Notify your employer (supervisor, foreman, etc.) as soon as possible after you become injured.
- Seek medical attention immediately.
- File your workers’ compensation claim promptly.
- Do not give a recorded statement to any insurance company, unless your personal injury attorney is present.
- Do not talk about your case with anyone except your lawyer, your lawyer’s assistant and your doctors.
- Keep your appointments with your doctors.
- Get a disability slip every time you go to the doctor.
- If your doctor releases you to light-duty work, immediately contact your employer.
- Stay with your treating doctor.
- Inform your attorney if you return to work in any capacity.
- Keep track of all workers’ compensation checks you receive.
- Send your work injury attorney copies of any medical bill you receive at home.
- Inform your attorney about any other changes, including health conditions.
- Contact your attorney’s office about any change of address or phone number.
What are the Benefits of Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is designed to provide injured workers monetary benefits and medical treatment for job-related injuries rather than the injured worker filing a lawsuit against the employer.
The benefits of workers’ compensation include the following:
- The process tends to be quicker than traditional litigation.
- You do not need to prove that anyone was at fault for the injury.
- The injured worker receives benefits during the course of treatment for the injury.
However, these benefits are limited. If you are injured on the job, you cannot receive additional damages such as pain and suffering that you would under civil litigation.
Are There Different Types of Workers’ Comp Benefits?
Workers injured on the job may receive assistance under any of the five types of workers’ compensation benefits:
- Temporary total disability – Cannot work in any capacity, disability is temporary.
- Temporary partial disability – Cannot work former position in full capacity, disability is temporary.
- Permanent total – Cannot work in any capacity, disability is permanent.
- Permanent partial – Cannot work former in full capacity, disability is permanent.
- Disfigurement/mutilation – Some extra benefits are available under this clause. See our page on filing a third party claim for addition information and workers’ compensation help on pursuing damages that may be beyond workers’ comp.
Do I Qualify for Workers’ Compensation?
How to Qualify for Workers’ Comp in Virginia
Virginia state law requires that injured workers notify their employers in writing immediately or as soon as practicable after the injury. Such notice should include the:
- Employee’s name and address
- Location, time, nature and cause of the accident and injury
This notice must be filed with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. The statute of limitations for filing workers’ comp claims in Virginia is two years, making it important to file your claim promptly.
How to Qualify for Workers’ Comp in Maryland
In Maryland, an injury must arise out of a person’s employment to be covered. For example, workers’ comp benefits would likely be available for a slip and fall injury for those who work at a car wash. Although the statute of limitations for filing workers’ comp claims in Maryland is two years, you should file your claim with the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission as soon as possible.
How to Qualify for Workers’ Comp in Washington, D.C.
To qualify for workers’ compensation in Washington, D.C., an individual must be an “employee” at the time of the injury, and the injury must be accidental and must arise out of and occur in the course of the individual’s employment. Injured employees should not delay in seeking legal counsel, as the statute of limitations for filing workers’ comp claims with the District of Columbia’s Department of Employment Services is only one year.
Why was my Workers’ Comp Claim Denied?
Workers’ compensation claims can be denied for a variety of reasons. Two of the most common are:
- The claim was not filed on time
- The worker provided insufficient or incorrect documentation
Even if a claim is filed on time, in the proper jurisdiction and with all required documentation, the employer or its insurance company may still dispute it by arguing that a worker’s injury or illness if it:
- Is not work related
- Did not occur at the job site
- Resulted from the employee’s own negligent behavior
- Is a pre-existing condition
- Does not exist at all
I Need Help with a Workers’ Comp Denial. What are my Options?
Carefully read the letter to determine important appeal deadlines and the reason for denial. If your claim was denied simply because of missing paperwork or your employer made an error, you may be able to clear up the matter fairly easily.
If your employer is disputing your claim, however, you should promptly speak with a qualified attorney for the best possible outcome. The appeals process varies by state, and in most cases, you will have to attend a hearing in front of an administrative board or commission. Having experienced legal representation on your side can help secure your workers’ comp benefits.
What Happens in a Workers’ Comp Appeal?
Appealing a wrongful denial of your workers (workmans) compensation benefits can be a difficult process, and may require you to attend an administrative board or commission hearing to combat the disputes made by your employer or insurance company. It also heavily depends on the state in which you originally filed.
The work injury compensation attorneys at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, L.L.P. have more than 30 years’ experience assisting employees (including union members) who sustained injuries while on the job in the Washington metropolitan area as well as the states of Virginia and Maryland. We can assist you during any part of the workers’ comp claim process, from filing the initial paperwork to understanding when your workers’ comp payments will stop or if your benefits have been wrongfully terminated. Learn about your rights today by discussing the specifics of your claim with a work injury compensation lawyer from our firm during a free, confidential consultation.