If you sustain an on-the-job injury, in most cases you are entitled to worker’s compensation benefits regardless of who may have been at fault. These benefits include compensation for lost income and medical expenses, and in the case of a significant injury, compensation for permanent disability. There are two things that you should do immediately if you are injured at work.
First, you should notify your supervisor, regardless of whether you think the injury will develop into something serious. In most cases, the failure to notify your supervisor within 30 days of being injured will cause a denial of workers’ compensation benefits. Additionally, it is important to get medical treatment as soon as possible after the injury. A delay in treatment may lead in turn to a delay in you receiving your workers’ compensation benefits.
Generally speaking, workers’ compensation wage loss benefits are two-thirds of the injured workers’ average gross earnings at the time of the injury. Although these wage loss benefits are tax-free, there is a “maximum compensation rate” or cap on the amount of weekly benefits that can be paid. This cap is higher in D.C. than in Maryland or Virginia and so as a workers’ compensation attorney, I am often trying to find ways to pursue claims in D.C. whenever possible. However, once an injured worker accepts benefits paid under the laws of Maryland or Virginia, it may be difficult to then pursue benefits for the same injury in D.C. For this reason, it’s important to contact me or another experienced workers’ compensation attorney right after you’re injured.
I want to make sure that you are receiving benefits at the highest level possible. For a significant injury, a failure to choose the right place to file the claim from the beginning of the case could end up costing you thousands of dollars over the life of the claim. In addition to wage loss benefits, the employer and its insurance company are responsible for paying for all of the medical treatment required as a result of the on the job injury, provided the treatment is with an authorized physician. This includes reimbursement for the cost of prescription drugs as well as reimbursement for mileage traveled to and from the doctor’s office.
As I tell every new client, my role is to deal with all of the legal issues involved in the workers’ compensation claim. When you’re injured at work, you have enough to worry about in terms of focusing on your health and recovering from your injury. You should not have to worry about legal issues that you have no experience in dealing with. My job is to allow you to focus all of your attention on recovering from your injury and getting back to work as soon as you are physically able to do so.
I’ll make sure that you receive all of the benefits that you are entitled to. We never charge for an initial consultation and we only receive a fee if we are successful in pursuing your claim. We would be happy to assist you if you have the misfortune of being injured at work. I am David Schloss, partner at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot.
David M. Schloss