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We wrote a post on tips about what to do when you or someone you know have been hurt on a construction site. After you have reported the injury to your employer and insurer, what do you do next?
Once you have notified the employer and have sought immediate medical attention, the employer must file an Employer's First Report of Injury with the D.C. Department of Employment Services (a similar form in Maryland and Virginia). This form that the employer (or it's workers' compensation insurance company) files has basic information, from the employer's perspective, regarding the work injury. It will have the name and address of the employee, the employer, and the workers' compensation insurance company. It will have a brief description of the injury and how it occurred, including the date, time and job site.
Remember there are forms that YOU have to file after a work injury as well. Do not rely on the insurance company or your employer's HR department to do this. In D.C., YOU need to file Employee's Notice of Accidental Injury or Occupational Disease or Form 7 and Employee's Claim Application or Form 7A. Both of these forms should be signed and filed with the D.C. Office of Worker's Compensation. The first form includes the name and address of the employee, employer and workers' comp insurance company as well as the dates and time and description of the injury. This form will formally notify the employer and worker's compensation insurance company that you were injured on the job and the activity that caused the injury. The second form is necessary to protect your claim for workers' compensation benefits. This will also have basic information regarding you, your employer and the workers' compensation carrier.
Both of these forms should be signed and filed with the D.C. Office of Workers' Compensation. A copy of these forms should be sent to the employer of the workers' compensation insurance company.
We have these forms if you need them - just call and we can give them to you.
It is important not to rely on your employer, coworkers, or workers' compensation insurance company to provide these forms or to give you advice as to how to file your workers' compensation claim.
And remember that the insurance company is NOT YOUR FRIEND. The insurance company has no duty to you look out for your best interests - they have a duty to make money for their shareholders, and if they can, will drastically reduce and limit the benefits an injured worker and his/her family would otherwise receive.
We have seen this happen first hand and that is why we wrote the book on D.C. workers compensation. We want our clients to be knowledgeable about their rights so before you sign anything or talk to an insurance adjuster, you need to read Protect Your Rights: The Ultimate Guide to D.C. Workers' Compensation or The Union Worker's Guide to Workers' Compensation. To obtain your FREE copies or for more information on filing a workers' compensation claim, give us a call or send us an email at (202)-393-3320 and [email protected].