Hurt at work? Don't rely on your employer to give you the correct information on how to file for workers compensation in D.C., Maryland or Virginia.

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Hurt at Work in D.C.?  Don't rely on your job to give you the right information.

One of my new clients, with a serious shoulder injury that happened at work in D.C. , recently brought me his employer's "How to file a workers' compensation claim" instructions.  This was the information his job gave him after he got hurt at work on what to do.

This handout had a section "How to file a claim" which says:

   1. Notify your supervisor immediately that you are injured. 

   2.  Complete our form and submit it to your supervisor.

That's it.  OK, you should notify your supervisor and report your injury as soon as possible. 

But filling out a form for your employer does not constitute filing your workers compensation claim in D.C., Maryland or Virginia. 

We see this over and over and hear this from people who call us for workers comp information after they've been hurt on the job. It's a common mistake - one of many injured workers without a lawyer make in the D.C. workers comp system.

Your job cannot file your workers compensation claim for you.  They can report it to their workers comp insurance company, but you have to file your own claim forms - whether you got hurt in D.C., Maryland or Virginia!

Depending on where you work and were injured, D.C., Maryland and Virginia all have specific forms, procedures and deadlines to file a workers compensation claim with the proper city or state agency. 

Just filling out a form - even if your supervisor, safety man, HR person, etc. says they filed your claim - is not protecting your rights.

Don't rely on your employer for this when you have an injury at work - even if they are well meaning or think they are helping you, they don't know.  Workers compensation is a complex process and system that favors the insurance companies.  Remember, your workers comp insurance adjuster gets paid to save the insurance company money (by paying less to you directly or by reducing the medical treatment you need).  Not only has she probably handled thousands of cases (how many have you handled?) she has an army of insurance lawyers, investigators, case managers, nurses, doctors and vocational experts, all working against you.

So get your workers comp case started off right - call us at (202) 393 - 3320 for a confidential, free analysis of your claim.  Even if we can't help, we'll give you the premier book written on workers compensation in the DMV and a lot of other great, specific information you can use.

Frank R. Kearney, Attorney-at-Law
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Experienced DC Workers' Comp, Long Term Disability & Accident Lawyer
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