What does workers comp need to start my benefits?

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One of the most frustrating things about a serious work injury is the delay in getting benefits started.

We've talked before about what to give the workers comp insurance company (and what is none of their business) after a serious injury, and the tactics they use to delay and deny legitimate injuries and workers comp claims in D.C., Virginia and Maryland.

Depending on the workers comp insurance company involved, they need different levels of verification to get your benefits started.  Most of the time, if an injury is witnessed and a foreman or supervisor took you to the hospital, they will start benefits as long as the doctors say you can't work (remember, there is a waiting period in most states before benefits start; for example, in DC, you will not be paid for the first 3 days out of work unless you are out for a whole week or more).

If you got hurt, went back to work and now can't work, that will sometimes be an excuse for delay because now a doctor must certify you cannot work as a result of the injury.  Most doctors put this in their reports but the report isn't available yet.  And a lot of these national workers comp companies may also transfer your claim to a different office or department once you start missing time from work due to your injuries, so the new adjuster is not familiar with your case, and uses that as an excuse for more delay.

We had a case recently with a significant, life threatening injury to a construction worker who was hospitalized and needed surgery for an undiagnosed condition, but had gone back to work for a few days.  Most insurance companies want a doctor's note saying the hospitalization and surgery are related to the fall, but that is difficult to get when you're in the ICU.  If you're hospitalized, try to get your attending physician to at least write a note indicating that your injuries happened at work and that you were hospitalized and cannot work as a result.    

You need to get both your monetary benefits and medical treatment going as soon as possible.  We work on this all the time for the workers we represent.  Call us today at 202-393-3320, fill out a confidential contact form or order your free copy of the only book on workers compensation written by a board certified civil trial lawyer just for people hurt on the job.

Take some action now to help you and your family.

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