If a construction worker feels a pop in his back and gets hurt lifting a stack of rebar, that's clearly a work injury covered by workers compensation.
But some injuries or conditions occur over time - there is no one moment where you feel the pop, strain, etc., its more of a gradual onset. What if your job as a mechanic, writer, chef, etc. requires the same movement over and over and you develop carpal tunnel syndrome, de Quervains, tendinitis or some type of nerve problem?
And how can you tell when the injury occurred?
In D.C. workers compensation, the date the doctor tells you that your condition is related to work activity (or you reasonably should have known that) is the date of your injury for workers comp purposes. That's important because you have 30 days from that date to give your employer notice.
And notice doesn't mean saying your hand is bothering you or you need to go to the doctor - it means (and be specific here) telling your supervisor that you have this problem and it is related to your work - in other words it was caused by work or work contributed to or aggravated the condition.
Notice is a critical step in D.C. - many people with legitimate injuries never get workers compensation benefits because they don't give proper notice of the injury, especially if it was caused over time.
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For specific questions, we try to schedule time almost every week to answer people's questions by phone, so call us at (202) 393 - 3320 and we will try to set that up.