Answers to Medical Malpractice, Workers Comp, Long Term Disability Insurance, and Car Accident Questions
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At Donahoe Kearney, we believe it's important to empower through education. Here are some of the questions people have when they first contact us about D.C., Maryland and Virginia medical malpractice, serious car accidents, long term disability insurance claims, or workers compensation. We try to provide as much information as we can based on our experience as medical malpractice lawyers in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.
Since every person is unique, if you have questions or need information about an injury or death in your family, please contact us to talk it through.We'll talk to you, schedule a free initial meeting and give you all the information we can. Call us today at 202-393-3320.
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Who Pays for the Damage to My Car After An Accident?
If It Was the Other Driver's Fault, They Should Pay For the Damage
If your car is damaged in a accident caused by another driver in Maryland, D.C. or Virginia, the other driver's insurance company should pay for the damage that the body shop says is necessary to fix your car - after all, it was the other driver's fault.
But what if the other driver's insurance company says it wasn't their driver's fault? They say it was your fault.
There are two basic options. First, you can fight them buy suing their driver for the property damage (the damage to your car) that they caused.
Or, your insurance company can do this for you - if you have the right insurance - they will pay for the damage to your car and then sue the other driver for subrogation to get their money back.
Most people use the second option (again if they have the right insurance) because they need to get their car fixed and working again. You will have to pay your deductible but can later get that back if your insurance company wins the case.
If you have a question about an accident or whether you have the right type of insurance coverage in D.C., Maryland or Virginia, call us at (202) 393 - 3320 and you can set up a telephone appointment to review the insurance with you or answer any questions you may have.
What Are The Signs Of Medical Malpractice in DC, Maryland, and Virginia Hospitals
I Was Seriously Injured in a DC Area Hospital. Do I Have A Medical Malpractice Case?
Medical malpractice in D.C. hospitals is preventable. There are several signs and symptoms we see in our cases against hospitals when patients because of negligent medical care.
If You See Any Of These Signs and Symptoms of Medical Malpractice, You Should Find a Different Hospital
No System for Following Up On Test Results
Every hospital should have what we call Patient Safety Rules; these are established and followed protocols to making sure the systems of the hospital don't fail and leave a patient severely injured. For example, there should be a protocol in place to follow up on all test results, and communicate the test results to the patient or their family. We've seen situations where tests were ordered but never reviewed, and never communicated to the patient. These tragic failures of patient safety rules have resulted in terrible injuries to our clients.
Doctors Not Evaluating the Patient
When you are in the hospital for an issue, the doctor should be performing a differential diagnosis, which will help prevent misdiagnosis. If your condition is properly diagnosed, the doctor should be checking on your and your progress, speaking with other doctors and specialists, and talking with your primary care physician. It's the job of the doctor to evaluate you; this should not be left to inexperienced interns and first-year residents.
Hospitals, Doctors, HMOs Not Telling the Patient About Alternative Diagnoses, Treatment, and Therapies
The doctor and staff should always be discussing different diagnosis, treatment, and therapy options with you so you can make the best decisions for you you and your family. Although the doctors have the expertise, they shouldn't get the only say in how you move forward with your care. They should be providing the options for you, especially when it comes to complex and high-risk medical care, like deciding whether or not to amputate a limb.
Doctors Don't Have All Of The Available Information Because They Aren't Asking Questions, Reviewing Your Medical Records, or Listening To You
Too many doctors are rushed and moving from patient to patient too quickly. Especially emergency room doctors. Your doctor should be taking the time to ask you questions, should be reviewing your medical records, and have a working knowledge of your medical history. It takes time to do all of this but the stakes are so high if it doesn't get done. We've seen catastrophic injuries in a hospital happen far too often because process is rushed.
Nobody wants an inexperienced doctor. Yet, teaching hospitals have inexperienced doctors doing the work of seasoned doctors all the time. If you find yourself being treated by an intern, medical student, you can request a change or to speak with the senior physician to make sure you are being treated properly. You can be your own advocate when you are in the hospital.
Doctors Not Consulting The Right Specialists
If your condition doesn't fall into any simple category that an internist deals with, you should be seen by a specialist. Some conditions, like deep vein thrombosis (DVT) do not fall into the "wait and see" category. If you wait too long to get treated, the condition can very easily be fatal.
None Of These Situations Seem To Apply But You Know In Your Gut Something Is Wrong
We tell people: if it looks funny, smells funny, it might be funny. When it doubt, check it out.
What Can You Do About DC Medical Malpractice?
Many of the problems we see with medical care seem to happen over and over at a number of hospitals in the District and throughout the D.C. area. Sometimes its an individual doctor, nurse, intern, resident, technician, etc. that doesn't do the right thing - because he is in a rush, hasn't been trained properly, doesn't understand the severity of the patient's condition or the need to see a specialist, but many times medical mistakes happen because of systems failures in hospitals, HMOs and doctor's offices.
Because we have seen this sort of thing happen far too often, we wrote a report that you can download that will give you more information about how to spot and avoid medical malpractice. This report, 7 Symptoms of Medical Malpractice, can be downloaded here for free.
Want To Speak to An Experienced DC Medical Malpractice Lawyer? Contact Our Negligence Attorneys Today at 202-393-3320
The first thing to do if you suspect you or a loved one have been a victim of medical malpractice is request your medical records. If you wait too long, medical records can get lost, take too long to receive, etc and any lawyer who reviews your case will need to see the medical records. And a conversation with our experienced medical malpractice lawyer can take place for no cost or obligation. If you are dealing with a catastrophic injury we will make sure you speak to a lawyer the very same day - and if we take your case we don't make anything unless we win.
I Have Medical Problems After Catching Coronavirus. Do I Have A Case?
How To Tell If You Have A Workers Compensation Case After Coronavirus
There are a couple things that are really important when it comes to a workers compensation case after catching Coronavirus. What really matters is 1) did you catch the Coronavirus at work; and 2). Is your illness keeping you out of work; and 3). does your doctor agree you can't work?
1. Did You Catch The Coronavirus At Work?
In order for your case to be eligible for workers compensation, you have to had caught the virus at work. While there's no definitive way to make sure you caught the Coronavirus at work, generally claims are being accepted if you are reasonably certain you caught it at work. For example, if one co-worker tested positive and you were in contact with that co-worker. Or multiple co-workers tested positive. Or if you work in healthcare and you were on the COVID floor. If any of these things happened your case is likely to be accepted.
2). Is Your Illness Keeping You Out Of Work?
If you had COVID and had to quarantine for two weeks but you are basically fine and went back to work after quarantine, you probably don't want to bother with workers compensation. But if you had an underlying condition, such as a pulmonary condition or hypertension, and even after quarantine you aren't able to perform the essential duties of your job, you will want to file for workers compensation. If you are going to be out of work for an extended period of time, workers compensation can cover you with money benefits and pay for your ongoing medicad treatment.
3). Does Your Treating Physician Agree You Can't Work, And Relate The Virus To Your Job?
As it is with any DC workers compensation case, your doctor must agree you can't work and relates the catching of the Coronavirus to your job. You must provide documentation from the doctor to this effect, so don't leave your treating physician's office without that work note and make a plan to get the progress notes once they are ready.
If You Check Of These Three Things, You Should Probably File For Workers Compensation in Washington, DC
You can use DC workers compensation insurance to replace 2/3 of your income and pay for your medical treatment if you were injured and regularly work in Washington, DC. Don't delay in contacting our experienced workers compensation lawyers, who can help you get started and keep you covered unil you get better. Contact our experienced workers compensation lawyers today at 202-393-3320.
How Can Union Members Lose $26,201.24 in Benefits Every Year?
High Income Workers in DC Will Get Capped On Benefits If They File In The Wrong State
Let's face it, the District and its suburbs are an expensive area to live. More and more, people earning significant incomes are getting hurt on the job. And that includes union workers; everyone knows your members are highly-skilled and well-trained and worth every penny for their work. Insurance adjusters will target union workers more than others because they know that their high-quality work commands a high wage.
Some union members who've reached a high-income level think they can handle the workers comp system on their own - and why shouldn't they? They've handled everything their whole lives and done a great job. But this is different, it is a complex, archaic system of insurance, bureaucracy, administrative law, statutes, regulations, and case law. And there are a lot of quirks in the system that will trip up anyone who doesn’t work in the system regularly. That’s why your union members need an experienced lawyer specializing in workers comp and disability issues just like they need a CPA to do their taxes.
Union Members Earning More Than $80k A Year Have A Lot To Lose By Filing In The Wrong State
You know your members are usually earning $1,500.00 to $3,000.00 per week, and they have a lot to protect if they get hurt. The general rule is if you were injured in DC and work mostly in DC, you file in DC. And we know your union members know this too – we’ve heard union members joke “if you were injured in Virginia you want to crawl across state lines and say you were injured in DC.” Your members know the workers comp laws and rates are just better in DC. For 2021 the maximum workers comp rates payable are:
That means your union members can get up to $1553.87 tax free, every single week if they make $2,330.80/week in their regular paycheck (before taxes). That can include bonuses, overtime, incentives, differentials, commissions, any type of income you earn (including income from a second job or business). At Donahoe Kearney we will do all the math and set up the weekly benefits for your members – and we won’t miss anything. We always make sure your members get every penny they can while they are recovering from a serious work injury.
Most union workers with bad work injuries will be out of work for at least a year; that’s a full $30,000 in tax-free benefits they will lose if they are tricked into filing in the wrong state. This is why your union members should sign up with Donahoe Kearney from the get-go. There are no tricks from the adjuster that surprise us and that we haven’t beat hundreds of times before.
You can expect the insurance company will try to make them file in Virginia or Maryland and feed them lies like “If your HQ is in Maryland, or you live there, you file in Maryland.” It’s bullshit, just lies. As your members’ workers comp lawyer I will tell them the truth. Insurance companies, (The Hartford, Chubb, Travelers, Liberty Mutual) have experienced adjusters and other professionals who only handle cases where people were earning $1,500.00 to $3,000.00 per week. They know those claims will be expensive for the insurance company - so they want their best people keeping those costs down, containing costs for medical treatment, weekly benefits, permanent injury benefits, and everything else your members should get when they are legitimately injured on the job. The first thing they will do is try to get your members to file their claim in any state but DC. They will even send them “helpful” form to fill out and send back to Maryland or Virginia. The dirty little secret they will NEVER is that once the claim is filed in the wrong state, it’s a done deal. There’s no going back for an injured worker, so if they file in the wrong state they just have to suck it up being paid $500 less every single week when they are already living on 2/3 their salary after a serious injury.
High Wage Earners Trust Us to Handle Their Workers Comp Benefits
We're not for everybody and we don't pretend to be. We only work with people with serious injuries - people we can help get the most out of their case and get on with their lives. Sometimes that means a career change, retirement, or other opportunities. We're here to coach them and help them every step of the way. Most injured workers feel the stress of being in an unfamiliar, complicated system where they have no control. Let us take care of the anxiety, worry and uncertainty your members will face after a serious injury that keeps them out of work.
The experience with me as their workers comp lawyer will be a lot different because I literally wrote the book on D.C. Workers Compensation and I share all of that information with my clients from the get-go. Our clients will tell you we are diligent at keeping them informed and making them and their spouse the decision makers. They will tell you we always did the best thing for their family, even if that meant less money in our pocket. We’ve always been committed that way- I guess you can say I’m old fashioned- but my first priority is taking care of injured workers and their families. Give me a call to learn more- 202-393-3320.
What is substandard medical care?
Substandard Medical Care is another term for medical malpractice - and that can include hospital or office systems that fail, a doctor not following up on test results or ordering a consultation with a specialist, not working up a potential diagnosis, giving the wrong medication or wrong dosage - almost any medical problem that is preventable.
Some people call this medical negligence, or a violation of the standard of care or standards of practice - and these terms usually refer to the same thing - a situation where a doctor, nurse or hospital doesn't follow established safety rules for their patient.
Sometimes, there is no harm from this, like when another doctor or nurse catches a mistake and re-writes an order, so the patient never gets the wrong medication. But patients can be seriously injured or killed due to mistakes that can be avoided.
Want to learn more? Take a few minutes to order one of our free, no obligation guides - they are full of common examples of medical mistakes that we see over and over again. Or just call our office and we'll send it to you.
At the point where you're looking for a D.C. medical malpractice lawyer because you suspect a medical mistake?
Download our FREE Medical Malpractice Lawyer Evaluation Form. Make sure anyone you hire for such an important case can past the test. And remember, hospitals, doctors' insurance companies know the lawyers who specialize in medical malpractice and those who don't.
What Is The Truth About My DC Workers Compensation Case
Your DC Workers Compensation Adjuster From The Hartford or Travelers Will Not Tell You The Truth About Your Claim
You have a new workers' compensation claim, and already you may be feeling overwhelmed at the number of things that you need to keep straight. You have to organize your correspondence from the Office of Workers' Compensation (OWC). You have to organize your correspondence from the workers comp insurance company. You have to organize your medical records. Before you know it you have a lot of paperwork and you're not even sure what it all means.
And then, something happens. The employer files a Notice of Controversion and tells you that they no longer intend on paying your benefits. They don't really give you much of a reason: maybe something like contesting the extent of your injuries or something similar. Maybe it is in legalese and you don't get it at all.
You are frustrated, confused, and feeling fearful that you won't be able to pay your regular bills, let alone your medical treatment bills. But, you don't want to try and call an attorney because you think that you cannot afford one; or you think that you can handle this on your own.
What Do You Need To Know About Workers Compensation Cases In Washington DC?
There are 5 common myths to debunk in a workers' compensation claim.
Myth Number 1: You Cannot Afford An Attorney.
The truth is that you can. At Donahoe Kearney, we don't get paid unless you get a settlement. We call it a contingency fee. Our payment comes at the end of your case: which means that we will be working without getting paid for as long as it takes to settle your case. And we work hard to get you a substantial settlement.
Myth Number 2: You Can Do This On Your Own.
Some cases can be done all on your own. We actually have a "Do It Yourself" kit that we send to people who have small cases with no real issues (their injury is minor and they are back to work after a week or two). But for the most part you will need an attorney in order to navigate your case properly. Workers' compensation law is complicated and can be arcane. The system often makes it easier to limit the financial exposure of an insurance company and that means paying un-represented workers less in benefits and medical treatment.
Myth Number 3: Your Adjuster And/Or Nurse Case Manager Is On Your Side.
The truth is that the insurance adjuster and the nurse case manager both work for the insurance company. The priority of the insurance company is to limit their financial loss; which means that no matter how nice your adjuster may be he/she will still be looking for ways to pay you less and limit your medical treatment: that is their job. And remember, they have an army of doctors, nurse case managers, supervisors, and lawyers working against you from the moment you get hurt.
Myth Number 4: Your Insurance Adjuster Chooses Your Treating Physician.
Nope, not in Washington, D.C. No matter what they tell you, you get to choose your own treating physician. They will try to get you to go to a doctor who works for the insurance company, or a workers clinic like Concentra. You should choose your own treating physician and specialists, and these doctors and medical professionals should not have any relationship with the insurance company at all.
Myth Number 5: Your Employer Will Fire You If You Challenge Them On Workers' Compensation.
Your employer is not the same thing as your workers compensation insurance company. Once the claim is filed, your employer not have anything to do with the claim at all. And in Washington D.C. the employer cannot fire you in retaliation for filing a workers' compensation claim.
Now after a certain amount of time, if you are an at-will (non-union) employee, the employer may have to replace you because they need to fill the position. This is rare, but this presents even more of a reason to file for workers compensation. If you are seriously injured, recovering from surgery, etc. and you can no longer physically do your job, workers compensation protects you with 2/3 of your income replacement.
Don't be one of those people that goes back to work before they are ready and makes the injury even worse. We've seen it happen, and it's never a good situation. It makes the whole situation much worse.
Here's What You Should Do After A Serious Work Accident In Washington, DC
Now that these myths have been debunked: here it what you should do if you have a workers' compensation claim. Give us a call at 202-393-3320 to speak with a real person who understands workers compensation in DC today for no cost and no obligation. Don't wait too long before you contact us about your case: it's far easier to manage a case from the beginning, before mistakes are made, than it is to get a case back on track. We can do both, but you and your family will be better off to have your case reviewed right away.
Finally, order the premier book on DC workers' compensation: Protect Your Rights: The Ultimate Guide to DC Workers' Compensation. This is the book the insurance company does not want you to read. Our clients read this book so they can be educated about the process. So go ahead and order yours today by clicking here.
Did Mutual of Omaha Deny Your Long Term Disability Claim?
Mutual of Omaha Denied Your Long Term Disability Claim in DC
As long term disability lawyers, we know that as a high income earner, you've relied on Mutual of Omaha or another insurance company to provide long term disability benefits while you can't work due to an injury or medical condition. Usually there are two instances when they deny or terminate your long term disability benefits. When they make this decision, Mutual of Omaha or your insurance company will send you a letter informing you.
Here are two common situations involving long term disability benefits being denied, and what to do about it.
Mutual of Omaha denies your initial application for long term disability benefits.
After a serious injury or illness that left you unable to work, you probably applied for long term disability benefits, either through a private policy you purchased and paid the premiums on, or one provided by your company or employer.
If the policy is provided by your company or employer, your HR specialist will usually get you the application and forms you need to get started, and you'll get a packet of information from Mutual of Omaha, (and this is true whether you're applying for long term or short term disability benefits. ,
One of your first steps is to get a copy of your long term disability insurance policy from Mutual of Omaha.
The long term disability benefits policy will include all of the terms, conditions and definitions that apply to the policy, or insurance contract, and information you need to apply for disability benefits. You want to analyze that insurance policy and understand all of the policy provisions.
Mutual of Omaha will usually call you to get information adn probably send you forms for you to fill out, asking for information such as:
- Work History
- Health History
- Job Description
- List of health care providers
- How the injury or medical condition occurred or when you were diagnosed
They will also include an Authorization for the Release of Medical Records. Once you sign this form, it will give the insurance company the right to obtain your medical records and information to verify your medical condition or injury and the fact that you are disabled because of it, and it may allow them to talk to your physicians as well (you want to avoid this if you can).
It's critical to work with your doctors throughout the long term disability process.
Mutual of Omaha, like other disability insurance companies, will have specific definitions of disability, what conditions are covered, and for how long. Its important to analyze the policy and then work to educate your doctors so that they understand the terms and conditions (for our clients, we meet with and talk to physicians, specialists and expert consultants).
If your doctors are like most practicing physicians, they will only take a minute to look at a form or listen to you about this - or they will delegate it to a staff member. Let's face it, most doctors already think they know what it means to be disabled and they often don't give a lot of support for the opinions they put in their medical reports.
The reality is, they don't understand your disability policy definitions and don't have the time to review the policy.
Many doctors want to help, but they end up hurting your claim for long term disability because they use the wrong definition, or include medical conditions that are secondary but may limit your ability to get disability benefits. It's hard work convincing them, even though they mean well.
Here's a common reason Mutual of Omaha and other insurance companies deny a claim for long term disability.
This is another problem with just sending a form to your doctor and expecting he will take care of it for you.
After completing and sending in your application for long term disability benefits, signing everything and requesting the supporting medical evidence from your doctors, you think you're done.
But you're just getting started.
When Mutual of Omaha, or any long term disability insurance company, doesn't receive all of your information, they will write to you asking for more time to gt it (almost all long term disability cases are covered by ERISA, a federal law, that has deadlines and regulations for when claims need to be filed and decided by).
It is your responsibility to get Mutual of Omaha the medical records and other information they request for your long term disability claim - you can't rely on your doctor's office to comply with their request. And even if Mutual of Omaha requests it for you, it's not their responsibility to do this for you.
Naturally, we take care of this for our long term disability clients.
Remember, if you don't get those medical records to Mutual of Omaha on time, they can deny your claim for long term disability benefits. Unfortunately, many people with legitimate medical conditions and injuries that prevent them from working don't realize what they need to do about it, and when.
What to do when Mutual of Omaha denies your claim for long term disability benefits.
ERISA is the federal law that governs most long term disability insurance claims and, in addition to the statute and federal case law decisions, has a set of implementing regulations with requirements both you and the insurance company need to comply with.
First, Mutual of Omaha will send you a letter telling you that your claim for long term disability has been denied. The letter should review the evidence they had, what they reviewed, what actions they took (for example, having your medical records reviewed by a doctor of their choosing). The letter will set out the long term disability insurance policy definitions, terms and conditions that they say apply to your specific situation, where to send your appeal and the date it is due (under ERISA, that is 180 days from the day you receive the letter denying or terminating your benefits).
There have been recent regulations that have extended the filing time limit due to Covid, but an appeal requires significant work, analysis, medical testing, working with medical specialists, preparing witness statements, vocational evidence, legal analysis and drafting, so you want to get started right away.
Get an Experienced Long Term Disability Lawyer to Analyze the Letter Denying Benefits.
If you received a letter denying or terminating your long term disability benefits, our team will review and analyze your denial letter absolutely free of charge, with no obligation whatsoever, and will outline some of the steps you need to take to generate the strongest and most persuasive appeal you can.
Once you have this valuable resource, you can use it as a basis for drafting and filing your own appeal (it's a lot more than just filling out a form). Eventually you may be in federal court (ERISA is federal law) where a federal judge will decide the case based on the appeal you filed and the evidence you submitted to support it.
Fax or Email Us the Letter You Received that Denied or Terminated Your Long Term Disability Benefits
To send us a letter you received from Mutual of Omaha or any other long term disability insurance company, just email it to [email protected] with the subject line: Denial Letter, or fax it to us at (202) 393 - 3324.
Or call us today at (202) 393 -3324 to get our valuable resources and to get started.
Do we need an autopsy to determine the cause of death for someone who died in the hospital?
Requesting An Autopsy From A DC Area Hospital After Malpractice Is Suspected
Sometimes an autopsy will be performed if a person died unexpectedly, was in otherwise good health, or died after a routine surgery, procedure, medication, etc., especially if they were a young person. And sometimes the cause of death is known without an autopsy - the person had cancer or some terminal disease for example.
But there are times when a family member may die unexpectedly and the only way to get answers as to what happened and why is to request an autopsy be performed. A pathologist will examine the body and review slides microscopically to determine the cause of death.
How can this help you? If your loved one died due to a genetic condition or some preventable cause, this can help you and your family get medical attention and specific knowledge of your family health history. If a patient dies because of bad medical care, one of the elements to prove in any medical malpractice case is the cause of death - and autopsy findings can be critical evidence.
If a hospital or medical examiner won't provide an autopsy, families can obtain a private autopsy - this just means they pay a private pathologist to perform the autopsy. Most hospitals have lists of local pathologists who perform autopsies. Do you have questions about a potential medical malpractice claim? Give us a call today at 202-393-3320 and also discover the truth about medical malpractice by reading our free, signature book "7 Symptoms of Medical Malpractice."
Can I Keep My Workers Comp Case If I Switch Jobs?
You Can Keep Your Workers Compensation Case If You Switch Jobs After A Work Injury In DC
A serious work injury in Washington DC sometimes means that you don't go back to work for a long time while you are recovering. That means that if you are an at-will employee, your employer can replace you if you're not there to do the job. It also means that if you take a different job that fits your work restrictions, your workers compensation claim goes with you especially if you are earning less money. And an experienced workers compensation lawyer in DC can help you through all of it
What we don't recommend is for someone who is on workers compensation to go back to work before being cleared by their doctor. We see this all the time - injured workers are always itching to get back to work so they can keep providing for their families and secure their job for the future. The problem with this is that, while their intentions are noble, injured workers who don't wait to be cleared by their doctor often re-injure themselves and wind up being out of work longer than they would have if they had been patient and followed doctor's orders.
At the point of reinjury, you have already messed up your workers compensation case. Once you are back to work against doctor's orders, the insurance company has a reason to deny your benefits for non-compliance. And then you can't work and also are not covered by benefits (income replacement).
At Donahoe Kearney, Our Number One Priority Is To Keep Your Income Benefits Steady And Get Your Medical Treatment Authorized While You Are Off Of Work
Whether you are on full work restrictions or light duty, you are entitled to TTD (income replacement benefits depending on work status) and medical treatment while you are on workers comp. If you have been seriously injured, need surgery and are going to be out of work for awhile you need an experienced and aggressive lawyer like Frank Kearney to keep your income replacement benefits coming and medical treatment authorized. Most people who don't have an aggressive DC workers compensation lawyer have a lot of trouble with missing checks and long waiting periods in between authorizations for medical appointments or treatments. We have an aggressive staff who doesn't take any crap from the insurance company and knows how to spot the BS like deceipt, delay, and denial of workers comp benefits so you don't have to worry about where your check is from week to week.
If You Have Work Restriction After A Work Injury In DC, Contact Our Aggressive DC Workers Compensation Attorney Frank Kearney
If you are on work restrictions that mean you need someone to fight for your benefits while you can't work. The insurance company has plenty of doctors, lawyers, nurses, adjusters, etc. whose job it is to limit your benefits. Why should you not have an aggressive team of professionals on your side? Contact us today at 202-393-3320 to get started with our experienced team who will be able to help you the very same day.
I was hurt on the job in DC and my company says I have to go to Concentra for medical treatment. Is that true?
You Do Not Have To Go To Concentra For Medical Treatment After Your Injury.
A lot of employers will tell you that you have to go see their doctor or list of doctors after you get hurt at work in D.C. - the problem is, under D.C. Workers Comp law, that just isn't true.
Just yesterday, a private security guard with serious orthopedic injuries to her back and shoulder after a fall at work came to us with this very question. Her job's HR person told her she had to go to Concentra for medical treatment for her injuries. The HR person said workers comp insurance would not pay for her treatment otherwise.
That's just a lie.
In D.C. workers compensation cases, the injured worker gets to choose his or her own physicians - there is no panel of physicians like in some states, or approved list of physicians, or network - or anything like that.
Why Does Your Job Want You To Go To Concentra For Your Work Injury?
Because Concentra is a company of medical clinics that work for employers. All of the people who go there have a work injury - that is where they get all of their patients from.
According to your website, they specialize in "Occupational Medicine" or treating people who get hurt at work.
Think about that for a second. Is that a real specialty like orthopedics or neurosurgery? How would the location of where you got hurt matter to your diagnosis, whether you need surgery, your treatment plan? And ask yourself, why would your job want you to go to this place?
The Concentra website even says they will even make it easier for you by "helping you navigate the worker's compensation system."
Will they be helping you or the workers comp insurance company that pays the bills?
You Can Choose Your Own Doctor Under DC Workers Compensation.
If you've had a serious injury on the job in DC, you owe it to yourself and your family to get the best medical care available. With so many hospitals and doctors practicing in the DC area, with so many specialists, especially in orthopedics and neurosurgery, you can choose any one you want - a doctor who you are comfortable with and who has your best interest at heart.
Most physicians specializing in trauma and injuries take workers comp insurance, so you don't even pay a co-pay.
If you do go to Concentra, you should ask about the specialty and qualifications of the doctor (if you see one) who is treating you and, like any doctor, make sure they are qualified and experienced in treating your injury - whether it's a herniated disk in your back, fractured ankle, rotator cuff tear - no matter what the injury, there is a specialist for it.
But you should also know that if you do continue to treat with a doctor the insurance company or your employer sends you to, it will be hard to switch doctors later. At some point, the Office of Workers Compensation will say you have elected, or chosen, that doctor and he or she will be considered your treating physician for your work injury.
So know you have a choice.
Get The Attorney Who Wrote The Book On DC Workers Comp As Soon As You Can.
DC workers comp is a complicated system that you don't want to go through alone if you have a serious injury at work that threatens your career, or is permanent, or you need surgery.
In addition to the DC Workers Compensation Act, there are case law decisions and 58 chapters of regulations interpreting the statute, and an agency of the D.C. government administers it.
You don't want to make a mistake that could cost you everything you've worked hard for. And you don't want to be nervous, anxious and worried about whether the workers comp insurance company is taking advantage of you (that is their job).
So get your case, your benefits, your medical treatment squared away from the beginning so you can focus on getting better.
Call us today at (202) 393 - 3320. There is no charge unless we win or settle your case. And even if we can't help you, we'll send you a copy of our book on the workers comp system and some other great information.
But don't wait - the workers comp insurance company already has experienced adjusters, lawyers, nurses, doctors, case managers and investigators on their side - probably working to deny, delay or limit your benefits and medical treatment right now.
Call or contact us today to get started.