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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  • Doesn't my employer have to pay workers' compensation if I am hurt on the job?

    Not necessarily. Insurance companies and their lawyers routinely deny workers' compensation claims because of some technicality, or because people do not know their legal rights.

  • Do I get to choose my own doctor if I'm hurt at work?

    In D.C. and Maryland, injured workers can choose their own doctor for their workers compensation claim. Don't let your employer or its insurance company send you to a doctor they choose - or worse, to some "clinic" (where the only "patients" are injured construction workers). In Virginia, the workers compensation insurance company will provide a panel of three physicians to choose from. In any setting, if you are hurt at work, get the medical treatment you need for your work injury.

  • I was hurt at work. How much money will I receive in workers compensation benefits while I am unable to work due to my injury?

    Workers' compensation benefits are two-thirds of the injured workers average wage (including overtime) at the time of injury. There are no taxes paid on workers' compensation benefits; however, there is a cap on the weekly amount. D.C., Maryland and Virginia each have a different maximum compensation rate, or cap on the weekly amount of benefits.

  • After an on the job injury, should I give the insurance company a recorded statement?

    No. You should never give a statement without your lawyer present. Insurance adjusters are trained to ask the same questions over and over in slightly different ways, trying to get the injured person to make a mistake or give them some sort of inconsisitency - one they will try to use to deny or delay your workers compensation claim and benefits, including medical treatment and monetary benefits. 

    Remember, the insurance company doesn't work for you - it works for its shareholders. Insurance adjusters are trained (and its their job) to deny workers compensation claims, and pay less in benefits and medical treatment.  A recorded statement just gives them one more tool to deny payment for legitimate injuries. 

  • I was involved in an automobile accident. Who is to blame?

    Since every state has a fairly extensive code of driving regulations, the simple answer to this question is that the person who is at blame is the one who disregarded one or more of these laws. The responsibility of the accident is usually determined at the scene by the responding law enforcement officer. If you were not found to be at blame, and you sustained injuries in the accident, you may have the right to file for a personal injury claim.

  • Are automobile accident claims quick or easy to deal with?

    Unfortunately, they usually aren’t. Insurance companies will fight claims all the way through court to make sure they don’t have to pay out money. They will use political clout, money, and very adept lawyers to force the claimant to settle for a low reward. While accident claims can be lengthy, you can greatly ease your burdens by consulting with an attorney that is both knowledgeable and committed to your situation.

  • What are permanent partial disability benefits in workers compensation cases?

    In D.C., Virginia or Maryland workers compensation cases, an employee hurt at work is entitled to workers compensation benefits based on his permanent injury - sometimes called percentage disability or permanent impairment, even though he can return to work, either in his pre injury job or some other job.  These are called permanent partial disability benefits.

    The workers compensation law is different for each jurisdiction, but D.C., Virginia, and Maryland workers compensation law each have a schedule - a fixed amount of weeks of compensation for the loss of a body part.

    The amount of the permanent partial disability benefits available to an injured worker vary in each state, and depend on the severity of the injury, whether it required surgery, rehab, etc., so call us if you have a permanent injury and we can discuss your specific situation.

  • My automobile insurance includes Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits. What is this and how does it help if I'm hurt in a car accident?

    In D.C. and Maryland, many automobile insurance policies contain PIP coverage.  If you are hurt in a car or truck accident, your automobile insurance company will cover reasonable and necessary medical treatment and lost wages up to the PIP policy limit.  In Maryland this is usually $2,500 but additional insurance coverage can be purchased.  In the District of Columbia, this may also be called No-Fault insurance.  In some situations, accepting D.C. no-fault may preclude an injured person from pursuing a negligence case against the responsible driver.  Before accepting benefits, discuss your injury and accident with an experienced attorney who can also analyze your automobile insurance policy.