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.