How long does the workers comp insurance have to accept or deny my D.C. Workers Comp claim? It's been 4 weeks and I haven't heard anything.

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After you're hurt on the job in DC and you report your injury to your employer (sometimes that's called "notice") the insurance company is supposed to accept or deny your claim within 14 days.  There are a number of reasons why they deny paying workers comp benefits in DC - they may say it didn't happen on the job, or that you had a pre-existing condition, etc.

If they deny your DC workers comp claim, they should send you a Notice of Controversion, listing the reason for the denial.  And that should be filed within 14 days.

But in practice, sometimes the insurance company lists "under investigation" as the reason to try to give themselves more time.  

If you get a Notice of Controversion, you need to talk to an experienced DC workers comp lawyer immediately.  In our practice, we usually file for a Formal Hearing the very same day, because a Notice of Controversion means our client is not getting paid. Many times, we can get that decision reversed as we develop evidence for your case and prepare for the hearing with a judge by convincing the insurance company that you will win in court.

If they haven't filed within the 14 day period and you win the case, you can request a 10% penalty be assessed in addition to your workers comp benefits - and that goes to you, not some government agency.

And remember, the insurance company can deny your case at any time, sometimes after paying your benefits for years.  So if you have a serious work injury don't wait - the time is coming when a new adjuster or supervisor will find something they think they can use to stop paying you.  

Let us get to work for you before you get that Notice and before your checks that you and your family depend on stop coming.  

Still not sure?  See what some of our real clients have said about working with us - many of whom came to us early in the process so we could take steps to make sure their benefits continued and they didn't have to worry about it.


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