A: After a work injury, you may need immediate treatment, whether you go to the hospital or a clinic or a private doctor. But how do you pay for that medical treatment you need?
In D.C. the workers compensation insurance should pay for all of your medical treatment related to the work injury (and remember, in D.C. and Maryland, you choose your own doctor - don't let the insurance company make this choice for you).
But they may not have a claim set up before you need the medical treatment, especially in an emergency. It's OK to use your health insurance initially, and they can be reimbursed by the workers comp insurance company (and you can be reimbursed for any co-pays).
After that, you shouldn't use your health insurance or pay out of pocket for medical bills - that's the responsibility of the workers comp insurance company.
If they deny your workers comp claim or don't authorize the treatment you need for your injury, then you can use your health insurance or pay directly. Keep all of your receipts so you can get reimbursed if you win that issue.
If you were seriously hurt at work DO NOT talk to any insurance adjuster, nurse case manager, give a recorded statement or sign anything until you read Protect Your Rights: The Ultimate Guide to D.C. Workers' Compensation or talk to us so we can give you information you need to educate yourself and begin to navigate the workers compensation system.
Now in its third edition, The Ultimate Guide to D.C. Workers' Compensation is a 115 page book on D.C. workers compensation and is available free to anyone who has been hurt at work or any family member of anyone hurt on the job.
Written by nationally recognized, Board Certified trial attorney Frank R. Kearney, this book explains your rights and responsibilities - everything the insurance company won't do.
Contact us at 202-393-3320 so that you can get the best representation in your worker's comp case. We have years of experience, and are here to help you.