D.C. Maryland and Virginia medical malpractice, accidents and work injuries questions answered by D.C. injury attorneys.
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Here are some of the questions people have when they first contact us about D.C., Maryland and Virginia medical malpractice, serious car accidents 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 and based on representing many hundreds of people who have been injured in accidents or at work in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.
Here are the basics:
Patients permanently injured by medical malpractice, or the families of patients killed because of medical negligence, when a hospital, HMO or healthcare corporation doesn't follow basic patient safety rules deserve justice - resources to help with the harms and losses due to the injuries or death of their loved one.
Drivers who don't follow the rules of the road, driving recklessly, driving drunk, speeding, and texting should be accountable for the harm they cause when their actions cause a car accident or wreck.
Workers hurt on the job deserve workers compensation benefits for lost wages, medical treatment and permanent injuries. If a worker is killed on the job, his family deserves workers compensation death benefits - to at least help with the financial loss of a loved one.
But 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.
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Do I need a lawyer if I'm getting paid workers comp benefits in DC?
A DC workers comp lawyer can help you if you're already getting paid workers comp benefits.
Getting workers comp benefits from the insurance company after a serious injury on the job is only the first step. Many workers comp insurance companies will start paying workers comp benefits and medical treatment at first, but they can stop those benefits at any time.
In DC, your workers comp insurance company can stop paying your benefits at any time.
Unlike in some states, there is nothing that requires the workers comp insurance company to pay your benefits after you get hurt at work and file your claim for workers compensation. You have to continually prove you are entitled to those benefits. This means ongoing evidence that you can't return to work due to your injuries, or that you have physical limitations or restrictions that prevent you from doing your regular job and your company doesn't have light duty work available (a lot of construction companies and hospitals don't have the ability to provide light duty work.
You have to continually work with your doctor and other medical specialists to make sure you have the right medical evidence.
The workers comp insurance company may stop paying you after they send you to an IME.
An "IME" is what they call an independent medical exam - and it is anything but independent. Insurance companies have several "go to" insurance company doctors they use over and over. These doctors charge $750 to $1,000 to see you for about 5 minutes and say there is nothing wrong with you...
You need a strategy for your IME exam, you can't just go in there and wing it. You need someone who knows the doctor and how to handle the exam to give you the best shot at continuing on benefits and getting the medical treatment you need.
The workers comp insurance may assign a nurse to try to get your doctor to say you can go back to work before you're ready.
Can you handle a nurse case manager who is pressuring your doctor to send you back to work or limit the medical treatment? She has probably done this thousands of times for the insurance company.
If she is sucessful, your benefits will stop. Do you know how you will get your benefits re-instated?
And just FYI - we don't allow nurse case managers on our workers comp cases. So our clients never talk to nurse case managers or insurance adjusters.
The Best DC Workers Comp lawyer will work to keep your benefits going.
Our DC workers comp team works hard to guide you through the complicated DC workers comp law, rules, regulations and process, so you can stand up to the insurance company. We work to keep the benefits you need going and to get the medical treatment you deserve after being hurt at work in the District.
And there is no fee unless we win or settle your case - there is no fee to keep you on benefits - to keep your weekly benefits going.
The Right DC Workers Comp Attorney will help you stay on benefits.
Don't wait until your benefits are stopped.
And don't rely on the insurance company to tell you all the benefits you could be receiving. They don't have to and they won't.
Our DC Workers Comp lawyer literally wrote the book on DC workers comp
Call us today at 202-393-3320 for a confidential, free assessment of your case. But don't wait - even if the insurance company is paying you now, their team of lawyers, adjusters, nurses, doctors, investigators and case managers are behind the scenes, working against you to limit or stop the workers comp benefits you and your family rely on.
We make it easy on you - call us today at 202-393-3320.
Can I Switch Doctors After a Work Injury In DC?
You Have the Right To Choose Your Own Treating Physician After an Injury at Work in DC
We know exactly how it is. You got hurt at work - maybe you tripped and fell. Or there were unsafe conditions on a construction site. You have to go to the hospital. You're embarrassed. You are hurting. You have never been in the workers compensation system before, so you have no idea how this works.
That's how it is for everyone. You just want to get back to work, and you assume the insurance company is on your side. The insurance company adjuster calls you and tells you that you have to been seen by their physician. They make it sound like your employer is in on it. So you go to their doctor at Concentra or some place like it.
If You Don't Choose Your Own Doctor From The Beginning It Can Be Very Difficult To Change Doctors
First of all, every worker hurt on the job in D.C. has the right to choose their own physician. The workers' comp insurance company can't force you to go to some doctor or clinic, even though they might try.
However, you do have to be careful because they insurance company will try to trick you into what's called "Constructive Choice of A Treating Physician." Once you have been seen by their doctors over a period of time, it may be difficult to change doctors (or at least difficult to do so quickly). They get you into a legal bind - saying that you continued on with the treating physican than you chose to be treated by them. It doesn't matter if they tricked you, and nobody ever told you that you can choose your own doctor. You will probably still have to go to a hearing to get your own doctor approved to treat you.
If you have been tricked by the insurance company and you have discovered the insurance doctor is working against you, you can request a hearing with the Office of Workers Compensation to get the change in physician approved. But this can take several months. If the workers comp insurance company agrees to the requested change, you can begin treatment with the new doctor. If not, you will have to win the hearing in order to change your doctor. We don't recommend doing this without an experienced workers compensation lawyers. Hearings are a lot like a trial and it's not something lay persons can do successfully.
If you have a serious injury like a torn rotator cuff, meniscus tear, herniated disc, or a brain injury, the choice of your doctor is critical because you will probably need surgery and long-term rehabilitation like physical therapy or occupational therapy. You need a specialist- an orthopedist, a concussion specialist- and you can bet on the doctor the insurance company sends you to is not the specialist you need. They may send you to a generalist, an internist, or someone whose specialty is far removed from the injury you're facing. This leaves you exposed, getting inadequate medical treatment, and putting yourself at risk for a permanent injury.
If You Need A New Treating Doctor For A Seroius Work Injury, Contact Our Experienced Workers Compensation Lawyers Today.
If you need to file for a hearing to change your workers comp doctor, you need to hire an experienced workers compensation lawyer to make sure you can win it. In a hearing there are rules of discovery, medical records to be reviewed, and strategic planning to do based on the position of the insurance company. If you have a serious injury, we are the experienced lawyers you are looking for. Give us a call at 202-393-3320 today and we will walk you through our 3 Step Plan to provide stability and certainty after a injury that keeps you from working.
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 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.
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.
The workers comp insurance adjuster says I have to give a recorded statement before I can get D.C. workers comp benefits. Is this true?
You Do Not Have to Give a Recorded Statement to Get Workers Comp Benefits in D.C
Unfortunately, we hear this a lot from people who have been legitimately hurt on the job in DC and should be receiving DC workers comp benefits.
There is absolutely no requirement that you give a recorded statement to your adjuster in order to start your workers comp benefits in D.C. In fact, we don't let our clients give recorded statements.
Why Does The Workers Comp Adjuster Want You to Give a Statement?
Here's the deal - the insurance company adjuster has handled hundreds (if not thousands) of workers compensation claims in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. She knows how to steer people hurt at work to file in the wrong state, or go to an insurance company doctor, or twist their words when giving a statment, or get information they can use to deny or delay your legitimate claim for workers comp benefits...
You've had one work injury and its serious enough that you may need workers compensation benefits.
Who knows more about the laws, practice and procedures of workers compensation?
The Insurance Adjuster's Job Is To Make Money For the Insurance Company.
It's not to take care of you and your family.
You've worked hard for everything you've gotten your whole life. Don't let them take it away just because you don't know the workers comp law and systems (in addition to the D.C. Workers Compensation Act, there are 58 chapters of regulations that govern that statute, plus case law decisions interpreting it by both the Compensation Review Board (part of a D.C. agency) and the D.C. Court of Appeals (the highest court in D.C.))
You can bet the insurance company has training, seminars, and updates on the law, procedures and policies in effect for DC workers compensation. Plus they have an army of adjusters, lawyers, doctors, investigators, nurse case managers and others working to reduce the amount they have to pay you for benefits and medical treatment.
Who have you got?
Get The Attorney Who Literally Wrote the Book on D.C. Workers Compensation
If you depend on your income to feed your family and you can't work because of an on the job injury, don't take any chances against a workers comp insurance company that has absolutely no duty to you (their duty is to make money for their shareholders).
Mr. Kearney, a nationally recognized attorney, author and advocate for working people, who is Board Certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, actually wrote the only book for workers injured on the job in the DMV.
Here are some other things workers comp insurance companies tell people who were injured at work that are wrong and can hurt your case, so watch out!:
- That you had to sign some forms before she could send benefits check
- That you had to see a doctor on an approved list in D.C.
- That you should file your workers compensation claim in Maryland because you live there
You don't have to (and shouldn't do) any of those things. If your workers comp adjuster has told you this, you need to call us right away at (202) 393 - 3320 to get the right information so you don't get taken advantage of by the workers comp insurance company.
There Is Help Available. Contact Our Experienced Workers Comp Lawyers Today
Order one of our free guides to workers compensation, or better yet, read our book to find the answers to these and many more questions about what to do when you get hurt at work and need workers compensation benefits and stop you from making mistakes that will hurt you financially, medically and emotionally. And then give us a call at 202-393-3320. We are looking forward to helping you navigate workers comp - you don't have to do it alone!
What If My Company Doesn't Have Light Duty Work For Me?
What Is Light Duty When You're On Workers' Comp in DC, Maryland Or Virginia?
Before going back to work, the doctor can put you on light duty. Basically, he gives you restrictions that say you can do some activities, but not everything your job requires. Usually your doctor will say you can't lift over 20 pounds after a back injury, or no overhead work after a torn rotator cuff surgery, or no climbing ladders after a knee surgery. If you have any type of restriction from your work injury that prevents you from doing your regular job, and your company offers you work within those restrictions, that's light duty.
Did you know that sometimes light duty can actually help you recover more quickly, and get you back to work in shorter time? See how light duty can help you here.
What Is Light Duty?
Remember,light duty means that you're at work performing some duties (not the full duties of your job) and you are being paid accordingly. Also, remember, if you are earning less money than you were at the time you got hurt (and that's per week, not just your hourly rate) you should be getting workers comp checks to make up the difference while you're on light duty.
The simple way to calculate it is this:
If you are getting paid the same per week (with overtime and bonuses calculated for your weekly wage) you will get a paycheck from your company again and you won't get any further workers' comp benefit.
Here's how it works:
If you're making less money on light duty because you are working less hours or can't do overtime like you used to, your workers comp benefits would be 2/3 of the difference between your wages at the time you got hurt and the new light duty job. These benefits are called Temporary Partial Disability benefits.
Light duty doesn't stop you from getting your disability benefits, but if you're offered light work duty work within your restrictions and you turn it down, the workers comp insurance company can stop or reduce your benefits. (And you should bet they will).
But, What Should You Do If Your Employer Doesn’t Offer Light Duty?
If your company doesn't offer light duty work, they have to continue to pay your full workers compensation rate.
Many construction companies do not have light duty in the trade. So, even though a doctor may say you can return to some work with restrictions, until you are cleared to return to full duty, your workers' comp benefits should continue at the full rate. So it is really important to get a note or disability slip from your doctor indicating any restrictions or limitations you have because of the work injury.
Workers' Comp Check Coming Late?
Click here to see what to do. We know that just because the workers' compensation check is late, it doesn't mean that you can pay your bills late, so make sure you contact an experienced workers comp lawyer right away if your checks are coming late
Contact Our Experienced Workers Compensation Lawyers Today!
You're probably under a lot of stress due to the uncertainty - most people are - because how can you know what or how much you should be getting, or how to get the best medical care for your injuries, or what type of benefits you can get in the future? Don't worry -we help you with all that.So just call us at 202-393-3320 and you will speak with a real person who wants to hear your story. We make time to answer questions about work injuries in D.C., Maryland and Virginia every week and we'd love to hear from you.
What If My Doctor Recommends Surgery But the Insurance Company Says It's Not Necessary?
What Happens When Travelers or The Hartford Denies Surgery Recommended by Your Doctor?
The insurance company doesn't always go according to the recommendation of your treating physician. In fact, one of our clients had to have two surgeries because the first one resulted in a serious condition called frozen shoulder and he struggled to get the second surgery authorized.
If the insurance company is refusing to authorize the recommendation of your treating physician, you should call an attorney. Often the insurance company will hire their own doctor to examine you, who is paid by them and will most of the time find in favor of them. They call this exam an Independent Medical Examination, or IME. We call it what it really is - an Insurance Medical Exam paid for by the insurance company and for the benefit of the insurance company. You're not there for medical treatment and the doctor has no duty to you (most won't even talk to you - they'll say you just have to get the report from the workers' comp insurance company).
What Can I Do After My Surgery Is Denied By My Workers Comp Insurance Company?
Sometimes the only way to get your treatment authorized is through filing for an informal conference (mediation) or a formal hearing. The informal conference is non-binding but might help to reconcile the differences between the two sides. If that doesn't work or for more serious adjudication issues, a formal hearing will result is a binding decision from an adjudication judge.
At Donahoe Kearney we use all of the process to your advantage: to pressure the insurance company to do the right thing, or have a judge order them to do the right thing. There are no insurance company tactics, strategies, or tricks that we haven't seen (and we can see them coming and prepare you for them). We will do everything we can to make sure your treatment is authorized and that you are on the road to healing.
If you have been caught up in an IME battle or the workers' comp adjuster is denying or delaying your medical treatment after a serious work injury, give us a call at 202-393-3320 or email us at [email protected] to get a free copy of our report "Scheduled: A Guide to Appointments with the Workers Comp Insurance Doctor and How to Protect Yourself."
Ready to Hire an Experienced Workers Comp Lawyer Now?
Contact our experienced workers compensation lawyers at 202-393-3320 to get help now. You'll speak to a real person who can help you get started on your road to success.