How to make sure YOU are in control of your Workers Compensation claim (not the workers comp insurance company).

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Workers compensation insurance companies always tell the companies they insure to "stay ahead of" or "on top of" any on the job injury or worers compensation claim in D.C., Maryland or Virginia (and probably everywhere else).  What does that mean?

Workers comp insurance is a business.  That business is to make money for insurance company shareholders by paying you less - less monetary benefits, less medical treatment, less time off work - even if you've had a serious injury that wasn't your fault, have a track record as a hard working long time employee, and have never been hurt before (or even taken a sick day).

And if you don't have someone staying on top of this complicated process, you can be sure the insurance company - with their adjusters who have handled thousands of cases, doctors, nurses, case managers and lawyers specializing in workers compensation - will do it for you.

Here are a few basic tips for employees who have been hurt at work:

  1. Report the injury - Report it to a supervisor, foreman, HR, or whoever your boss is as soon as you can.  Don't wait to see if it goes away over the weekend or take a few days off to rest.  Let your job know how it happened and that it happened at work.  If it goes away, that's fine, you don't have to file a claim.
  2. Get medical treatment - if the injury requires it, get medical treatment as soon as you can.  And tell the doctor, nurse and every healthcare provider how it happened so the medical records indicate how the injury occurred, not just that "his back hurts." 
  3. Talk to a lawyer before you sign or file any claim forms.  D.C., Virginia and Maryland each have different workers comp systems, laws and benefits.  If you have a choice, do you know which one is better for you and your family?  Filing in the wrong jurisdiction can cost you hundreds of dollars every week - and insurance companies know this.   That's why they will tell you they need forms signed and filed before they can start to pay benefits. 

We have a lot of information we give out to our clients and anyone who has been hurt at work in D.C., Maryland or Virginia. Please take advantage of our FREE resources by calling us, sending an email to [email protected] or ordering these from the website.

We set aside time every week to answer questions about workers compensation, so call us at (202) 393 - 3320 before you sign anything or get to the point where the insurance company is making decisions for you.  The call is confidential, of course, and we can usually answer your questions in about 15 minutes.  It's what we do, after all.


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