D.C. Workers Comp Attorney on Filing Your Workers Comp Claim
Many people in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area work in D.C., Maryland and Virginia at different times or work for companies that have some connection to all three. So if you're injured at work, which state should you file your workers compensation claim in? Or to put it another way, which state does your employer and its workers comp insurance company want your case in?
Why does it matter?
All three states provide basic rights for workers compensation for on the job injuries but the District of Columbia, Virginia and Maryland all have different workers compensation laws. They have different rules on when you have to file your workers compensation claim, how they administer workers compensation claims, the types of workers compensation hearings they hold, the benefits awarded and which types of injuries are covered.
For example, a workplace injury or illness in D.C. may not be covered under workers compensation if it happens in Virginia.
But the most important thing to remember is that the amount of money you are eligible for is different in each state. So if your insurance adjuster from Travelers, The Hartford, Chubb, Sedgwick, or any of these insurance companies tell you to file in Maryland even though you were injured in DC, they are trying to trick you into getting less money.
Don’t file your claim or sign any paperwork from the insurance company until you talk to a workers compensation attorney who can make sure you file in the right state - the one that is best for you, not the workers comp insurance company.
D.C. Worker's Compensation Claims
Generally, D.C. is more favorable to injured workers after a workplace injury because more types of injuries are covered, the maximum weekly compensation rate is higher and the injured worker can select his or her treating physician - if you have a D.C. workers compensation case, do not let the insurance company send you to one of their doctors or clinics for treatment!
A good D.C. workers compensation lawyer will be able to tell you who the insurance doctors are - we see them all the time when they conduct insurance medical exams - so we can tell you which doctors are working for insurance companies to help them limit the amount of benefits they have to pay for any personal injury.
Virginia Worker's Compensation Claims
Virginia workers compensation has strict requirements on what types of injuries are covered and how they occur, has a cap on the total weeks of benefits that are available, and the maximum workers comp weekly disability benefit rate is about $436 lower than it is in D.C. Under Virginia workers comp law, the insurance company gives you a choice, or a panel of 3 doctors to choose from for your work injury medical treatment.
Maryland Worker's Compensation Claim
Maryland workers compensation provides some level of benefits for permanent injuries based on a percentage disability (also called permanent partial disability) to all body parts. D.C. doesn’t have disability ratings or permanent partial disability for neck and back injuries, unless they cause a permanent injury to an arm or leg. But under D.C. workers comp law, your benefits continue if you cannot return to your regular work because of an injury or illness.
Maryland has lower maximum weekly compensation rates for some injuries but allows injured workers to choose their own doctor for medical treatment due to their injury.
Filing In The Right State Is Critical After a Work Injury in Washington DC
Most of the time, workers compensation insurance companies will try to push workers who have been hurt on the job to file their workers compensation claims in Virginia or Maryland, because the benefits are generally lower or continue only for a certain period of time and the insurance companies have more control.
And the insurance companies and their lawyers know that once you accept benefits in another state, you can't change that to get workers compensation benefits in D.C.
A law firm specializing in workers compensation will guide you to file your claim in the right place if you were injured on the job.
We have all of the forms you need to file your workers comp claim, and our workers compensation lawyers will help you fill them out and file your claim in the right place.
Our Experienced DC Workers Comp Lawyers Will Make Sure You File in The Right State
The moral of the story - if you have been hurt at work, especially if you cannot return to work because of your injuries, you should not sign any forms from the insurance company or give the insurance company a recorded statement until you talk to our experienced workers compensation attorneys.
Call us at (202) 393-3320 and we'll talk it through. We make it really easy to get started.
But don’t wait - there are a lot of traps in workers compensation law and your employer’s insurance company is waiting for you to make a mistake that could cost you hundreds of dollars in disability benefits every week.