Sometimes we get calls from injured workers, who may have been hurt in D.C. or working for a D.C. employer, and are confused about what state they should file their workers compensation case in and why it matters. There are several differences in the workers compensation benefits available in Maryland and Virginia -- here are a couple.
D.C. benefits are usually higher, so for high wage earners, D.C. is almost always the best choice. But if you file in another state and get benefits there, you can't come back to D.C., so you may be losing literally hundreds of dollars every week in benefits if you file in the wrong state.
Maryland has a different system for permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits. A permanent injury to any part of the body (including the neck or back) may qualify for additional benefits based on a permanent impairment, and the benefit rate will be different depending on how severe the injury is. Usually the treating physician is not asked to perform the impairment rating (we choose specific expert physicians in different specialties to evaluate our clients and prepare a report on their findings.)
Virginia requires an injured worker to be looking for work, or "marketing his residual capacity," if he is not under an Award Order and was released to light duty work but can't go back to his regular job because of the injury. The insurance company doesn't have to pay benefits unless the injured workers is actively looking for work. We mentioned this before because whether the insurance company provides you a vocational counselor or not, you are expected to prove that you have been actively looking for work within your light duty restrictions. This is a trick insurance companies take advantage of because often injured workers don't have the evidence to prove they were looking for work.
For more information or to get started on your workers' compensation case, contact us and let us help you. Even if we cannot take your case, we can refer you to another attorney we trust to get you the help you need and deserve.
If you're deciding where to file a claim for workers compensation, call us before you do anything! We can explain the differences in D.C., Maryland and Virginia workers comp in about 10 minutes - so you can make the right decision for you and your family.