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If you were injured on the job, it may be in your best interest to speak with a workers’ compensation attorney Washington, DC residents trust. You may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. In 2013 alone, thousands of workers filed workers’ compensation claims in Washington DC and million of dollars have been paid out. (Learn more about What is Workers Compensation?)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that sprains, cuts, burns, bruises and fractures are the most common injuries on the job. These injuries often result from slipping and falling, overexertion and violence.
A workers’ compensation claim aims to reimburse for medical expenses caused by the workplace accident, as personal injury lawyers Washington DC locals respect can attest. In most cases, all necessary medical expenses will be covered, like hospital and nursing services, surgery and medications. Sometimes injured workers can obtain compensation for future medical expenses for treatment of the work injury. For example, if the work accident results in a brain injury, the benefits may cover rehabilitation costs.
Employees who become so badly injured that they can’t do their job anymore may also be entitled to disability payments. The amount of compensation they receive depend on the employee’s gross earnings before the injury. Additional compensation may be available for those workers who suffered permanent injuries during a work accident.
When to Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
While it’s possible to file a workers’ compensation claim on your own, there are some instances when it may be necessary to hire a workers’ compensation attorney in Washington, DC.
Workers’ Compensation Frequently Asked Questions:
What should I do if I am injured at work?
If you have an accident at work, it is imperative to report the accident to your employer as soon as possible. The time limit to report varies from state to state, but your claim can and will be denied if you don’t report the accident to your employer within the required time period for the state you are in. This is especially important to do for the greater Washington DC area because jurisdictional confusion can occur and vary given the location. If you have a workplace accident and you may not think you are injured, you should still report the accident to your employer because sometimes injuries don’t become noticeable or the severity doesn’t appear until after the workplace incident. If you have an accident at the workplace, make sure to report it and get documentation as soon as possible—whether it is at the time of the accident or soon after. That will be key if you want to pursue legal matters later.
Will workers’ compensation cover me for work-related illness or injuries that aren’t the result of an accident?
Workers’ compensation covers you for work-related injuries that are not a result of an accident. Many workers suffer due to repetitive motion injuries. Say you have suffered from carpal tunnel syndrome due to repetitive typing. Meanwhile, many workers who are in high-stress jobs may develop digestive disorders related to the stress of the job. Workers in automobile shops or other jobs may be exposed to car exhaust and as a result may suffer from carbon monoxide poisoning or suffer from breathing problems. A variety of different injuries or health related problems may occur depending on the job’s particular hazards. Meanwhile, some people might develop an illness as a result of the job while others workers might not. Just like each person, each case is specific.
Can I still receive workers’ compensation benefits if the accident was my fault?
One of the reasons for the existence of the system of workers’ compensation is to provide benefits to injured workers without the need to prove who was at fault for the accident. But there are examples of when a worker will not receive benefits, for example if a worker has self-inflicted injuries, those that result from fighting or horseplay, or if the injury occurs when the employee is under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.
If I am injured, can I see my own doctor?
That depends on the laws of your state and your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy. If you are unsure, you can ask your employer if they require you to see a certain doctor, or if you can choose your own doctor. If you have any questions on what doctor you should see, contacting a workers’ compensation lawyer can help you navigate these issues as you may be required to see a employer-chosen doctor. But you also may have the right to change doctors after a certain time has passed, or get a second opinion If you do see your own doctor, your insurance company or employer may require a medical examination by one of its doctors.
What benefits can I receive from workers’ compensation?
The type of benefits you might be entitled to depends on your injuries and the laws in your particular state, as each state’s laws vary. If your workplace injury now prevents you from working, you may be able to receive temporary disability benefits. Those benefits are typically two-thirds of your regular wages.
However, if a workplace accident has left you with permanent damage, you might be entitled to permanent total or (in some states) permanent partial disability benefits. Workers’ compensation can also cover the expenses of your medical treatment for as long as necessary. If you need vocational rehabilitation as a result of your injuries in order to get back to your job or to train you for a new job, that may be covered as well. The benefits you receive will depend on the severity of your injury and your state’s laws.
Do I need a lawyer to help me with my workers’ compensation claim?
Contacting a lawyer is advisable due to the confusing nature of workers’ compensation claims. Depending on the severy to your workers compensation or illness, you may want an attorney’s help for your workers’ compensation claim.
The more severe your injuries, the more you have at stake in the workers’ compensation process. If you have been greatly injured or may be disabled for a long time or permanently, you may want to contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney so that you get all of the benefits you may be entitled to.
If you’re considering settling your workers compensation claim, it might greatly benefit you to talk to a well-experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in the DC area.
At Cohen & Cohen, P.C., we understand how devastating it can be to suffer an injury at work and want to help you recover the compensation you deserve. If you would like to set up a free consultation with a workers’ compensation attorney Washington, DC offers, call us today.
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