After being involved in a workplace accident that leads to extensive time in a hospital or unable to carry on your regular tasks at work, you need financial compensation to get back on your feet as soon as possible. By filing for worker’s comp benefits, you can recoup the losses you’ve suffered from medical expenses and time off from work. But what happens when your place of work or their insurance company is making it difficult for you to receive the compensation you deserve?
That’s where an experienced Washington DC workers’ comp attorney from Ashcraft & Gerel can help. While the workers’ compensation system is designed to give you prompt and fair financial benefits during your recovery period, your job could make it difficult for you to receive these benefits. Corporate insurance companies have teams of lawyers on their side who may try to prove that your injury happened outside of work or that you should receive reduced benefits for not reporting your injury within a certain timeframe.
In addition to ensuring you file all of your proper paperwork on time, by hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer at the start of your personal injury case, you’ll have an advocate on your side who can help you avoid the pitfalls of filing a workers’ compensation claim that others may fall into when they try to represent themselves. Hiring an experienced workers’ comp attorney could be the difference between shouldering the financial burden of your personal injuries on your own and being awarded full compensation so you can start the recovery process.
Let an experienced Ashcraft & Gerel workers’ compensation lawyer help increase your chances of receiving compensation for the following:
- Medical Treatment
- Loss Wages
- Nursing Services
- Hospital Visits
- Prosthetic Appliances
What is worker’s comp?
If an employee is injured during the normal course of their job, then worker’s compensation allows them to receive compensation or reimbursement for any medical expenses, treatments, and prescriptions they need to get back on their feet. Work-related injuries can be caused by a number of incidents, from equipment malfunctions to exposure to dangerous chemicals.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case and your personal injuries, you can receive compensation for a short period of time or permanently if your injuries prevent you from going back to work. Whether short term or long term, this compensation is traditionally paid by the business’s insurance company. You’ll have to report your injury and file a claim in order to be awarded benefits. The official report will include your personal information as well as the details surrounding the accident and the extent of your injuries. The insurance company will examine this information to determine if you should receive full or partial compensation for your damages.
You should note that not everyone who works for a business or an individual is able to receive compensation for their workplace injuries. There must be an established relationship between the employer and employee. Independent contractors may not be eligible for coverage, even if they are working on a project for the company. In addition, in the District of Columbia, if you’re a domestic worker, such as a maid, and you only work for a family for a certain number of hours a year, then you may not be able to receive workers’ compensation if you’re injured on the job.
The best way to find out if you should be eligible for workers’ comp benefits is to discuss your profession, work history, and the circumstances surrounding your accident with a workers’ comp lawyer who is experienced in Washington DC worker disability law. A workers’ comp attorney will be able to consult with you on what your options are and whether you should move forward with filing your claim.
What workers’ compensation benefits could I receive?
A workplace disability settlement could be your solution to lifting the financial burden of a serious injury or illness. There are a number of benefits you could receive, including:
Compensation for Medical Expenses
Traditional workers’ compensation settlements cover the cost of all medical treatments, prescriptions, or medical appliances like crutches, that may be necessary for the employee to recover fully from their injuries.
Reimbursement for Lost Wages
When you need to receive temporary total disability benefits for a short-term injury, then wage reimbursement allows you to continue to collect paychecks while you’re unable to work. These paychecks may not be the full wage that you’re used to. In many situations, injured employees receive two-thirds of their weekly wages. With that said, your workers’ compensation lawyer can help ensure your wages are calculated properly for your workplace injury claim.
Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits
If your current job required hard labor or a special skill and you suffer from a workplace injury that prevents you from performing those tasks, then your workers’ compensation settlement could cover the cost of services from a vocational counselor. These professionals will help you search for a job and get retrained for a new profession.
Permanent Disability Benefits
Beyond receiving compensation for your lost wages and hospital bills, you may be awarded additional benefits if your workplace accident leads to a permanent disability that renders you unable to work again. These types of cases can become complex, especially if you wish to receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. Your Washington DC workers’ comp lawyer will have a full understanding of workers’ compensation law as it relates to permanent disability. They’ll use this knowledge to increase your chances of receiving the long-term benefits you deserve.
How soon should I report my workplace injury?
The first step to ensuring you receive compensation for your injuries as soon as possible is to report your injury to your employer as soon as possible. Each state in the US has it’s own rules for how a workplace injury claim should be reported and the deadline for reporting. In the District of Columbia, you have 30 days from the date of your incident to provide a written report to both your employer and the Office of Workers’ Compensation.
After you’ve officially reported the incident, the next step is to file a claim. You’ll need to fill out the Employee’s Claim Application within one year of your injury.
Missing the deadline to notify your employer or to file your claim puts you at risk of becoming ineligible for benefits and/or receiving full compensation, which is why it’s important that you don’t delay once you’ve been injured on the job. An attorney can not only ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries, but they can also help you file all of the proper paperwork within the set timeframe.
Should I hire a DC Workers’ Compensation Lawyer for my worker disability claim?
You may have heard that it’s possible to represent yourself in a workplace accident claim – and this is certainly true. For smaller accidents such as a twisted ankle or sprain, if your job does not contest your injuries, then your case may be simple enough for you to file your claim without issue. Even so, it may still be wise to consult with an attorney to gain a full understanding of what your case may entail. In addition, your workers’ comp attorney will have a full understanding of Washington, DC law and have years of experience representing other hard-working citizens with similar cases. They can use this knowledge to evaluate your situation and estimate what your workers’ compensation case is worth.
With that said, there are definitely situations where hiring a professional workers’ compensation attorney for your case is paramount to you receiving the full and fair compensation you deserve. More serious injuries or illnesses could include any of the following scenarios:
- Back or neck injuries from repeated heavy lifting
- Exposure to hazardous materials
- Exposure to asbestos or harmful chemicals
- Accidents while working construction
- Job-related car or trucking accidents
- Ladder fall accidents
- Defective workplace equipment or machinery
- Workplace fires or explosions
These types of injuries often require extensive time in the hospital for treatment. This means a pile of medical bills and lost wages from time spent away from work. Worker disability benefits could help ensure you receive compensation for your losses, both for treatment, medication, and hospital bills as well as lost income from missed work days.
From the moment you injure yourself on the job, you should contact a workers’ compensation lawyer to ensure you submit all of the necessary paperwork and claims within the state deadlines. In addition, your attorney will start the process of documenting your medical paperwork and information as evidence in case your job decides to fight against your claim.
Beyond documentation and paperwork, your workers’ compensation lawyers can also represent you in any of the following cases:
Employer Denies Your Workplace Injury Claim
Even if you have a legitimate workers’ compensation claim and you notified your employer within a certain timeframe, they may still deny your claim. Many businesses and their insurance companies do this because they don’t believe their employees know or understand their full rights. Often times, when an employer denies a worker’s comp claim, the injured employee will assume it is because they don’t have a strong case and neglect to fight back. By relying on the expertise of a seasoned attorney, you can appeal the denial and increase your chances of receiving a fair settlement.
Your Employer Retaliates Against You
In addition to denying a claim, some employers may even retaliate against their employees if they attempt to file a workers’ compensation claim by firing them, demoting them, or cutting their hours at work. You shouldn’t have to face this kind of discrimination for trying to receive the money you need to recover from your injuries. Your workers’ comp attorney can help document your situation and fight for the justice you deserve in a Washington DC court.
The Settlement Doesn’t Cover Your Injuries
Even if your employer accepts your claim, it doesn’t mean their insurance company will award you full compensation to cover the total extent of your medical bills and lost wages. The best way to ensure your interests are met for your case is to hire a workers’ comp lawyer who can advocate on your behalf and negotiate with the insurance company for increased compensation.
You Require Permanent Compensation
For serious injuries that render you unable to return to your former job, you may be entitled to lifetime payments for your injuries in the form of a lump sum or weekly payments. These types of claims are very expensive for corporate insurance companies, so they will often fight to reduce the amount of compensation you receive or the length of time you receive payment. Let our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers fight to ensure you receive the permanent disability benefits you deserve.
Consult with an Experienced Worker’s Comp Attorney in Washington DC
After your workplace accident, dealing with the full effect of your injuries is hard enough without having to negotiate with your employer for proper compensation. Your employer’s insurance company and their attorneys may try to reduce the amount of compensation you receive before you’re fully recovered. With Ashcraft & Gerel, you don’t have to go it alone. Let a Washington DC workers’ compensation lawyer represent your interests and negotiate a fair settlement for your needs.
Our workers’ compensation lawyers have a full understanding of workers’ compensation law. They can use this knowledge to provide you with the proper representation you need. While a judge determines whether you’ll be awarded compensation, they may not see the need to ensure you receive a full award for all damages. A workers’ comp lawyer can present the court with the facts of your case and increase your chances of receiving financial assistance for your medical bills, hospital visits, prescriptions, and loss wages.