Workplace accidents range in severity depending on your profession. An injury at an autobody shop is more likely to cause irreversible injuries than an incident at a company where employees primarily work desk jobs. Regardless of your type of workplace, you’re entitled to workers compensation benefits that range from paying medical expenses including physical therapy to death benefits when the accident causes a fatality. Each state has workers’ compensation laws, and it’s important to understand the deadlines and limitations of the applicable law.
The District of Columbia requires all employers to carry worker’s compensation insurance if they have one or more employees. When a workplace injury occurs, your employer is required by law to report the incident to the Office of Worker’s Compensation and also to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). If the job-related accident involves death, your employer has eight hours to report the fatality and 24 hours if amputation, in-patient care, or loss of an eye is involved. Other injuries must be reported within ten days, or your employer must pay a fine.
You, the injured worker, have to submit your written account within 30 days of the injury and no later than one year if you want your worker’s comp claim to be approved.
The District of Columbia’s Workers’ Compensation Act includes these rights:
Choose Your Physician
You have the right to choose your physician even if you were initially seen in the ER. Once you’ve picked your doctor, you won’t be able to switch unless you get approval from the worker’s compensation insurance provider or the Office of Workers’ Compensation.
100% Medical Reimbursement
All medical expenses you’ve accrued due to the injury such as the cost of an ambulance ride, surgery, hospital stay, ongoing care, physical therapy, and home modifications for permanent disability.
Two-Thirds Your Weekly Salary
You’re entitled to receive approximately 66.6% percent of your average pay on a weekly basis. That amount can be no less than $366.85 and no more than $1,467.46.
If you were permanently disabled because of the workplace injury, you’re entitled to receive a supplemental allowance to accommodate the rising cost of living due to the disability and inability to earn an income.
Three-Day Waiting Period
When you file for worker’s comp in DC, you won’t start receiving benefit payments for three days—These three days will be considered sick days if you don’t go back within 14 days. You will no longer be able to use vacation days or sick time once you begin receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
Four Types of Worker’s Comp Benefits
Temporary total (disabled but expected to return), Temporary partial (partially disabled but can return part-time), Permanent total (unable to earn income in the future like before), and Permanent partial (earning ability is somewhat impacted due to permanent workplace injury).
Keep in mind that injuries that happen on your way to work or your way from work do not qualify as a job-related injury nor does an accident on your lunch hour or during an extracurricular activity or conflict with someone else—Only accidents while at work or while performing a work-related task.
Contact a Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in DC
If you’ve been injured in a workplace accident, contact our workers’ compensation lawyers in DC today at (202) 554-1449 for a FREE consultation. Portner & Shure, Attorneys at Law, can help you through this complicated process so you can focus on your recovery. We serve clients in Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia.