Experienced Washington, D.C. Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Represent Injured Employees
Supportive District of Columbia lawyers help workers with claims and appeals
Across the United States, private employers report millions of workplace injuries every year. In the District of Columbia alone, employers paid out more than $2.3 million in compensation for injured workers in only the first three-and-a-half months of 2020. It’s not uncommon for employees to be injured at work, and when they are, they have the right to seek compensation from their employers. At the law firm of May Lightfoot, PLLC in Washington, D.C., our attorneys help clients who have suffered a job-related injury or illness obtain the payments they need while they’re unable to work.
What is workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault, employer-funded insurance program that provides medical and wage benefits to injured workers. In Washington, D.C., all private-sector businesses with at least one employee must carry workers’ comp insurance, supplying coverage that takes effect upon the first day of employment.
The District of Columbia’s Workers’ Compensation Program makes medical benefits and cash payments available to people who require medical treatment for illnesses and injuries sustained on the job. Each employer providing coverage must use a four-digit classification code to identify the type of work its employees perform. If a company’s workers are engage in riskier work, such as construction, the business’s workers’ comp policy will be required to provide greater coverage. If employees primarily perform clerical tasks, the coverage amount will be lower.
The Workers’ Compensation Program is in place to make sure that workers are protected by insurance for both sudden injuries and illnesses that develop over time, so that they are not left with bills for conditions caused by occupational exposure.
What benefits are covered by workers’ comp?
The scope of benefits available for a workers’ compensation claim depends on the severity of the injury or illness and the amount of time that the employee is unable to work.
Types of disability recognized by the District of Columbia include:
- Temporary total disability (TTD) — When an injury prevents the employee from performing any type of work for a temporary period of time, the employee is entitled to two-thirds (66.67%) of his or her average weekly wage, generally until he or she is able to return to work.
- Temporary partial disability (TPD) — Benefits of two-thirds the injured employee’s average weekly wage can be paid to the employee until he or she fully recovers, including during a period of time that he or she returns to work to perform a job with fewer responsibilities and a lower wage.
- Permanent total disability (PTD) — If the injury prevents the worker from returning to employment of any kind, or results in the loss of both eyes, hands, feet, arms or legs, the worker may collect two-thirds of his or her average weekly wage in lost income benefits for as long as benefits are needed.
- Permanent partial disability (PPD) — Benefits for the permanent loss of some bodily ability that does not prevent the employee from returning to employment are determined based on the nature of the disability and the worker’s occupation. Payment duration is capped at 500 weeks, but may be for far less time.
- Medical benefits — Workers’ compensation may cover medical, surgical and hospital care as well as the cost of prescriptions and medical devices for as long as they are needed to bring about recovery.
- Disfigurement — A worker may receive an additional $7,500 in compensation for serious disfigurement to the face, head, neck or another area of the body that is normally exposed during work.
Additional benefits include vocational rehabilitation services and survivor benefits to the spouse and dependents of a deceased worker. For answers to questions about these and other benefits, visit our Workers’ Compensation FAQ page.
Why are claims denied?
There are several reasons why a workers’ compensation claim may be denied. An employer may dispute the validity of your claim, by insisting that the injury occurred outside of work. An error in the application may lead to an incorrect judgment. In other cases, a claim is approved but the injured worker is only given a fraction of the benefits they are entitled to. If you receive an unfair ruling, you will be able to appeal it during an administrative hearing. During the workers’ compensation appeal process, we carefully collect and present evidence on your behalf. We are committed to getting you the help you need when you need it most.
Contact our diligent Washington, D.C. workers’ compensation attorneys for a free consultation
Based in Washington, D.C., the lawyers at May Lightfoot, PLLC help injured workers with workers’ compensation claims in Maryland and throughout the D.C. metro area. To schedule a free initial consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys, call 202-919-6463 or contact us online.