Workers’ Compensation claims often arise when a person is injured while working or performing services for an employer. Unlike a negligence (personal injury) claim, the issue of fault in causing the work accident is usually not relevant to obtaining compensation benefits. The worker’s compensation system is a “no-fault” system; Even if a workers’ injury is caused by his or her own mistake, the worker will normally be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, unless the worker was engaged in some type of misconduct such as fighting or intoxication. A successful workers compensation claim entails payment by the employer or its insurance company of lost wages, related medical bills, and if applicable, permanent disability benefits.
Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. each have a separate set of laws governing workers’ compensation claims. The type of accidents and injuries which are covered, the amount and duration of temporary or permanent disability benefits, who chooses the medical provider(s), and the statute of limitations for filing a claim, differ in these jurisdictions. For claims where there is a dispute with the employer or its insurance company, the hearing and appeal procedures are also different in each jurisdiction.
An employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company may try to quickly contact anyone injured while working for the insured employer in an effort to obtain a recorded description of the accident and injuries sustained, before the worker has consulted a lawyer. The details of how an accident or injury occurred, when and how the injury was reported to the employer, and what the injured worker has told co-workers and medical providers about the accident and injuries can all be very important and may greatly influence the outcome of a claim. It is always a bad idea for anyone injured at work or in any accident to talk to an insurance company before they consult with a knowledgeable workers’ compensation and/or personal injury attorney.
Mr. Ackerman has been representing workers’ compensation claimants since 1987. He is familiar with the practices and procedures of the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission, the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission, and the D.C. Department of Workers’ Compensation. Mr. Ackerman has represented thousands of claimants and appeared at hundreds of compensation hearings. His goal for each case is for the clients to receive excellent medical care and return to work, while Mr. Ackerman aggressively and ethically advocates for the client so that the maximum benefits available under the law are obtained.
Mr. Ackerman is the author of an article comparing the workers’ compensation laws of Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., published in the Virginia Trial Lawyers Journal. Knowing the difference between the workers’ compensation laws in each jurisdiction can be important, because a person who works in more than one of these jurisdictions may have a choice as to where to file his or her claim, and will want to choose the jurisdiction that is most favorable. If you have been injured while working for an employer, please call or email Mr. Ackerman for a free, no-obligation consultation.