Recently, the Workers’ Compensation team at Abrams Landau, Ltd. had been approached by injured workers who were hurt more than a year ago. Coming to us at this late date makes it very difficult to undo the harm caused by ill-informed employers, less than helpful adjusters, their investigators, nurse case managers and defense lawyers.
The Workers’ Compensation law requires an injured worker to report the accident to their employer or their insurance company within 30 days of the accident in many jurisdictions. If the injury or occupational disease is not immediately apparent, some jurisdictions allow the worker to give notice once the condition manifests itself, such as with asbestos disease, coal miners lung and other occupational illnesses. So, there are some exceptions. For example, if a worker is in a coma, it would be impossible for them to give prompt written notice to their employer.
The Herndon, Virginia Workers’ Compensation team at Abrams Landau has also seen a rise in the number of cases where the employee finds relief upon help from the company HR department, only to find out that valuable rights were not provided in a timely manner, or worse. While this may seem like a good move initially, one should not forget that the HR departments of many companies have a strong incentive to save the company’s money. That may mean that they don’t tell you about all the benefits you may be entitled to under the law. They also may work to prevent the payout of money in significant on-the-job accident claims.
If you have been injured on-the-job, and you were going to miss more than a few days from work, need surgery, or have a permanent impairment, in order to get the compensation you are entitled to under the law, you need to avoid relying only on your employer. Your employer may not get you the help you need and may not do so in a timely manner. In fact, they may be misinformed as to what the law provides. Experienced workers comp lawyer Doug Landau has seen many instances where the boss, coworkers and even HR department personnel have given wrong information to a badly wounded worker. Sometimes this is not even intentional. However, well-meaning but untrained coworkers can misdirect a friend, causing irreparable damage to their claim.
Instead of relying on the HR Department or Supervisor, an injured worker or their family should consult with an experienced workers compensation attorney who can offer counsel and direction on how best to proceed. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney, especially one who goes to court regularly on behalf of the injured workers, will know how to not only navigate the complex world of workers comp, but also point out other avenues of assistance.
The Workers’ Compensation team at the Herndon law firm Abrams Landau, Ltd. understands that when an injured person comes to us, our job is to make sure they receive all of their compensation benefits as allowed under law. This includes covering Medical Care, partial wage replacement and reimbursement for medications, transportation for medical care, medical equipment, and even home improvements. If you or someone you know has been injured at work, please give us a call (703-796-9555) or email us at Abrams Landau, Ltd.