District Of Columbia Workers Compensation Laws

Just like every state in the United States of America has its own set of laws for cases related to occupational injuries and illnesses, there are specific District of Columbia workers compensation laws also. These laws are regulated by the Department of Employment Services. Some important tasks of this department include processing compensation claims and monitoring payments. The laws have provided certain legal rights and have specified certain responsibilities for both employees and employers regarding the cases of work-related accidents.

Insurance Requirements

It is legally compulsory for all employers to carry proper insurance coverage to ensure timely payments of compensation benefits to qualified injured workers. There are no numerical exceptions to this requirement and even waivers are also not permitted. As per District of Columbia workers compensation laws, even agricultural employers regardless of the number of workers they have must meet this insurance requirement. Even domestic workers are covered under this insurance plan if they work for at least 240 hours within a period of three months.

Injury Reporting

Injured workers must report work-related accidents and injuries to their employer and must also file an employee’s Notice of Accidental Injury with the Department of Employment Services. When the department receives the reports, the injured employee is then educated about their rights and obligations. The initial report must be submitted within thirty days from the date of the accident. Besides that, if the employer refuses to pay for any monetary benefits, injured employees have an option to file a compensation claim, but this claim must be filed within twelve months from the date of the injury or from the date when the an occupational disease was first diagnosed. As per District of Columbia workers compensation laws, there are certain reporting obligations for employers also. For example, employers must maintain proper records of all such accidents. Once an injured worker files a report to them about a work-related accident, employers have ten days to submit a detailed report to the Office of Workers Compensation. This detailed report must include the basic information about the injured worker, the time and place of the accident, and the cause of the injuries. Employers may have to pay up to $1000 as penalty if they feel to meet these reporting requirements.

Waiting Period

District of Columbia workers compensation laws have also imposed a waiting period of three days before an injured worker can qualify for compensation benefits. The payments are usually made from the fourth day. But, if the disability continues for more than two weeks, the payments for the first three days must also be made.

There are also certain legal restrictions on lawyer’s fee for these types of cases. Attorney must work on a contingency fee basis. As per District of Columbia workers compensation laws, their fee must not be more than 20% of the total amount of compensation they help an injured worker to recieve.