What are the most important things I need to know when I get injured at work in Virginia?
You should immediately report the injury to your employer since the law states that you
only have 30 days to do so.
Also, you need to file a claim for benefits with the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission,
just because the insurance company is voluntarily paying you does not mean that your benefits
are protected. The only way to get the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission to become
aware that you have a claim and how you do that is to file a claim for benefits.
Be sure to keep copies of all medical records and all disability slips.
And finally, you’re in a very financially devastating situation and every little bit
of financial assistance helps, so be sure to get all of your entitled benefits including
your milage reimbursement.
Next you need to make sure that you’re watching out for tricks that the insurance adjuster
may use to hurt your case.
Insurance adjusters voluntarily pay you some benefits, but this is not the same as having
protected benefits and you may be cut off after 2 years from the date of your accident
or the adjuster changing their mind.
Insurance adjusters will record your statements, and will do this fairly quickly as they try
and lead you to make statements that will void your injury from being covered by workmans
compensation. Many accidents are not covered under Virginia Workers compensation laws.
Insurance adjusters hire private investigators all the time. The investigators will watch
you for days on end or sporadically either at your home or in public like at the grocery
store. They could be watching you for a solid month and then not again for 5 months, they
8are trying to catch you doing something that your doctor would deem inappropriate for your
work restrictions. Just assume that you’re being watched and avoid doing things that your doctor might deem inappropriate for your work restrictions.
An additional trick is that adjusters try to have you sign forms that contain the wrong
information about your injuries or effected body parts or even your wages. This most important
of these is the effected body part, because if you have a neck and shoulder injury, but
3the form that you signed only lists your neck, then they are only legally responsible for
covering the treatment for your neck and not your shoulder.
this works the same with your wages, insurance adjusters are going to take the employers
word for how much you are paid and the number of hours worked to establish your average
weekly wage. However, you are entitled to your Holiday bonus, entitled to overtime and
entitled to shift differentials. So if you have a doubt about your rate of pay be sure
to double check with your pay stub.
there are a few mistakes that can be very costly, Hiding an old accident or injury can
cause problems, aggravations of pre-existing conditions are covered, but misrepresenting
your injuries can cause significant problems with your claim.
If you fail to report your claim to your employer, the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission
can deny your claim for failing to give timely notice.
If you fail to report your claim with the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission within
the statutory time period your claim will be denied for not being timely filed.
One of the worst mistakes is failing to get under an award order. Once you are under an
award order there are many items that are of great benefit to you including you do not
need to be doing a job search or marketing when you’re under light duty restrictions,
if your case is urgent, you can get an expedited hearing within 30 to 60 days as opposed to
waiting 4 to 5 months.
There are many other mistakes that can happen, so it is your responsibility to learn as much
as you can about workers compensation and protect your rights. You can get our free
book, The Ultimate guide to Workers Compensation in Virginia from our website to help you protect
your rights and maintain your benefits, protecting you and your family so that you will receive
the best medical recovery possible.