If you are injured at work, you should inform your employer immediately. Your employer should have workers’ compensation coverage, which means you will be covered for your injuries. Coverage often includes medical bills and any missed work time due to the injury. Most injuries are covered, except for those caused under certain circumstances. There are typically 4 main types of injuries covered, although coverage can vary from state to state. The specific types of injuries covered under each category can be broad, which is why you should discuss your case with a Virginia workers’ compensation attorney.
Traumatic Physical Injuries
These are the most common types of injuries. They happen after a specific accident during a worker’s shift. They are not chronic injuries or diseases that worsen over time and can include anything from a back sprain to a severed finger.
Unlike traumatic physical injuries, these are not one-time incidents caused by a strike or blow to the body. These are chronic conditions that occur after repetitive movement. For example, you may dislocate your shoulder after repeatedly carrying heavy objects or pull a muscle in your back from many instances of improper lifting.
You sometimes can receive worker’s compensation without a physical injury at all. Emotional trauma without injury is covered in some states. For example, witnessing a horrific workplace accident may cause stress and the desire to avoid going to work. If your co-workers were laid off and you ended up with all their work, the workload may be too much to bear and you may be able to claim stress.
You may experience stress and other emotional problems after suffering an injury accident, and sometimes you can claim these issues. Claiming mental injuries can sometimes be difficult, so it helps to have a Virginia workers’ compensation attorney handling your case.
Occupational diseases are the least common types of diseases, but they are able to be claimed in some states under workers’ compensation. If you live in Virginia, it’s best to seek help from a workers’ compensation attorney to assess your case.
Occupational diseases occur over time and are caused by unhealthy working conditions. One of the most common types of occupational diseases is mesothelioma, which is a type of lung cancer caused by inhaling or coming into contact with asbestos. Any other of type of disease caused by exposure to toxic chemicals typically would be covered too, although coverage varies by state.
In order to claim workers’ compensation for an occupational disease, you need to prove that the disease was caused by the work environment. To prove this, you may be able to claim that your co-workers developed the same disease.
If you are unsure how to prove your case, management or human resources may be able to answer any questions you have. If you’re not satisfied with the answers you receive, you may want to consider talking to a workers’ compensation attorney. An attorney can review your case and work environment to determine whether it is unsafe and is, in fact, the cause of your disease.
Although just about any workplace injury is covered under workers’ compensation, there are exceptions where your workers’ compensation claim may be denied. Here are a few examples:
- If you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident, they have the right to test you. If the test is positive, the workers’ compensation board can deny your claim;
- your injury was self-inflicted and done purposely in order to file a fraudulent claim;
- you were doing something illegal or against company policy when the injury occurred; and
- evidence shows that the injury did not occur at the workplace.
If you were injured at your workplace in Virginia, you need legal help from a workers’ compensation attorney. Contact the Injured Workers Law Firm today at 1-804-755-7755 and order our free guide Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia.
About the Author: Injured Workers Law Firm
The Injured Workers Law Firm is a Richmond, Virginia based firm solely focused on serving clients with workers' compensation claims in Virginia. If you have questions about your benefits or if you would like more information on the Virginia Workers’ Compensation system, order our book, “The Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia” , or call our office today (804) 755-7755.