Unfortunately, on most levels, workers’ compensation is definitely not like other personal injury claims. It is injured workers’ only remedy in the sense that they can’t sue their employer for injuries that occurred on the job. Also, in a personal injury case, you’re supposed to be made “whole” and you get compensated for pain and suffering and aggravation. However, in a workers’ compensation claim, you get two thirds of your wages weekly, and your medical bills paid and you never get anything for the aggravation, the financial stress, etc. of what occurred from the accident. Also, everything has to be approved by the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission, including attorney fees and settlements. The insurance company and the injured worker can’t make a “private” agreement.
Common misunderstandings like this make it ever so important to speak to a competent Workers’ Compensation Attorney.
By Michele Lewane, author of the “Ultimate Guide To Workers’ Compensation in Virginia” and lead attorney at the Injured Workers Law Firm, Richmond, VA.