A workplace injury can have a severe impact on your day-to-day life, not to mention the many ways in which an injury can interfere with your work responsibilities. You can take action, however, by filing a Workers’ Compensation claim. A Virginia Work Comp attorney can help guide you through this process.
The results of a workplace injury are many, including:
- mounting medical debt;
- missed time from work;
- depression; and
- anxiety – all of these can chip away at a person’s sense of self and conviction.
In order to qualify for Virginia work comp benefits, there are certain actions you must take following the incident that gives rise to your injury.
Report the Workplace Injury
After an injury occurs, you must report it immediately to your employer, even if it seems minor at the time. After your employer has been notified, it is his or her responsibility to file a report of the accident with the Workers’ Compensation insurance provider.
After the report has been received by the Workers’ Compensation insurance carrier, an adjuster will contact you with questions pertaining to your injury and the accident that caused it.
In most cases, the adjuster will ask to record your statement. It’s not recommended that you comply with this request. There is nothing wrong with refusing a recorded statement, and the adjuster can just as easily take notes.
Once this has happened, you will begin receiving two-thirds wages and be reviewed by a 3-doctor panel. It is important to remember that the burden of proof rests on you.
The insurance carrier and your employer have no obligation to explain their decisions to you, so it is your responsibility to demand your full rights and entitlement.
A workplace injury can wreak havoc on your social, professional, and financial life, so it’s important that you begin the process of filing a Workers’ Compensation claim as soon as you’re able. In Virginia, Work Comp laws can be confusing and tricky, so it’s useful if you speak to a lawyer who knows the system and can help defend your rights.
Benefits You’re Entitled after a Workplace Injury
If it is demonstrated that you have suffered a workplace injury that is compensable, you may be eligible for certain benefits, depending on the circumstances of your injury and disability:
- Lost wages – depends on the nature and permanency of your injury. The most common is temporary total disability and you are eligible for up to 500 weeks to receive two-thirds your weekly wage (or average weekly wage) before your injury.
- Medical benefits – your employer is required to cover your medical expenses related to the injury for as long as is deemed necessary by the doctor. You have the option to choose which doctor from the 3-doctor panel you would like to treat you.
- Vocational rehabilitation – the goal of vocational rehabilitation is to get the employee back into some kind of employment and to relieve the burden of Workers’ Comp payments from the insurance carrier and/or employer.
- Death benefits – should an employee die, dependents are entitled to funeral expenses and 500 weeks of two-thirds pay.
- Lifetime benefits – in certain instances, an injured worker may be permanently disabled in such a manner that renders him or her unable to work again. It’s important to speak with a Virginia work comp attorney if you believe these circumstances may apply to you.
If you have suffered a workplace injury, you should begin the process of filing a Workers’ Compensation claim immediately. Speak with an attorney who can help you get through the process.
Contact an Attorney about Your Work Related Injury Claim
When you have difficulties with filing a Workers’ Compensation claim in Virginia, a work comp attorney can bear some of the burden. To get back on your feet, whether it means getting back to work or receiving the benefits you deserve, order a copy of our free book, the Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia, and contact a workers’ comp attorney at the Injured Workers Law Firm for a no-cost consultation – 877-755-7744 or 804-755-7755.
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.