In today’s harsh economic times, it can be challenging to find a job that pays well enough to support you and your family. So when you’re able to secure a good position, it’s natural to do whatever it takes to hold on to this employment. But if you’ve been injured on the job in Virginia, you are entitled to a worker’s compensation claim without fear of losing your paycheck. But worker rights are not given without some expectations. There are responsibilities that both the worker and the employer must honor in order for this system to function.
Your Right to Virginia Worker’s Compensation
An injury on the job can be devastating on many levels. But worker’s compensation, which is a state-regulated form of insurance, can help ease the financial burden that comes with being temporarily out of commission or enduring permanent ailments. This program gives you a portion of your lost wages if you are injured at work or have a work-related illness.
Most states require all employers to have some form of worker’s compensation insurance. However, a few states allow larger companies to self-insure. This means the corporation itself acts as its own insurer for worker injuries. Likewise, smaller companies, who employ 3 or 4 staff members, may not have to carry worker’s compensation insurance at all. If one of these workers sustains an injury, the claim is filed with the company’s insurance carrier, who then pays benefits according to that state’s guidelines. In Virginia, an employer with more than 2 employees needs to offer worker’s compensation.
In essence, whether a company has actual worker’s compensation or funds injury claims through its own insurance, an employee has certain rights that include:
- Immediate medical treatment for on the job injuries;
- The ability to file a worker’s compensation claim;
- The ability to select your own physician;
- Not being terminated by an employer because of a worker’s compensation claim; and
- Disability pay if an employee is partially or completely disabled due to an illness or injury on the job.
Your Responsibilities When Receiving Virginia Worker’s Compensation
Along with the rights that are given to injured workers, there are also employee responsibilities that must be honored. Some of these responsibilities include:
- An employee who is hurt on the job must inform the employer of a work-related injury;
- The employee must file a claim within 2 years from when the accident occurred; and
- The employee must search and accept light work duties if capable.
Contact a Virginia Worker’s Compensation Attorney Today
The Richmond-based worker’s compensation attorney team at Injured Workers’ Law Firm represents everyday workers—people like you—throughout the state of Virginia who have experienced serious injuries, and we are prepared to answer each and every one of your questions thoughtfully.
Before you talk to an insurance adjuster or even before you decide to hire an attorney, we urge you to order this FREE work injury guide. Then, once you feel ready to move forward as a claimant, give us a call at 1-804-755-7755 or toll-free at 1-877-755-7744. You can also contact us online today to schedule an appointment.
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.