Most people have no idea what to do after they have been hurt on the job. It can also be someone’s first time ever being injured at work, therefore making it an extremely difficult time. We want to help injured workers in Virginia be prepared and knowledgeable about their legal rights to protect themselves. Here is what happens when workers comp is approved in Virginia.
An employee who is injured at work in Virginia is required by law to notify their employer within 30 days. The injured worker is also responsible for filing a claim within 2 years of the date of accident with the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission. A claim form MUST be filed to the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission. This is NOT the same as an incident report. The steps for filing a claim form are here.
Workers’ Compensation in Virginia covers lost wages and medical bills regardless of fault. This means that even if the injury was the employee’s fault, it may still be covered under workers comp. Likewise, if a coworker was at fault, it may also be covered.
Once a claim form is filed through the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission, a 30-day order is entered. This means that the insurance company has 30 days to either accept or deny the claim. Again, the injured worker must file the claim form within 2 years of the date of the accident.
If workers’ comp is approved in Virginia what happens with lost wage benefits?
If a worker’s comp claim is approved in Virginia, the lost wage benefits should start after the first 7 days of being COMPLETELY out of work. If the injured worker is on light-duty per their workers’ compensation doctor receiving the same pay from their employer, they will not receive lost wages. However, if the Virginia workers comp doctor put the injured worker on light duty and their employer does not accommodate that light duty, then the injured worker may receive lost wages if they go through the process of job searching until they are under an award order. Job searching is an extremely important process in Virginia workers’ compensation that you can read about here. The amount of your lost wage check should equal two thirds of your average weekly wage.
What about medical treatment?
Injured workers are entitled to medical treatment in Virginia. When workers comp happens to be approved in Virginia, the employer will usually send an injured worker to a specific medical clinic, like Urgent Care or Patient First. It is very important you get treatment immediately after you’ve been injured, and it is crucial you go to the doctor your employer sends you to. If you are not happy with your workers’ comp doctor, read about what to do here.
If workers comp is approved in Virginia, what happens with a lump sum settlement?
We here often from our clients that they want to settle their Virginia workers comp claim. The settlement money allows them freedom to get medical treatment on their own terms or find a new job. Injured workers may get a settlement offer from the insurance company. This is because they are trying to close the file. This may cause them to make low-ball settlement offers to injured workers. They may offer someone who was severely injured at work, with an extremely low settlement offer and take advantage of them. This is what our firm wants to prevent. Therefore, it is so important to call a trustworthy, knowledgeable and experienced workers comp lawyer at (804) 755-7755 and get a free consultation before accepting any settlement offer.
About the Author: Michele Lewane
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.