Tappahannock Work Injury Attorney
Accidents can happen anywhere, but given the number of hours people in Virginia spend at work, on-the-job injuries commonly take place. People in some more dangerous occupations are more prone to injuries than others, but regardless of the tasks you perform every day, your employer has a responsibility to provide a safe environment for you.
A workplace injury is especially difficult for several reasons. First, discussing your injury with your employer can feel uncomfortable. You might feel guilty starting a claim against the company for whom you have worked for many years. In addition, an injury at work typically prevents you from working for a certain time period. This can prove financially difficult, especially if you are the primary earner for your household.
Virginia, however, has passed specific laws to protect employees while they are working. The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission was put in place to ensure the rights of employees to compensation for injuries they sustain at work. Still, if you were seriously injured at work, you need a Virginia work injury attorney to make sure you get the most compensation and benefits available to you under the law. Here’s why.
How to File an Injury Claim in Virginia
When you are injured on the job, paperwork is probably the last thing on your mind. You need to focus first on receiving prompt medical attention, but you will need to send your claim for benefits through the proper process as well. Enlisting the services of an experienced work injury attorney, who can take the proper steps involved in submitting your relevant claim, can make all of the difference.
Seek Medical Attention
Although you are not required by law to see a medical professional in the event of an injury, you will need to show that you saw a doctor to qualify for compensation and benefits. When you seek medical attention after a workplace injury:
- Indicate to your employer that you are getting treatment for an injury sustained at work.
- Explain to the medical professional that the injury occurred when you were at your place of employment.
- Maintain thorough records of all medical treatments, tests, and observations. Save all of the doctor’s notes, prescriptions, and receipts for the money that you spend on medication and treatment. Your attorney might need to rely on these when filing a claim.
- Follow your doctor’s orders exactly. Failure to follow medical advice will conflict with your claim. Your employer may allege that you weren’t that injured since you didn’t stick to the recommended medical treatment plan.
Report the Injury to Your Employer
As soon as it is safe, and ideally as soon as possible, report the injury to your employer. An eligible claim requires you to report the incident to your employer within 30 days of the event. Sometimes it’s not possible to report the incident immediately, especially if you require medical attention that takes you away from the job. Just be sure to submit a report within 30 days to ensure that your claim is not automatically denied. Maintain a record that shows you have notified your employer of the injury.
Report the Injury to the Workers’ Compensation Commission
In addition to notifying your employer about your injury, the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC) requires you to file a claim directly with it. Hire an experienced attorney to file this claim correctly because your potential benefits will depend on it.
You may file your claim in many different ways, and your attorney should help you with this to ensure that you complete it in accordance with the WCC’s requirements. For instance, you must file your claim within a specific time period or the WCC will invalidate it.
Employee Rights in Virginia
The aftermath of a workplace injury can prove just as devastating as the accident itself. Not only are you hurt, but you are most likely unable to keep working, at least for the short term. Sometimes the effects of these injuries can extend for months and years, intensifying the financial burden of medical bills and lost wages.
Virginia workers, however, receive protections under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act. An injured employee, for example, doesn’t need to prove fault or make a negligence claim.
This act covers a wide variety of issues, from occupational hazards and one-time accidents to occupational diseases that present symptoms after many years on the job.
To minimize the costs of insurance, however, many employers and insurance companies want to delay, deny, or minimize your claim. This is a dangerous territory to navigate alone. When you’re unable to work now, and for the foreseeable future, many people rely on these benefits to stay financially solvent. Your rights as an employee in Virginia matter, so work with a lawyer who understands these cases and can follow yours through to a just resolution.
A Work Injury Lawyer Can Help
Workers’ compensation laws protect injured workers from unfair treatment. Still, some employers and insurance companies will minimize your claim, so seek experienced legal counsel to make sure this doesn’t happen. Injured workers who don’t hire attorneys may realize until it is too late that the compensation and benefits they received will not cover their expenses.
If you were injured on the job, you deserve to know your rights. Do not hesitate to contact us, or visit one of our offices in Richmond, Petersburg, Tappahannock, or Fredericksburg to set up a consultation with a work accident and injury lawyer.
An attorney can help you with the process of setting up your workers’ compensation claim in the proper manner. We can also help you navigate issues that could affect your right to compensation. We may assist with:
- Selecting a doctor and obtaining medical treatments
- Advising whether you are required to give a recorded statement to your employer or the insurance company
- Collecting evidence from the accident scene
- Talking with your coworkers and other people who witnessed the accident, gathering helpful witness testimony to support your case
- Understanding that you must file your claim within two years
- Knowing when you are required to look for and accept light duty work
Contact a Tappahannock, Virginia, Worker Injury Attorney Today
At Emroch & Kilduff, we have many years of experience in working with people who have suffered an injury while at their places of employment. Our lawyers specialize in offering personal attention to clients who are dealing with workers’ injury claims. We represent workers who are injured on the job to make sure they get the best treatment and the most compensation available to them by law. We handle issues dealing with the right to recover benefits, allegations of workers’ comp fraud, allegations of misconduct, and workers’ comp subrogation and appeals. Call our Tappahannock, Virginia office at (804) 358-1568 to schedule an appointment to make sure you get the treatment and the compensation you deserve.