Virginia Work Related Injury Attorneys
If you’ve been seriously injured at work, you need a Virginia work injury lawyer to make sure you get the most compensation and benefits available to you under the law.
There are many work comp laws that protect workers from unfair treatment when injured on the job. Some employers and insurance companies will do things to minimize your claim. Often the injured worker does not realize until it is too late that he/she did not get the most compensation and benefits available. If you’ve been injured on the job, you deserve to know your rights.
- Selecting a doctor and obtaining medical treatment
- Whether you are required to give a recorded statement to your employer or the insurance company
- Understanding that you must file your claim within two years
- Knowing when you are required to look for and accept “light duty’ work
Under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act, an injured employee doesn’t have to prove anyone was at fault or make a negligence claim. In order to minimize the costs of insurance for most companies, many employers and insurance companies want to deny or minimize your claim. 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.
Workers’ compensation insurance provides coverage for medical treatment and reimbursement of emergency care for employees injured on the job. Workers’ comp is mandatory for all employers with two or more employees and protects employees and employers. Read on to learn more about your rights after an injury at work.
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Who is covered by workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation is compulsory in Virginia. According to the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission, these two employees may be full or part-time, subcontractors, or even temporary/seasonal workers.
Here is a list of those who are considered employees according to the statute:
- Corporate Officers (even if not salaried or performing their usual duties)
- Family members doing work on site
- Corporate executives and other officers
- Charity and non-profit workers (even if they do work for churches)
- Independent contractors (if determined that the employer has control of the working relationship)
- Sole proprietorship sub-contract workers
This list includes full-time, part-time, contractors, and sub-contractors. If the total number of employees is more than two, the employer must carry coverage. Failure to comply with this requirement can incur a penalty for employers of $5,000 per occurrence. Employers must post a notice in the workplace that is clear and visible to employees regarding workers’ compensation insurance. Employees do not pay for the cost of insurance from their wages.
What does it cover?
According to the Virginia injured workers benefits guide, Workers’ Compensation Insurance covers doctors’ visits, hospitalization bills, medical tests, medication, physical therapy, and even prosthetics if necessary. The provisions also allow for mileage reimbursement for travel to and from your authorized primary doctor/specialists.
Over the years, compensation benefits have changed for employees to compensate for many factors such as the rise in the cost of living, medical expenses, and burial costs. Benefits do include maximum payments for things such as lost wages. Please note that temporary disability payments for lost wages begin only after seven days (starting with day 8) if you cannot work. Past 21 days of incapacitation, payment includes those first seven days.
Wage compensation for temporary total disability is calculated at roughly 2/3 of your wages (66.6 percent) for the last 52 weeks of employment, with a cap of $1,195 per week. Temporary total disability maxes out at 500 weeks, in which case you must determine permanent disability and calculate the cost of living. Check this link for a chart that shows the minimums and maximums for the last several decades.
On-the-job injuries resulting in death entitle immediate family members to death benefits. Dependent children are eligible up until 18 or 23 years old if enrolled in an accredited institution of higher learning. Funeral/burial expenses are payable up to $10,000 as of 2022, along with reasonable transportation. Providing a certificate of death is required to receive these benefits.
Expenses you will be face
Here are some of the expenses and challenges you will face if you are injured on the job.
- Lost time at work: Lost time at work means loss of wages. With bills piling up, rent/mortgages due, and disconnect notices coming, you need your benefits to be paid out to keep your family above water.
- Medical bills: From the initial ambulance ride, Emergency Room visit, specialist referrals, surgeries, and hospital stays, medical bills are outrageous and nearly impossible to pay by yourself.
- Rehabilitation costs: During your recovery, you will need to continue with a physical therapy regimen, which could take years to get you back to your pre-injury condition, if ever.
- Pain and suffering: The physical pain and mental anguish you experience from a workplace injury can result in post-traumatic stress disorder, panic attacks, anxiety, and depression. All of these are serious conditions that affect your quality of life.
- Possible long-term pain management: Many workplace-related injuries require pain management such as pain drugs, treatments, and other methods. All of these are expensive and affect your quality of life.
- Disability: This is a serious consideration. One workplace injury can negatively impact you for the rest of your life.
Why hire an attorney?
The benefits Virginia provides sound like they work in the employee’s best interest. With provisions requiring that employers carry workers’ compensation insurance, it would seem that workers’ rights come first. However, even with insurance, the claims process is rarely simple. There are a few reasons you might want to speak to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Virginia.
Workers’ comp denied your claim
Claim denial can happen for many reasons. Perhaps the insurance company determined that your injuries occurred during non-working hours or that your injuries were somehow not covered by workers’ compensation insurance. The process of appeals and fighting to have your bills and expenses covered due to a workplace injury are stressful and time-consuming, and you might feel like you are being stonewalled or spinning your wheels. Hiring an attorney will give you the support and information needed to navigate the process.
Your employer did not carry coverage for you
When an employer clearly violated the law, the fines and penalties that the state sanctions them with still won’t pay your medical bills. An attorney can explain various options to get the compensation you deserve, even if your employer shirked their legal and ethical responsibilities.
From your injuries not being considered serious enough, or doubts about your qualification for long-term disability, many options can protect your rights and continue to afford you the quality of life you worked toward.
We handle issues dealing with the right to recover benefits, allegations of work comp fraud, allegations of mis-conduct and work comp subrogation and appeals. Contact us to make sure you get the most you deserve. Click here for information on Construction Accidents & Workers’ Compensation >
Contact an attorney
If you suffer from injuries due to the fault of another person or company, contact Emroch & Kilduff or call us at (804) 358-1568 for a free consultation. Our team of experienced injury attorneys can help you understand your options. Contact an attorney to navigate the process, and make sense of upcoming deadlines, statutes of limitations, and protect your rights.
Do not hesitate to contact us, or visit one of our offices in Richmond, Petersburg, Tappahannock, or Fredericksburg for a consultation with an experienced accident injury attorney.
3600 West Broad Street, Suite 700
Richmond, Va 23230
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More Resources about VA Workers’ Compensation Laws
- VA Workers’ Compensation Law
- VA Workers’ Compensation Guideline for Seeking Light Duty Work
- VA Workers’ Compensation FAQ’s
- VA Workers’ Compensation Claim Form