The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that more than 75,000 Virginia employees are injured or fall ill at the workplace each year. Among these cases, almost 40,000 workers suffered severe injury or illness, requiring them to miss work or comply with medically necessary work restrictions. Suffering a workplace injury can be a devastating event. In addition to the physical pain and medical expenses, you might not be able to work due to your injury.
When you get hurt at work, you should be able to fill out a workers’ compensation claim to get the medical and disability benefits that you deserve. Unfortunately, it isn’t always that easy. In some cases, you will need an aggressive and competent legal team in your corner to advocate for your rights.
With more than four decades of experience representing personal injury victims throughout Virginia, including those who have been injured in the workplace, the skilled legal team at Emroch & Kilduff is here to help. Contact us at (804) 358-1568 for a free consultation to share the details of your workplace injury with one of our Virginia workers’ compensation lawyers.
What Benefits Does Workers’ Compensation Insurance Provide?
Workers’ compensation is mandatory insurance coverage that Virginia employers must purchase to cover losses they sustain from injured workers. All companies who employ three or more part-time or full-time employees must have workers’ compensation coverage. In Virginia, the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission administers the programs. Depending on your injury, you might receive one or more of the following benefits if your claim is approved by your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier:
Under Virginia law, employees who are injured on-the-job or suffer from an occupational illness are entitled to medical benefits from their employer. Medical coverage includes reimbursement for travel to and from your doctor, medically necessary treatment from doctors and specialists, follow-up doctor visits, hospitalization, physical therapy, diagnostic testing, prescription medication, and prosthetic devices.
Virginia workers’ compensation disability benefits intend to replace a portion of lost wages incurred by missing work due to an injury or occupational illness. If your claim is approved, you typically receive two-thirds of your average weekly wage, but not over the maximum amount allowed by law, which changes each year. In 2017, weekly disability benefits in Virginia were capped at $1,043. The number of weeks you receive benefits depends on which of the following four disability categories applies to your injury:
- Temporary total disability (TT). This refers to injured employees who cannot work for a certain amount of time, as ordered by their doctor.
- Temporary partial disability (TP). This refers to injured employees who can return to work after an injury but have some restrictions and might be able to make a complete recovery.
- Permanent total disability (PTD). Individuals with a permanent total disability cannot return to their job at any time in the future.
- Permanent partial disability (PPD). When a doctor concludes that an injured or sick employee will not improve in the future, this constitutes PPD. In these cases, an employee might be able to perform some duties, but they will have a permanent disability.
When you consult with one of the workers’ compensation attorneys at Emroch & Kilduff, we can help you determine which category applies to your situation.
Under Virginia law, surviving family members are entitled to death benefits when they lose a loved one as a result of workplace injury. Death benefits include:
- Up to $10,000 in burial expenses.
- Up to $1,000 in reasonable transportation expenses.
- Compensation to dependents, which is typically equal to two-thirds of the average weekly wage earned by the deceased family member before death.
Virginia will pay out death benefits to surviving spouses and/or dependent children who are under age 18, or under age 23 if they are enrolled in college. Speaking with a personal injury attorney that specializes in wrongful death can give you more information about after death compensation and Virginia Law.
When Injured Workers Need Legal Representation
Hopefully, if you get injured at work, you won’t need to consult a personal injury lawyer. Unfortunately, insurance companies don’t always play fair, and employers don’t always follow the rules. In these situations, you need an experienced Virginia workers’ compensation attorney to advocate for you, protect your rights, and ensure that you receive the workers’ compensation benefits that you deserve after an on-the-job injury or occupational illness. Some scenarios that may require a lawyer include:
- Your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier denied your claim.
- Your employer retaliated or threatened retaliation after you filed a claim.
- Your workplace injury was the result of the use of or exposure to a defective product or toxic substance, and you need to file a lawsuit against the company that manufactured the product or substance.
- You suffered an injury at a job site not owned by your employer.
- Your employer has not purchased mandatory workers’ compensation insurance.
- You suffered injuries after a traffic accident in a company vehicle.
- Your workplace injury aggravated a preexisting condition.
- Your disability benefits have been reduced.
- You need medical treatment, and the insurance company won’t approve it.
Our Virginia Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Can Help
At Emroch & Kilduff, we are empathetic to the physical, mental, and financial stress that comes in the wake of a workplace injury. We offer free consultations to discuss your injury and help you determine the best path forward for your situation. If you choose one of our Virginia workers’ compensation attorneys to represent you, we will handle your case on a contingency fee basis.
This means that you don’t need to worry about paying for attorney fees upfront. Instead, we deduct fees from any compensation that we recover for you.
If you sustained a workplace injury or lost a loved one because of an on-the-job accident, you deserve compensation that gives you time to heal and not worry about mounting medical bills. If you suffered a permanent disability, you shouldn’t have to shoulder the financial burden that comes with not being able to perform your job.
Contact Emroch & Kilduff online or at (804) 358-1568 for a free consultation and to learn how we can assist you with your Virginia workers’ compensation claim.