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“They sent somebody to visit me in the hospital and get my side of the story (totally free). I was assigned Mr. Crawford and told that we had a case. Fast forward about 9 months later and I received literally 14x what the insurance company had offered me. This is after the lawyer and medical fees as well. So basically this was totally free and I barely had to do anything I am so glad I called Marks and Harrison and I will be recommending them to all of my family and friends.”— Robert Smith
When workers in Virginia are injured on the job, they may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. This compensation can provide for an injured individual’s medical expenses. The compensation also covers a portion of the income lost for the time the individual is unable to work.
The statute of limitations on workers’ comp claims is two years from the date of injury. When claims are filed after this time, the employee loses his or her right to receive any compensation.
Injured workers must act quickly to get their benefits. Speak with a Staunton workers’ compensation lawyer at Marks & Harrison today. Our Staunton workers’ compensation lawyer can get your claim started and help you receive the benefits you need.
What Are Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Workers’ compensation benefits are available for workers who are injured on the job. The compensation can cover medical expenses and a portion of any lost income.
As in other states, workers’ compensation in Virginia is no-fault. That means that it does not matter if the employee was partially at fault for the accident that resulted in injuries. The employee can still collect workers’ compensation benefits.
It also means that you don’t have to show that the employer did anything wrong. However, even if the employer was partly at fault for the accident, workers’ compensation is usually the only remedy available to the injured worker. An injury lawsuit cannot be filed in court against the employer or its employees.
Workers’ compensation claims do not provide the same type of compensation that personal injury claims do. While injured workers can claim medical expenses and a portion of their lost income, they cannot claim other losses, such as pain and suffering.
Can I Sue My Employer If I Am Injured at Work?
Workers’ compensation is considered no-fault, and generally employees cannot sue their employer if they are injured at work. This is the case even if the employer contributed to the accident.
Employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance if they employ three or more employees – regardless of whether those workers are full or part-time. Employers must post a notice explaining the workers’ compensation system in an area that is open to employees. Employers must also report all accidents to the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission.
When employees do not carry proper workers’ compensation insurance, employees can file a lawsuit against their employers in a court of law. Even if workers’ compensation is available, an injured worker may be able to bring a third-party personal injury claim if someone other than the employer or a co-worker caused the accident.
Can I Still Work If I Am Receiving Workers’ Comp Benefits?
You can generally continue working if you are receiving workers’ comp benefits in Virginia. This is especially true if your doctor verifies that you can perform light duties at work. You must accept light-duty work if your employer offers it to you and you are able to do it.
Many workers’ compensation disputes arise over when and if an injured worker is able to return to work. Insurance companies may try to rush a claimant back to work before it is medically advisable to do so.
Can I Appeal If My Workers’ Comp Benefits Are Denied?
It is discouraging to learn that you have been denied the workers’ compensation benefits you need to deal with your injuries. However, a denial does not mean that your case is over. If following a hearing the deputy commissioner denies your claim, you can appeal the decision.
The first step of the process is to file a motion for reconsideration. In that appeal you ask a deputy commissioner to review your case. If the deputy commissioner still denies your claim, you can request a review by the full Workers’ Compensation Commission. The Commission usually makes a decision within three or four months of receiving the statements from both parties.
How Long Do I Have to File My Workers’ Comp Claim?
As soon as you are injured at work, you have 30 days to report the injury and accident to your employer. You should report your injury as soon as possible.
In Virginia you must file your workers’ compensation claim within two years from the date of the injury. This is known as the statute of limitations. The clock starts running as soon as the accident and injury occur. If the claim is filed after this time, the accident victim is usually barred from receiving any compensation.
You do not have to attend a hearing within this time limit or appeal the decision within two years. However, you must file the initial claim within two years.
Can I See My Own Doctor If I Have Been Injured at Work?
In Virginia, be aware that your employer and its insurance carrier are required to create a panel of physicians. This is a list of doctors you may see. You can choose any doctor from that list. But neither your employer nor the insurance company can force you to see a specific doctor on that list.
Can Anything Disqualify Me from Receiving Workers’ Comp Benefits?
A few circumstances or events may disqualify you from receiving workers’ compensation benefits in Virginia. These include:
- Your injury or illness was not related to your work.
- If you were impaired by drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident.
- You failed to notify your employer of your injury.
- You filed a claim after the statute of limitations had expired.
- You are not considered an employee of the employer.
- You have a pre-existing condition that had nothing to do with your workplace accident.
To ensure none of these factors interfere with your workers’ compensation claim, discuss your case with an attorney familiar with workers’ compensation law.
Talk to a Staunton Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Now
When workers are injured on the job in Staunton, they are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. But these benefits may be difficult to obtain.
If you have been injured at work, call a Virginia workers’ compensation lawyer at Marks & Harrison today. We will advise you on your claim and give you the best chance of receiving the benefits you need. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.