Virginia Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Workers’ compensation allows you to recover from workplace accidents without putting yourself in additional danger. Unfortunately, some employers are reticent to give you the resources you need to protect your health.
Workers’ compensation lawyers in Virginia know your rights. We’re ready to help you fight for the financial support you need after a workplace accident. If you’ve been denied your workers’ compensation, or you think the support you’ve been offered won’t cover your losses, you can turn to Christina Pendleton & Associates for guidance.
What You Need to Know About Workers’ Compensation in Virginia
Workers’ compensation laws in Virginia state that employers must obtain workers’ compensation insurance to cover their employees for work-related injuries. These same laws also bar personal injury suits brought by employees against employers and workers.
These laws bar these aforementioned suits in order to reduce the social costs associated with workplace injuries. They also cover the administrative costs associated with workplace injury litigation. However, workers’ compensation insurance will compensate victims of workplace injuries only up to a certain statutory maximum.
This maximum will often fail to cover the costs associated with the injury, i.e. lost wages and medical bills. Additionally, worker compensation insurance typically does not cover damages for pain and suffering that are otherwise obtainable in a personal injury lawsuit. Luckily, there are exceptions to the statutory bar on personal injury lawsuits related to workplace injuries.
Pursuing Loss Compensation As a Worker in Virginia
According to Code of Virginia Title 62.5, the workers’ compensation system in Virginia is compulsory for employers that have three or more employees (part-time employees included). The system compensates employees by providing benefits to an employee who has an injury as a result of an:
- Occupational disease
- Ordinary disease arising out of employment conditions
Injured employees that meet these criteria will be allowed to file a claim. If you’re not sure if your condition is entirely related to your employment, you can request a case assessment from the workers’ compensation attorneys in Virginia.
After you file your claim, you’ll have a seven-day waiting period following the submission of your claim to the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Compensation for Virginia’s Injured Workers
Workers’ compensation varies depending on your workplace injuries. In cases involving a permanent partial disability, the disabled employee is entitled to receive two-thirds of his or her average weekly wage for a certain number of weeks. That compensation will be further calculated based on the number of weeks designated for the disability.
Medical expenses relating to the injury in question will also be covered. Special provisions exist for rehabilitation and cost of living supplements. However, those cost of living supplements only come into play if workers’ compensation and social security equal less than 80% of the employee’s monthly wage. There are also benefits to dependents upon an employee’s death.
Arguing for Additional Workers’ Compensation Coverage
That said, a number of issues can arise that may require additional legal action by the employee. For example, an employer may attempt to reimburse you for less than the amount to which you are actually entitled. Additionally, the injuries you have sustained may require a more comprehensive compensation package than what has been offered to you.
In these cases, workers’ compensation determinations can be appealed. Alternatively, you can bring forward a lawsuit against your employer, provided your case is applicable under one of Virginia’s exceptions.
For example, the workers’ compensation bar may not apply to a claim based on co-worker assault. This is the case even though workers’ compensation law does usually bar lawsuits against co-employees as well as against employers themselves. You can discuss whether or not the bar applies to your car with a workers’ compensation attorney in Virginia.
How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Virginia
To file a workers’ compensation claim, you need to first report your injury to your employer. You have 30 days from the day you are injured to report this injury if you want to take legal action. Similarly, you have 30 days from the discovery of a work-related illness to act.
After you’ve reported your condition, you have two years from the day you are injured to file a claim form with the Commission. You can file this claim in person, through the mail, via fax, or through a WebFile account.
No matter what platform you complete your claim on, prepare to disclose your permanent address, gross weekly earnings, and injury-related losses. Our team can help you fill out this form. We’ll also contest any challenges that might compromise your right to compensation.
Let Our Team Fight for Your Workers’ Compensation
Virginia’s employees have the right to request financial support after a work-related accident or illness. In this same vein, employees can challenge any attempt to combat, deny, or otherwise block a person’s workers’ compensation claim. If you’re struggling to get the compensation you need to recover, you can call on our team.
For additional information on these and on other issues, you can consult one of our Virginia workers’ compensation lawyers. Call Christina Pendleton & Associates or contact us online for a free case consultation.