Workers’ compensation is a system designed to provide immediate benefits to an employee injured on the job and protect employers from liability for these workplace accidents. In exchange for benefits, the employee agrees to forego filing a lawsuit for compensation. Under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act, all employers in the state with three or more part-time or full-time employees are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
Under the Workers’ Compensation Act, an injury can be compensated with workers’ compensation benefits if the following conditions are met: the injury occurred at work or during a work-related function, be caused by a specific work activity, or have happened suddenly at a specific time. Injuries that are caused outside of the work environment and not in the course of work duties are not covered by workers’ compensation in addition to injuries caused by repetitive trauma or occurred gradually over time.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
In Virginia, an injured employee is entitled to a number of workers’ compensation benefits. Benefits for workers’ compensation includes the following:
- Lifetime medical benefits: payment for current and future medical expenses related to the injury, including compensation for medical, prescription, and transportation expenses
- Wage loss replacement: Also known as Temporary Total or Temporary Partial disability, this is full or partial wage loss replacement for disability that causes work loss
- Permanent partial disability: compensation for the loss of use of a body part, hearing or vision, amputation, lung disease, or disfigurement and scarring
- Permanent total disability: lifetime wage replacement for the loss of both hands, arms, feet, legs, eyes, or any two in the same workers’ compensation incident as well as for paralysis and traumatic brain injury
- Death benefits: wage loss replacement and other benefits paid to family members of the employee killed in a work-related accident. Family members include a spouse, children, and other dependents
- Miscellaneous: mileage reimbursement, cost of living increases, and other miscellaneous expenses incurred as a result of the workplace injury
How to File a Claim in Virginia
If you are injured on the job in Virginia, the first thing you should do is seek medical treatment for your injuries. Then, as soon as you are able you should report the injury to your employer. Speak with an attorney about your workers’ compensation claim and a lawyer can help you submit your claim to the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. Under state law, you only have two years from the date of the accident to file your claim or void any opportunity to collect benefits. If your claim is accepted, you will receive an award agreement, but if it is denied or not the full scope of benefits you believe that you deserve an attorney can advocate on your behalf throughout the appeals process.
Contact Us Today
Do you need help filing a workers’ compensation claim in Virginia? If so, the workers’ compensation attorneys in Virginia at Harbison & Kavanagh can help. Call the office or contact us online to schedule a free review of your workers’ compensation case to discuss your legal options for workers’ compensation benefits.