Workers Compensation in Charleston, WV

You aren’t alone if you ask “How does workers comp work?” Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that provides wage and medical benefits to people who have become ill or injured while at work. The extent of workers’ comp coverage an employer has to carry depends on West Virginia state law. Thus, in trying to figure out how workers comp works, it helps to understand the laws on the books in the state where the business operates. If the injury or illness a worker sustains is eligible for compensation, the insurance carrier should help. Learn some of the basic principles of Charleston, WV workers’ compensation insurance and how the process works.

Workers Compensation Statistics in Charleston, West Virginia?

The U.S. Department of Labor reports that 6.7 out of every 100 Charleston, WV residents work in mining, logging, and construction. A mining accident in November 2020 in Kanawha County, unfortunately, led to the death of a local miner. Logging contributes a lot to the West Virginia economy, but the industry has one of the highest rates of job-related illness or injury. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Statistics shows that 5.5 out of every 100 forestry employees suffered injuries in 2019.

How Does Workers Comp Work in Charleston, West Virginia?

Unfortunately, going through the process of applying for workers’ compensation begins with getting sick or injured on the job. The circumstances surrounding the incident that led to your problems are especially crucial. For example, the injury had to occur during your regular work duties. While an event that happens during your lunch break wouldn’t apply, getting into a car accident while running an errand for your boss would qualify. 

Any Charleston, WV business has the responsibility to carry a workers’ compensation policy. With that said, some exemptions do apply to agricultural or temporary workers. Assuming that your claim receives approval, the state provides medical benefits and legal fees. The workers’ compensation board also calculates your salary for the last year and pays up to 66% in weekly payments.

For example, say your supervisor asked you to drop something off on your lunch break. While running this errand you then get in a car accident on your way to the destination. Any resulting injury is eligible for workers’ compensation. However, if you are on your lunch break, performing no such task when you get in an accident, it does not qualify for a claim.

The steps you take immediately following a workplace incident in Charleston, WV are critical for purposes of filing a claim for compensation. Follow the following steps to preserve your rights and learn how workers comp works.

Get Medical Attention

After you get injured or feel ill, the first step is to see a doctor. Don’t delay seeking help from a Charleston, WV healthcare professional. This could not only jeopardize your health, but you run the risk of missing time-sensitive deadlines. Having a proper medical report detailing the extent of the damage and how it occurred is the first step in the process. Your employer cannot file a claim with their insurance carrier without this information.

When dealing with a job-related illness, the symptoms and diagnosis may not happen right away. You may find yourself attending regular checkups and testing for weeks or months. Your doctor may make the determination that the illness is either the result of your work conditions or aggravated by them. Once they do, see your human resources representative to file a workers’ compensation claim.

File a First Report of Injury

The first report of an on-the-job injury or illness will provide the workers’ compensation insurance carrier with the details of the events. In this report, you will provide your physical injuries, the medical treatment you received, and the facilities that provided it. It’s always a good idea to bring a copy of the doctor’s report to submit with the report of injury.

If you experience an injury while at work in Charleston, WV, you only have six months to file for workers’ compensation. Most states give people two to five years, so you must notify your employer about your injury or illness and go to the doctor right away. They only have five days to complete an Employer’s Report of Occupational Injury or Disease report. After approval, you may receive up to $536 per week for a maximum of 104 weeks.

Timeline and Other Information

You don’t want to set false expectations for your workers’ compensation claim, but it’s worth your time to consider mandatory deadlines. Assuming that everything is in order, you have 60 days to file with the Office of Judges. The insurance company has fifteen days to answer after the formal notification of your complaint. The Workers’ Compensation Commission will hold a hearing that functions more like a trial. Both parties present their evidence and arguments, and the board will review a report from the hearing officer. Afterward, the Commission will issue a final order if these final steps are necessary.

Your employer should furnish you with information about the claims process. The adjuster or insurance carrier representative may want to speak to you at some point about the incident and any possible witnesses to the event. In the meantime, the workers’ comp insurer may begin paying medical benefits while the investigation into your claim continues.

Why You Should Hire a Charleston, West Virginia Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

While workers’ compensation claims may be straightforward for some cases in Charleston, West Virginia, in others, it may be more difficult. For example, your employer may decide to question whether your injury happened on the clock or your own time. It’s also common for a company to question the full extent of your injury. Hiring a Charleston workers’ comp lawyer ensures that you have an advocate to fight for your rights as a victim.

Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer In Charleston, West Virginia

If you are hurt or contract an illness as a result of your job in Charleston, WV you need to find the right people to help. Since the workers’ compensation claims process can have pitfalls, you should consider getting a local attorney who knows how to avoid them. 

Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!

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