Workers Compensation in Richmond, VA

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 is required to carry is governed by 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 ease the financial burden the illness or injury created on the worker. Learn some of the basic principles of Richmond, VA workers’ compensation insurance, and how the process works.

Workers Compensation Statistics in Richmond, Virginia?

The Department of Labor and Industry reports that the Virginia industry with the highest rate of injuries is healthcare. Additional high injury rate industries are retail trade, transportation, manufacturing, mining, and food services. The leading cause of work-related injuries in Richmond is overexertion, especially while lifting. Falls and contact with objects or equipment are also common. Reported injuries are most often strains, sprains, and tears. Although these injuries can be minor, approximately half of all work-related injuries result in missed work or job restrictions.

How Does Workers Comp Work in Richmond, 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 for a claim. 

The Virginia Workers Compensation Commission requires any business in Virginia with at least 2 employees to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Virginia defines employees broadly, so there are very few exceptions. Richmond employees with work-related injuries may be eligible for medical care, lost wages, travel expenses, and death benefits. All medical care will be covered, as long as it is medically necessary and related to the injury. If your injury causes you to miss more than 7 days of work, you may receive disability payments for lost wages. These can be up to 66% of your regular wages, with a maximum of $1137 per week.

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 Richmond, VA 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 Richmond, VA healthcare professional. This could not only jeopardize your health, but you run the risk of missing time-sensitive deadlines in the workers’ compensation process. 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 before a doctor finally associates your illness with your job. 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 leading up to the injury. 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.

The Virginia Workers Compensation Commission, requires employees injured in Richmond to report the injury to their employer within 30 days. In addition, the employee must file a workers’ compensation claim within 2 years of the injury.

Timeline and Other Information

Temporary disability payments can continue until either you return to work or your condition has stabilized. However, there is a maximum duration of  500 weeks. If you are stable, but still cannot fully work, you may be eligible for permanent disability. The amount and duration of this compensation will be determined based on the type and severity of your injury.

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 Richmond, Virginia Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

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

Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer in Richmond, Virginia

If you are hurt or contract an illness as a result of your job in Richmond, VA 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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