Workers Compensation in Virginia
You aren’t alone if you wonder how workers comp works. 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 Virginia workers’ compensation insurance and how the process works.
Workers Compensation Statistics in Virginia ?
Private and public employers in Virginia reported over 74,600 nonfatal incidents in 2019 to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics. Data from the Department of Labor and Industry shows substance abuse professionals and manufacturing workers experienced the highest rate of incidents. That trend continued with a large uptick for service industry workers and professionals in the education system. On the whole, work injuries cost $171 billion in 2019 alone, which is an average of $1,100 per worker.
How Does Workers Comp Work in Virginia ?
There is a standard practice to follow when going through the Virginia workers’ compensation process. Unfortunately, it begins with you getting sick or injured on the job. The circumstances surrounding the incident that led to the injury are especially crucial. The injury had to occur during the course of your regular work duties. It could also occur while you were performing a special task at the request of your boss.
If a business has more than two employees in Virginia, it must have workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Even companies that hire subcontractors for projects have to count them as employees for their insurance. After approval, the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission contributes to medical bills, lost wages, and cash payments. The state pays you 66% of your average compensation for the 52 weeks before the accident or onset of illness.
The steps you take immediately following a workplace incident in Virginia 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 receiving help from a Virginia healthcare professional. This could not only jeopardize your health, but you run the risk of missing time-sensitive deadlines in the workers’ compensation process.
Even if you believe that your injury is minor, get a proper medical report detailing the extent of the damage and how it occurred. This is the first step in the workers’ compensation claim process. Absent a medical report, your employer cannot file a claim with the insurance carrier.
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. All of your medical records will become the foundation from which the workers’ comp carrier will launch its investigation. Your doctor may make the determination that the illness is 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
Once you have a medical diagnosis relating your illness or injury to your job, you must file a claim with your employer. This is the next important phase of how Virginia workers comp works.
When you realize that you got hurt or sick on the job in Virginia, you have two years from the incident to file a claim for workers’ compensation. Don’t delay, and find medical attention right away. After you have been off work for more than seven days, your employer must submit a First Report of Injury to the state. The largest amount you could receive from the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission in 2020 after approval was $1,137 for up to 500 weeks.
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 submit a copy of the doctor’s report with the report of 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. You have to wait seven days before collecting payments from the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. You do get paid for that time if your recovery goes beyond the standard week.
Why You Should Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
In learning how Virginia workers comp works, many people believe that the injury claims process is straightforward. While this may be the case in some instances, in others, it may be more of a hassle. For instance, your employer may question whether you were hurt on the clock or on your own time. The company may also start to question the extent of your injury. There may even arise pay disputes and long-term care dictated by the doctor. Don’t question how workers comp works and risk losing your claim. Hire a Virginia workers’ comp lawyer and ensure you have an advocate to fight for your rights as a victim.
Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer in Virginia
Your health and wellbeing need to come first. If you are hurt while working or find out an illness you are suffering is the result of your job, you will want to seek compensation. Since the workers’ compensation claims process may be tricky, you should consider getting a local attorney well versed in how to deal with it. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Virginia state lines. They can guide you while you continue to learn how workers comp works.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!