Richmond Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
An accident at work can leave you in pain and immobilized at home for weeks or even months. Virginia’s workers’ compensation program exists to provide financial assistance to you during these times. While the process should be easy to navigate, this is not always the case. Some may experience delays or denials in receiving benefits. If you encounter trouble obtaining workers’ compensation benefits, you should call a Richmond workers’ compensation lawyer for immediate assistance.
You need and deserve help when your workers’ compensation benefits do not come right away. Instead of guessing or trying to figure out what is wrong with your claim, leave it to the team at The Joel Bieber Firm to cut through the confusion and get you the benefits you need.
How Virginia Workers’ Compensation Claims Work
When you suffer harm in an accident, personal injury law says that you may have a claim for compensation against the at-fault party.
Virginia’s legislature, however, enacted the state’s workers’ compensation laws so that people who suffer injury or contract an illness at work do not have to prove that anyone was at fault before receiving compensation.
Workers’ compensation laws benefit both employers and employees. Employers need not worry about expensive lawsuits from workers hurt on the job, and employees can expect their workplace injuries and illnesses to result in compensation even when the employees themselves were careless.
When a workplace mishap happens, report your injury or illness to your employer. Your employer submits the appropriate forms to the state workers’ compensation commission.
After your claim is approved, you receive benefits according to a set schedule. The schedule determines the amount of benefits you get as well as the duration of your benefits.
What Happens After a Claim Denial?
Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer will evaluate your claim. If the claim is eligible, the insurer will pay benefits as the law requires. If your insurer does not believe the law covers your claim, it will deny your claim and refuse to pay benefits. You will receive notification of your claim’s denial.
In some cases, negotiation with the insurer is all that is needed to resolve the dispute and get you paid. Your employer’s insurer may just need additional documentation of your injury or the circumstances surrounding your illness.
When talking with your employer’s insurer does not yield results, though, you may need to appeal the denial to the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission.
The Commission will conduct a hearing and receive evidence from you and the insurer concerning your respective positions. The Commission will then decide whether you should receive compensation.
There are strict timelines for appealing a claim denial, so seek help early from your Richmond workers’ compensation lawyer before your time expires.
Common Issues with Virginia Workers’ Compensation Claims
Your Richmond workers’ compensation lawyer can assist in resolving a wide variety of issues with your workers’ compensation claim. These issues include the following.
Failure to Timely File a Claim
You must notify your employer of your workplace accident or illness. Doing so as soon as you can after the incident is the best practice. You must file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits no later than two years after your injury occurs.
If you sustain an illness while on the job, this two-year period begins the day a doctor tells you that your illness is work-related or you otherwise learn this information.
Not a Covered Employee
Employers must maintain workers’ compensation insurance for their employees, but they are not required to provide workers’ compensation benefits for independent contractors. An independent contractor is responsible for their own injuries and losses if they sustain an injury or become ill on the job.
The line between an employee and an independent contractor is not always clear. Nor are employers always clear with you at the time of hire whether you are an independent contractor or an employee.
In some cases, it may take litigation and a careful investigation of the facts to show you are an employee and eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Pre-Existing Injuries and Conditions
Workers’ compensation benefits compensate you for injuries and illnesses you sustain on the job. They are not meant to provide benefits for conditions you sustained elsewhere. Injuries you received while on vacation, for example, would not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
But if your pre-existing injury or illness becomes worse because of workplace activities, you may be able to receive benefits. However, proving that your condition worsened as a result of your employment can be challenging.
Your Richmond workers’ compensation lawyer may need to assist in collecting and presenting detailed medical evidence to support your claim.
Lack of Medical Documentation
Finally, your employer’s insurer may deny your workers’ compensation claim if there is insufficient evidence of what your injury is or that you sustained it while at work. This is why it is important to seek medical care and follow your doctor’s instructions if you are hurt at work.
For these and other difficulties with a workers’ compensation claim, knowledgeable help from a Richmond workers’ compensation lawyer can make all the difference. Call The Joel Bieber firm today for prompt assistance with your case.
Do Not Wait for a Claim Denial Before Seeking Help
If you suffered harm on the job, now is the time to obtain help with your workers’ compensation claim.
The Joel Bieber Firm has been helping Richmond workers and employees throughout Virginia with their workers’ compensation claims for years. Our knowledgeable legal team knows you need compensation quickly, and we are committed to helping you achieve this goal.
The Joel Bieber Firm offers new clients a free initial consultation, so schedule yours today. Learn how our firm can help you get the workers’ compensation benefits you need.