Virginia Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
An on-the-job accident injury has the potential to remove an employee from the workplace and prevent them from earning valuable income. Fortunately, Virginia has a comprehensive workers’ compensation system that provides benefits to injured workers when they cannot work as they used to.
Although highly beneficial, the workers’ compensation system is not necessarily worker-friendly. In fact, claimants run into various problems in their pursuit of the benefits they deserve. For this reason, injured workers should consult with a Virginia workers’ compensation lawyer to represent them in their quest for benefits.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
The workers’ compensation system provides injured workers with economic benefits to help them deal with the medical costs of their injuries and to assist them in continuing to put food on the table.
But workers should know that the workers’ compensation system is a compromise of sorts that allows injured workers access to relatively quick, abridged benefits in exchange for not suing their employer for negligence.
Medical Care and Treatment Expenses
Your employer may be responsible for covering all of your medical costs related to your injury, including but not limited to:
- Visits to the doctor or other healthcare professionals
- Hospital stays
- Medical tests and lab work
- Physical therapy
- Prescription medication
- Future medical care for long-term benefits
Your employer may also be required to pay for travel costs related to the treatment of your injuries.
Partial Wage Replacement
Wage replacement is available for injured workers who are able to earn only a portion or none of their previous average weekly wage. However, the wage replacement benefit does not cover an injured worker’s entire wage.
Instead, only 66⅔ of the wage is replaced up to a maximum state-mandated amount, which is adjusted every year for cost-of-living purposes.
If a permanent disability results from a workplace accident, a worker may be entitled to receive long-term benefit payments. The amount of these payments depends primarily on the extent of the disability, which can either be a permanent partial or a permanent total disability.
To qualify for permanent partial disability, a worker must receive a permanent impairment rating of an extremity that is greater than 0%. To qualify for permanent total disability, a worker must be considered to be so severely injured that they can no longer participate in the workplace in any capacity.
In the unfortunate situation that a fatality occurs, the deceased worker’s family may be entitled to death benefits that can be used for:
- $10,000 in burial and funeral expenses
- $1,000 in reasonable travel expenses
- Monetary compensation for specific dependents according to statute
Regarding the final bullet point, a deceased worker’s spouse can receive wage-replacement payments. The deceased worker’s dependent children may also receive wage-replacement payments if they are under 18 years old or younger than 23 and attending an accredited institution of higher learning.
What to Do Immediately After a Workplace Injury
If you become injured on the job, you should seek to have your injury evaluated as soon as possible. If the situation is an emergency, you should consider calling 911 immediately.
You will then want to report the accident to your employer as soon as possible. In Virginia, you have 30 days to inform them. However, the sooner you let them know, the better. You should then meet with an attorney to obtain the most optimal results from your workers’ compensation claim.
Keep in mind that there is a statute of limitations for workers’ compensation claims — two years from the date of your injury unless you have experienced an occupational disease.
For occupational diseases, the time limit is two years from the time you were informed of the disease and within five years of the last time you were exposed to the disease-causing work.
An Experienced Attorney Can Help
If you or a loved one has experienced a work injury, contact The Joel Bieber Firm to help maximize your workers’ compensation claim. Our team has represented hundreds of injured workers and has secured substantial compensation figures that have made a big difference in their lives.
Call our office today for a free consultation with a Virginia workers’ compensation lawyer who cares.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have been injured on the job, you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible after your accident and before making any statements to your employer’s insurance company. The sooner you have a lawyer representing you, the more likely you are to get the full benefits you deserve in a timely manner.
It depends on your case. Once a Virginia workers’ compensation lawyer from our team reviews your case, they will be in a better position to give you an idea of the benefits you might receive.
If you are seeking the maximum allowable benefits for your workers’ compensation claim, then yes, you need a Virginia workers’ compensation lawyer. Although workers’ compensation is for the benefit of injured workers, it can be notoriously challenging for workers with valid claims.
With an attorney representing you, you have a powerful advocate who will fight to get you the maximum payout available for your claim. Without one, you can face serious problems from your employer, their insurance company, and even case managers who might offer significant resistance to your claim for benefits.
Virginia workers’ compensation lawyers typically charge between 15% and 20% of the total benefits they recover for their clients. Additionally, attorneys will seek reimbursement from their clients for the costs they have incurred representing them.