Why Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
If you’ve been hurt at work in Richmond, or anywhere in the Commonwealth of Virginia, why should you hire a workers’ compensation attorney?
Workers’ compensation insurance protects an employer when an employee is injured during the normal course or scope of his or her employment. Though the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act was enacted to protect workers and pay for their medical care when they do get injured, there are unfortunate loopholes in the law that favor the employer and the insurance company during the claims process. It’s very difficult for an employee with no experience in the system to represent themselves successfully against their employer’s insurance company. An experienced Virginia workers’ compensation attorney can successfully navigate our state’s system to get you the compensation you deserve.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Pay For?
Workers’ compensation entitles you to:
- Payment for your medical treatment
- Compensation for wages lost due to the injury
- Compensation for any permanent impairment you sustained due to the injury
- Compensation for any reduction in your ability to earn money in the future (due to disability caused by the injury)
- Payment for retraining to learn new work skills so that you can continue to work under your new circumstances
The complexity of Virginia’s workers’ compensation law merits an expert opinion to ensure that your case is handled fairly and that you get the maximum settlement possible.
When You Need a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company wants to settle your case for the least amount possible, and as quickly as possible. The insurance representative assigned to your case may be a very nice person, but that person is not looking out for your best interests as an injured worker. He or she works for the insurance company that is paid by your employer. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer will look out for your best interests as a claimant.
Following are some potential red flags that should alert you to the fact that you need to contact a workers’ compensation lawyer immediately:
- Your injuries are so severe that they prevent you from returning to work, or from working at all.Insurance companies are wary of injuries that result in permanent total disability or permanent partial disability claims because they can be enormously costly to settle. The insurance company will rely on strategies and tactics to potentially prevent paying lifetime weekly payments to which you may be entitled. A knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney will represent you against such insurance company tactics.
- You don’t receive benefits in a timely manner or your employer denies your claim.Workers’ comp insurance companies and employers often reject workers’ comp claims as part of their process because they hope the employee won’t be persistent enough to file an appeal. They’re often right. When they are, the injured worker receives none of the benefits he or she may be entitled to.
- The settlement offered doesn’t cover 100% of lost wages or medical costs. If you’re unsure whether the settlement the insurance company is offering you is fair, don’t ask your friends, neighbors or coworkers what they think. It’s not their area of expertise! Don’t rely on anyone but an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to tell you the truth.
- You collect disability. If you receive Social Security disability benefits, your workers’ comp settlement must be structured in a specific way or the Social Security Administration may receive a percentage of your benefits. A seasoned workers’ compensation attorney knows how to structure the settlement to avoid this pitfall and maximize the amount of money that ends up in your pocket.
- Your employer mistreats you after you file a claim.
Some employers resent workers’ comp claims and may show it by demoting, slashing hours, reducing salaries or firing the injured employee. It’s illegal to discriminate against an employee who was injured at work because he filed a claim. Call us immediately if this happens.