Any type of legal action can be complicated, but workers’ compensation in particular can be confusing to many. There are a number of common mistakes that employees in Colonial Heights can make on their workers’ compensation claims which might impact their recovery. If you require assistance, an experienced workers’ comp attorney can help you cover all of your bases.
Some of the mistakes that people make include not filing a claim with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission (VWCC) before the deadline. A person is barred from securing benefits if they do not file within the two-year statute of limitations, although there are some exceptions that might lengthen or shorten the deadline.
It is also a mistake to only include the major injuries but ignore the smaller ones. Some painless or seemingly benign injuries can slowly turn into a more serious problem if not treated, and plaintiffs should make sure they will be covered for those as well.
Employees should take care to fully report their accident to their employer within 30 days. Some people might not realize that they had an accident that caused injury or they did not detail the full situation to their manager. They may think it is not serious or that they do not want to bother their employer.
The person’s insurance company might begin to compensate for the medical treatment, lulling them into a false sense of security such that they do not file a claim. If the situation persists in such a way they need to file a workers’ comp claim, they may have exceeded the statute of limitations, barring any future recovery. Through familiarity with the law and the procedural requirements, an attorney can make sure that nobody misses the filing deadline and that all potential avenues for damages are noted.
Another common mistake that affects local workers’ comp claims is in regards to the employee’s tenure. Many people refrain from filing for workers’ comp because either they are new or they have been there for so long that they do not wish to involve their co-workers. However, these claims are not necessarily made against employers, who are required to have workers’ comp insurance available if they have three or more employees.
In addition: filing a claim does not cost any money and a person is able to file it with the VWCC on their own.
Claimants can hinder their chance of success if they did not report all of their injuries. The insurance company will say that the person sustained those unreported injuries at a later date from an unrelated accident.
People may not realize that an injury to one part of their body can cause a symptom or reaction in another part of the body. For example, a back injury could cause issues with the legs. A doctor might be able to connect the two and diagnose a back injury. If the leg pains are not followed up on, the worker could miss out on compensation for the back injury.
The forms that an employee must fill out are not complicated and they are sent to an injured worker by the VWCC through the mail. Anytime somebody reports an injury, and that injury is then reported to the VWCC by insurance, they send out the forms requesting basic contact information and the benefits being claimed.
Colonial Heights claimants commonly make mistakes on these workers’ compensation forms. One potentially complicated section that an attorney can assist with is the benefits section. Injured individuals must inform the VWCC about which benefits they are seeking,
The way that the VWCC lists the benefits can be confusing to people because of the way it is labeled. The first category is lifetime medical award, with other parts concerning wage loss replacement for temporary total disability, temporary partial disability, or permanent loss. Those benefits will not apply in every case – and a box that is improperly checked or not checked could affect the claim.
Many of the common mistakes made in Colonial Heights workers’ compensation claims are done in the early phase. Between informing your employer or the VWCC, and properly filling out the official forms, there are numerous opportunities for mistakes. Contact a lawyer to help you properly file a claim and advocate for you to receive the necessary benefits.