There are numerous hoops to jump through when filing a workers’ compensation claim. Between the employer and the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission, it can be difficult to juggle all of the communication and steps to make a successful claim. An attorney who deals with workers’ comp cases can assist you in making sure all of the unique aspects of these cases are being done correctly so that you have the best chance to recover damages from your accident.
The first thing for an employee to do after being injured on the job is to report the injury as soon as possible. Then they should write down information regarding their accident, including the date, the time, and any witnesses. They should also get medical treatment as soon as possible. Finally, they should file a claim with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission.
In Hanover County, most employees are guaranteed coverage under workers’ compensation. Under the law, all employers that have three or more employees are required to have workers’ compensation insurance. The coverage might be excluded for people like independent contractors, however.
An employee can file a claim by contacting the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. The Commission also issues letters to injured workers, notifying them that an injury was reported, and instructions regarding how a claim needs to be filed.
The Commission alerts individuals of their ability to file for workers’ compensation if they do not know to independently seek it out. They will send notices by mail once an injury is reported by the employer. Additionally, employers are also required to have information regarding workers’ compensation posted in a readily accessible area. If neither of those is accessible, the injured employee could always call the Commission for more information on filing a claim.
To file a workers’ compensation claim, a person needs to fill out a Claim for Benefits Form. If the injured worker calls the Workers’ Compensation Commission, they could provide more information. The forms are also available online through the Workers’ Compensation Commissions’ website and in a separate online system for filing claims called Webfile. Any of these methods could be used to file a workers’ compensation claim.
When filing a workers’ compensation claim, an employee should be careful to include all the benefits that they are seeking. This includes things like lifetime medical benefits, wage loss benefits, and other reimbursements like medical bills and mileage. When listing how the accident occurred, they do not need to provide an in-depth summary of exactly what happened. They just need to provide a general description of the accident.
The easiest way individuals could work to protect themselves from being taken advantage of is to hire an attorney. If they do not want to hire an attorney, they should make sure to pursue their claim with the Commission and to pay attention to all notices that the Commission sends out. These notices would include information that they may need to submit to the Commission as well as other documentation to provide. It is also smart to file and pursue the claim even if the insurance company or the employer says that they are going to pay for everything.
If people are unable to return to their pre-injury job after being injured, and the claim is accepted, they could get assigned to vocational counseling through the insurance company. Alternatively, if the claim is not accepted or is still pending, they may have to start looking for a different job.
The Commission requires the injured worker to apply to five jobs a week within their medical restrictions to ensure that the claimant remains eligible for wage loss benefits. At a later period, there may be medical testing performed to determine what types of jobs an injured worker may perform. Settlement may be an option to consider, although that would be on a case-by-case basis.
A severe work-related accident could not only leave serious injuries but it might also prevent you from working there – or anywhere – again, thus limiting your ability to have an income. With lots of red tape to go through, hiring a workers’ comp lawyer in Hanover County could greatly ease the burden you face. Call today for a free consultation.