If a workers’ compensation claim is properly executed, it should restore an injured or sick worker to a comfortable place financially. Ideally, the benefits would bring the victim’s finances back what they were to before the incident ever occurred.
A Henrico County lawyer can help injured workers receive workers’ compensation benefits to repair their financial devastation after an accident. They can help guide people through the entire workers’ compensation process, from filing the initial claim to handling any disputes from the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission (VWCC). Since the VWCC will only award benefits that the employee specifically asks for, it is important the employee is aware of all of the available benefits and whether they may apply to their claim.
One benefit available to all injured employees is medical care for their injury. According to Virginia Code §65.2-603, an employer must provide medical care to their injured workers for as long as is necessary following the incident. If the injury is temporary, the worker receives care until they make a full recovery. If the incident results in a permanent disability, the insurance policy must provide treatment for the condition for the rest of the worker’s life.
This medical care is essential for the wellbeing of the worker and vital to the claim for cash benefits. The doctors treating the injured worker will also complete evaluation reports concerning the progress of their health. Insurance companies and the VWCC will use these reports to determine the appropriate rate of a cash payment.
A workers’ compensation claim secures benefits when a workplace accident leaves an employee unable to work. When an injured employee misses out on income from being off the job, there are certain rules for recovering that income. Under Virginia Code §65.2-509, workers must remain off the job for at least seven days to receive cash payments. However, if they are off the job for a total of three weeks or more, they can receive this first week’s compensation. This compensation is payable at a rate of two-thirds of a person’s average weekly wage. If a person suffers an injury that reduces their ability to work, but they do return to the job, the disability payments are two-thirds of the difference between their current wages and their preinjury earnings. These payments may continue for up to 500 weeks.
The most severe injuries could result in a permanent disability. These are cases in which a worker will never be able to earn a full living again. Commonwealth law provides a table in Virginia Code §65.2-503 that mandates the number of weeks’ worth of wages that a worker may receive following these injuries. Much like in temporary disability claims, these wages are payable at a rate of two-thirds of the workers’ pre-injury earnings.
If unable to work completely, such as in the loss of both hands, both feet, or both eyes, the claimant may receive payments for total permanent disability. This is only possible after a person exhausts the 500 weeks of temporary disability payments and has reached a maximum level of medical improvement.
Calculating the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve can be a difficult task for Henrico County employees. These calculations must evaluate your medical condition, your ability to return to work, and your prior earnings.
Workers whose injuries arise from employment will receive reasonable and necessary medical care to help them return to a maximum level of medical improvement and financial recovery. A Henrico County attorney can help you to file a claim that demands proper payment for your losses. Contact a lawyer today to get more information about your legal options.