Your key guide to understanding the workers’ compensation system in Virginia

An unfortunate on-the-job injury can leave you in a state of despair. While seeking medical care should be your immediate priority, you should also take steps to protect your rights. Employers in Virginia must have workers’ compensation insurance, and in return, an injured employee cannot sue their respective employer directly. In other words, you can only expect to get a fair settlement from the insurance company and not by suing the employer. Hiring a Virginia Beach workers’ compensation attorney can help your case. For your help, here’s a list of facts that matter. 

  1. You can recover a settlement. If you file a successful workers’ compensation claim, your settlement could provide for your medical bills & treatments, lost wages, and vocational rehabilitation. If someone lost their life to an on-job accident, the family (spouse and dependent kids) could claim death benefits. In some cases, a worker may also get lifetime disability benefits.
  2. Reporting the injury is a must. You are required to report your injury to your employer in the State of Virginia to file a workers’ compensation claim. It is a common misconception that the injury must be reported on the same day. While you should do your best to notify your manager or supervisor of the accident, you have 30 days to do so. 
  3. The fault is not important. The workers’ compensation is a no-fault system in Virginia. In simple words, if you were also at fault for the accident, you can still file a workers’ compensation claim and seek benefits. As we mentioned earlier, you cannot sue your employer directly, although some circumstances may permit that. In many cases, a third party could be liable, and you could possibly file a personal injury lawsuit too. 
  4. Trusting the insurance company is a bad idea. That’s true. You shouldn’t be happy because the workers’ compensation is paying your medical bills. You have to file a claim with Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission to get lifetime medical benefits, if applicable. 
  5. Your injury must pertain to your work. What this essentially means is you cannot file a workers’ compensation claim merely because you were injured at work. For example, if you slipped and injured yourself in the bathroom, there is no link between the work you do and your injuries. In such cases, your claim may be denied.  

Talk to an attorney today to understand more about your rights and the workers’ compensation system. 

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