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Frequently Asked Questions About Workers’ Compensation

It can be extremely stressful after suffering from workplace injuries. Not only are you in pain, but you may be wondering when you will get your next paycheck. To provide for injured workers, the law in Virginia requires most employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation can provide insurance that covers a portion of your lost wages, medical expenses and other bills associated with your work-related injury or illness.

At The Dickerson & Smith Law Group, our responsive team of attorneys will help you collect the records you need to submit with your claim and speak to your employer, physicians and insurance representatives to coordinate your medical benefits. We have the experience you need to understand the benefits available from workers’ comp. Call us today at 757-828-0031 to schedule your free consultation.

What is the process for filing a claim in Virginia?

The first step is to tell your employer about your injury right away. You have 30 days to inform your employer. The next step is to file your claim for benefits form with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. Your employer needs to file an accident report within 10 days of your notice and submit it to its insurance company as well as to the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. The insurance company then reviews the claim along with the medical records. When the commission accepts your claim, compensation follows.

Are all work-related injuries covered?

If your injury happens while you are at work or doing something for your employer or at a work-related event, workers’ compensation covers your injury. Additionally, your injury is covered if it was caused by a specific activity you do at work or happened suddenly at the time you would be at work. However, if your activity resulted from your misbehavior, actions not related to your ordinary work activity or progressive injuries or due to repetitive actions, your injuries are not covered.

Does my employer have to have workers’ compensation insurance?

Virginia law requires most employers to carry workers’ comp insurance at no charge to the employee. A business with more than two employees must have coverage for all workers, including those who are minors, part time, temporary or seasonal, trainees, family members and immigrant workers.  

Does workers’ comp cover long-term issues?

That depends on what the long-term issue is. Virginia’s workers’ compensation generally will not cover progressive or repetitive trauma injuries. However, workers’ comp covers some diseases. If the disease was caused at work and is not related to spine, neck or back diseases, it may be covered by workers’ compensation.

Can I be treated by my own doctor?

This will depend on your employer’s response. It is important to report your injury to your employer right away. Your employer may direct you to a physician who accepts their insurance. If you need to go to the emergency room for treatment, tell the medical staff that you were injured at your workplace.

Why should I hire a lawyer to help with my claim?

The state’s process for filing for workers’ comp is complex. Your employer might deny your claim. Insurance companies scrutinize injuries and deny claims. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can streamline your workers’ compensation claim and anticipate pitfalls. If your claim is up for a formal hearing before the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission, an attorney can provide a well-organized presentation for you. An attorney can also ensure that you receive the proper level of care by negotiating with case managers and specialists on your behalf.

Call For Help Getting The Benefits You Need

At The Dickerson & Smith Law Group, our initial consultations do not cost you anything. In most of our workers’ compensation cases, we do not accept attorneys’ fees unless we win for you. Additionally, the state’s Workers’ Compensation Commission governs fee restrictions. Email us or call us today at 757-828-0031 for your free consultation.