Virginia Workers’ Compensation
The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act was created in response to growing concerns over unfair rules within the law that favored industry to the detriment of injured workers. While it was originally intended to be non-adversarial, the workers’ compensation legal system has developed into a very litigious area of the law. Lawyers are common throughout the system. Employees have a right to protect themselves with attorney representation throughout the workers’ compensation process. Knowing your rights and the benefits that are due to you when are you injured at work is very important. If you have been injured while working, call Jenkins Block & Associates now. Failure to file and handle your workers’ compensation claim could ruin your chances of receiving compensation and medical treatment. Protect yourself, know your rights: call us at 1-800-243-2439 and Get JBA First!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a workers’ compensation accident?
A workers’ compensation accident is an injury that results from a specific incident at work. A workers’ compensation claim may be difficult to identify because the worker may have trouble identifying the accident. For example, an employee lifts 10 crates and injures their back; however, they are unable to identify exactly which crate caused the injury. Workers’ compensation claims can be difficult to understand so let the experienced attorneys at Jenkins Block & Associates work for you to determine the eligibility of your claim.
What are workers’ compensation benefits?
Benefits include payment for medical treatment, prescriptions, supplies, equipment, hospital/doctor bills and a portion of your average weekly wages. Benefits for lost wages will vary depending on whether your injury is considered a temporary total disability or a permanent disability.
How long do I have to be employed before I’m entitled to workers’ compensation benefits?
There is no required length of time. Even if you are injured at work on your first day of employment, you can be eligible for benefits.
How do I seek medical treatment?
After receiving notice of your work-related injury or occupational disease, your employer should provide you with the names of three doctors. You are required to select a treating doctor from this list. If your employer does not provide you with a list of doctors, you may choose your own. Your employer will pay for your medical costs if your claim is compensable. If you fail to attend any scheduled medical appointments or to follow the treatment plan prescribed by your doctor, it may result in the suspension of your workers’ compensation benefits.
Do I need an attorney to handle my workers’ compensation claim for me?
No. There is no requirement that an injured worker hire an attorney to eith efile or pursue a workers’ compensation claim. However, the system of filing for an obtaining the full benefits you deserve can be difficult. Often employees who do not hire an attorney fail to obtain all the benefits to which they are entitled. Even if yours is a simple case of minor injury, you should get advice from an injury lawyer interested in protections your rights. Your employer and insurance company have skilled representatives protecting their rights. You should have someone protecting yours.
How do I file a workers’ compensation claim without an attorney?
It is your responsibility to timely file your claim with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission, even if your employer is voluntarily paying your wages and medical bills.
At Jenkins Block & Associates we offer free consultations and you will pay no legal fees unless you hire us.
What happens if my condition gets worse after my benefits have stopped, and I need to go back out of work?
If your condition worsens and a doctor takes you back out of work, you can apply for additional benefits through a change in condition application. This must be done within two years of the date the last compensation payment was made pursuant to an Award order.
I have an old injury that stated to bother me when I injured myself at work. Will this injury be covered?
Yes, aggravations of preexisting conditions are covered under workers’ compensation. Your physician must feel that the accident at work aggravated your preexisting condition, then you may get workers’ compensation benefits.
How long do I receive workers’ compensation benefits?
You can receive your lost wages and permanent partial disability benefits for a maximum of 500 weeks between the two benefits. As long as your doctor says the medical treatment is caused by the original work injury, it is reasonable and necessary medical treatment, and you are seeing the authorized physician, your medical benefits are lifetime.
Can I be fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim?
No. Virginia law does not allow an employer to fire an employee in retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim. If you suspect your were fired because you filed a workers’ compensation claim, contact the Virginia Department of Labor to file a complaint.
What do I need to do if I am injured at work?
You need to immediately notify your employer and fill out any required forms.
Call Jenkins Block & Associates at 1-800-243-2439. Do not provide a recorded statement until you have spoken to an attorney. Protect your rights. Get JBA First!