It’s normal that after an injury you just want to move on to a new job. It’s also possible that you saw a new side of your employer. Perhaps their workers’ compensation insurance company left a bad taste in your mouth. Either way, the vital thing is that you want to look for a new opportunity.
What does looking for a new job mean for your workers’ compensation claim though? Will it look bad on you? The thing is that you can leave your job. A workers’ compensation lawyer in Alexandria, VA can offer you more insight into your particular situation.
Responsibilities of an Injured Employee
As an injured employee, you do have a few responsibilities to fulfil. Within the state of Virginia, an injured employee that is leaving their employer is advised to give notice as soon as possible. Additionally, you must file your claim within two years of the accident.
The doctor providing your diagnosis and treatment must be from one of the three of the doctors on the panel with the insurance provider. You cannot change doctors without permission of the employer, and insurance provider.
If you do need a second opinion and your workers’ comp insurance is not permitting that to happen, you have alternative options. The Workers’ Compensation Commission can help you change doctors if you need to when your employer refuses the request.
In the supposed condition that you left your job, you do have a responsibility to seek work. Rather the resting on benefits if you are capable of taking light-duty work, the Commission will expect you to search for employment. You may have access to rehabilitation counselors during this time. If so, you must cooperate with them as well.
When giving up your employment, you may waive your right to wage replacement benefits. For people who actively seek out a new job this is often not a substantial issue.
Many people will remain with their employer until a doctor releases them to return to work. Afterward, they would continue working as normal and submit their official notice when they find a new job.
Basics of Benefits
During a workers’ compensation claim, you can receive three types of benefits. You may have access to wage replacement, permanent disability, and medical treatment. The benefits you will receive depend on your situation, the extent of your injuries, and your employment status.
Even if you quit your job, you should expect to receive compensation for medical care and expenses. That might mean coverage for your prescriptions, doctors’ visits, and more. You can even factor in your mileage to see your doctor for visits.
If a doctor has determined that you are permanently disabled in any capacity, you have access to that benefit. The permanent disability benefit is an end benefit in partial situation. In total permanent disability situations, you will need to discuss the extent of your compensation with an attorney.
When it comes to wage replacement, your employer must pay 66% of your weekly earned wage. However, if you quit your job before filing your claim, or quit at the beginning of your claim that might incite some issues. Quitting your job unexpectedly, or amid a workers’ comp claim can result in the company taking action against you.
Action Against You
Can an employer take action against you? If they suspect fraud, possibly. Your employer may be able to refuse payment of benefits. If that’ the case, then you will need to involve an Alexandria, VA attorney.
If your employer took action against you, then you will likely end up with a hearing. The hearing will take place with an Administrative Law Judge overseeing your case. You should keep a close track of your medical care and expenses during this time. Eventually, the Administrative Law Judge will make a ruling on your claim.
Bring in a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
An Alexandria, VA workers’ compensation attorney can help you manage unusual aspects of your claim. Additionally, they may provide you guidance on how best to fulfill your responsibilities as an injured employee and to work on your situation with your current employer.
If you do choose to quit your job while you have an open workers’ compensation claim, you may lose access to some benefits. Those benefits are dependent on employment, but quitting your job does not mean you don’t have access to them.
If your claim is still active, you might have the opportunity to receive benefits. Always work with an attorney during these sensitive situations. Call Ashcraft & Gerel for more information.