Hopefully, you do not have repeated run-ins with the workers’ compensation process. For most people, workers’ compensation is a one-time event that they’ll go through. In some cases it’s not that they don’t go through another workplace injury, it’s that they’d just rather not file.
Only a Manassas, VA workers’ comp lawyer can help you through this process. But, to help you get started this beginner's guide answers some of the major questions about workers’ compensation.
Types of Injuries Covered in Virginia
Asking what types of injuries workers’ compensation covers are a hard question to answer. Typically you should expect coverage for everything from burns to catastrophic injuries such as amputation. Why does workers’ compensation offer such a wide range of coverage? Virginia has many laws in place that govern workplace safety standards.
These standards establish a base for work-related illness and injury. In theory, the workers’ compensation will cover any injury or illness directly related to your work.
That means that if you are hurt during a genuine accident such as someone dropping a box off of a forklift, you’re covered. Additionally, if you slip and fall where someone mopped without leaving proper signage, you’re covered.
Common types of injuries include:
- Spine or back damage from slips, falls, and repetitive movement.
- Shoulder damage from repetitive movement.
- Catastrophic injuries, including amputation of fingers, toes, and limbs.
- Impairment such as partial blindness.
These injuries are not the only injuries that apply toward workers’ compensation. You should always report an accident or injury to your employer and seek medical help.
Who Pays Benefits?
There are two parties that could payout for your workers’ compensation claim. The first and most likely party is your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company. Employers in Virginia must have workers’ compensation insurance, which is private insurance, through a company, and it works much like a car or health insurance.
You put in a claim, the company assesses the data and determines how little it can payout, and then it offers you that amount. You can fight low offers in an attempt to get full compensation for lost wages, pain, and suffering.
In certain situations, your employer’s insurance carrier won’t payout, or won’t commit to providing full compensation, and the Virginia workers’ compensation commission may pay.
Many people prefer to involve the workers’ compensation commission as they work objectively to serve the victim rather than the employer.
Who Can Receive Benefits?
There is some back and forth on who can receive benefits. In Virginia, workers’ compensation is required for certain employers, but not all. If your employer has 3 or more full-time staff members or uses subcontractors that perform the same function, they must provide workers’ compensation coverage.
It is likely that you fall into this category as nearly all businesses in VA do. Unless you are an independent contractor or work as the only employee, you probably have access to workers’ compensation.
A Workers’ Comp Lawyer in Manassas, VA Will Offer More Guidance
The standard process of a workers’ compensation claim starts with you notifying your employer of an injury and ends with you receiving a compensation check. The downside is that there isn’t much guarantee for the standard procedure on everything in between.
Employers should protect their staff from injury in the first place. But when an injury does occur, they should have an insurance company that takes an unbiased and objective view of compensation. That’s hardly ever the case. What you need is a workers’ comp lawyer by your side, discussing your injuries and showcasing your evidence.
You will need to show that the accident happened at work, and many people rely on their employer to provide that evidence. Don’t rely on your employer to provide anything. A lawyer will help you recover or request your injury or accident report and collect your medical records.
With key evidence in place, you can show that your injuries are a direct result from your workplace.
Contact a Workers’ Comp Lawyer in Manassas, VA
The legal team at Ashcraft and Gerel have been helping people with their workers’ compensation claims for years. Not only can you count on them for reliable support, but you can rely on their knowledge to get you through this complex process.
When you’re working on your first workers’ compensation claim, it is easy to become overwhelmed. That’s where having a legal team at your service comes in handy.
Call the law offices of Ashcraft and Gerel now for the help that you will need throughout the claims process.