Helping You Work to Recover the Full Benefits You Deserve
Injured while working on the job? You don’t have to face the piles of medical bills on your own. Our experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in Manassas, VA, can help. Workers’ compensation is designed to ensure hard-working Virginian employees have the financial means to receive full medical treatment for their injuries. In addition, injured employers who file a workers’ compensation claim may even be able to receive reimbursement for lost wages if they have to miss work in order to receive treatment.
With that said, not every workplace injury settlement goes as smoothly as you may assume. While, for most cases, an employer’s insurance company will cover the full cost of the employee’s medical expenses until they’re recovered, there are situations wherein a claim is outright denied. If you’ve been injured on the job and you’re not sure how to file a claim or you’ve filed a claim that has since been denied, reach out to the Manassas workers’ compensation attorneys at Ashcraft & Gerel to discuss your options. Our attorneys have years of experience serving clients who suffered from workplace injuries. We can use this experience to help you with your workers’ compensation claim from start to finish.
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Should I Contact a Workman’s Comp Lawyer If I Was Injured on the Job?
Accidents happen every day. But when an accident at the workplace leads to a personal injury, your employer’s insurance company should cover the cost of your medical recovery. Not every injury warrants a workers’ comp claim. If your injuries are minor, such as a sprained ankle, you may be able to recover without issue. But for more serious injuries, you’ll want to be sure that you’re not left shouldering the full financial burden of the resulting medical expenses.
Serious workplace accidents could result in:
- Occupational diseases from exposure to hazardous chemicals
- Illness from exposure to asbestos
- Back or neck injuries from lifting heavy material or equipment
- Injuries from construction site accidents
- Injuries from job-related car accidents
- Injuries from commercial trucking accidents
- Ladder fall accidents
- Severe injuries or burns from workplace fires or explosions
If you’re dealing with an injury from any of the scenarios mentioned above, you may be entitled to compensation for the full extent of your medical expenses, including treatment, nursing services, and prescriptions.
Immediately following your accident, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention if your injuries are severe. You don’t want to delay getting the help you need to get back on your feet. For cases where you’re not physically injured but are suffering from a disease caused by exposure to harmful materials, make sure you receive documentation from your healthcare provider that details your illness. You’ll need this information to report your injuries or illness to your employer as soon as possible.
Your workers’ compensation lawyer will advise you that you must reach out to a medical professional first before filing a claim for workers’ comp. Since you will already be receiving attention from your doctor, you should keep a record of any out-of-pocket expenses for your medical treatments.
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Workers’ Compensation Employer Notice Deadline in Virginia
You can’t receive compensation for your injuries until you notify your employer and start the workplace injury settlement process. In every state, there are set deadlines for reporting your injuries to your employer. In Virginia, you must notify your employer of your injuries or illness within 30 days of your workplace accident or within 30 days of your doctor notifying you of your illness. It’s important that you give more than just an oral notice. Memories fade over time, so your employer may forget that you mentioned your injuries or, worse, may deny your claim because there is no written record of your report.
To prevent this, you should craft a written notice to your employer that includes all of your personal contact information, as well as details about the incident, including how it happened and the full extent of your injuries. A workers’ compensation lawyer who is experienced in representing clients in Virginia can help ensure your report includes all of the information you need to be legally sound.
Workers’ Compensation Commission Notice Deadline in Virginia
In addition to notifying your employer, you will also need to let the Workers’ Compensation Commission of Virginia know about your injuries by filing a claim. You have two years from the date of your accident to file a claim within the legal deadline. If you file too late, your claim may be denied.
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Do I Really Need Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
After an accident at the workplace, a workers’ compensation claim allows employees to receive reimbursement for any medical expenses they’ve paid for, as well as compensation for any treatment or prescriptions they may need in the future. You may think that you should only rely on your personal health insurance following an injury, but workers’ compensation allows you to receive the care you need without facing increased rates or out-of-pocket expenses.
Why Was My Workers’ Comp Claim Denied?
Filing a claim for workers’ compensation does not mean that it will automatically be accepted.
There are many reasons why your employer or their insurance company may deny your claim, including any of the following scenarios:
- Your employer doesn’t think you’ll appeal: In some cases, your employer or their insurance company may deny your claim solely because they don’t think it’s likely that you’ll appeal. In these situations, they may not think you have substantial evidence to support your claim, so you’ll give up once you receive the denial notice. If your claim has been denied and there is no clear indication why, reach out to our Manassas workers’ compensation lawyers today to discuss your options. We may be able to provide insight into your case and help you gather the evidence you need to appeal.
- You missed the deadline to file: As mentioned, there are set deadlines for notifying your employer that you have a workplace injury. If you don’t give a proper written report within 30 days of the accident, they could deny your claim. Even if you appeal your case before a judge, depending on how long you waited before giving your employer notice, they may find you ineligible for workers’ compensation. To avoid this, you should hire a workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible following your workplace accident. Your lawyer can ensure you fill out all of the proper paperwork and turn it in within the 30-day deadline. After you’ve given your employer notice for your workplace injuries, they’re then responsible for reporting the incident to the Workers’ Compensation Commission within 10 days.
- You didn’t file an official claim with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission: Once you’ve reported your injuries to your employer, you are still responsible for filing an official claim with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission within two years of the accident or within two years of finding out about your occupational disease. There are many ways in which you can file your claim, including in-person, by fax, my mail, or by creating a web file account on the Commission website.
- There is a dispute around the circumstances surrounding your accident: Your claim may also be denied if your employer does not believe that your injuries or accident happened as reported. If they believe they have evidence that your injury occurred outside of the workplace or while you were being purposefully irresponsible, they could deny your need for a workplace injury settlement. This is one of the reasons why it’s important to begin documenting your accident as soon as possible. If there were other employees around at the time, or if your medical reports can support your claim, you can use this evidence for your court appeal.
If your workers’ comp claim has been denied, it doesn’t mean that your case is over. With help from a legal professional that has years of experience in workplace injury settlements, you can appeal your denial and present the evidence for your accident and your injury in front of a judge in court. Your lawyer will present the court with all the evidence needed to bolster your claims, including medical documents that reveal the extent of your injuries and witness statements from any employees who may have witnessed the accident when it occurred.
What Kind of Disability Benefits Can Be Recovered in a Workplace Injury Settlement?
Workers’ compensation offers a number of benefits to help you recover quickly and return to the workplace as soon as possible.
Once you file a claim, you can receive full coverage for any of the following:
- Emergency hospital visits
- Surgical procedures
- Nursing services
- Loss wages
- Wage reimbursement
- Medical appliances (crutches or wheelchairs)
- Prosthetic appliances (artificial limbs)
The length of time for which you receive this type of compensation depends on the extent of your injuries, as well as how long it takes you to recover. You may be eligible for Temporary Total Disability Benefits or more long-term benefits, depending on your needs. There are also partial disability benefits, which you may receive if you only require a limited level of care.
Temporary & Long-Term Disability Benefits
Temporary disability benefits are traditionally awarded for injuries or illnesses that only require treatment for 14 days or less. This could be a minor injury, such as a twisted ankle or sprained wrist. Even though your injury is not as severe as others, you can still receive compensation for your hospital bills, nursing services, prescriptions, or other medical expenses. Once you’re at a point where you can return to work, your benefits will be terminated and you can move forward with your normal day-to-day life.
If it takes longer than 14 days for you to recover, you may receive wage reimbursement in addition to compensation for your regular medical expenses. These benefits will last until you’ve recovered or once your doctor determines that you’ve reached the maximum level of medical care.
Wage Reimbursement Benefits
Even if your medical expenses are covered while you’re away from work, without the regular income of your job, you and your family may face a different kind of financial burden when it comes to making ends meet. To remedy this, many workers’ compensation claims also include the option for wage reimbursement for time spent recovering from your injuries. Since you’re unable to work, you could still receive a regular income that includes two thirds of what you usually take home from your regular paycheck.
Vocational Training Benefits
What happens if your injuries cause you to be unable to return to your regular line of work? You’re far away from retirement, but don’t have the resources needed to start a completely new career path. As part of your workers’ compensation settlement, you may be able to receive vocational training at no cost to you. This means that you can get job training on a new skill that prepares you for a new job once you recover from your injuries.
Consult with Our Attorneys Today during a Free Consultation
The first step to receiving the workers’ comp benefits you deserve is to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. Let the professional Manassas workers’ compensation lawyers from Ashcraft & Gerel assist you with your case from start to finish. By ensuring you fill out the correct paperwork on time and file your claim properly, your workers’ compensation lawyer can help you start your case off on the right foot. And if there are bumps along the way, such as a claim denial, our attorneys will be ready to guide you through the appeals process.