After suffering injuries at work, injured workers often fail to take the right steps to protect their interests. As a result, they miss out on the workers’ compensation benefits that they are entitled to. As per the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act, injured workers can get up to 500 weeks of lost wages and payment for medical treatments for as long as necessary. In limited cases, workers can even continue to get lost wage benefits for as long as they live. Top names like Injured Workers Law Firm offer free consultations for injured workers, and you can speak to renowned lawyers to understand your claim better. For your help, here is an overview of your rights & responsibilities.
Notifying the employer
You are required to inform your employer within 30 days from the date of the mishap. If you have been diagnosed with an occupational disease, you have 30 days to report the same, counting from the date of diagnosis. Keep in mind that if you fail to do the same, the insurance company will use this as an excuse to deny your workers’ compensation claim.
Keeping up with deadlines
Like in other states, there is a statute of limitations for workers’ compensation claims in Virginia too. You should file a claim with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission, and the deadline is two years, which starts from the date of the accident. If you miss that time, you may end up losing your benefits. Remember that your employer or the insurance company will most likely not tell you all that. For the insurance company, your claim is a loss that it would want to avoid.
You cannot sue your employer, but there are exceptions
Just because you were injured at work doesn’t allow you to file a lawsuit against the employer. However, if your rights have been denied or when you have suffered discrimination because you reported a work injury, you may have legal options to seek compensation.
Get an attorney
Insurance companies often make it hard for injured workers to get the due workers’ compensation benefits. Hire a lawyer so that you dont have to deal with anything on your own. It’s best to work with attorneys who take up workers’ compensation cases for employees. Make sure that the law firm doesn’t have a conflict of interest in any manner, and more importantly, their team should have experience handling similar claims in the past.