Even after taking all relevant precautions, workers often suffer unprecedented injuries on the job. The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act is meant to protect injured workers, and while things may sound easy on paper, not everyone understands their rights. If you suffered an on-the-job injury, you could recover the cost of medical care and lost wages, but before you initiate a claim, meet a Fairfax workers’ compensation lawyer to know your case. In this post, we share some relevant info that needs your attention.
The no-fault workers’ compensation system
What if your injury was caused due to your employer’s fault or negligent action? It doesn’t matter, as the workers’ compensation system is not based on fault. When you file a personal injury lawsuit, you are also responsible for proving the fault of the other party, but that’s not the case with workers’ compensation claims. This no-fault insurance covers all workers, and even if the employer is liable for the mishap, you cannot file a lawsuit against them.
Notifying your employer is a must
As per the laws in Virginia, an injured worker is required to report the injury to the employer within 30 days. If you fail to notify your supervisor about the job-related injury, you may have difficulty proving the workers’ compensation claim. Ideally, you shouldn’t wait until the last minute to inform your employer.
File the claim
Just informing your employer doesn’t mean that your part of the work is done. You must file a workers’ compensation claim and complete the necessary forms, which must be submitted to the Commission. Just like personal injury claims are subject to a statute of limitations, there is a two-year deadline for all workers’ compensation claims in Virginia. In order to protect your interests, you should initiate the claim at the earliest.
You can appeal against a denial
You have the right to appeal to the Commission if the insurance company denied your claim or the benefits are less than what you deserve. It is also one of the many situations when hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer becomes more important.
The workers’ compensation system is meant to be fair, but when an insurance company is involved, you cannot trust anyone but your lawyer. Get an attorney who deals with such claims frequently and can offer essential advice. Ensure that the law firm you choose only focuses on employees so there is no conflict of interest.