Virginia Workers' Compensation Claims

If you have suffered a work-related injury in the Commonwealth of Virginia, you need to know that Virginia workers' compensation system is complex and fraught with pitfalls that can trap the unwary and uninformed.  Many injured workers who have handled their own claims have made innocent but disastrous mistakes that severely impaired or eliminated their rights to workers' compensation benefits. Our experience can help make sure you receive everything that you rightfully deserve.

 

Virginia Workers Compensation LawsYou have a right to a healthful and safe workplace. If you have suffered an injury on the job, you must notify your employer of your injury, preferably in writing, as soon as practically possible. Additionally, you must give your employer written notice of your injury within THIRTY (30) DAYS of the date of your injury. You should also make sure you know what kind of benefits you are entitled to through your employer's workers' compensation coverage. With certain limited exceptions, every employer that regularly employs three or more employees in the Commonwealth of Virginia is liable for compensable injuries suffered by its employees and must either carry workers' compensation insurance or qualify as a lawfully self-insured employer.  When a work-related injury occurs, the employer must complete and file a First Report of Injury (FROI) with the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission (VWC).   Upon receiving a FROI, the VWC typically sends to all parties a Notification of Injury letter, and the VWC also sends to the injured worker a blank VWC Form 5, Claim for Benefits. Unfortunately, it is extremely common for employers and workers' compensation carriers to pay wage and medical benefits to injured workers in the Commonwealth of Virginia without notifying the Commission and/or without ever formally admitting liability for workers' compensation benefits. Your employer's filing of a FROI does NOT constitute the filing of a claim for benefits for you.  Virginia law requires that you file your own claim for benefits with the VWC (NOT just with the employer and/or the workers' compensation insurance carrier), preferably on VWC Form 5, within TWO (2) YEARS of the date of the injury, or your claim for workers' compensation benefits is likely to be time-barred.   In lieu of filing a paper VWC Form 5, you may also file a claim for benefits online at the VWC's website).

 

In some instances, aggressive workers' compensation carriers may deny legitimate workers' compensation claims that arise in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Among other things, an insurer may allege that you have not been injured by an accident or that your injury did not arise out of your employment.   If this is the case and you do not file and pursue a claim for workers' compensation benefits before the VWC, you stand to lose critical benefits, such as weekly disability payments, medical care coverage, and vocational rehabilitation. If you feel your legitimate claim for benefits have been denied unfairly, we would like to talk to you to see if we can assist you with your workers' compensation claim.

 

For a FREE consultation, call us at 336-725-1000 or toll free at 877-514-0995. You may also contact us online for a FREE consultation as well.